Air bag clock spring verticalWhat is an airbag clock spring?

An airbag clock spring, also known as a spiral cable or clock spring assembly, is an essential component of a vehicle’s safety system. It is located in the steering column behind the steering wheel. The purpose of the clock spring is to provide electrical connections between the steering wheel and the vehicle’s electrical system, including the airbag.

The clock spring consists of a coiled ribbon-like electrical connector that allows continuous electrical contact between the steering wheel-mounted controls, such as the horn, cruise control buttons, and audio controls, and the vehicle’s wiring harness. It enables these components to function properly while the steering wheel is being turned.

One crucial function of the clock spring is to ensure the proper deployment of the driver’s airbag. It enables the electrical signals from the airbag module to reach the airbag in the steering wheel, allowing for timely activation in the event of a collision.

Over time, the clock spring can experience wear and tear due to constant movement and electrical connections. This can lead to issues such as the intermittent operation of steering wheel controls, non-functional buttons, or a warning light indicating a problem with the airbag system.

Find out more about clock springs here.

Symptoms of failing clock spring

A failing or faulty clock spring in a vehicle can exhibit several symptoms that indicate potential issues with its functionality. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Malfunctioning steering wheel controls: One of the primary indications of a failing clock spring is the malfunctioning or non-functional steering wheel-mounted controls. This can include buttons for the horn, cruise control, audio system, or other functions. If these controls do not respond or only work intermittently, it may be a sign of a faulty clock spring.
  • Airbag warning light: A malfunctioning clock spring can trigger the airbag warning light on the vehicle’s dashboard. The light indicates that there is a problem with the airbag system, and the clock spring is a potential culprit. It is important not to ignore this warning light, as it can signify compromised safety in the event of a collision.
  • Non-responsive horn: If you press the horn button on the steering wheel and it does not produce any sound or only works sporadically, it could be due to a faulty clock spring. The clock spring provides the electrical connection for the horn, and its failure can result in a non-responsive horn.

If your Airbag / SRS warning light is on at Warrant of Fitness (WOF) time, then you will fail your Warrant of Fitness (WOF).

Can you still drive with a faulty clock spring?

It is highly advised to get the clock spring diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible as it controls two important safety features (Drivers Airbag and Horn) and you cannot pass a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) with a faulty clock spring. This will require a diagnostic scan of the car’s Airbag / SRS computer and often an investigation and diagnosis of the Airbag / SRS live data. It is potentially very dangerous to drive your vehicle in this condition and should be avoided if at all possible.


Car Airbag Clock Spring replacements in Hamilton:

If your car’s clock spring sensor is damaged, then at Grimmer Motors, our talented and reliable mechanics can help. Our mechanics can easily diagnose and replace a damaged or failed car steering wheel clock spring and get you back on the road in no time.

At Grimmer Motors we offer a range of diagnostics and repairs. In order to do this, we own a variety of powerful tools and use a range of our diagnostic tools to scan, test and diagnose your car.

For all clock spring or steering wheel checks in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!

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