Frustrated with Steering Wheel Buttons Not Working – Read This!

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Controls on the steering wheel stand as vital elements in your vehicle. They constitute components of extra driver-assist setups, conveniently offering a handful of functions. This array of buttons empowers you to manage audio, telematics, and cruise control, all while maintaining focus on the road and a firm grip on the wheel. But why are my steering wheel buttons not working?

The controls for the steering wheel might unexpectedly experience issues, causing considerable annoyance. Frequently, these control problems arise from blown fuses, flawed wiring, a clock spring that’s taken damage, buttons that have defects, and software glitches. 

Reasons behind steering wheel buttons not working and possible fixes 

Faulty Clockspring:

The clockspring upholds the flow of electricity while rotating the steering wheel, playing a significant part in the operations of airbags, horns, controls, and diverse elements within the electrical setup.

However, its effectiveness might diminish over the course of usage due to normal deterioration. Once this situation occurs, the disruption in electrical connectivity will disturb the functioning of the buttons on the steering wheel.

How to fix:

Swap out the malfunctioning clockspring to restore the functionality of the steering wheel buttons. Detach the battery, take off the airbag unit and the steering wheel, reach the clockspring for replacement, put all parts back together, and assess button functionality. When in doubt, seek assistance from a certified mechanic to ensure safety and correct setup.

Check out the following video to see how you can replace a Clockspring yourself.

Faulty Wiring:

Electrical connections form a crucial element of every vehicle, and identifying the precise source of an issue can pose challenges. Yet, if there’s a concern about defective connections, it might indicate that the link between your steering wheel and car dashboard has encountered a loosening or disconnection.

To examine this, start by finding the primary power cord linking your steering wheel with the dashboard. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, it’s probable that this issue will lead to the steering wheel buttons not working.

How to fix:

Deal with a wiring issue leading to the unresponsiveness of the steering wheel controls by starting with a visual examination of the wiring to identify any signs of damage. Proceed to examine and substitute any blown fuses, employ a multimeter to assess continuity, or consider reaching out to experts for precise evaluation and potential fixing or renewal of the wiring.

Bad Fuses:

Frequently, fuses can be a typical reason behind buttons on a car’s steering panel not working as they should. When one of these fuses is faulty, it can impede power flow to the steering wheel buttons, sometimes leading to complete dysfunction.

How to fix:

Find the fuse box, review the diagram for the associated fuse, examine it for any harm, swap it with a fresh fuse with an identical rating, examine button functionality, and reach out to a specialist if this electric car problem lingers or repeats. If unsure, obtain professional assistance to prevent any complications or safety hazards.

Software Malfunction Due To Outdated Firmware:

In case your car’s steering wheel buttons are not working, it could be due to outdated firmware. This firmware acts as the fundamental code governing the operations of the software within your car’s steering wheel, effectively overseeing all its functionalities, encompassing the various buttons.

If any of these operations fall out of harmony or encounter obstructions due to flawed code, it could disrupt your buttons’ normal functionality.

How to fix:

Please make sure to update your vehicle’s software to match the most recent release from the manufacturer. Once that’s done, restart your car’s computer system before attempting again.

Malfunctioning Control Module:

The control system monitors every signal originating from the buttons on your steering wheel, such as adjusting volume, skipping tracks, muting, and more. These signals are employed to communicate with various components of the vehicle’s electrical setup, enabling them to perform their designated functions.

Your steering wheel buttons may not work if the control module isn’t functioning properly.

How to fix:

To determine if this might be the issue, bring your car to a certified mechanic to assess and potentially replace any defective parts within the control module. Following the repair, check the functionality of the buttons to verify their proper operation.

Defective Buttons:

Frequent utilization and prolonged contact with high temperature or dampness over an extended duration result in the deterioration and operational issues of the buttons. Pushing the buttons excessively can lead to their halt and incorrect functionality.

In the scenario where your vehicle is fresh off the lot, yet the buttons display dysfunction, heightened levels of moisture or heat can be held accountable for their operational decline. Furthermore, the buildup of debris within the buttons can contribute to their malfunctioning.

How to Fix:

Take off the cover of the steering wheel and inspect buttons for signs of wear or damage. Put in new buttons to substitute the ones that are harmed. If moisture gathers around the controls and other parts, employ a gentle cloth to wipe it away.

