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None of the buttons on the steering wheel are working including the horn. However the turn signal switch and lights switch is working as normal. I thought it might be the clock spring, but wouldn't that throw codes for the airbags? No codes showing at all. The vehicle is in Europe so please do not tell me to take it to the dealer.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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All of those buttons connect to the main wiring harness behind the dash for interfacing with head-unit and audible alert functionality. Have you recently replaced the stereo with an aftermarket one? Has the dash been into at all recently?

If no, what was the last work or service performed on the car, and who performed it?
 

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All of those buttons connect to the main wiring harness behind the dash for interfacing with head-unit and audible alert functionality. Have you recently replaced the stereo with an aftermarket one? Has the dash been into at all recently?

If no, what was the last work or service performed on the car, and who performed it?
Thank you for your quick response Nuke. So, the car was purchased from insurance auction and the windshield was broke, I guess some rain got in the car. But like I said the car runs and drives with no problem. There was a burned relay in the back fuse panel that was preventing it from starting, but once that was replaced it starts with no problem. No other electric issues that I have found so far. Recently once the car starts if I turn on the stereo the battery light comes on and the radio stops working. The radio and the steering look original and they did not look like they have ever been tempered with. I thought it could be the harness that all the buttons linked to when you take the airbag off so we replaced this with brand new OEM, but that did nothing. Some are suggesting replacing the clock spring, but wouldn't that have thrown some kind of code if it was not detecting the airbag? there are two wires that come from the clock spring to the airbag and then there is the harness that the button connect to, i am wondering if the harness for the switches and the wires for the airbag are independent from each other and a bad clock spring can still function with the airbag but not with the buttons.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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if there was a problem with the clock spring, i would expect the airbag light on the dash to remain illuminated after it does its self test at startup.

Does that little airbag light come on and then go off when you start the car? That's how it should behave. If you dont even see it come on, that could be an Indication someone monkeyed with it to hide a clock spring malfunction.. IDK, just speculating there...

The behavior with the stereo, battery light, and engine stall is significant to the steering wheel button problem I would bet. That battery light is lit up when a charging system problem is detected. In this case, it could be many things, but the fact that turning on the stereo causes it tells me that uConnect/audio circuit has a problem somewhere along it, or the headunit itself is bad or going bad.

I can tell you from experience that you are looking at a lot of work just to track the various gremlins down, and you'll need a little luck too to get them discovered.

Electrical problems are always the worst...

Do you have a good set of diagnostic/troubleshooting tools, like a digital multimeter, test light, extra long leads, etc. Not to mention some kind of ODB-II DTC reader is pretty much a must. One that can read body codes would be best, but those are expensive and not common....

Oh yeah, and an official LX service manual would be invaluable for wiring research...but those don't come in hard copy anymore, you have to subscribe to the website and access the info with web browser...

ugh, this is making my head hurt and i won't even be the one working on It...
 

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I know, my head hurts too from it. My dad is away for a week so I can't check, He thinks that when you turn on the car and all the lights come on the dash all the lights are on including the airbag light and then they all turn off. The steering wheel buttons have not worked since we bought the car, but the battery light coming on is a new problem. he said the battery light comes on after the car has idled for 5 min, it comes on and off it stays 3 seconds on and goes off for couple of seconds and then it comes back. When the battery light comes on that is when the radio stops playing. This is the base model with the small screen non-nave. I thought the u-connect is only on the big screen units with navi. Is the radio unit where the AC buttons are or it is the one with the screen? We had taken the car to the Mercedes/Crysler dealer and they could not find any codes. This is a big puzzle, for sure!
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Oh boy...well it sounds like a good news/bad news situation for sure.

Bad news: there is going to be a lot of time and effort required just to figure out what’s wrong (malfunctioning or just outright not working) and what’s right (working as it should). Then you still have the proper part acquisition and installation to look forward to after that.

Good news: when it’s all said and done, you are going to be more intimately familiar with that car (and others of its ilk) than the law should allow...in fact I’m pretty sure Alabama and Mississippi do prohibit that sort of relationship with one’s automobile (but for much more perverse reasons than simply break/fix repairs)!

Good and/or Bad news (wholly dependent upon the outcome of all this): I love a challenge(r), and I can’t think of a bigger one than trying to help someone troubleshoot some electrical gremlins from several thousand miles away using the internet as the vehicle of communication.

As luck would have it, I have been doing a lot of electrical troubleshooting and even just basic part ID and operation identification on my Charger lately. It’s a former cop car, and it’s electrical system was badly mangled by the slack-jawed troglodytes who were tasked with de-cop-ifying it before it was sold to auction place for public sale. As such, I have a decent understanding of many things in the car’s electrical system which were previously a mystery to me (mostly because I never had reason to think about them).

Keeping all that in mind, here’s one approach for you to consider trying at some point (can be a first resort, last resort, etc. doesn’t matter):

I can sit down and come up with a list of things that I think you should look at first, either verifying they are behaving as they should or just simply testing them to see if they are working at all. I can then give you that information, along with any extra caveats or gotchas I know of to help perform the tests as painlessly as possible.

(I also have an older copy of the official Dodge LX Service Manual I can send to you that will be of assistance in many aspects of the diagnostic work. It’s from 2006, so not everything will be the same, but much of it will be.)

Then you can work through all that the best you can and let me know the results. From there, we can do it all again based upon what you found/didn’t find, and so and so forth, until you either get it working as you wanted, or you give up in frustration with dealing with me.

