How to Remove a Steering Wheel

Easy to follow step by step guide on how to remove an automotive steering wheel (non puller style), though appearances may vary, the process is similar for most vehicles.

Difficulty Level - 4 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Mechanics tool set
  • Protective eye wear
  • Protective gloves

Begin with the vehicle on level ground in park with the emergency brake set, engine "OFF".

Step 1 - Start by removing the negative battery cable end to help prevent electrical short circuits while the job is being done. Please visit our battery cable removal guide for further instructions.

Disconnect Battery

Step 2 - Next, the steering wheel airbag must be removed, please visit our airbag removal guide for further instructions.

Airbag Removed

Step 3 - Once the airbag has been removed, locate the steering wheel mounting bolt or nut. (Note: Usually if the wheel is held on by a bolt, no puller is required.)

Steering Wheel

Step 4 - An air impact gun makes this step much easier but is not needed if one is not available. (Note: Steering wheel is turned 90.)

Air Impact

Step 5 - Loosen the bolt by turning it counterclockwise.

Remove Steering Wheel Mounting Bolt

Step 6 - Once the bolt has been removed, inspect threads for damage.

Steering Wheel Mounting Bolt Removed

Step 7 - After the bolt has been removed, look for an alignment indicator which is used when the wheel is re-installed, if no marks are found, create a visible mark for your own reference. (Note: Some shaft splines are equipped with a flat spot, no marks will be needed.)

Alignment Indicator

Step 8 - Firmly grasp the wheel and pull outward, it will side off the splines and become free from the shaft. (Note: If your steering wheel requires a puller there will be two threaded bolt holes near the main mounting nut.)

Remove Steering Wheel

Step 9 - Once the wheel is loose, feed the wiring harness and connectors through access hole in the center of the wheel.

Feed Wiring Through Steering Wheel

Step 10 - After removal inspect the wheel for damage, if you are replacing the wheel match it to the new unit.

Steering Wheel Removed

Step 11 - A clock spring unit is designed with a rap of wiring that is meant to follow the steering wheel as its fully turned in each direction, this unit must be handled with care and not rotated without the wheel attached to avoid damage.

Steering Wheel Clock Spring

Step 12 - After repairs or replacement is complete and the wheel is ready to be installed gently feed the wiring and connector through the access hole in the wheel.

Feed Wiring Through Steering Wheel

Step 13 - While keeping the alignment marks gently place the steering wheel onto the column spline shaft.

Re-Install Steering Wheel

Step 14 - The indictor marking should be aligned to avoid the wheel being offset when driving straight.

Alignment Indicator

Step 15 - Apply a thing layer of Loctite Blue on the mounting bolt, this will prevent the bolt from coming loose.

Loctite Blue

Step 16 - Insert mounting bolt by hand to avoid cross threading.

Re-Insert Steering Wheel Mounting Bolt

Step 17 - Tighten the mounting bolt to manufacturer's recommendations (usually 50-60 foot pounds).

Tighten Steering Wheel Mounting Bolt

Step 18 - After the job is complete recheck wiring routing and bolt tightness.

Steering Wheel Re-Installed

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