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Clockspring Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Clockspring Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Access to VAG-COM or other diagnostic software

Applicable Models:

A6 2.7T (1997-04)
A6 2.8 (1997-02)
A6 3.0L (2002-04)
S6 4.2 (1997-04)

Parts Required:

Clockspring

Hot Tip:

Use the VAG-COM or other diagnostic scanner to calibrate

Performance Gain:

Working SRS system

Complementary Modification:

Replace steering wheel or turn signal combination switch.

The clockspring is used to transmit electrical signals from the steering wheel's controls and airbag to the vehicle's electrical systems and computers. Due to the constant use of the steering wheel, it is common for the clockspring to be damaged or worn out. Replacing it is relatively easy, although a few different things must be removed to access it.

You'll want to have access to the factory VAG-COM software or a good aftermarket equivalent to both determine the clockspring is indeed bad and also to code and calibrate the new clockspring. The procedure is a bit complicated, but you should have the procedure listed within the software. At this time, there appears to be no method of doing this without a computer interface. However, the car can be driven a short distance to a repair shop or a friend with the software. Keep in mind that the SRS system will not be functional when driving the car until the clockspring is calibrated.

You'll need to remove the steering column cover, airbag and steering wheel to gain access to the clockspring. See our articles on Steering Wheel Removal, Airbag Removal, and Steering Column Cover Removal for more information.

It is also very important to disconnect the battery before removing the clockspring. See our article on Battery Replacement for more information.

The first step is to locate the two catches on the underside of the clockspring assembly (green arrows) holding it to the turn signal combination switch.
Figure 1

The first step is to locate the two catches on the underside of the clockspring assembly (green arrows) holding it to the turn signal combination switch. Pull the clockspring assembly slightly outward to clear the catches. Do not pull the clockspring off at this point. It can be difficult to see the catches underneath. You may need to feel for them. See Picture 3 for further clarification

Shown here is the top edge of the clockspring.
Figure 2

Shown here is the top edge of the clockspring. You can see the two upper catches (green arrows) securing the clockspring to the turn signal combination switch. Pull each catch until it clears the locking tab and pull the clockspring directly off the combination switch.

Locate the locking tabs (green arrows) on the clockspring.
Figure 3

Locate the locking tabs (green arrows) on the clockspring. Pull the locking tabs back and pull the yellow electrical connector off. Press the tab (purple arrow) on the electrical connector and pull it off the clockspring. Note one of the two locking tabs (blue arrow) for the underside of the clockspring as referenced in Picture 1.

Now press the tab (green arrow) on the remaining electrical connector and pull it off the clockspring.
Figure 4

Now press the tab (green arrow) on the remaining electrical connector and pull it off the clockspring. The new clockspring installs in the opposite order. At this point, you are ready to code and calibrate the new clockspring assembly.

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