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42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The two contact sides of the membrane switch are sticking together; the switch is located between the steering wheel pad and the airbag. Unfortunately, there is no replacement part for it from the dealer or aftermarket.

It used to be sold as an assembly with the airbag from old parts books, and the shop manual says it is part of the airbag assembly.

Still, I fixed mine; I am attaching some pictures; the first crucial part is disconnecting the battery since you will be removing the front cover of the steering wheel with the airbag. The second most vital part is to take a lot of pictures so you won't make a mistake.

There are two screws behind the steering wheel. Remove them. Pay attention, don't jerk out the pad. There are two cables attached, one for the horn circuit (one black cable that connects to the red spade connector)and another for the airbag (white polarized particular terminal with one pair of wires); with care remove both cables terminals.

Now, check continuity between the ground wire and the red one with an ohmmeter. If there is continuity without pressing the pad, the membrane switch is stuck.

If your membrane switch is ok and you don't have continuity, there is the possibility that the cable that goes to the relay is grounded. The horn switch is ground and does not carry voltage, it closes the ground for the relay, so if the cable is damaged, you will not have a short circuit or a blown a fuse.

This job requires finesse, don't rush, no hammer, no prying bars, or vise grip pliers. Old stuff needs a gentle touch

Once you have the pad assembly in your hands, see that what is holding the airbag to the pad is builtin .clips on the pad material that wraps and holds the airbag; carefully bend the pad and clips outward the airbag will come out the pad.

You are left with the pad and the membrane switch, which is held by molded retainer studs.

DO NOT USE LUBRICANTS OF ANY TYPE. You will need to glue back the studs after the job is finished.

With a brand new blade, you will cut the rubber stud from left to right PAY ATTENTION to pictures # 006 and # 007; I am not cutting the head off the stud; I am slicing it in two.

In picture # 008, you will see the moment I pull out the transparent cover. The right is already out, and you will see the other studs that I sliced on the left. If you check the right side, you will see the bridge on the clear plastic cover. That is why the rubber studs need to be sliced in two.

You only need to slice the stud from the cable side; the membrane switch will slide out. There is no need to slice the top studs; leave it alone.

You will need small pliers and a small flat screwdriver to gently squeeze and guide the stud heads through the holes while removing the clear plastic cover and during installation

Picture # 009 the membrane switch is out; mine was perfectly clean. There were no cracks, no open borders, and no signs of humidity. The issue is that the contact was stuck. With extreme care, flex the membrane switch (holding it from the longer side); you will ear and feel a "crick noise"; keep flexing it until it doesn't make more noise (the crick noise is the contacts inside the membrane switch separating),
I checked the continuity between both cables with an Ohmmeter, and the membrane switch was working without issues.

Install the membrane switch, pull the studs through the holes, and RTV black silicone on the studs' head (sorry, I didn't take a picture of that).

If the membrane switch is not externally damaged, cracked, or rusted with humidity inside, this fix will work. Although while I was doing this, I researched membrane switches; I got a few ideas; however, they all require modifications and testing.

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42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Fail safe switch

Now the big question does still working?

Well, I did that Job in December 2020; a year later, in December 2021, the horn woke me up at 5:00 am, and I had to rush and remove the relay not to wake up my neighbors ( I am sure I did), next day I put the relay back, and everything was ok.

Today I installed a fail-safe switch, which disconnects the horn membrane switch.

I don't want to wake up again during morning early hours to remove the relay; Unfortunatly, I did not take pictures of the job.

However, it is very basic, removing the top and lower covers of the steering column, the shells that wrap around the ignition switch, hazard, and wipers. Once removed on the lower left side, there is a white connector with three wires that connect to the clock spring; the black and red cable is the one for the horn; cut it, splice it with a long cable and connect a toggle switch in between, that will interrupt the signal from the horn switch to the relay. The switch installed in the picture is in that location and position because it is the only place where there is space behind the cover.

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