Removing a Steering Wheel
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 28, 2010)
For some car and truck drivers, there comes a time when they want to replace the steering wheel. Whether you are replacing an broken steering wheel, or you want to personalize your car a bit more with a custom steering wheel, when it comes time to replace your steering wheel you need to remove the old one first.
While it may be daunting, removing your steering wheel doesn't have to be an overwhelming project. Just have a plan and a little confidence in yourself.
- New steering wheel. When choosing a replacement steering wheel, make sure it will fit your vehicle. Take a look at the instructions that come with your new steering wheel, while also gathering a screwdriver, pliers, and a tool called a puller. All of these can be purchased at any local automotive parts store.
- Straighten wheels. Make sure that the tires are straight. This will help ensure that your alignment is proper after you have installed your new steering wheel.
- Disconnect electrical system. You want to disconnect the electrical system in your vehicle. This will prevent any accidental electrocutions, possible airbag deployment, and the horn blowing out or shorting. The simplest way to do this is to disconnect the battery from the terminals.
- Disconnect and remove horn. Press down on the horn cap or ring, and turn. This should enable you to remove the emblem cap form the wheel. You might need to pry it up a little, but typically you should be able to remove it by simply pulling it toward you. On some vehicles, the horn ring will be secured with screws that are hidden on the rear of the wheel spokes. Now, you need to remove the horn wire or spring-loaded metal plunger from its housing. You should be able to do this by either pulling straight out, or twisting the plastic sleeve to the left and then pulling out. Cut the wire attached to the plastic sleeve and set the sleeve aside so that you can use it later.
- Remove shaft-nut. If it is present, you need to remove the shaft-nut retainer clip. Set it aside so that you can use it later. Remove the shaft nut which holds the wheel to the shaft.
- Mark. Use a permanent pen or marker to mark where the old wheel is located. This way you'll know where you can place the top of the steering wheel when you put the new steering wheel on.
- Pull steering shaft. Look inside the hub and locate two tapped holes. Place the puller into the shaft, and pull. This should remove the steering shaft.
- Remove the wheel. You are now free to remove the steering wheel.
You have removed the steering wheel of your vehicle. To put the new steering wheel in the car, just follow the directions that were in the package of the steering wheel. Another option would be to follow theses direction again, but only in reverse.
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