The average airbag clock spring replacement cost for most car owners is between $395 and $419, with the labor costs ranging between $91 and $115 and the cost of the parts around $304. Although this price does not include taxes and fees, it does give you an estimate of what you can expect from your local mechanic.
To best understand why this is the average airbag clockspring replacement cost, we will give you the function of the airbag clock spring, how the clock spring works, the signs of a faulty airbag clockspring, if you can drive with a bad clockspring, and how often this crucial part needs to be repaired or replaced in your vehicle.
What is an airbag clock spring?
When analyzing the total airbag clockspring replacement cost, you need to know what this part is and how it works within your car. The airbag clock spring is a crucial component in the Supplemental Restraint System. The Supplemental Restraint System, also known as the SRS, is used to provide extra protection for drivers and passengers in vehicles instead of just relying on the seatbelt.
If the seatbelt would fail in your car, having a backup plan is crucial to keeping the car occupants safe and guarded. In th4e event of a crash, the SRS system continues to offer individual protection and controls the timing of the airbag to go off and open to cushion the impact. Airbags help protect the driver and prevent the front seat occupants from crashing into the windshield.
Since the airbag gets tested when you turn on the vehicle with the airbag light either staying on or turning off as it should, being aware of a faulty airbag and a properly working SRS system keeps drivers safe. Even though SRS airbags are more expensive than the traditional options included in cars and it can increase the airbag clock spring replacement cost, it increases the safety of yourself and others.
If the electrical system stopped working, then this could mean the steering wheel will no longer control the car. If the driver can’t steer the car with the wheel, this can lead to a very dangerous situation on the road and increase the airbag clock spring replacement cost.
How does the airbag clock spring function?
The airbag clock spring is positioned at the steering column’s end and located behind the steering wheel. The steering column is the mechanical part that is in charge of directing and steering your car. The car steering column is a device intended to steer your car and connect the steering wheel to the steering mechanism.
The steering wheel controls the car, while the steering mechanism is the internal collection of components and linkages. In some cases, after wear and tear, you might need to get a new steering column. The steering column replacement cost is an average of $400-$900, with the cost for the steering column part itself being only about $100 to $300.
If the steering column stops functioning correctly, this can increase the overall airbag clock spring replacement cost. There are various components within your power steering system that makes it easier to steer the car. The major power steering system components include the steering column, steering coupler, power steering hoses, power steering pump, and steering gear. If any one of these parts fails, the total airbag clock spring replacement cost could skyrocket.
Airbag Clock Spring Components
Along with the power steering component parts, the airbag clock spring contains a series of small wires in a spiral motion between two plates or discs. The wires rotate and change locations between the disc inside of the clock spring when the driver turns the steering wheel to control the vehicle.
When moving side to side, the wires rotate inside of the steering wheel. As the wheel turns and steers the car, the coiled wires move in both directions. The wiring in the airbag clock spring connects the airbag, the horn, and other electrical components integrated into the steering wheel.
Find that the radio, the cruise control, and other electrical parts of your car are no longer working properly. This could result from a fault in the electrical system that can lead to a higher airbag clock spring replacement cost.
Symptoms of a Faulty Airbag Clock Spring
When looking at the overall airbag clock spring replacement cost in most vehicles, drivers need to be aware of the most common signs and symptoms of faulty parts in their car, leading to a higher repair or replacement price. Problems with the airbag clock spring can occur due to electrical faults or mechanical issues.
Over time, the wire inside the clock spring can succumb to wear and tear, leading to premature fatigue, failure, and breakage. Any breaks or connection failures in the electrical system can cause an open circuit or short circuit in one of the systems. A short-circuited electrical system can cause a higher airbag clockspring replacement cost.
The clock spring can also show damage and premature wear if the driver’s airbag is deployed in the event of a crash. Once the airbag is used to protect the driver and passenger, the airbag clock spring will be stressed to deploy the airbag at the right time. After the crash, certain parts of the vehicle will have to be repaired and replaced to keep the car running safely.
The airbag warning light, or the SRS warning light, will usually turn on in the vehicle when the airbag clock spring has already been damaged. You may find that important electrical parts, like the horn, radio, cruise control, windows, and other amenities can stop working or only work intermittently.
If you are no longer in control of your vehicle’s electrical parts, then this will only be a nuisance and annoyance but can lead to safety concerns. Fuses can cause a short circuit in the electrical system and the clock spring, causing smoke to come from the steering wheel. If the steering wheel or power steering components are damaged, this can lead to a higher airbag clock replacement cost.
Can you drive With A Bad One?
Since the airbag and the horn are both important safety parts in your car that keep you safe during a crash and alert other drivers to your presence during uncertain traffic conditions, a faulty clock spring needs to be replaced as soon as you notice the damage. With the horn and the airbag connected through the steering wheel, any damage to the airbag clock spring can cause a higher airbag clockspring replacement cost.
A faulty, worn down, or defective airbag clock spring can break down the SRS system and lead to potentially irreversible damage. This damage to the system can cause the airbag to not deploy in the event of a crash, leading to a serious safety situation.
When should I replace the airbag clock spring?
The airbag clock spring is designed to last the entire lifetime of your car. In some older model cars, where you need to use a little bit more care to fix any faulty parts, the wiring inside of the clock spring can be brittle and more susceptible to wear and tear. In this case, drivers and mechanics need to be careful when carrying out the airbag clock spring replacement.
Drivers will have to replace the airbag clock spring if they constantly drive dangerously or drive sporadically since this reckless driving causes excess wear and tear and a higher airbag clockspring replacement cost.
Airbag Clock Spring Replacement Steps
The first step in replacing an airbag clock spring is to disconnect the battery to turn off the Supplemental Restraint System. The electrical connections need to be turned off and disconnected before the mechanic can remove the airbag and the steering wheel.
Once these parts are removed, the mechanic has to get to the wiring harness that is connected to the airbag via the clockspring. Along with the wiring harness, the mechanic will have to locate the trim components on the steering column.
Furthermore, if necessary, some replacement jobs require the mechanic to also remove the trim components from the lower dash assembly to access the harness plugs. After the trim has been removed from the steering set up, it is much easier to get to the clockspring in the vehicle.
After the airbag clock spring has been removed, the mechanic has to reinstall the steering wheel, trim, airbag, and clock spring. The final step in the airbag clock spring replacement is to reset the Supplemental Restraint System software to solidify the process and top off the airbag clock spring replacement cost.
The Bottom Line
Figuring out the total airbag clock spring replacement cost can help give you an idea of what you might spend at your local mechanic or dealership. Spending around $420 to repair or replace the clock spring will help keep the steering system working at a high level and ensure the airbag deploys to keep you safe in the event of a crash!