Do you have an annoying chime and the Airbag Light coming on? (looks like a seatbelt warning light..) Or has your Cruise Control stopped working? Or what about the horn not working?
You are most likely the victim of the dreaded Clock Spring failure. The Clock Spring is a component that sits around the steering column, just behind the steering wheel. It has two main functions, one is to measure the position of the steering wheel/column for the ABS/ESP system, the other is it has a flexible cable to connect the electrics in the steering wheel to the vehicle computer – like the Horn, the Airbag, the Cruise Control, and on later models, the steering wheel controls for the stereo.
Now the bit that really gets on my nerves is that in the US the Right Hand Drive models from 2008 to 2012 have been recalled to be replaced with a newer (and presumably more robust) version, and the pre 2008 models have had the warranty on the Clock Spring module extended to 10 years. Out here, after two letters to Chrysler Jeep Australia, I go the same answer back from “Rob” both times – its not a recall in Australia, go ask the Dealer if they will give you a discount to replace it as it is out of warranty. The reason price came into the comment was I queried why the part was available directly delivered to my door from the US for $236 Aus, yet from Jeep Australia it is a measly $1,000+ plus fitting.
So, I have just ordered one from the US and when it arrives I will add to this post with pictures and descriptions of how to replace it.
PS. Since it was the subject of a recall in the US as it was stopping a mandatory safety component from working (the drivers airbag), I have just filled in a vehicle safety complaint form to the Government department that handles safety recalls on motor vehicles to see if at least people in the future with similar problems will be looked after.
To be continued – click here for the next chapter!