Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'98 Ford Contour, Air Bag Light After Transmission Service
Q: I own a 98 Ford Contour that has a flashing air bag light and the horn is not working since I got the car back from a transmission shop. The fuses and relays check out ok. Could this be a clock spring problem?
- Dale E.
A: To remove the transmission in your vehicle requires disconnecting the steering column from the steering rack. If the steering column is not locked and the steering wheel is allowed to turn it can result in damage to the clock spring in the steering column for the air bag system. If the clock spring is broken, the horn will not work as well. The air bag light on your vehicle is likely flashing a code 32 (3 flashes a pause and 2 more flashes). This code indicates that there is an open in the wiring to the drivers side air bag. So, was it the transmission shops fault or just a coincidence? If diagnosis proves that the clock spring has failed, when removed youll find that the wires are either pulled out of their connector or just fractured/cracked. If they were pulled out, the steering wheel was allowed to turn when it should have been locked. If cracked it just was a coincidence.