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BMW Steering Wheel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Steering Wheel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

16mm socket on 1/2 drive ratchet, T20 Torx driver

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i Coupe/Conv (2007-09)
BMW 328i Sedan/Wagon (2007-09)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335i Coupe/Conv (2007-09)
BMW 335i Sedan (2007-09)

Parts Required:

Steering wheel, driver airbag, multi-function switches, clock spring

Hot Tip:

Use a thin T20 Torx driver when releasing airbag spring

Performance Gain:

Access to components behind steering wheel.

Complementary Modification:

Replace steering wheel with upgraded model

The air bag and steering wheel removal is required for a few repairs, including the clock spring and steering column switches. When you remove the driver airbag, it is important you disconnect the battery and wait at least 10 minutes for the system to power down. Once the airbag is removed, store it in a safe place facing up. Do not connect vehicle battery while airbag is removed, fault codes will be set. If you do not have the ability to clear fault codes, you will be stuck with a warning lamp until you can have it cleared. The multi-function switches can be replaced once the driver airbag is removed as well as the clock spring. The steering wheel also has to be removed to replace the upper steering column trim panels.

Make sure your steering wheel is centered and the front wheels are pointing straight ahead.

Disconnect negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing and reconnecting notes.

NOTE: Airbags need to be ordered from and programmed by a dealer. 

Working at the bottom of your steering wheel, insert a T20 Torx through small hole (green arrow) and lever the airbag retaining spring toward center of steering wheel until airbag releases.
Figure 1

Working at the bottom of your steering wheel, insert a T20 Torx through small hole (green arrow) and lever the airbag retaining spring toward center of steering wheel until airbag releases. This is not the easiest airbag to remove, it can be a pain. If you don't use a narrow Torx driver, it can be hard to feel your way around to locate the spring.

This photo shows the spring (green arrows) you have to lever with the airbag out of the way.
Figure 2

This photo shows the spring (green arrows) you have to lever with the airbag out of the way. The Torx bit (yellow arrow) goes straight up until it stops, then lever toward the center of the steering wheel. If you have a Sport steering wheel, the spring is in a different spot. You will have to insert the Torx driver on a 45° angle toward center of steering wheel to release it. Once you feel the spring, just press further toward center of steering wheel, the airbag should release.

Pull airbag off steering wheel enough to access electrical connectors.
Figure 3

Pull airbag off steering wheel enough to access electrical connectors. Then disconnect electrical connectors by releasing retaining tabs and pulling off.(green arrow) Store your airbag in a safe place, with trim panel facing up.

Next, you have to disconnect the steering wheel electronics electrical connector (green arrow) Press the release tab and pull electrical connector straight off.
Figure 4

Next, you have to disconnect the steering wheel electronics electrical connector (green arrow) Press the release tab and pull electrical connector straight off.

Using a breaker bar with a 16mm socket, remove steering wheel center bolt.
Figure 5

Using a breaker bar with a 16mm socket, remove steering wheel center bolt. While loosening, hold the steering wheel still and slowly break bolt free.

The steering wheel center is marked by BMW at the factory.
Figure 6

The steering wheel center is marked by BMW at the factory. Check that these marks are aligned before removing steering wheel. (green arrow) If they are not aligned, make your own marks so you get wheel back in same position it was in. Lift steering wheel off steering column shaft.

If you want to replace the switches on your steering wheel, lever them off in area marked with green arrows using a plastic prying tool.
Figure 7

If you want to replace the switches on your steering wheel, lever them off in area marked with green arrows using a plastic prying tool. Be careful not to damage finish of steering wheel. Once switches are detached from steering wheel, disconnect electrical connectors and replace. You can replace these switches with the steering wheel installed, just remove the airbag. Installing is reverse of removal. Once airbag is installed, reconnect battery.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Beefeater Comments: I took a chance and punched through and off came the airbag! Many thanks.
September 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up, glad you got it done. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beefeater Comments: E93 325i JV92944. At the bottom of the steering wheel there are no holes for inserting the T20 torx. But I can feel holes under the cloth surface. Is this where I would punch the torx through the cloth? Many thanks.
August 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have not seen one without the hole in the center. May be a UK model thing. Can't confirm if what you found is the correct hole, I would avoid inserting a tool until you are sure. Grab a repair manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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