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Physical cruise control button "thing" broke


roboman

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I was setting the cruise last weekend and because it's cold here in Michigan, the cruise's plastic buttons are naturally less pliable than in summer. So as I always do I was careful about not pushing it to the extreme to break the little arms that attach it to the wheel, but apparently DID push it to the extreme and the pieces snapped. The wires are still connected so there are no issues with the cruise functions.

Now I don't know the technical terms from this point on, so bare with me. I can see the other part of the 2 arms that broke from the controls are still fixed by screws underneath the steering wheel's horn/airbag cover (simply the place where you'd lay on the horn at another ####### driver). I don't know how to access it though. I'm fearing that the only way would be the same procedure used to remove the airbag, but THAT I don't even know how to do nor want to do since unintentionally tampering with the airbag could be terrible.

In the attached picture, I'm just pushing the control in such away to show that it's disconnected from where it used to be attached. If you need any more pics, just ask.

So, any ideas or previous experience with something like this?

0208111731.jpg
 


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Joe Dirt

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You need to remove the airbag to get to them. Check HERE for procedure to R&R them... Where in Michigan are you?
 




roboman

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I actually popped those little covers on the sides of the wheel off right away to see what was behind them, but wasn't sure that would eventually be the solution. And aside from handling the air bag with caution, that looks incredibly simple. Thanks for posting the link.

And I'm from mid-Michigan.
 




Joe Dirt

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It is easy to do. I've had the bag off probably 15 times at various times on various vehicles... I'll confess that I don't do it like I should, I've only once had the battery unhooked. Most of the time I have the radio on even... Probably shouldn't do that.
 




roboman

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Nothing like a little adrenaline-building music playing while you screw around with a somewhat significant part of the car's safety system!
 




Joe Dirt

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I know... I can't help it... :)
 




roboman

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Even though you seldom do it, I'm still curious - obviously disconnecting the battery prevents the bag from deploying, but what's the 15 minute wait for? Is there still a possibility of a charge going through the wires or something?
 




Joe Dirt

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Yes- Just to be sure all of the battery charge is gone. I know back in the day we used to press the brake to do the same thing...
 




roboman

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Ah, I see. I'm still a novice at DIY stuff so I had to ask. The riskiest project I've taken on with the Ex was cleaning the IAC valve ha.
 




Joe Dirt

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Hey- everyone started somewhere...

I may have a couple of spare buttons around, you can have them if you like, PM me your address and I'll toss them in an envelope. The buttons are firm, but they worked this summer when I pulled them off at the junkyard.
 




Jon-Lombardi

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It's a pretty simple procedure, Joe. I've been doing research about it, because Link, Mah Boi, needs some new Cruise Control and ON/Off buttons on his steering wheel, since the buttons are cracked and caved in from so much use (high mileage, FTW!)
 




Joe Dirt

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Cruise buttons are a 1 on the 1-10 scale of Ex-wrenchin' :)
 




Spdrcer34

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Joe Dirt....they are more like a 3-4....

You have to disconnect the battery...which is a 1 by itself.

Then you have to remove the bag....another 1

Then in the process of the installing the switches, there is a couple micro wire connectors...which adds yet another 1....

Then you have to put it all back together...

I'm gonna go with a 3...

Changing the oil has about the same level of difficulty....

Ryan
 








Joe Dirt

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I agree- but I don't have the best "listen to me" on airbags... :D

I can't see tagging a '3' on popping 2 plastic caps, 2 small bolts, a plug, and 4 phillips screws though... Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit though. :)
 








Jon-Lombardi

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Haha! For me, it's just waiting for that extra juice to drain. I don't want to wait 15-30 minutes before another 15-30 min job. :)
 




OneLever

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A few more links related to your problem. You can never have too many pictures of an upcoming job I think:

Link 1

Link 2

The connectors to the buttons have a lip on them which holds them in place. A small flat object will help in overcoming the lip as you slide them out. I couldn't find the thread with good pictures on that.
 




roboman

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Thanks for the help Joe. I couldn't find glue or anything to fix it up today, but still made the effort to take the bag out and all went well (after unplugging the battery, it was literally 5 min to take all the rest of it apart and out). The broken fragments that were still held down inside are large enough and didn't break around the screw holes, so I think I'll be able to do something by mending both parts with a piece of sheet metal or maybe just super glue them back to the control. But if all else fails, I might have to take you up on that spare part if you're still willing. It don't think I'll have a problem though. Thanks for all the the help!

Oh but one more question out of curiosity. What would it actually take to mishandle the bag once it's disconnected properly? Obviously you wouldn't want to throw it at a wall but is there some area that you could push too hard on that would damage it?
 


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Joe Dirt

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Not really. In all my years of pulling, prodding, poking, and pushing on airbags, I have never damaged, set-off, released, or broken one.

Of course, now that I said that... :D
 




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