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Thread: Steering wheel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Harling, Norfolk
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Steering wheel

    The horn on my 2007 451 Passion became very intermittent, so today I removed the steering wheel (non paddles) and carefully dismantled it. I discovered that the 4 contact posts and the spring which make contact when the horn is pressed were dirty and slightly corroded.
    After cleaning with some light emery paper I put it all together and back onto the car. After re-connecting the battery, and turning on the ignition, the horn worked perfectly. However when I drove it up the road the red airbag warning light and the yellow exclamation warning light both came on AND the horn stopped working.
    I then took it all apart again (after waiting for 10 minutes after disconnecting the battery) and checked everything. Everything looks ok, both of the connectors into the back of the steering wheel are alright and the small spade connector on the end of the spring is good. I've also checked the fuse for the airbag and the fuse for the horn and they are both ok. Everything else on the car is working.
    I do not have access to a plug in fault finder.
    Anyone got any suggestions as to what I've done wrong. All I've really done is clean the 4 posts and the spring that they come into contact with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    BANCHORY
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    3,386
    I suspect you have ruined clock spring.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
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    I have never removed steering wheel on a 451 but assume the procedure is similar to most modern cars. The long screw that holds steering wheel to steering column must be uncrewed a certain number of turns to engage a slot in clock spring and prevent clock spring from turning. Of course steering wheel must be dead straight when removing and when refitting steering wheel.

    Clock spring only allows a certain number of steering wheel turns left and right. Clock spring will break if out by one turn.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    I suspect you have ruined clock spring.
    Concur

    Good news on a 451 is they sell them separately but You’re still looking north of £250 for a replacement

    Part number A4515400617 I believe

    But double check , there may be two https://www.smart-stuff.parts/451-st...SABEgJbivD_BwE

    have never removed steering wheel on a 451 but assume the procedure is similar to most modern cars. The long screw that holds steering wheel to steering column must be uncrewed a certain number of turns to engage a slot in clock spring and prevent clock spring from turning.
    Yes - this
    Last edited by reinaldo_is_spam; 25-04-2020 at 09:32 PM.
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Harling, Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Guys thank you for your replies, especially for the link for a new airbag ribbon assembly.
    I now know exactly what I did wrong. I guess this is the danger of trying something with only a little knowledge.
    When I removed my steering wheel (following all the youtube videos) the circular plastic collar, which holds the assembly in place, fell away and fell down the steering column slightly. This allowed the ribbon (clock spring) to become unwound from the assembly - it fell out onto my lap.
    Because none of the information from the internet mentioned this happening, I didn't have a clue what it was and just thought it would be alright to wind it back and replace the securing collar. After cleaning the horn contacts and putting the wheel back on the car, the horn worked perfectly, but as soon as I went around a corner it obviously broke the ribbon, hence why my horn stopped working and my airbag light came on.
    I have a couple of questions. I hope they don't seem too obvious or silly.
    There are a couple of secondhand steering wheels on eBay. I think they include the airbag ribbon. If I bought one of these would I need to do anything other that slide the wheel onto the shaft. If it involves playing about with the ribbon I wouldn't feel too confident.
    If I bought a new ribbon assembly as per the above link, is it difficult to fit. How do you know how loosely to have the ribbon before fitting it?
    Finally, does anyone know a repairer in my area. I live very close to Snetterton race track in Norfolk.
    I have just removed the steering wheel again and am about to take a look at the ribbon, but as it's not allowing my horn to work and lighting up the airbag light, I'm pretty sure it is damaged.
    Does anyone have any pictures or internet links to show the airbag ribbon assembly in more detail, especially how to fit one.
    Thank you again for your advice

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Evilution has info on your 451 clock spring and how to open it out.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    Evilution has info on your 451 clock spring and how to open it out.
    Well it turns out Evil only opened out the 2nd generation 450 clock spring.

    I broke mine a few years ago purely due to stupidity so quite annoying.

    Tried several times to solder repair my broken clock spring but my repairs did not last. Luckily, Evilution himself had one where the steering angle sensor was not working and he posted that one to me. My Smart is a 2002 450 hence no ESP so no need for steering angle sensor.
    This is the one that now is in my Smart.

    Fitting a 2nd hand clock spring is easy:
    1) Check first electrical continuity of clock spring. Only test part of clock spring that handles air bag and horn.
    2) Turn clock spring by hand from left to right and count number of turns.
    3) Centre clock spring and lock with tape.
    4) Fit in steering wheel and engage steering wheel holding bolt into slot in clock spring.
    5) Ensure front wheels are dead straight and fit steering wheel in centred position.
    6) Pray it will work and go for test drive.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Harling, Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Thank you Tolsen. Owing to the cost of a new steering angle sensor assembly being £250 I'm probably going to go with a second hand steering wheel complete (including the angle sensor assembly) which looks like it is going to be much cheeper at £100.
    Thank you for explaining how to fit the clock spring - it makes perfect sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Forgot to advise to turn steering wheel from lock to lock and count number of turns.
    Obviously clock spring much allow more turns than steering wheel.
    When turning clock spring manually from lock to lock you will easily feel the increase in resistance when clock spring locks up.
    Centred position of clock spring may not exactly align bolt in slot but should be very near.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    East Harling, Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    I noticed the following fault code reader mentioned somewhere on this forum;
    STREETWIZE OBDII FAULT CODE READER - Smart Fortwo & Roadster & Forfour.
    Does anyone know if this device will re-set my airbag warning light code when I fit the new (secondhand) steering wheel?
    Thank you

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