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Steering wheel controls not working

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by Charger, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Charger

    Level III Supporter

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    I have a 2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad and the past couple of days I've noticed that the controls on the steering wheel for the phone, voice control and up/down and back buttons are not working. Some days they work just fine, some days none of the buttons work and some days the back button controls the phone. Any idea what's going on?
     
  2. NYBo

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    If the vehicle was considerably older, I would suspect the clockspring, but that is extremely unlikely for a 2015. Does your entertainment system have the latest software update? Is it still covered by warranty? Any other electrical issues?
     
  3. Charger

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    It has the latest software. That was done like a month ago or so. No other electrical issues. Fortunately, I have the lifetime warranty for all the electrical components.
     
  4. 1999 White C5 Coupe

    1999 White C5 Coupe Well-Known Member

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    Since you have a lifetime warranty - were you hoping to repair it yourself with information from the forum?
     
  5. Charger

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    No, just curious if this was an issue anyone has had. I've already made my appointment to get it fixed.
     
  6. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    It could involve the steering wheel switches, clockspring, LIN (local interconnect network) bus and related wiring. Being intermittent, I might suspect a loose connection or poor contact first:
    http://www.ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/chrysler bus.pdf
    If the controls are working fine at the shop, there may be fault codes left behind to help them find out what was happening. Make sure that your concern gets documented on the repair order.
     
  7. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    The Driver side airbag and horn also complete their circuit through the clock-spring. NOT always, but if you're having trouble with more than one circuit that goes through the clock-spring that's a definite clue that you have a bad clock-spring. The airbag will light a warning light on the dash if the clock-spring is bad. Have you checked your horn is working fine? When the steering wheels switches go out, check the horn.

    The clock-spring is a ribbon cable that wraps around the steering shaft, it allows the steering wheel to turn several rotations, as it winds up or unwinds, and thus make electrical connections to the switches and electrical devices on the steering wheel.

    In the past they used slip rings to do this just for the horn, and they were unreliable. With airbags, that NOT only need a far higher level of reliability, and use self-test to find anything wrong, the clock-spring is a better solution. They just expanded it to include the extra circuits in the ribbon cable. Even though it probably fails as often as the old slip ring on steering wheels, it doesn't fail as intermittently, thus easier to catch in a self-test to make sure the airbag will work years down the road if you need it.
     
  8. Schoolius Delta

    Schoolius Delta New Member

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    Did you ever find out the problem?

    I am having the same exact problem in my 2015 D.Journey Crossroad AWD.
     
  9. Schoolius Delta

    Schoolius Delta New Member

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    Im having the same exact problem with same make/model 2015, as Charger initially described. However, I am not having issues with airbags or the horn. Could it still be the clockspring?

    I'd like to know the results from Charger's original issue (which brought me to this site).
     
  10. Schoolius Delta

    Schoolius Delta New Member

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    Did you ever find out the problem?

    I am having the same exact problem in my 2015 D.Journey Crossroad AWD
     
  11. Charger

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    Unfortunately, no. When I brought it in it was working so they couldn’t look into it. It seemed to fix itself and hasn’t happened in a while.
     
  12. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Everything electronic on the steering wheel runs through the clockspring (horn, air bag, cruise control if it's on the steering wheel, audio controls, etc.). Each failure could affect different functions.
     
  13. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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