Clock Spring Replacement


How many of you have had the need to replace the “Spiral Cable Clock Spring” on your vehicle. Did you do it yourself (or attempt to do it yourself) or pay someone to do it ?? Several years ago my daughter foolishly bought a 2012 Lexus CT200h, a compact hybrid based on the Prius. The clock spring failed (horn stopped working) and the local dealer wanted $1300 to replace it. The clock spring for this car is unique and costs $750.00 by itself. So I’ll stop this little narrative here and see what the CarTalk faithful have to say…


I’ve replaced clock springs in many different vehicles.

This video pretty much explains how it’s done on your vehicle.



Not on my personal vehicles . . . but plenty on customer’s vehicles or fleet vehicles

I’ve also replaced MANY slip rings, if you know what that is


This vehicle is somewhat unique. Just removing the airbag from the steering wheel is quite a challenge. A salvage yard in New Jersey would have nothing to do with removing and selling the clock spring…Instead, they sent me the entire steering column for a fraction of the cost of the gadget ! But the story does not end there…
The video shows 2 torx screws securing the airbag…The CT200h uses 3 hidden spring clips…Since I had an identical steering column to guide me, I was able to locate and release the clips thus freeing the airbag assembly…But the fun was just beginning…


Slip rings go back to when just the horn needed an electrical path out of the steering wheel…A simple and trouble-free set-up…But on this car, there are a boat-load of gadgets and accessories controlled by buttons and switches all over the steering wheel…The Spiral Cable Clock Spring now must deal with almost a dozen circuits ! It has become a complex and expensive part and they can be very tricky to replace…The slightest mistake or oversight and you destroy the replacement part…


As a matter of fact, some vehicles have clock springs AND slip rings

Sadly, the slip rings are sometimes the weak spot, because they literally wear out

But it also depends on the brand of vehicle . . .

Those guys must have some kind of an irrational fear . . .