All three circuits: airbag, cruise control, horn travel through the "clockspring" assembly mounted just behind the horn pad on the steering wheel. It's a coiled ribbon wire harness housed in a plastic housing. It is what maintains circuit continuity between the switches on the steering wheel and the rest of the system as you turn the wheel. This is the recall as publisheed at the NHTSA website.
Vehicle Make / Model:
CHRYSLER / TOWN AND COUNTRY
DODGE / CARAVAN
DODGE / GRAND CARAVAN
PLYMOUTH / GRAND VOYAGER
PLYMOUTH / VOYAGER
NHTSA Campaign ID Number:
ON CERTAIN MINIVANS, THE DRIVER'S AIR BAG MAY BECOME DISABLED DUE TO A FAILURE OF THE CLOCKSPRING, WHICH IS LOCATED IN THE HUB OF THE STEERING WHEEL.
THIS CONDITION WILL MANIFEST ITSELF THROUGH ILLUMINATION OF THE AIR BAG WARNING LAMP, AND COULD EVENTUALLY RESULT IN A DRIVER'S AIR BAG OPEN CIRCUIT, IF THE PART IS NOT REPLACED IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME.
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE CLOCKSPRING ASSEMBLY ON ALL COVERED VEHICLES WITH 70,000 MILES OR LESS. FOR THOSE VEHICLES WITH MORE THAN 70,000 MILES, DAIMLERCHRYSLER WILL OFFER AN EXTENDED LIFETIME WARRANTY UNDER WHICH IT WILL REPLACE THE CLOCKSPRING AT NO CHARGE IF IT FAILS. DAIMLERCHRYSLER WILL ALSO REIMBURSE OWNERS WHO HAVE PAID TO HAVE THE CLOCKSPRING REPLACED ON THEIR VEHICLES. THE RECALL BEGAN ON OCTOBER 12, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT DAIMLERCHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER RECALL NO. D17. CUSTOMERS CAN CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
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Ok i contacted the dealership with my VIN and they said the vehicle has already been serviced for the Recall D17 clockspring issue back in 2010. She said the problem could also be some pumper impact which set it off? but that is not covered.
I am entitled to come in and have the issue looked at BUT there will be a $109 charge if it turns out NOT TO BE related to the recall.
Again my issue is the AIR BAG light remains on, no horn, and no cruise control. The vehicle VIN claims the car has been serviced already. Is it worth the risk of $109 if the issue turns out to be NOT recall related?
In the meantime i'm planning on using the Service Manual to access the Clockspring and figure out how to test it.
Is there ANY WAY to simply get the HORN to work? We dont care about the airbag light or cruise control. If this is just a wiring issue in the clockspring can it by bypassed for horn functionality?
Sounds reasonable, the dealership just doesnt want to give free inspection.
If you want to install an external button from radio shack to replace the horn button, yes, it is possible. but running new wire could be a headache If you are not familiar with car electronic wiring, you could create more than it originally has, which probably will cost u more than $100.
To run a new wire to replace the Clock spring, then NO, the purpose of the clock spring is roll up a bundle of extra long wire so you can turn the steering wheel without breaking the wires.
You cheapest solution is probably take the chance at the dealership, unless you have a mechanic that could look at it for free for u.
But this is your choice.
I went into the dealership today. Despite the vehicle having already been serviced (May 2010) for the clockspring recall, the mechanic determined the SAME issue had occured again and so under the lifetime warranty they replaced the clockspring. There was no charge and took about 45 mins.
The horn, cruise control are working fine and the airbag light turns off like it should.
IT IS ALL FIXED.
Thank you for pointing out the recall issue. I never would have guessed. I want to THANK steak59 for being first to point it out and Cougar41 for providing the excellent details.