Spiral Cable

It may be something you’ve wondered about, or never given a second thought to. How can you have buttons on your steering wheel? Even the most basic of cars have an airbag and a horn button on the steering wheel, while some have radio and cruise control buttons too.

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The answer is the spiral cable, also called the clock spring by some manufacturers. It’s a thin, long ribbon cable in a housing that allows one end to be attached to the steering wheel and rotate with it, pulling the rest of the cable with it, and allowing electrical connections to a rotating part. Obviously this doesn’t work for something with an unlimited number of rotations, only something with a steering wheel that turns only 4 times. You need to make sure it’s centered before you put the steering wheel on or you could break it when you turn the wheel.

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Cruise control on a used car wasn’t working, and the fix appeared to be replacing the spiral cable, and I couldn’t figure out how to get the old one out, and it just came apart, allowing me to see what’s inside and show on my blog.


 

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-Dan

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