How to Remove a Steering Wheel

Learning how to remove a steering wheel is tougher than it used to be. When you're working on a late model vehicle, you have the air bag from the front of the wheel. This will be disabled, however static electricity can cause unexpected inflation. Always keep it facing away from the body so no harm will be inflicted if the unlikely happens. This procedure requires a few tools listed below.

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Set of Torx bit drivers
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a short extension
  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets.
  • Steering wheel puller kit

To remove a steering wheel, the air bag system must first be disabled. Remove the negative battery terminal and allow 20 minutes for the circuits to go to sleep. Use a torx driver to remove the two bolts behind the steering wheel securing the air bag. Carefully lift the air bag up about two inches, keeping it facing away from your face. Remove the ground strap for the horn coming from the air bag to the steering wheel. Just pull the connector off of the spade on the wheel.

Disconnect the horn insert, which is the plastic tube to the left of the steering shaft nut that appears to go down through the steering wheel. Push down on this tube and twist to the left and lift it out of the wheel. Disconnect the air bag wire connectors by pulling them apart. Lay the air bag on the passenger floor face down.

Remove the large nut on the steering shaft using a 3/8-inch drive socket. Attach the wheel puller, using the two holes provided in the steering wheel for the puller screws. Turn the center shaft on the puller clockwise until the wheel is free of the steering shaft. Carefully lift the steering wheel while pushing the wire for the clockspring through the wheel.

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