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How to Replace a Clockspring in a VW Passat

by Contributor

You may need to replace the clockspring for your Volkswagen Passat when you notice the airbag light constantly illuminated on your dashboard. The clockspring is a mechanism that supplies power to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), which includes the airbag. Ensure the clockspring works properly in order to maintain effective airbag deployment in the event of a collision.

Take the battery cable off of the negative battery terminal and separate the cable from the terminal for the duration of the clockspring replacement procedure. Ensure the steering wheel of your Volkswagen Passat is centered.

Place the steering wheel in its lowest possible position by releasing the adjustment lever. Pull the steering wheel of your Volkswagen Passat out as far as it goes and keep it in place with the position adjustment lever. Rotate the steering wheel 90 degrees counterclockwise.

Hold a screwdriver with a flat edge horizontally and insert it into the hole at the back of the steering wheel spoke on the right side. Release the airbag by pushing the screwdriver toward the airbag while holding the screwdriver handle as low as possible and pulling on the airbag.

Turn the steering wheel halfway around clockwise and repeat the steps with the screwdriver to release the airbag at both sides. Take apart the electrical connections to the airbag and remove it.

Separate the airbag electrical connector after removing the switch cover at the lower end of the steering column of your Volkswagen Passat. Loosen the nut holding the steering wheel in place with a wrench and center the steering wheel. Pull the steering wheel up the steering column and mark both the wheel and shaft for ease in centering the wheel upon replacement.

Remove the nut holding the steering wheel in place and remove the steering wheel. Disconnect the clockspring and separate all electrical connections to the mechanism. Replace the clockspring with a new one for your Volkswagen Passat.

Return the clockspring to its place behind the steering wheel and reconnect its electrical junctions. Follow the above steps in reverse order to reinstall the steering wheel and the airbag unit. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery terminal.

Tip

  • Tighten the socket head bolt for steering wheels with four spokes to 44 foot pounds. The flanged bolt in earlier Volkswagen Passat models require tightening to 55 foot pounds. Tighten the bolt on steering wheels with three spokes to 55 foot pounds.

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