Turned steering wheel... crunch, then airbag light

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Apr 15, 2017
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Richmond, KY
2004 LX470 here. Last night I was turning around in the driveway and I heard a crunch when turning the steering wheel around all the way to one side. The air bag light came on immediately and has stayed on ever since. I feel like this should be an easy fix if I can find the issue.

Once I drove again, the wheel was considerably off-center, but corrected itself after a few minutes of driving. Is this VGRS thing? It is pretty cool feature but a little annoying at the same time.

Today I used the how to video in this post (very helpful) to get the airbag out and inspect the area behind there. I pulled the steering wheel nut off, but didn't go as far as pulling the steering completely wheel off. I didn't see anything that looked broken.

Any ideas what could've crunched when I was turning the wheel? What can/should be done to fix this and get the airbag light to go off?
 
Could be the ribbon wire inside the steering wheel. Does your horn, cruse etc., work? All these are powered by the ribbon wire.
 
Everything else works as expected. I did a 2-hour drive home after the crunch. Cruise and horn both worked as expected.

Edit: The ribbon looked fine when I pulled the airbag out.

The crunch seemed to come from the space between the rotating steering wheel and stationary column.
 
Last edited:
Just to follow up here, I fixed the issue by replacing the clock spring/spiral clock in the steering wheel. After digging around a bit in the forums, I connected some dots and decided my "crunch" sound could have been the clock spring failing. The airbag light made sense as connected to this part too. Techstream showed a code of B0101 related to the air bag.

I bought this part on eBay - CSP6309/3 Airbag Clock Spring For ES300 02-03 ES330 04 GX470 03-04 LX470 02-04 | eBay - and said a prayer that it would work, since it was significantly cheaper than the part found on OEM sites.

After taking the steering wheel off and disconnecting a few wires, I placed the new clock spring in the same position as I removed the old one. Reconnected all the wires and reassembled the steering wheel. When I turned the truck back on, the air bag light was off.
 
Just to follow up here, I fixed the issue by replacing the clock spring/spiral clock in the steering wheel. After digging around a bit in the forums, I connected some dots and decided my "crunch" sound could have been the clock spring failing. The airbag light made sense as connected to this part too. Techstream showed a code of B0101 related to the air bag.

I bought this part on eBay - CSP6309/3 Airbag Clock Spring For ES300 02-03 ES330 04 GX470 03-04 LX470 02-04 | eBay - and said a prayer that it would work, since it was significantly cheaper than the part found on OEM sites.

After taking the steering wheel off and disconnecting a few wires, I placed the new clock spring in the same position as I removed the old one. Reconnected all the wires and reassembled the steering wheel. When I turned the truck back on, the air bag light was off.
This is really helpful! I had an SRS light come on with the same code. Time to replace the spring. :)
 

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