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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

96 Chrysler Town and Country, What’s A Clock Spring Do?
Q: Hello! I have a question about our Ď96 Town and Country. Our air bag light went on, horn stopped working, and cruise control stopped functioning all at the same time. We had the van looked at, thinking it was just a fuse problem. We were told that the clock spring needs to be replaced. We understood the clock spring is involved with the air bag, but the cruise control and horn, too? Does this sound right to you? Do you have any other alternatives? We hate to drive around like this any longer, as we feel that it isn't safe. If it is a clock spring problem, is it common to have this break down in a vehicle with no accidents, low mileage (just turned over 37k) and regular maintenance done?......Becky

A: The clock spring is the name given to the wiring in the steering column that goes to the steering wheel. The steering wheel on many vehicles today is a control console in itself. The horn, cruise control, air bag and, in some cases, radio controls are contained in the steering wheel. To allow for this there is a coil of wire that looks somewhat like a clock spring (thatís where the name comes from) that contains all the wires necessary to allow the systems on the steering wheel to work. The wire winds up and down as the steering is turned from left to right, etc.... Over time it is a given that a wire in this will fail. Yes your mileage is low for this problem, but how many times has that steering wheel been turned? It is likely the clock spring is your problem and replacement is not that big of a job.

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