Many modern vehicles’ safety and convenience features can be operated by turning the steering wheel. These operations may be carried out efficiently and securely thanks to a key component known as the clock spring truck , located behind the scenes. The definition of a clock spring, its importance in trucks, and its part in creating a smooth driving experience are all covered in this article.
What are Clock Springs?
In any truck repair service, clock springs play an important role in making multiple systems function correctly, such as cruise control, traction control systems, the horn, and more. Without a clock spring, many of the systems in a truck would fail to work in tandem as they usually do, and this alone is reason enough not to overlook the importance of this accessory.
Where is the Clock Spring Located?
The clock spring is between the steering wheel and the steering column. If you ever remove your steering wheel, you will see a circular object, usually black or yellow. That is the clock spring, and it will always have wires running from it into the steering wheel clock spring.
What Does a Clock Spring do?
A clockspring has connectors that link the steering wheel to the rest of the vehicle’s system. Along with the horn, every steering wheel has numerous buttons on it. Sometimes, these buttons are on the sides of the steering wheel, and other times, they are on the front.
Generally, they control the cruise control, radio volume, and numerous other functions. The clock spring allows them to connect to the rest of the vehicle. Every clock spring truck comes with multiple connectors that connect to these buttons, as well as the horn and the airbag, and conductors on the inside of the clock spring allow it to rotate and transmit power.
The clock spring will no longer work if the conductors ever break.
Clock Spring Purpose
Here are a few different purposes that a clock spring serves.
Safely Connect Cables Between the Steering Wheel and Steering Column
Because the cables for the cruise control, airbag system, horn, and other functions are often found on a steering wheel, something has to connect those cables from the steering column to the steering wheel. If you were to connect the cables directly to the steering wheel, those cables would break every time the steering wheel turns, The cables connected to the steering wheel through the clock spring allow the steering wheel to turn without causing damage to the wires.
Enables The Horn to Function
You should always drive with certain things, and a working horn is one of them. Because the clock spring truck is responsible for transmitting signals from the steering wheel buttons to the truck’s computer, it is the part that allows you to beep the horn.
Enables the Airbag
While the horn is one of the essential parts of any vehicle for safety reasons, the airbag is equally essential, and a clock spring allows an airbag to deploy. Because the clock spring transmits signals from the steering wheel to the truck computer, if it ever breaks, the computer will not know to deploy the airbag when the situation calls for it.
Allows the Steering Wheel to Turn Smoothly
A clock spring does not directly affect the actual turning of a steering wheel to a serious degree, but it still plays a factor. If a clock spring is going bad or breaks, you will sometimes experience a rubbing or clicking sound when you turn the steering wheel. In rare cases, turning the steering wheel may not feel as smooth as it should if the clock spring breaks.
Sends Signal to the Throttle Position Sensor
The throttle position sensor maintains the airflow appropriate to the engine’s intake manifold by checking the throttle valve. A clock spring plays a role in this process, and if it goes bad, there is a chance that it will send electrical spikes to the throttle position sensor and cause problems.
How to Fix the Clock Spring?
- Firstly, you should start off by washing the insides of the mainspring barrel with petrol if you find that the barrel is oily inside. Then, you can cut off the broken piece of spring, and angle off the corner using pliers that can cut through metal.
- Use the broken piece of the spring as a template to carve out the next hole and mark the outline of the new hole with a pencil so that the hole is central. After that, you can heat the spring using a propane torch, and when you start to see a dull red colour appearing on the metal, turn the torch off and let the metal cool down.
- Next, using a center punch, add holes to the top and the bottom of the new hole to make it easier to drill the new hole fully into the spring. Furthermore, you should lubricate the spring barrel using engine oil and leave it to set and dry.
- Using the center arbor and the center shaft to place into the hole and in the center of the barrel, you should feel it catching the tension of the spring on the inside of the barrel. Oil the spring lightly and line the hole in the back of the barrel with the hole in the center of the spring. Lastly, using a vice, tighten the back of the barrel into the spring, and it should be secured nicely all around.
How to Reset a Clock Spring?
There are two ways to reset the steering angle sensor inside the clock spring. The first method is simple and does not require any tools.
- Start the engine and let it idle.
- Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right.
- Turn the steering wheel to the left.
- Repeat this procedure twice with the engine running.
- Drive for at least 50 feet, and the steering angle sensor will reset.
In most cases, this procedure will reset the clock spring and steering angle sensor and should turn off the ABS and stability control light. If the procedure above does not work, you need an OBD-II scanner to reset the steering angle. Connect the scanner to the diagnosis port under the dashboard and follow the screen’s instructions to reset the steering angle sensor.
Does a new Clock Spring Need to be Programmed?
No, the clock spring itself will work without programming. If your clock spring has an integrated steering angle sensor, you may need to perform a steering angle reset and reset the stability control and ABS lights. Start the truck and turn the steering wheel to the left, then to the right several times. This will reset the steering angle sensor in most trucks. If this procedure does not work on your vehicle, use a Multi-System OBD2 Scanner with SAS Reset Function.
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What is a Clock Spring in a Steering Wheel?
A crucial part of a truck’s steering column is a clockspring, sometimes referred to as a spiral cable or a clock spring assembly. It is essential for preserving the electrical connections between the spinning steering wheel and the stationary component of the steering column while enabling the wheel to turn freely. The word “clock spring” derives from the component’s shape, like a spiral or ribbon.
The primary functions of a clock spring in a steering wheel include:
Airbag Deployment: The clock spring enables the electrical connection to the driver’s airbag, which is located in the center of the steering wheel. During a collision, when the airbag needs to deploy rapidly for safety, the clock spring ensures that the electrical signals required for deployment can reach the airbag without interruption.
Horn Operation: The clock spring allows the electrical signal from the horn button on the steering wheel to travel to the horn assembly, resulting in the activation of the horn when the driver presses the horn button.
Steering Wheel Controls: In modern vehicles, many steering wheels feature various controls, such as audio volume adjustment, cruise control activation, phone call buttons, and more. The clock spring enables these controls to communicate with the vehicle’s systems without the need for a hard-wired connection.
Indicator Lights: Some steering wheels have indicator lights that provide information about cruise control status, audio settings, or other vehicle functions. The clock spring ensures that these indicator lights receive power and can display the necessary information.
In conclusion, a truck’s clock spring is an essential part that permits several features, such as airbag deployment, horn activation, steering wheel controls, and indicator lights. It accomplishes this by preserving a constant electrical connection between the steering column’s stationary and revolving components. Proper maintenance and prompt truck repair of a broken clock spring are important to guarantee the safe and effective operation of these vital truck systems. It is advised to get your truck checked by a trained mechanic to see if a clock spring replacement is required for your safety on the road if you see any of the warning indications described above.