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Intermittent Horn - Could Be Bigger Problem!

June 7, 2008

After pulling the steering wheel off in preparation for repairing the ignition to key-lever pin, I discovered the source of my hard right turn un-intentional horn honking. Seems the ribbon that is coiled around the steering shaft inside the plastic housing beneath the steering wheel had a kink right next to the inner part of the housing. The kink caused the two layers of insulating plastic to separate allowing a pair of the 7 flat strips of copper to contact each other. A thought struck me as I was looking at this: How close would this have been to setting off my air bag since the ribbon also carries the signal for that and the cruise control? I made a temporary repair but left the air bag unplugged until I can secure the actual replacement part which I hope is not UNOBTAINIUM.

The reason for my deciding to repair this was on the way to work yesterday morning as soon as I departed my driveway making a left turn the horn made two sort blasts followed by the windshield washers going off along with the wipers. I figured the MFS had finally bit the big one by coincidence but the horn was a little confusing. Then about half way down my block while in a straight line the horn started blaring again but would not stop. I got out and removed the relay from under the hood and continued onto work. It was just as I was pulling into the drive at the office that I had the epiphany that the air bag might explode out of the steering wheel if I did not disconnect it which I did upon arriving in my space.

The pin that connects the upper plastic rod from the key to the lower steering lock and ignition switch had fallen completely out of the rod and was located down the tunnel for the lower rod in the steering column. I replaced the pin adding some Locktight and a little bit of crazy glue to the exposed and to hopefully circumvent me from repeating the repair in the near future. The tilt spring was somewhat challenging getting into place but after only a couple failed attempts the use of a giant pair of Channel-Locks resolved the problem. The only other issue in the re-assembly came with the actual tilt lock spring loaded fingers. A couple of screwdriver bits strategically placed while the lock fingers were open allowed a very easy alignment for the pivot Torx screws to be inserted and tightened.


Sounds like you need a new clockspring. Get in touch with Ray Davis,
I'm sure he has one.

And yeah, that would suck - Driving along, innocently minding your own
business, hit a small bump, no big thing, then BANG ! ! you wake up in
the back seat, stuck to a tree. Well OF COURSE the airbag
deployed...but try explaining THAT one to the officer.

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