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2008 Mercury Sable: Steering wheel buttons/controls not working (on right side)

Over the last few days, the buttons on the right side of the steering wheel for radio/phone/Sync stopped responding (as seen in image). The buttons to the left of the wheel work, and the ones tucked behind the ones on the right that control the trip/mileage/oil% LCD display work. It’s just those on the front/right that aren’t working suddenly. I noticed this when I tried to use the button for SYNC to use a voice command to get to Bluetooth. I hit the others above and below and they didn’t work either. SYNC will sometimes skip and lag (once in a very blue moon) when hitting the SYNC button. So at first, I thought it had something to do with this. But that usually clears up after a restart or two (and usually the other buttons work fine).

Which leads me to believe that maybe it’s a loose connection suddenly or something. Anyone run into anything like this before?

image

Isn’t there a fuse for this?

Either buttons have gone bad from use or the clockspring, the gizmo under the wheel that carries the wires, has gone bad.

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There is likely to be one, but there wouldn’t be multiple. Therefore if it was a fuse, I’d see more than this go out.

This could be it (clockspring)…but wouldn’t this affect all buttons and not just that one group of buttons? As for the buttons wearing, it would be odd that the whole group on the right went out at the same time.

The clockspring doesn’t fail ALL wire leads at the same time nor is there a single wire for each button. the buttons are multiplexed to reduce wire count. The clockspring could have broken one or 2 leads and only taken out the right hand buttons.

This is a fair point. I will look into this tomorrow. Thank you.