Steering Wheel | Car Dash | Interior Trim – We fix Leather, Carbon Fiber, and Wood Grain on any vehicle.

Removing a steering wheel is not a problem. Try Googling “How to remove (your make, year & model) steering wheel”. Then click “videos”. You’ll probably find the results you are looking for there. Below is detailed list of instructions for removing a generic steering wheel and airbag steering wheel, but check out these videos I Googled also!

I Googled “How to Remove a 1996 Ford F250 Steering Wheel and Airbag” and then clicked “Videos”



 

 

Do you need to remove your steering wheel and don’t know how?  This article is written for you.

Tools:

  • Metric Socket Set
  • Torx Socket
  • Standard sockets

Other Procedures Needed:
Air Bag Warning Light Reset maybe

Removal of a Non-Airbag Steering Wheel

Disconnect the battery negative lead.

Remove the steering wheel as follows:

  • For car without air bags:
  • Remove the steering wheel horn pad by pulling firmly on the pad. It’ll be tough but, don’t worry about breaking it. If you have an aftermarket wheel (i.e. Momo) with a center horn button, gently pry around the outside of the button with a small flat tip screwdriver or probe to dislodge the button from the wheel.
  • Disconnect the wire from the back of the horn button.
  • Using a 15/16″ (or 24 mm) socket and ratchet, remove the steering wheel retaining nut and the washer behind the nut.
  • Using a paint pen, finger nail polish, or other appropriate marker, mark the orientation of the steering wheel to the splines on the end of the steering column shaft.
  • Pull the steering wheel straight off the end of the steering column.

  • For cars with air bags:
  • The air bag can be removed after the battery has been disconnected for at least 30 minutes.
  • On the back side of the steering wheel there are two Torx head screws which are recessed into the back of the column. Using a T30 Torx socket and ratchet, remove the screws.
  • Slide the air bag assembly off of the front of the steering column and disconnect the plug on the back of the air bag. Set the air bag aside where it can not get damaged (face up).
  • Using a 15/16″ (or 24 mm) socket and ratchet, remove the steering wheel retaining nut and the washer behind the nut.
  • Using a paint pen, finger nail polish, or other appropriate marker, mark the orientation of the steering wheel to the splines on the end of the steering column shaft.
  • Pull the steering wheel straight off the end of the steering column.

Installation

  1. Slide the steering wheel on to the steering column paying attention to the alignment marks made during removal.
  2. Install the wheel retaining nut and torque to 45 Nm (33 ft-lbs).
  3. For non-airbag cars attach the horn button wire to the horn button pad and press the pad into place on the steering wheel.
  4. For airbag equipped cars, attach the wire to the back of the airbag, slide it into the steering wheel, and attach by installing the two Torx head screws (T30).
  5. Standing outside the car reach into the car and turn the ignition on. The reason for being outside the car is that this is one of the times I’ve seen airbags inadvertently deploy. Start the car and see if the airbag warning light is illuminated. If it is, reset the warning light

AIRBAG STEERING WHEELS (detailed)

How to replace an Airbag Steering Wheel

First, unplug the negative battery cable, and let the car sit for 15-30 minutes.  This is to  power down all modules, including the airbag module.  Start by removing the plastic plates that cover the airbag screws on both sides of the steering wheel. I used a key but a flathead screwdriver might be more suitable. Insert the screwdriver into the indent and it should pry out very easily.

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Inside you will find a T-25 torx screw. I didn’t have a Torx driver that large so I made a $10 trip to Home Depot.

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Mine was on very tight and required some force to loosen. Remove the screws from both sides.

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The airbag/steering wheel center part should lift right out but will have some wiring attached.

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Unclip all wires from the inside of the steering wheel. The big yellow clip requires that you pull down on the spring-loaded yellow sleeve to remove. The smaller clips just need to be pressed in.

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There is only one nut holding in the steering wheel. I can’t remember the size right now but it is a medium sized nut, I believe 19mm or 21mm in size. I had a large breaker bar that I used to loosen it but it came off without too much trouble.

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Getting the wiring ribbon cable back in place

The long white ribbon cable is there to facilitate the wheel spinning around in both directions. You will want to keep it at it’s default alignment. To do this, make sure you don’t spin it around any more, straighten it or pull it out. Just remove the plastic top and wiring that comes out of it from the old steering wheel, being careful not to change the alignment. Re-insert the ribbon cable back into the pocket so that it all lays flush and isn’t bent or out of place.

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Put the cap back on into the same position it was in before removal.

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Installing the new steering wheel

Place the new steering wheel onto the center splined bolt and feed the wiring through the hole. Pull all of the wiring through the hole and get ready to line it up.

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If you’ve marked the alignment with a pen, use that to line it up, otherwise eyeball it, put the bolt on, drive around a little, realign, replace, repeat. Once you’ve got it in the correct alignment, tighten the bolt by holding the steering wheel with one hand and tightening with the other. I don’t know the amount of torque required but it should be tight without using strenuous force.

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Reconnecting the wiring

Re-clip all the wiring back on the way it was. My model has cruise control but the wiring is really just for cruise control, horn, grounds and the airbag. Reattach everything and there should be no loose wires. Make sure to test the horn to check that it’s all connected properly. After driving you will also want to check the cruise control wiring if applicable. The large, yellow airbag connector needs to be pulled back to be connected just like it required for disconnection.

Installing the new airbag

The new airbag should now be wired and ready to screw back into place. Just insert it into the only orientation it works in, push it down tight into the steering wheel and tighten the screws on the sides. The screws should go on very tight to detract from theft or malfunction. Replace the plastic plates on the side which just pop back into place and you are all finished.

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Note – Your SRS light might still be on as there may be other parts required to get your SRS/airbag system 100% operational. Even if you have reinstalled every sensor and airbag, the airbag may still need to be reset which can be done by a dealership. This guide offers no guarantee that the airbag system will work until it has been checked by an authorized facility.

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