Steering Wheel


To remove the steering wheel:

  • Look up the car manufacturer's steering wheel removal procedure in the service manual.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable and wait for the car manufacturer's specified length of time.
  • Remove the air bag deployment module retaining screw under the steering wheel.
An air bag deployment module may be referred to as a steering wheel pad.
  • Lift the air bag deployment module upward from the steering wheel, and disconnect the module wiring connector.
  • Set the air bag deployment face upward on the workbench.

When an air bag deployment module is temporarily stored on the workbench, always place this module face upward. If the air bag deployment module accidentally deployed while facing downward, the module would become a projectile, and personal injury might result.

  • Loosen and remove the steering wheel retaining nut.
  • Observe the alignment marks on the steering wheel and shaft.
  • If there are no alignment marks, make some with a centerpunch and hammer.
  • Do not hammer on the end of the steering shaft when removing the steering wheel. This can damage the column.
  • Instead, connect the proper steering wheel puller to the steering wheel.
  • Install a puller in the threaded holes in the steering wheel.
  • Turn the puller screw to loosen the steering wheel shaft.
  • Remove the puller from the steering wheel.
  • Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  • Lift the steering wheel off the shaft.

To install the replacement steering wheel:

  • Align the marks on the steering wheel and the steering shaft, and install the steering wheel on the shaft.
  • Double check to see that it is in the neutral position (half way between the steering locks).
  • Install the steering wheel retaining nut and tighten this nut to the specified torque.
  • Install the air bag wiring retainer in the steering wheel.
  • Hold the air bag deployment module near the top of the steering wheel, and connect the air bag module connector.
  • Install the air bag deployment module in the top of the steering wheel, and tighten the five retaining Torx screws.

If the vehicle is not equipped with an air bag, the steering wheel removal and replacement procedure is basically the same, but all steps pertaining to the air bag module are not required. On a non-air bag-equipped vehicle, the center steering wheel cover must be removed to access the steering wheel retaining nut.

When servicing your vehicle, always check the operation of the indicator lights or gauges in the instrument panel. These lights or gauges may indicate a problem that's been ignored. For example, if an air bag warning light is not operating properly, the air bag or bags may not deploy in a collision, resulting in serious injury to the driver and/or passenger. If the air bag warning light is not working properly, the driver won't be protected by the air bag in a collision, and the vehicle should not be driven.

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