RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Q: Electrical or fuses? on 2000 Subaru Outback

I just had a steering rack replaced, and it isn't right, but that's another story/question - it has no radius, steers hard, and makes a horrible grinding sound when turning hard left (like trying to turn around in a parking lot). Another time.

Right now my question is: All of a sudden my airbag light is on, my cruise went out and so did my horn. Is that electrical, or can replacing some fuses fix those (or some of) items? Thank you.
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
It sounds like the "clock spring" coil in the steering column has an open circuit. The "clock spring" is an electrical circuit that is wound in a coil and is installed just bellow the steering wheel. The "clock spring" allows the electrical circuits for any electrical components in the steering wheel - in your case, horn, air bag, and cruise control switch to continue to function while the steering wheel turns. The clock spring coil is designed to wind and unwind as you turn the steering wheel. The clock spring must be centered in order to wind and unwind properly. It could be possible that your steering wheel was turned while the steering shaft was disconnected during your steering rack replacement. With the clock spring off center, when you turn the steering wheel to full lock in one direction or the other it is possible to damage the clock spring.
Thank you so much for your response. I just knew there was something connected since it seemed too coincidental that everything started going wrong after I had the rack replaced. And that didn't even fix the problem. Thank you again. I will recommend you to everyone as you've answered two very important questions for me (one in the past).
Didn't find what you were looking for?