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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A plastic clock spring. Note that tension is created when it is "wound", or the end is rotated about the center.

A clockspring (also referred to as spiral spring or spiral cable)[1] is a type of spring often found in automobiles, that stores energy on a rotating axis. Clocksprings generally consist of a flat multicore cable wound in a spiral shape similar to a clock spring, hence the name,[2] but the name is also given to devices fulfilling the same purpose but which use spring-loaded brushes contacting concentric slip rings.[3]

In automotive systems

Steering column. The clockspring is the small black drum with yellow wires at the front end.

In vehicle steering systems a clock spring or clockspring is a spiral-wound special rotary electrical conductor which allows a vehicle's steering wheel to turn while still making an electrical connection between the steering wheel airbag and/or the vehicle's horn and other devices and the vehicle's electrical systems. The clockspring is located between the steering wheel and the steering column.


  1. ^ "Spiral Cable Assembly". Custom Wiring Loom. Cloom (OurPCB Co. Ltd).
  2. ^ Hillier, V.A.W. (1996). Hillier's Fundamentals of Automotive Electronics. Nelson Thornes. p. 382. ISBN 0-7487-2695-0.
  3. ^ Rosenbluth, William (2001). Investigation and Interpretation of Black Box Data in Automobiles. ASTM International. p. 131. ISBN 0-7680-0797-6.