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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

97 Dodge Caravan, No Horn, Cruise control and Air Bag Warning Light
Q: I have a Ď97 Caravan with a 3.0 V6. The Air Bag warning light is on, the cruise control and horn donít work. The van will not pass the annual safety inspection because the horn doesnít work. It seems odd that a horn must work for inspection but a bad Air Bag is not a safety issue. I took the panels off from around the steering column thinking a wire pack or harness is loose since all these controls and airbag are in the steering wheel. Checked all fuses too. I am lost for any other clues to what may cause complete failure of all controls on the steering wheel and cause the airbag light to stay on. My wife tells me that the airbag light first started to go on and off and now is always on. She never noticed lack of horn or cruise control as she never had a need to use them......Jim

A: The fix for the horn is likely going to be the fix for the Air Bag and cruise control too. Just below the steering wheel there is a wrap of wires. This wrap of wires is contained in a plastic case. On each side of this case is an electrical connector, one going to your cruise control, horn and Air Bag on the steering wheel. The other end is connected to the wiring harness at the base of the steering column. The plastic case that the wires are contained in is often referred to as the clock spring. The reasoning for this name? The wires are laid out in a manner that they look like the spring to a wind-up clock. What makes it even more like a clock spring is the way the wires wind-up inside the case while the steering is being turned to the left or right. This is done to allow for the movement of the steering wheel while not breaking the wires. To repair a failed clock spring requires disassembling and removal of the steering wheel which includes the Air Bag. When working with Air Bags youíve got to know what youíre up to, they are damn dangerous if handled incorrectly. Have a tech with proper training diagnose and repair your vehicle.

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