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Removing Your Audi A4 Steering Wheel and Air Bag
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Audi A4 Steering Wheel and Air Bag

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx, 12mm 12 point

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New steering wheel bolt

Hot Tip:

Always work with the air bag facing away from you

Performance Gain:

Access to other components

Complementary Modification:

New switches

The air bag and steering wheel removal is required for a few repairs on your Audi A4. When you remove the driver airbag, it is important that you disconnect the battery and wait at least 15 minutes for any residual electricity in the system to dissipate. Once the airbag is removed, store it in a safe place facing up.

If you connect the battery with the air bag removed, it will cause a fault code and warning light that you will have to reset. If you do not connect the battery you can put everything back together without having to worry about this.

You are going to need to turn the steering wheel to remove the air bag, so lining up the wheels so they are straight is unnecessary. You are going to be marking the wheel and shaft before you remove it. As long as everything is level and straight before you start the job everything will be level and straight when you finish it.

Remove the battery cover and disconnect the negative battery cable (red arrow).
Figure 1

Remove the battery cover and disconnect the negative battery cable (red arrow). Make sure it can't make accidental contact with the battery and allow 15 minutes for all the electricity to dissipate out of the vehicle.

Using the steering column adjustment (red arrow), pull the steering wheel away from the dash and lower it as far is it will go.
Figure 2

Using the steering column adjustment (red arrow), pull the steering wheel away from the dash and lower it as far is it will go.

Turn the wheel 90 degrees to give you more room to get the Torx driver between the wheel and instrument cluster (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Turn the wheel 90 degrees to give you more room to get the Torx driver between the wheel and instrument cluster (yellow arrow). On the backside of the wheel there are two access openings (one on each side). Insert a T30 Torx into the hole (red arrow) and loosen the bolt. This bolt can be on rather tight from the factory, so make sure the Torx is properly seated before attempting to remove; you do NOT want to strip this bolt. The bolt will stay in the wheel even when loosened.

Once the one side is released turn the wheel 180 degrees and perform the procedure on the opposite side (red arrow).
Figure 4

Once the one side is released turn the wheel 180 degrees and perform the procedure on the opposite side (red arrow).

You will not be able to pull the air bag very far from the wheel, as the wiring connector is clipped to the steering wheel.
Figure 5

You will not be able to pull the air bag very far from the wheel, as the wiring connector is clipped to the steering wheel. Reach in and release the small clip holding the connection (red arrow).

This will free up enough cable to allow you access to the rear of the air bag and wiring connection (red arrow).
Figure 6

This will free up enough cable to allow you access to the rear of the air bag and wiring connection (red arrow).

Lift up the yellow safety connection (red arrow) from the connection base and then gently pull the wiring connection from the air bag (green arrow).
Figure 7

Lift up the yellow safety connection (red arrow) from the connection base and then gently pull the wiring connection from the air bag (green arrow). These are usually in very tight, so use care and do not pull the connector by the wires.

You can now remove the air bag from the vehicle (red arrow).
Figure 8

You can now remove the air bag from the vehicle (red arrow). Remember to always store the air bag facing upwards.

You will need to use a 12mm 12-point to remove the bolt holding the steering wheel to the shaft.
Figure 9

You will need to use a 12mm 12-point to remove the bolt holding the steering wheel to the shaft.

Insert your 12-point socket into the steering bolt (green arrow) and remove the bolt.
Figure 10

Insert your 12-point socket into the steering bolt (green arrow) and remove the bolt. Hold the steering wheel with opposing pressure while loosening the bolt; do NOT use the steering lock to hold the wheel while loosening. Note: someone had marked the nut to line up with the wheel. This is not necessary at this point

The steering wheel bolt is micro encapsulated and Audi considers this to be a single use only bolt (red arrow).
Figure 11

The steering wheel bolt is micro encapsulated and Audi considers this to be a single use only bolt (red arrow).

Before removing the wheel you need to mark or scribe the wheel where it meets up with the steering shaft (red arrow) to ensure proper positioning when reinstalling.
Figure 12

Before removing the wheel you need to mark or scribe the wheel where it meets up with the steering shaft (red arrow) to ensure proper positioning when reinstalling.

Pull the wheel straight back and off the steering shaft.
Figure 13

Pull the wheel straight back and off the steering shaft. Installation is the reverse of removal.  

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