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Measuring the resistance of the buttons on a steering wheel

Measuring the resistance of the buttons on a steering wheel

Old 03-08-15, 09:37 PM
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Measuring the resistance of the buttons on a steering wheel

Hi guys. I need to measure the resistance values of the buttons on the steering wheel of my car, so that I use the buttons on my stock steering wheel to control an aftermarket radio/head unit.

How do I measure the resistance of a steering wheel button using a digital multimeter? I don't currently have the steering wheel installed yet, so can I measure the resistance of the buttons without the steering wheel being installed and hooked into the ignition/electronics of the car? I'm an electrical newbie, so any detailed instructions on how to measure the resistance of a button is greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million!
Old 03-08-15, 09:41 PM
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Usually infinity or continuity.

I deleted your thread in Autos. If you feel it will be better there I'll move this one.
Old 03-08-15, 10:21 PM
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I don't know of any aftermarket radio that uses the resistances from the wheel to operate it. OEM radios get the signal from the vehicle computer thru a data stream.

Measuring the resistances is first a matter of finding which wires to check. Does your steering wheel use a clock spring to connect the wheel to the car ?
Old 03-09-15, 04:07 AM
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Additionally, if yours is like mine, there is a single wire from the steering column to the radio that carries all the signals to the head. Volume up-down, on-off, mode select, track up-down, are all controlled via that one wire. So resistances may not be helpful at all. As Pete stated I don't know of any aftermarket radio that utilizes wheel input.
Old 03-09-15, 06:44 AM
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The buttons themselves are simple single pole switches comparable to doorbell push buttons.

Your steering wheel may or may not have a circuit board somewhere inside where all the wire pairs from the various buttons converge and just three contacts (the center hub as negative and two concentric slip rings as positive power and signal conductor) connect to wires in the steering column going to the computer under the hood of the car.

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