The clockspring is a donut-shaped module with connector contacts on a fixed side and on the side that turns with the steering wheel. Inside is a long, flat, flexible circuit "board" wound into a coil, just like a clockspring. It allows permanent, fixed electrical connections to the steering wheel.
Early clocksprings used different plastics for the flexible piece which were prone to cracking.
BTW, your airbag is probably also not connected if the clockspring is broken.
They're not that expensive, if you want to try to replace it yourself.http://www.newfordparts.com/seccat/esca ... 125/30746/
But you will need to de-power the airbag.
2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD
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