I realize that probably doesn’t sound all that appealing, but given your location and its lack of available qualified service centers (never thought I would lament NOT having a dealership close by to take car in for repairs!), that may be the best of a set of all-bad options for the task ahead.

Mull it over and let me know what you think. You can PM me if you want so the convo isn’t all public and such.

Nuke


P.S. I know you started this thread to get help with the steering wheel buttons, and their non-working status is no doubt the most inconvenient thing at the moment, but it sounds to me like the car has more serious issues that will have to be addressed sooner or later. And if it’s of a severity like I suspect, it will force you to deal with them sooner rather than later after it dies and fails to restart or stay running one day.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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After doing some reading on how the clock spring behaves wit respect to the steering wheel controls, I did come to the conclusion it’s malfunction could be related to the loss of controls.

The best I can decipher, the controls are integrated into the system via the Steering Control Module (SCM) which uses, and is directly connected to the bottom of, the Steering Column Control Module (SCCM) to communicate back and forth with the TIPM (under-hood fuse box). But it looks like all that is connected to the back of the clock spring, and if the clock spring fails or malfunctions, it can prevent the signals from the SCM from reaching their destination in the systems upstream.

So for your loss of steering wheel controls, it sounds like replacing or fixing the clock spring may bring them back, assuming the clock spring is broken or malfunctioning now. If that isn’t the problem, both the SCM and SCCM could also be the cause of steering wheel control malfunctions, so their replacement could also be necessary.

Personally speaking, I think I would want to try to verify if any of those 3 are not working before just ordering new ones and replacing them. I don’t know if that is a diagnostic task you are able or willing to perform, but that seems like the best way forward for this.

Quick question regarding the SRS system, more specifically about the air bags: if there are no Dodge dealerships (and the authorized service shops that come with them) in Europe, how are the air bag inflator recalls handled there for Dodge vehicles under recall for the Takata air bag situation?

Are there independent mechanic shops there that do the air bag recalls for Dodge since no Dodge dealerships are around?
 
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Hi Nuke,
I am back. Thank you for doing the research. There is a Mercedes dealership in town that is also Chrysler dealer and they have plunged the card in their computer and found no errors or codes. I know, makes things even more confusing. I sent my dad a pair of new rear buttons, when he gets back from vacation later this week he said he will try them to see if it is the buttons, which I doubt is the case, but at least eliminate one thing off the list. I found a clock spring for $200, which is not bad so I might just bite the bullet and buy that. this still doesn't epxlain the mystery with the battery light coming on and the radio turning off. Is the radio somehow linked to the clock spring?
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Hi Nuke,
I am back. Thank you for doing the research. There is a Mercedes dealership in town that is also Chrysler dealer and they have plunged the card in their computer and found no errors or codes. I know, makes things even more confusing. I sent my dad a pair of new rear buttons, when he gets back from vacation later this week he said he will try them to see if it is the buttons, which I doubt is the case, but at least eliminate one thing off the list. I found a clock spring for $200, which is not bad so I might just bite the bullet and buy that. this still doesn't epxlain the mystery with the battery light coming on and the radio turning off. Is the radio somehow linked to the clock spring?
it just dawned on me, you aren't with the car are you. It sounds like you're on this side of the pond and your dad has the car on the other side of the pond, and you're trying to help diagnose these issues long distance yourself...

if that's the case, it certainly adds a layer of complexity to the whole situation. Not insurmountable, but certainly more complicated.

Anyway, you can try the new clockspring, but i would want to try to test the current one to verify it is not operating correctly first if possible. Ill dig around in this service manual to see if there is a procedure for that which can be followed step by step.

As for the battery light, that's a wildcard for sure. You probably don't want to hear this, but i had a go'round with that light in my last Challenger, and it took 3 different dealership visits stretched over almost a year plus over a thousand dollars to finally resolve the underlying problem. But here's the kicker - it should have taken 1 visit to the dealership and $150 to fix, had their techs (or me even) done things "by the book" the first time around.

I'm not saying your problem is the same as what mine was, but i am saying with nothing more than an intermittent battery light to go on, diagnosing the problem is exceedingly difficult. I think your situation is a little better since you can recreate it at will (turning on radio). So thats at least a place to start.

The problem will be convincing whoever does the work on it to start there and work their way outward, doing voltage drop tests at each connection and ground point to identify the part of the circuit where the issue occurs.

From there the individual electronic components can be singled out and tested for proper voltage, shorts to ground/open, corroded terminal connections, etc.

That's a very labor intensive and tedious process which no one in their right mind will want to do. But throwing parts at it will get expensive quick, not to mention have no guarentee of permanently fixing it...i know that from experience unfortunately.
 

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You are correct Nuke, I am on this side of the pond :) and I am trying to help my Dad solve this situation. I really appreciate your dedication in trying to help us. I don't know how much they can test over in Europe, but we can try. We tried couple of guys who are good with electrical stuff, but they are all to busy and the Challenger is mystifying to them as the pyramids of Giza.
I had a similar situation with a Chevy Colorado, randomly shutting off while moving and after spending thousands of dollars and replacing bunch of parts it ending up being a $25 part and 3 bolts and 3 minutes to replace. So, I've been there my friend.
Anyway, back to the Challenger, what do you recommend we try first? Do you think we should even swap the new steering wheel buttons I bought? I kind of have a feeling that it is not the buttons themselves, but my dad said that it looked like a lot of water has rained on the steering column when the front windshield was busted.
What do you think we should start with?
 
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