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[6 Common Reasons] Ford Steering Wheel Buttons Not Working+Detailed Fixing Guide!

Ford Steering Wheel Buttons Not Working

Today we have a lot of blessings to enjoy thanks to technology and that is equally true for vehicle components. For example, how dramatically the functions of ford steering wheels have changed during the years. Before it was just there to let the vehicle turn directions. But today, we have a bunch of controls that definitely makes the ride more comfortable and flexible.

However, these controls also have a probability of suddenly not working and leaving us with zero clues on what exactly is the problem behind. Having some guidelines on figuring out the symptoms of bad controls, reasons why things are messing up, and finally knowing methods to fix those issues, will be nice. Exactly what we are planning to do today!

So, if your ford steering wheel buttons not working is making you freaked out, calm down already because you’ll be getting the whole thing explained and hopefully solved as well by the time you’ve finished reading the entire piece. Enjoy!

Ford Steering Wheel Buttons Not Working– Symptoms, Problems & Solutions?

Reasons for Steering Wheels Buttons Not WorkingPossible Solutions to Try
Broken or problematic clockspringReplace the old clockspring
Incorrect setting of control systemUse LCD screen to make changes to the remote-control system
Gunk inside the steering wheels buttonsTake out the steering wheel to clean inside the buttons
Stuck stereo issueReboot the infotainment screen or update the latest software
Unfunctional switchboardRemoving the wheel to replacing the switchboard
Wire loosens upTighten up the head unit back wire

There’s no hard and fast symptom that can get you assured that the steering wheel buttons are having problems. However, a few signs showing up does mean you need to be a bit more cautious about the steering wheel area.

The first one is when you notice the volume or audio control is malfunctioning or simply not working at all. Now keep in mind, it could also be a troubled radio. In that case, you need to consider finding more about what to do when the ford f150 radio not working.

Another very common sign is cruise control. Again, it could be an absolute failure or simply misbehaving every now and then. Both mean there’s something bad going on with the steering wheel department.

Sometimes there are error messages popping for no particular reason. This can also be a heavy symptom. And finally, you might notice the airbag light coming on.

If you experience one or more symptoms then probably the steering wheel, specifically the controls or buttons is having the problem.

How Does the Ford Steering Wheel Buttons Work?

A bit about the controls that are there in the steering wheels. You need to figure out how these things work before trying to find what’s wrong with them.

Name Of The ButtonsMain Function
Adaptive Cruise ControlAdjust good distance and speed between your truck and the vehicle in front.
Voice ControlEnable voice command to control main settings
Windshield Wipers and WashersCleans the glass using fluid washers and wipers
Audio ControlsControl audio playback
Active Park AssistFinds a suitable place for parking
Phone ControlsAccess incoming calls
Lighting ControlsEnable parking light, headlight, and other lamps

Stereotypically, the main job of a steering wheel is minding the direction or turning of the wheel business. But that’s not anymore, the case, we all know it of course. What we might not know is the fact that the issues with ford steering wheel controls can be a result of the insulated incorporation inside of the wheel.

The thing is basically is in charge of the internal remote controlling software. And not to forget the airbag stimulation. Also, we have the audio player controls. And finally, the rotation jobs.

So, when a particular control, for example, the steering wheel music controls not working, it could be due to so many reasons. And without a professional background, diagnosing specifically can be troublesome. However, you can notice symptoms and take actions accordingly, basically how non-professionals usually conduct such fixes.

Two of the major reasons that are also by the way most common ones, could be causing the malfunction or dysfunction, these are:

  • Problems with the clockspring (we’ll talk about what exactly it is a bit later, don’t worry!)
  • Control system facing improper aligning issues.

Quick Query – What Exactly Is Clockspring?

The inside side of your steering wheel has this airbag pad area, behind it there’s around incorporated object. It’s known as a clockspring.

According to Hydraulic Suspension,

A clock spring is prominently inserted at the middle mounted with a circuitry ping at the top of the brim plugged with tabs on both sides that take cares of the Airbag system and your vehicle’s audio system.

So, we can guess, how important responsibilities this circular part has to make sure your steering wheel’s functionalities are running smoothly without any trouble.

If you want a more general explanation of what a clockspring handles, then the list includes cluster, trip, audio, and cruise controls. The thing also handles steering wheel rotation plus the receiving of electronic signals. 

Diagram of Steering Wheel Control Signals

Clock Spring Causing Your Steering Wheel Buttons to Not Work

Clockspring has this part that looks like a ribbon circular coil. It works for finite rotatory motion. It unwinds from the specific circular position could be visualized attached with a control plug. Those control points fence basically refers to all inside present remote-controllable objects.

There’s a circulatory ping mounted with the clockspring bring for the button’s controls to function. Due to excess force or pressure, sometimes the clockspring ends up breaking. And that’s when the problems we are worried about takes place.

Inside the house, one part of the Clockspring is attached to the steering wheel and the other is attached to that of the Steering Column.

In such a case, replacing the broken clockspring can solve the problem. If you are willing to find out how the replacement works, here’s a short and simple to follow guide on it.

