The clock spring and steering angle sensor on most VW are integrated into one part and will have to be replaced as one unit.
Here are some symptoms that you may notice when you have a bad VW clock spring or steering angle sensor.
- Airbag light stays on
- Horn won't work
- Traction control / stability control light on
- ABS light stays on
- Cruise control won't work.
- The steering wheel buttons don't work.
Depending on which part fails, you may notice one of these problems or may have several issues.
What you will need
Here is how to change the clock spring and steering angle sensor on a Volkswagen.
- Make sure the front wheels are pointing forward.
- Open the hood and disconnect the battery. You should do this step while keeping the ignition on or the position I; otherwise, the steering wheel will lock up, and you won't be able to turn the steering wheel.
- Wait 15 minutes before you proceeded to the next step.
- Remove the upper trim on the steering wheel column. In most cases, it will lift. Usually, there are only clips, no screws. Release the airbag. Turn the steering wheel to bring the left hole that is on the left of the steering wheel to the top. Insert a screwdriver in the hole on the back of the steering wheel and release the airbag.
- Do the same on the other side of the steering wheel to completely release the airbag.Make sure to keep your body at least one foot away from the airbag at all times. Airbags may deploy while you are working on the vehicle and cause injuries or damage. Removing the airbag can be tricky and requires patience. For more help with this step, follow our detailed guide on how to remove a VW airbag.
- Disconnect the airbag wires and carefully put the airbag to the side.
- Use an M12 triple square bit to loosen and remove the round bolt that holds the steering wheel.
- Mark the steering column and steering column shaft so that you can reinstall the steering wheel in the same location.
- Remove the steering wheel from the steering column by pulling it towards you.
- Remove the lower plastic trim that covers the steering column. Remove the three Torx bit screws that secure the lower trim.
- Remove the screws that hold the clock spring.
- Unplug the electrical connector from the clock spring. Make sure to press on the connector tab to be able to release, then pull the connector out.
- Remove the clock spring from the steering column by pulling it out.
- Install the new clock spring in reverse order. Before you reinstall the clock spring, make sure to find the center of the new clock spring. Turn the clock spring all the way to the left, then turn it to the right and count the revolutions. Typically you will have five revolutions. Come back 2.5 revolutions to set the clock sprig on center.
- Install the steering wheel in reverse order. Torque the steering wheel to specification and make sure to use thread lock on the threads.
- Reconnect the airbag and press it on the steering wheel to install it.
- Reconnect the battery.
- Start the engine and turn the steering wheel to the left and to the right a couple of times to reset the stability control or any other warning lights that may have come on.
In most cases, simply turning the steering to the left and right will reset the steering angle sensor. If this procedure fails, you will need to reset the VW steering angle sensor with a VW scanner.
Even though the pictures are from a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta, the instructions will help you change the clock spring on VW Golf, Eos, Passat, Rabit, GTI, Routan, Tiguan, etc. The procedure is very similar to all Volkswagens. The main difference will be the step on how to release the airbag.
- Steering wheel bolt to the steering column - 50 Nm
How much does it cost to replace a VW clock spring/steering angle sensor?
The average price to change a clock spring and steering angle sensor at an auto repair shop ranges between $300 and $500.
The average price to change a VW clock spring yourself (excluding tools) is between $40 and $100.
How do I know my VW clock spring is bad?
Your airbag light may have a code for the driver's airbag. Horn won't work; the steering wheel buttons won't' work.
Can I drive with a bad VW clock spring?
You can, but we wouldn't recommend it because the driver's airbag may not deploy if you get involved in an accident.
Does a VW clock spring have to be replaced?
Only if it is faulty, if the clock spring is still good, it can be reused.
Does a VW clock spring need programming?
No. After you install a VW clock spring, it will work. You need to set the clock spring properly, and steering angle calibration may need to be carried out to reset the steering angle sensor.