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Smart Wheel

The Smart Wheel is manufactured by Vehicle Improvement Products and is used on many Freightliner and Spartan chassis. The Smart Wheel consists of a pair of keypads that can easily be reached by the driver's thumbs when driving. These keypads control the cruise control and windshield wiper functions as well as the ICC marker and headlamp flash buttons. The Smart Wheel isn't just a bunch of remote switches that are connected by a bunch of wires to the various devices though. Because of the impossibility of routing that many wires through a rotating steering wheel the Smart Wheel utilizes a clock spring in the head end of the steering wheel column that only contains 4 small diameter wires. Two of these wires are for providing backlighting for the various buttons while the other two wires are used to send the commands down to a central control module. Each button will "squawk" a unique code, which is then interpreted by the logic controller in the base module, which is generally mounted on the inside of the firewall above the driver's foot. The module then makes the relay contacts to actuate the various 12 volt circuits.

Smart Wheel keypads

Complete information on the operation of these switches is found in the following Owners Manual link. Also, if strange things start to happen with your lights or wipers, you can follow the Troubleshooting Guide and refer to the Wiring Schematic to help diagnose where the problem is.


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