  • Take out the battery power system from your vehicle. If your ford truck battery system is plugged, it may cause serious accidents or electrical shocks.
  • After that, take a break for 15 minutes. This way the supplied energy will drain at ease.
  • Now, set your seat position. Try to match it based on your wheel.
  • Go behind your steering wheel to detect holes. There should be 2 holes on the left or right side of the wheel.
  • Grab your kit to gather the SST tool key. It is a tiny L-shaped bar. Attach this tool key inside the hole and use gentle force.
  • With light pressure on your van, take out the airbag pad that is located near to steering wheel.
  • Detach the plug that links the airbag pad and the clockspring.
  • There will be a large steering nut hat in the mid-section of your steering wheel. Then, align the proper crowbar to take out the nut. As you know, ford trucks have different torques. Remove the nut and unplug the clockspring connection. When doing this process, let the wheel be positioned straight forward. Ensure the right position based on your front wheel position.

Pro Tip – The straight positioning of the steering should be marked for further referring easily. You can use a marker or simply go ahead with some color tape.

  • And, twist your hands on the clockspring to locate the click bar. You will be able to detach the clockspring rightly by pushing the click bar down.
  • It will make a clicking noise. Once you hear that, take out the clockspring from the bar hat in the mid-section.
  • Next, attach the new one to replace the clockspring in the proper manner.
  • Attach the large steering nut, airbag pad, and other items just like you have removed serially.
  • Plug the battery power system to finish the process.

Fixing The Remote-Control System

The remote-control system can also be the reason why the steering wheel control buttons not working or misbehaving. Here’s the solution.

  • Turn on your truck to reach the LCD.
  • Next, move to General Settings on the screen.
  • Hit on the User-defined bar which is under the Steering Wheel.
  • After that, you need to click and hold the Functioning bar.
  • Once you’ve grant allowance, click the Functioning button. It should be on your steering column. Wait for 5 seconds.
  • Now, you’ve finally connected the button on your screen remote system and the manual.
  • Next, it’s time to do the same process for other single buttons on the string column.
  • Lastly, start your truck engine to ensure your functions are working or not.

Does The Steering Wheel Controls Feel Sticky?

This is a situation that can happen when you drink juices or beverages inside your vehicle and sometimes, accidentally it spills over. Or simply out of nothing your controls can seem a bit sticky. And if so, then those controls malfunctioning is not weird. You simply need to clean them up. What type of cleaner you use could be a case to consider a bit carefully though.

Also, you may notice that when you press any buttons, let’s say for changing the radio station, it basically gets stuck to the audio increase control or button. And then instead of changing the radio station, the volume starts to raise up. It’s just a very possible scene that can take place. That does not mean exactly the same buttons are messing up.

In such a scene, you need to carefully take the steering wheel out and then gradually clean the buttons. Using regular hot water and an old toothbrush will do the trick. Once the gunk is gone, put everything back in its place. And your buttons should not be messing up anymore. Just make sure, you don’t move ahead if you’re not sure about the removal of that wheel. Let the dealer handle in such a case, let’s not take risks.

Another solution is a cleaning spray. You can ask your local consumer electronic shop for it. Let them know you want a spray specifically to clean sticky buttons and they’ll help you out. Simply spraying on the base should work to reduce the static issues. Usually, with a spray, you won’t need to even remove the steering wheel. And still, finish the buttons clean up.

The Frozen Stereo, Failed Switch & Loose Wire Issues – Other Common Reasons of Steering Wheel Controls Failure

Another common reason for the buttons messing up could be a frozen stereo. And usually, a simple reboot of the infotainment screen takes things back to normal. The number one reason why such freezing happens is not updating the softwareregularly. You should pay extra attention to always having up-to-date software’s from now own and avoid the case.

Another reason for the problem because of a failed switchboard. Sometimes one switch or button stops functioning because it’s broken. And then this switch leads to making other switches misbehave or fail as well. So, none of the controls of your switch wheels would work anymore. In such a case, you’ll need to go for disassembling the wheel and simply replacing it.

Finally, a loose wire can also cause the issue. Specifically, the one that stays on the head unit back. You can tighten it up and this should solve the issue.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How much does it cost to repair steering wheel controls?

Based on ford truck models, the price range of fixing steering wheel controls will be different. Yet, it will cost you around 9-180 dollars on average. If you want to go with high-quality steering wheel controls, the price will be more than 300 dollars.

Do steering wheel controls work on aftermarket stereos?

The short answer is no. It is a bit confusing topic but the steering wheel controls won’t work on the aftermarket stereos. For that, an adapter is needed. You have to use an adapter that suits both ford truck systems to ensure a good connection.

Where is the reset button located on the steering wheel?

The reset button will be underneath the steering wheel. Most ford trucks have it under the wheel connected with direct TPMS. It would be better if you check the owner’s manual from ford truck to ensure the location easily.

Wrap Up

So, we have talked through more than just a few things to solve your situation of the ford steering wheel buttons not working. It’s not always as simple as it may sound. However, we hope it’s a basic problem causing the buttons to misbehave that you can easily fix.

But then again, if unfortunately, things are severe and you still don’t know how to sort the situation, get help from your dealer. It’s not worth it stressing about the problem anymore, let professionals take care of it and give you a valid solution by specifically diagnosing the case.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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