steering column smoking, rattling heavily on any turning on 1996 Dodge Intrepid

when driving there is a heavy rattle. we thought it was the alignment. then steering column started smoking!!!!What could be causing this.

Asked by for the 1996 Dodge Intrepid
The heavy rattle may be the inner tie rod bushings. This can be noticed by some looseness in the steering wheel. As far as the smoke from the steering column, you should take your vehicle to your local repair shop for inspection as an electrical fire can result if left unchecked.
1 more answer
You have a short in there somewhere. You need to have this looked at by a shop before your car burns to the ground. Smoking/electrical concerns are a serious matter.