Clock springs and how do they work?

The clock spring is an electrical device that keeps the connection solid for the airbag and other electrical components on the steering wheel through the steering wheel mount. 

Where is the clock spring located in a car?

The clock spring is right behind the steering wheel. To access it, the steering wheel, and the airbag will have to come out.

How do you replace the clock spring?

Even for the average car owner, this should not be longer than an hour job, as long as all the needed tools are available. 

  1. Make sure the tires and the steering wheel is straight, the new clock spring will not go in if everything is not straight.
  2. First, disconnect the battery. This is needed for when the steering wheel airbag is going to be disconnected. If it is not disconnected, the airbag will be blown when disconnected. So disconnect it first so it is not forgotten later.
  3. You will need to unscrew the steering wheel airbag. The airbag is usually only two small bolts on each side of the steering wheel. Some have trim pieces covering the bolts on the steering wheel, just use a flat head screwdriver to take these off.
  4. Unplug the airbag electrical connectors. Each car is different, so some you will need a flat head screwdriver to lift up the top of the connectors, and others you will be able to do it by hand.
  5. Then remove the connector that connects the other electrical components on the steering wheel. This you will most likely be able to do by hand. 
  6. Use a paint marker or white sharpie to mark how the steering wheel and bolt and nut are seated before removing.
  7. Then remove the middle bolt that you just marked to remove your steering wheel.
  8. Then remove your steering wheel of the rack. Each car is different so you may need a wheel puller set, or it might come off by hand. If you need a set, most car parts stores are able to rent them for free or at a very low cost.
  9. There will then be a small trim piece covering either the entire rack or just the lower half. You will need to remove that, the screw will most likely be Philips screw holding it down.
  10.  Then remove all the wires off of your clock spring.
  11. The last step is it be careful with the clips of the spring and undo them all to remove the only spring. 
  12. Then repeat all these steps from last to first to install the new clock spring.

If you have to remove your clock spring you will notice that the opposing poles are able to freely rotate separately, all while keeping the electrical connection for the air bag and other steering wheel components.

It is required because if it was not there, and there were just normal electrical connections over time the wires would kink, break, and destroy the connectors due to the excessive turning of the steering wheel.

Hyundai Kia01 (1)

After replacing the Clock spring, you might have a hard code stored in the airbag module and it will need to be reset.