I took the car into a reputable repair shop, 5 stars on Yelp. This was the diagnosis. It does make sense since the steering column does appear to be the source. I know it's high mileage but the Kia is great, going strong with very few repairs still. I'm a big fan and will buy another Kia when this one finally goes, maybe around 300,000 miles
The customer states that the cruise control is not active.
There is no response when the button is pressed. The
customer also states that the audio buttons on the
steering wheel are malfunctioning as well. Inspect and
$95.00 Diagnostic / Inspections Fee
1. Clocksprings and steering switch: Connected a scan
tool and found code B1481 - Driver-Side Air Bag
Resistance Too High (2nd Stage). Visually inspected the
left front air bag wiring harness and connector, but found
no obvious signs of damage. Used the scan tool to clear
the air bag clear code. Disconnected the battery and
waited 1 minute for the air bag module to depower.
Installed a 0.9 to 6.6 Ohm air big simulator in place of the
left front air bag. Connected the battery, turned the key on
and waited 30 seconds for the air bag module to run
diagnostics. Used the scan tool to check air bag codes
and observed the B1481 code returned. Depowered the air
bag system, disconnected the steering wheel clockspring
connector, placed multi-meter leads across the steering
wheel clockspring terminals and measured resistance.
Upon measuring the resistance of the steering wheel
clockspring, discovered there was no continuity, which
indicated the steering wheel clockspring was faulty.
Replace clockspring and steering switch as a whole