Vonada Web Site
Saturn Aura Clock "Spring" Repair
After over 200,000 miles my poor 1993 Saturn was rear-ended. While I could have kept driving the car it really felt like time for a change. I shopped around and found a loaded 2007 Saturn Aura XR for a price I could not pass up. I was not looking for another Saturn, and I certainly was not looking for a 5.9 0-60 screamer, but I sure like it.
The car was still under warranty when I bought it but my long commute quickly ran that out. Of course 2000 miles later I was driving to work and there was a snapping noise from the steering wheel. The airbag warning light came on, bells chimed, and the steering wheel controls were dead. Rats.
I figured the problem was in the clock spring (or "SP Coil" as GM calls it). This is a device which allows electrical power and signals to be passed from the fixed steering column to the turning steering wheel. Obviously a wire will not work because turning the wheel would wrap the wire around the column. So a long plastic strip with conductors inside is wrapped up in a big coil like a clock spring (thus the name). The inner part turns with the steering wheel while the outer case is bolted to the column. As the wheel turns the "spring" winds or unwinds a bit but not enough to matter. Unless yours happens to be made by Delphi in China...
SAFETY WARNING: When working with an airbag follow the manufacturers instructions for disabling the system. For my car the manual said to disconnect the battery and wait for 1 minute. But this can and does vary by vehicle type.