My horn no longer works, the steering radio controls no longer work, my airbag light is on. I have a bad clockspring. The dealer wants $650 to install new. I found a complete steering column with clockspring included for $65 locally

The used clockspring in the junkyard steering column is not centered so I have no idea how off center it is. I have removed it from the steering column and am ready to start the re-centering procedure

Printed on the clockspring is a procedure for re-centering, to me these instructions are confusing so I'm posting here to get some help understanding how to accomplish this re-centering procedure. Below is a picture of the clockspring and the instructions printed on it.


clockspring closeup instructions

I've read posts of people saying they have damaged the clockspring by over rotating it. I don't want to do that, supposedly the internals of these clockspring components are delicate.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Oct 11, 2020 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


So, those printed instructions say turn 3.25 turns to the right from the left zero position. That should match with you having the front wheels pointed directly ahead.

Do not force against the left zero position, this should rotate easily and just "feel" the stop.

  • I turned the inner ring very carefully and slowly and found the left zero position. I do see how someone who’s in a hurry or is not thinking delicate to easily push past and break the left zero position. Turning it back 3 and a quarter turns centered the unit. I put a clamp on it. Now to remove the one from the working car and replace.
    – D A
    Oct 11, 2020 at 17:31
  • Sounds just right, good luck for the rest.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 11, 2020 at 17:32
  • After centering and installing the replacement clockspring I now have the horn, radio and cruise control buttons working but the airbag light remains on.
    – D A
    Oct 12, 2020 at 1:01
  • Been here done that. I did see a clock spring fail in a vehicle once, caused by someone erroneous shorting out a wire with a screw. The short caused some wires to overheat, melt insulation. Turn on car, turn steering wheel, airbag goes boom. So yeah, be careful. Really careful.
    – zipzit
    Oct 12, 2020 at 1:26

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