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1998 Corolla Horn Contact

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Hi guys! The horn on my 98 Corolla suddenly stopped working. The horns work fine if you wire it straight to the battery and the relay seems to be working just fine. I did some reading and it might be the horn contacts inside the steering wheel. My question is, how to I remove the steering wheel cover to expose the contacts and where are the contacts located? Also, what is the fastest way to disable the airbags? Do I just remove the fuse or do I have to disconnect the negative battery terminal? Thanks for the inputs :)

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Depending on what is going on, might need to get down to the spiral clock spring to fully diagnose the switch.

 

Before you start, make sure the wheels are pointed straight ahead - note position of the steering wheel. If you need to get to the clock-spring, will likely need a puller - lots of different ones out there. You could make one yourself, if you have the raw materials. Otherwise, you can rent a steering wheel puller from an autoparts store fairly inexpensively.

Disconnect the negative battery cable, wait at least 5 minutes before you start poking at the airbag. You can also step on the break pedal - some people feel this helps, but I've always made sure to give it lots of time. Do it first thing before you do anything, then in the mean time, you can get all your tools/supplies together.

 

If you look on the sides of the steering wheel mounted airbags - there will be a torx screws on each side, I think they are size T-30, but I don't remember off the top of my head.

 

Airbag module will pop off at that point - the horn contact is underneath it (part of the assembly). Unfortunately, I don't remember if the contact can be separated from the airbag module - might all be one piece = $$$ to replace. Usually, the contact itself if fine, its a broken wire in the clock-spring that is the real culprit. To get to that - you'll have to pull the wheel off with the puller, don't forget to remove the two stalks on the side, if you haven't already done so.

 

You have to be very mindful NOT to check resistance or continuity check the airbag. Depending on your meter, it could jumpstart the airbag and you'll have a really bad day.

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Thank you for the input. Sounds like a lot work just to make the horn work and I really need to be mindful of the airbag. I will give it a try but if it doesn't work for me then I'll probable let a technician check it out. I just don't want to spend a lot of money on labor. Thanks again Fish :)

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