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Old 01-25-2003, 02:44 PM
steve hutson
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SRS light 87 E300tdt

Today I replaced the old, sunburned steering wheel on the wagon. All went well until I started the car after the replacement.
The SRS light now stays on permanently instead of going out after a few seconds as it allways had done.
Any ideas? should I have cleaned the contact rings before putting the wheel on? The sequence of events was: disconnect negative lead to battery, unplug SRS module on right footwell, remove airbag and unplug, remove steering wheel. Installation was in reverse order. All thoughts are welcome (including leave well enough alone)!


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Old 01-26-2003, 07:35 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,657
Hi Steve Did you swap over the old contact ring to the new wheel? If so, it might have been damaged during removal. Those contact rings can be a bit fragile after a few years. If the replacement wheel had rings in it maybe it's N/G. Is it a used wheel?
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Old 01-26-2003, 08:24 AM
steve hutson
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Yes, it is a used wheel. To the eye the contact ring seemed ok,
I guess I should put the old wheel back on and see what happens.
Thanks for your suggestion,

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Old 01-26-2003, 12:53 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
When swapping steering wheels, one usually has to replace the slip rings at least 70% of the time. When you reconnected the airbag, did you hear the connector audibly click? It has to click to make contact. Start by rechecking the connection at the airbag. If the light is still on AND you heard the connector click, then it could be the slip rings.

Before acutally pulling the wheel again, if the SRS light is on try tapping the horn. Sometimes you'll find the spring loaded contacts just need a little push to make connection and tapping the horm douses the lamp. If that doesn't work, then slip rings are in order.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

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Old 01-26-2003, 01:54 PM
steve hutson
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Thanks for your tips, Mike. Yes, I tapped on the horn and it works like a champ. Also heard a positive click on reattachment of the a-bag. I assumed that there is only one way for the wire to plug into the air bag. I may try transferring the old sliprings if the light goes out whe I put the old wheel back on. Fortunately it is a pretty easy task to change the wheels out.

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Old 01-31-2003, 10:52 AM
steve hutson
Posts: n/a
Update on the SRS light. Mike was right when he suspected the contact rings. The problem has corrected itself, however, by simply driving the car a bit. Apparently the replacement wheel
had been sitting out long enough for some corrosion to form on the rings. Once installed, the turning of the wheel cleaned the contacts and presto, the SRS started blinking and then went out for good. Now the system works as normal. The lesson here is to clean al electrical contacts before the fact.

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