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Thread: Steering Wheel Controls - Problem

  1. #1

    Default Steering Wheel Controls - Problem

    2003 Pilot EX with a progression of problems with the steering wheel controls. First, stereo controls stopped working. Few months later SRS light came on. Few weeks after that the cruise control buttons stopped working and now the horn doesn't work.

    All fuses good. Brake pedal position switch okay. Horn relay not clicking, but horns beep when locking car. All other functions normal.

    My guess is either a bad ground for these circuits or a bad wiring ribbon, clockspring, in the middle section of the steering wheel. Any help with diagnosis, location of ground and/or instructions for getting access to the switches and wiring harness would be most appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member HondaSUV Elder 'Curly Q Links''s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Alberta, Canada


    Parts diagrams and numbers can be found at It's a good site to BOOKMARK.
    '97 CR-V. . . . . . '00 CR-V SE (leather) . . . '98 Odyssey V-Tec ! !
    First, read the Owner's Manual, then SEARCH, maybe your Internet is faster than mine ?

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by 'Curly Q Links' View Post
    Parts diagrams and numbers can be found at It's a good site to BOOKMARK.
    Wow, thanks so much.

  4. #4

    Default Fixed

    All fixed. Here's a complete write up for anybody else with this problem. Doesn't seem like alot of DIYer's on here, but maybe more to come.

    Problem was the cable reel assembly, clockspring. Honda part # 77900-S9V-A11. $87.29 at dealer. Interestingly, the part is not really shown on the part detail diagram in the link above/below and the part # isn't listed. Part #21 in the diagram is basically the part, but the pic definitely doesn't show the part as it is, with the large plastic reel and wiring and connectors. Dealer parts guy said it had something to do with it being part of the SRS system or some such garbage.

    Here's the "how to"...

    1. Move driver seat to the full back position to give you room for work later on if you need it.

    2. Disconnect + and - battery leads and wait at least 5 minutes before proceeding.

    3. Remove Torx30 screws from recess in each side of steering wheel center cover. Pull center part of steering wheel, air bag unit, out with mild force and disconnect yellow connector. If it blows up, stop. Just kidding, it won't blow up if you followed step #2.

    4. Remove three screws from bottom of 2 piece plastic cover surrounding steering column, separate the two pieces and remove. The bottom piece will come off if you turn it sideways to allow it to pass the column adjustment lever.

    5. Disconnect the horn, cruise and radio connectors.

    6. Remove 19mm nut holding steering wheel on. Take note of the alignment marks on stud/bolt and wheel. Those need to be lined up just the same when you put wheel back on. To remove the nut, I used a 19mm socket, short extension on breaker bar and a short pipe. Having somebody to hold the wheel while you break the nut would help too. Nut has some thread lock on, not probably torqued that tight.

    7. To remove steering wheel off splined shaft, give the back of the wheel a series of gentle whacks with a rubber mallet all around the perimeter. Then just pull it off with a wiggling motion. You'll get the idea.

    8. With wheel off, cable reel will be exposed. To remove there's a tab at about 1PM position that needs to be gently lifter up with a thin flat screwdriver, look at the replacement unit for help. Then it lifts right off.

    9. Disconnect the yellow and blue plugs under the dash from the reel assembly wiring.

    10. To install new reel, leave the plastic tab on the right side of the new reel in place during installation until right before you're placing the steering wheel back over it. The unit snaps in place with the 1PM tab you lifted up to remove the old part in step #8.

    11. Reverse the removal steps, remove the plastic tab off new part before putting steering wheel back on. Feed the connectors through the hole in steering wheel like they were before removal. Make sure you line up marks on splined stud and wheel. Torque nut back on, not sure of torque (look it up!), I made it moderately tight.

    12. Put all the rest of the covers back on, connect the airbag and put the two T30 screws back in.

    13. After battery reconnected, your SRS light will probably still be on. Reset instructions are as follows:

    To erase the DTC memory and reset the SRS indicator light, first locate the yellow plastic Memory Erase Signal (MES) connector:
    -The SRS connector is plugged into the upper right corner of the driver's side under dash fuse panel or behind the driver's side left kick panel.

    Once the MES connector has been properly located and identified, proceed as follows.
    1. Verify and make sure the ignition is switched OFF.
    2. Connect the 2 pins in the MES with a paper clip or metal object.
    3. Turn the ignition switch ON.
    4. The SRS Indicator Light should come on for 6 seconds and then go off. Remove the (paper clip) within 4 seconds of when the SRS Light goes off.
    5. The SRS Indicator Light should come back on again. Reconnect the (paper clip) within 4 seconds of the time when the SRS Indicator Light comes back on.
    6. The SRS light should go off. Remove the (paper clip) from the MES connector within 4 seconds of the light going off.
    7. If the process was succesfull, the SRS Indicator Light will blink two times.
    8. Turn the ignition switch OFF and wait 10 seconds.
    9. Turn the ignition switch ON and the SRS indicator lamp should come on for 6 seconds and then go off if all the codes have been successfully cleared.
    10. If the SRS Indicator Light does not go off, repeat the erasing the DTCs procedure. If after several attempts to erase the DTCs the SRS Indicator light stars on, you may have another problem with the SRS and may need dealer tech assistance. Inspect and make sure that all the components and electrical connectors are properly installed and connected.
    11. Once the DTCs have been successfully erased, reinstall the yellow MES connector to its holder in the fuse panel.

    ENJOY and save lots of $$$.

  5. #5
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor chiph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Austin TX, USA


    Excellent post.
    And Step #2 is VERY important!

    Extra note: When you take the airbag out, put it on the ground facing up. That way if it picks up a stray static voltage and decides to detonate, you won't have parts flying around.

    Chip H.

    Former owner of: 2012 Civic LX, 2006 Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CRV EX

  6. #6


    Also forgot to mention to have your radio anti-theft code handy. You'll need it to reset radio after having the battery disconnected.

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