In case buttons contain debris, dip cotton swabs in weakened rubbing alcohol and eliminate the grime. Put back the steering wheel cover and verify the functionality of the buttons.

Check out the video below to find out How to fix your steering wheel buttons yourself.

Damaged Steering Wheel:

What could be another reason for the steering wheel buttons not working? It’s possible the steering wheel itself is at fault. Instances like collisions or rough journeys might lead to harm to the structure and covering of the steering wheel, ultimately impacting the functional aspects of the buttons within.

Besides collisions, drivers tend to strike the steering wheel out of exasperation during their drive. Over time, these forceful impacts can significantly affect the intricate electrical components housed within the steering mechanism, leading to fractures in certain parts and misalignment in others.

Also, read Reasons why my car makes a squeaking noise while turning at low speeds.

How to Fix:

In case your vehicle has experienced a recent collision or encountered a substantial object falling onto the steering apparatus, we advise you to consult a specialist to assess the matter. The expert will carefully examine the impairment surrounding the structure, housing, and controls. Subsequently, they have the capability to substitute any impaired components to guarantee the seamless functioning of all parts.

Malfunctioning Battery:

A faulty battery stands out as the primary cause behind the unresponsive steering wheel controls. Battery problems like insufficient charge, cables not secured tightly, terminals affected by corrosion, and a damaged battery can all contribute to the malfunction.

When your car’s battery is experiencing issues, it could lead to additional electrical complications. For instance, the illumination might falter, the in-car entertainment system could act up, and you might encounter challenges when attempting to start the vehicle. You may also experience car shaking when starting.

How to fix:

Examine the battery to confirm solid cable connections. If the points seem corroded, a wire brush could assist in their cleansing. A mixture of baking soda and water might prove useful for tough grime or rust encircling the points.

Following this, verify a suitably charged battery prior to examining the buttons. If the buttons falter, the battery may require replacement due to potential defects.

Incorrectly Installed Buttons:

Novice or unlicensed auto technicians might pose a risk to your vehicle when entrusted with repairing a problematic steering wheel, potentially causing harm such as wiring mishandling or inaccurate button placements.

Every individual button integrated into your steering wheel serves a distinct purpose, and improper button installation could result in the inability to transmit commands effectively to the control module.

How to fix:

Take off the cover of the steering wheel and consult your car’s manual for instructions on arranging the buttons. If they are arranged incorrectly, gently remove and properly install them according to the provided manual guidance.

How to Troubleshoot Steering Wheel Buttons Not Working?

Discovering solutions to address unresponsive steering wheel buttons encompasses a variety of approaches:

  1. Observing consistent fluctuations in light patterns within the control unit box.
  2. Identifying unusual sounds during driving, such as scratching, grinding, or pronounced rubbing noises.
  3. Paying attention to potential interconnections that may point towards issues at the display meter.
  4. Noticing increased resistance while turning the steering wheel, diverging from your typical effort.
  5. Recognizing irregular stability and contractions as contributing factors.

Why Steering Wheel Buttons Are Not Working – FAQs

What Occurs When the Steering Wheel Control Unit Malfunctions?

In case the control unit for the steering wheel encounters an issue, all the buttons in your car might not function as expected. The recommended solution involves disconnecting and then reconnecting the unit from the battery. If this step doesn’t yield the desired results, seeking assistance from a skilled auto technician might be necessary for a thorough checkup and resolution.

What leads to inoperative steering wheel buttons?

Non-responsive buttons on the steering wheel might occur due to a fuse being blown, wiring getting compromised, or a defective button mechanism. The problem could also be linked to electrical complications or wear and tear accumulated over a period, and determining the exact reason might necessitate the expertise of a professional assessment.

How can you operate the steering wheel buttons?

Buttons on the steering wheel are crafted to enhance ease and safety. Their usual role encompasses managing tasks such as adjusting audio volume, choosing tracks, handling calls, and operating cruise control. To make use of these, acquaint yourself with their arrangement—usually present on either side of the wheel—and effortlessly press the suitable buttons for your intended purpose, all while maintaining your grip on the wheel.

How can you resolve a stiff steering wheel?

In case you encounter difficulty in maneuvering your steering wheel, potential factors might encompass insufficient power steering fluid, a worn power steering pump, or complications with the steering constituents. Take a look at the level and quality of the power steering fluid. If that’s ruled out, it’s advisable to have an automotive professional examine the setup for proper diagnosis and necessary resolution.

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