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How to Replace a Clockspring in a GMC Sierra

by Contributor

You can replace the clockspring in your GMC Sierra when the airbag light stays on. The clockspring is a mechanism that supplies a constant electrical connection to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), or airbag, and the horn of your vehicle. Even while your steering wheel turns, the connection is steady when your clockspring works properly, ensuring reliable deployment of the airbag in the event of a collision.

Remove the negative battery cable of your GMC Sierra. Allow the capacitor to discharge for 10 minutes. Turn the steering wheel so the tires point in the straight ahead position. Set the ignition switch in the "lock" position and remove the key. Locate the fuse panel and remove the AIR BAG fuse.

Take off the knee panel under the steering wheel. Disable the airbag by unpluging the yellow connector at the base of the steering wheel. Take off the panel on the passenger side of your GMC Sierra to gain access to the yellow connector that engages that airbag, and unplug the connector.

Rotate the steering wheel of your GMC Sierra one-quarter turn and insert a screwdriver into the holes there. Press on the leaf spring to undo the pin, then rotate the steering wheel halfway around to gain access to the other holes that house the pins holding the airbag in place. Release these pins with the screwdriver.

Lift the airbag of your GMC Sierra toward the rear of the steering wheel top to expose the airbag wiring. Undo and label the lead wire from its clip on the airbag unit. Disengage the lead wire from the steering wheel and label it as such. Unplug the Connector Position Assurance and the retainer from the airbag unit.

Mark the steering wheel and the shaft of your GMC Sierra to ensure proper replacement of the steering wheel. Take off the snapring from the shaft and remove the nut that holds the steering wheel in place. Use a steering wheel puller to remove the steering wheel from the steering column.

Unscrew the screws holding the clockspring in place and separate all electrical connections to the clockspring. Ensure that you center the replacement clockspring properly before you reinstall the steering wheel for your GMC Sierra.

Tips

  • Center a clockspring with a centering window and a spring service lock by holding the clockspring face up and pressing down on the spring service lock. Turn the coil clockwise until it stops then turn it counterclockwise until the centering window is yellow and you see alignment of both arrows. Engage the spring service lock at the locking tab.
  • Center a clockspring with a centering window and no spring service lock by holding the clockspring face up. Turn the coil clockwise until it stops. Then, turn the coil counterclockwise until the centering window is yellow and you align both arrows.
  • Center a clockspring with no centering window and a spring service lock by holding the clockspring with the back side up. Depress the service lock and turn the coil in the direction the arrow points until the coil stops. Then, turn the coil 2 1/2 times in the opposite direction. Engage the spring service lock at the locking tabs.
  • Center a clockspring with no centering window and no spring service lock by holding the clockspring face up and rotating the coil clockwise until the coil stops. Then, turn the coil counterclockwise 2 1/2 times.

Items you will need

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