what is a clock spring used for

what is a clock spring used for

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(Up to date on September 30, 2021)

Ever marvel how the electronics in your steering wheel keep their connection when you’ll be able to flip the steering wheel a number of occasions in every course?

You’re reading: what is a clock spring used for

If regular wires have been run to the steering wheel controls, they’d ultimately get snarled and break, simply from on a regular basis use. That is precisely what a clock spring is designed to forestall.

As a result of the airbag in your steering wheel depends on a useful clock spring, it’s essential that the clock spring is in good working situation. Maintain studying to know how a clock spring works, what signs of a damaged clock spring are, and the common alternative value is.

Desk of Contents

What’s a Clock Spring?

A clock spring is a coil of flat wires wound inside an meeting within the steering wheel. One a part of the outer meeting follows the steering wheel, and the opposite half attaches to the steering column.

This system is typically known as a spiral cable, airbag clock spring, steering wheel clock spring, clock spring meeting, cable reel, or contact reel, relying on the car and the place you reside.

The clock spring will not be actually a spring in any respect, nevertheless it will get its identify from the look of the coiled ribbon contained in the housing. This coiled ribbon resembles the form of a spiral torsion spring, however doesn’t compress and launch saved power the best way an precise spring would.

What Does a Clock Spring Do?

what does a clockspring do?

As you flip the steering wheel, the coil of wires inside the clock spring winds and unwinds, sustaining {an electrical} connection for the airbag and steering wheel controls.

No matter how a lot you flip the steering wheel and in what course, you all the time hold a connection between the airbag management module and steering wheel airbag, the radio and its steering wheel controls, the horn button and the automobile horn, and another buttons or controls on the steering wheel to what they function.

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You might be pondering that the clock spring performs a task in returning the steering wheel to a impartial place, however this isn’t the case. The rationale a steering wheel returns to its centered place once you let go of the wheel is due to the car’s caster angle, not the clock spring.

Most automobiles have a optimistic caster angle. When the entrance wheels are turned, a optimistic caster angle places power on the entrance tires that makes them wish to return to their impartial place, pointed straight forward.

For the reason that steering wheel is instantly related to the tires, the steering wheel is affected by this centering power. Apart from, an actual spring this small would probably not have the ability to overcome the inertia of most automobiles’ steering assemblies.

The place is the Clock Spring Situated?

The clock spring is often positioned on the steering column behind the steering wheel. Nearly each street going car with a steering wheel has one among these gadgets.

Nonetheless, in case your car has no airbag, steering wheel controls, or horn buttons, you might not have a clock spring.

Dangerous Clock Spring Signs

airbag light on

Diagnosing a nasty clock spring can usually be fairly easy, relying on the signs. You might discover a number of seemingly unrelated points, corresponding to steering wheel buttons that don’t work accompanied with an airbag warning gentle.

Typically these parts will work when the steering wheel is in a single place, however cease working as quickly as you contact or flip the steering wheel. An intermittent connection might manifest as a flickering warning gentle or sporadic, inconsistent performance.

You might also hear a rubbing, scraping, or grinding noise coming from contained in the steering wheel if the ribbon has disconnected from the terminals and is rubbing towards the facet of the housing.

In some circumstances, a frayed or damaged ribbon cable might get caught between every half of the clock spring’s casing, which might make the steering wheel a bit more durable to show.

When you discover these signs it’s best to deal with the difficulty as quickly as doable. A nasty clock spring can afflict you with greater than damaged quantity controls.

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You can be left with out cruise management, a functioning horn, or most significantly, a functioning airbag. On this scenario, you’d be unable to alert an inattentive driver and the airbag might not deploy within the occasion of a collision.

Some automobiles additionally use the angle of the steering wheel for traction or stability management calculations. A damaged clock spring will depart these methods in a degraded state, in the event that they proceed to perform in any respect.

Clock Spring Substitute Price

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clockspring replacement cost

Clock springs are comparatively cheap, working between $50 and $200 relying on the car. Labor is pretty easy and will take 1-2 hours; anticipate to pay as much as $300 in labor.

When you try to interchange the clock spring your self, it is rather necessary that you simply comply with the producer’s directions for safely disabling the airbag. Failure to take action might result in an airbag detonation which will trigger critical damage or loss of life.

Seek the advice of your car’s manufacturing unit service handbook for particulars on this process. On the very least, the directions will probably ask you to disconnect the battery and wait at the least 10 minutes to make sure the airbag system has been disarmed.

See Additionally: Common Airbag Substitute Prices

Can a Clock Spring Be Repaired?

clockspring repair
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Whereas it’s generally doable to restore a broken clock spring, it’s typically higher to purchase a brand new one.

Clock springs are low-cost, and it’s necessary to have a dependable unit since they might be concerned with the proper perform of the motive force’s airbag, the horn, cruise management, and traction and stability management methods.

Can You Re-use a Clock Spring?

When you take away the clock spring whereas performing a restore, it’s usually doable to reuse the clock spring. Take away the clock spring whereas the steering wheel is in a impartial place and make sure to not flip the clock spring after you take away it. Reinstall the clock spring in the identical impartial place.

When you have been to spin the clock spring a rotation or two after which reinstall it, you might not have sufficient slack within the inside ribbon earlier than the steering wheel hits full lock. On this case, you run the chance of stretching or breaking the inner wires and damaging a superbly good clock spring.

If the airbag has deployed, it’s best to interchange the clock spring with a brand new unit.

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