Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Disconnected wires in steering column

Recently, my wife starting hearing scratching around in the steering column when turning. It sounded like wires being twisted around. Eventually, several things stopped working: 1) the horn, 2) the cruise control, and 3) the airbag (the light came on). It seems safe to assume that the wire/scratching sound is connected.

My question is whether it is possible for me, a layman, to open the steering column to attempt to repair it myself…?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Rather than disconnected wires in the steering column, it is much more likely that the clock spring in the hub of the steering wheel is the source of the problem.

If you are not experienced in working around airbags, I would suggest having a professional work on this area. Otherwise, you are likely to wind up with an explosive surprise in the area of your face.

Laymans column repair, probably not…Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to keep “unauthorized” people out of the steering column…“Multi-function” switches have been crammed in, one on top of the other, making column wiring repairs very difficult.

You will notice, today, manufacturers are moving the ignition switch and starter button back to the dashboard, where they belong…

There is a wiring device known as a “clockspring” which allows for wheel movement that is probably causing your grief…Pro’s can change them without too much fuss…

This repair is no longer a DIY type since the introduction of airbags and multifunction switches. It’s best left to the professionals. Most DIYers start this job then have to pay a mechanic to sort out the mess anyway.

Sounds like the clock spring has broken. It is connected to the passive restraint system (airbag).

And another vote for a failed clockspring assy. This is the wiring for the airbag, horn, cruise switches on steering wheel. If you’re mechanically inclined and have access to step by step service procedures and a steering wheel puller (that’s a tool) you can tackle this yourself.

WOW! Thanks all for your help! It helps to have a consensus on the problem.

If anybody is willing to venture a guess…any estimates on how much this repair would cost ro have a pro fix?

$260 plus tax.

I will also add that you need to check with Chrysler as the clockspring could be under recall. At least a slew of other Chrysler products fall into that category.

ALLDATA shows no recalls or TSB’s for the clock spring. It would still be a good idea to check with the dealer about any recalls.