Maybe you need to remove your steering wheel to make a repair, or you’d like to upgrade to a fancy aftermarket wheel. Whichever it is, if you’re working on steering components; you want to make sure you get it right.
What will I need to remove a steering wheel?
- A basic socket set with some ½ inch drive sockets and a ratchet
- A spanner set
- Steering wheel puller
How to remove the steering wheel
- Safety first! Check whether your vehicle is equipped with an airbag in the steering wheel. If it has one, disconnecting this is best left to a professional.
- If you’re going ahead with the job, park the vehicle with the wheels pointed dead straight ahead. This will help you re-install the steering wheel.
- Now disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. At the very least this will prevent the horn scaring the life out of you while you try to disconnect it. Then you can remove the horn cover from the steering wheel. This should simply pop off using a flat head screwdriver, though some vehicles may have a number of screws behind the steering wheel.
- Next, disconnect the horn and any steering wheel controls for car audio - or cruise control. The steering wheel is held in place by a single large nut in the centre of the wheel. This can be quite tight, so turn the steering wheel with the keys out of the ignition to engage the steering lock – and hold the steering wheel in place.
- Once the nut is free, use a paint marker to place a mark between the steering wheel and the spline, so that you can perfectly align the wheel again later. Once this is done, replace the nut and spin it on just a couple of turns. That will ensure the steering wheel doesn’t come flying off under the tension of the puller.
- Locate the threaded holes in the centre of the steering wheel - and select the two bolts from the steering wheel puller kit - which suit your wheel. Thread these through the slots in the steering wheel puller - and into the steering wheel.
- Now position the centre nut of the puller into the middle of the steering shaft and tighten it down. This will slowly pull the steering wheel off its spline allowing you to lift it away.
- To re-install the wheel, or fit a new one – ensure you slide the wheel dead straight onto the spline. Since you got the wheels pointing forward in step one, you won’t have a crooked wheel when you drive. Simply tighten the centre nut to lock the wheel onto the spline, and re-install everything the same way you took it apart.
Like many jobs, this one can be tackled with minimal experience if you take your time, follow the instructions, and keep safety as your first priority.
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