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Steering Wheel, Driver Airbag Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Wheel, Driver Airbag Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$600

Talent:

****

Tools:

16mm socket on ' drive ratchet, T30 Torx

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 Sport Utility (2000-06)

Parts Required:

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

Hot Tip:

Use a thin T30 Torx driver when releasing airbag spring

Performance Gain:

Access to components behind steering wheel

Complementary Modification:

Replace steering wheel with upgraded model

BMW E53 X5 models have an SRS airbag built into the steering wheel. This airbag is in place to protect the driver from frontal impact injuries. The airbag is attached to the steering wheel via two fasteners and has to be removed before removing the steering wheel. When replacing a steering wheel, a used part is a good option as many can be found in good condition. When it comes to airbags, used airbags are not allowed for sale in US. A new model is your best and only option.

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 the vehicle battery while the 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.

Please call our sales representative at 1-888-280-7799 to order a replacement air bag. Sorry, no online orders for this item. Thank you!

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

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.

Working at the back of your steering wheel, insert a T30 Torx (red arrows point to approximate area) through the small hole (yellow arrow) and loosen the airbag fasteners.
Figure 1

Working at the back of your steering wheel, insert a T30 Torx (red arrows point to approximate area) through the small hole (yellow arrow) and loosen the airbag fasteners.

This photo shows the fastener being loosened using a T30 Torx on the left side of the steering wheel.
Figure 2

This photo shows the fastener being loosened using a T30 Torx on the left side of the steering wheel. The right side is similar.

Pull (red arrow) airbag off steering wheel enough to access electrical connectors.
Figure 3

Pull (red arrow) airbag off steering wheel enough to access electrical connectors.

There are two connectors.
Figure 4

There are two connectors. Press the release tab (red arrow) and pull the connector straight off, to remove the connector on the left. Connector on right side (yellow arrow) pulls straight out. Store your airbag in a safe place, with trim panel facing up.

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

Using a breaker bar or large ratchet 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. Check that these marks are aligned before removing steering wheel. 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.
Figure 6

Lift steering wheel off steering column shaft. The steering wheel center is marked by BMW at the factory. Check that these marks are aligned before removing steering wheel (yellow arrow). If they are not aligned, make your own marks so you get wheel back in same position it was in. Do your best not to move the clock spring once the steering wheel is removed. There is a small plastic lock that help to keep it centered. However, do not rely on this. Installing is reverse of removal. Once airbag is installed, reconnect battery.

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Page last updated: Sun 1/22/2017 02:47:20 AM