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How to Remove Your Mercedes Benz Steering Wheel
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

How to Remove Your Mercedes Benz Steering Wheel

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

T-30 Torx driver, 10mm Hex with a breaker bar, Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

 
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Hot Tip:

Have someone hold the wheel when loosing main bolt

Performance Gain:

Working horn

Complementary Modification:

Install a new steering wheel

Early Mercedes-Benz W201 models were not equipped with airbags, while on the later cars, they where standard equipment. The following article will describe how to remove the steering bag and wheel off of a 190E.

Begin by disconnecting the negative ground on the battery and covering it so it cannot ground the battery at any time. Leave the car alone for a minimum of 15 minutes while the residual electricity drains from the system. While the airbags are completely safe to handle if worked on correctly, you don't ever want to work on one while there is an electrical charge in the system.

Remove the passenger side floor mat and then remove the Phillips-head screw on the foot support.

Under the foot support is a red plug for the airbag, unplug this - it just pulls straight off.

Move to the driver side. On the back side of the steering wheel you will see two access holes in the case. They are on the each side of the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock.

Using a T-30 driver, undo these screws. You will be working blind and the screws will stay in the wheel cover even when undone, but the airbag will loosen while you are turning the screws. When both are completely undone the airbag can be removed from the wheel. Tilt the airbag towards you and remove the plug connector from the wheel to the airbag unit by pulling it out.

Always store the airbag unit with the padded side face up.

There is a 10mm Hex screw holding the wheel to the shaft. You will need to have someone hold the wheel while you use a breaker bar and unscrew it. Never attempt to remove the screw using the steering lock!

With the screw removed, pull the wheel straight off.

With the wheel off, you will see a metal cover plate with the contacts for both the airbag and horn. There will usually be a fair amount of carbon dust on the plate and contacts, clean this up and inspect the contacts for damage.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Remove the negative ground cable (yellow arrow) from the battery and store in so it can not ground the battery while working.
Figure 1

Remove the negative ground cable (yellow arrow) from the battery and store in so it can not ground the battery while working. Allow the car to sit for at least 15 minutes before working further on it.

Remove the floor matt on the passenger side foot well.
Figure 2

Remove the floor matt on the passenger side foot well. Unscrew the Phillips-head screw (yellow arrow) and remove the plastic foot support.

With the foot support removed you can see one of the control units for the airbag (yellow arrow) along with a red plug.
Figure 3

With the foot support removed you can see one of the control units for the airbag (yellow arrow) along with a red plug. Separate these plugs (red arrow).

Use a T-30 and loosen both screws that hold the airbag unit on (red arrow).
Figure 4

Use a T-30 and loosen both screws that hold the airbag unit on (red arrow). The screws are on each side of the back of the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock. If the handle on your Torx driver is too long, try turning the wheel or even removing the lower dash cover to give you more room.

Pull the airbag unit from the wheel and disconnect the plug (red arrows).
Figure 5

Pull the airbag unit from the wheel and disconnect the plug (red arrows). Always store the airbag unit with the logo or padded side facing up.

Use a 10mm Hex and breaker bar to remove the screw holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a 10mm Hex and breaker bar to remove the screw holding the wheel to the shaft (red arrow). Have someone hold the wheel while you break the screw loose, never use the steering lock to hold the wheel in place. In this photo you can see the airbag plug (green arrow) and horn connections (yellow arrows).

On the back side of the steering wheel you can see the horn and airbag contact rings (red arrow) and the access points for the T-30 screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 7

On the back side of the steering wheel you can see the horn and airbag contact rings (red arrow) and the access points for the T-30 screws (yellow arrows). Clean the contact rings with a micro-fiber towel.

With the steering wheel removed, you will see a metal plate that holds the horn contacts (green arrows) and the airbag contacts (red arrow).
Figure 8

With the steering wheel removed, you will see a metal plate that holds the horn contacts (green arrows) and the airbag contacts (red arrow). Give this a good cleaning and inspect the contacts for damage (ie: pitting and excessive wear). Note; In this picture you can see the key in the ignition, this was only so we could turn the wheel to access the T-30 holes, the battery has been disconnected and there is no charge in the system.

To remove the plate you will need to remove the three very small Phillips-head screws (yellow arrows).
Figure 9

To remove the plate you will need to remove the three very small Phillips-head screws (yellow arrows). Be careful removing these as they are held in place with a little blue Loctite.

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness.
Figure 10

To get the plate completely off the steering shaft you will need to remove the airbag harness. Remove the lower dash cover, clip the ZipTie holding the wiring harness, separate the red connector (yellow arrow) and feed the blue wire up through cover plate and out through the hole (red arrow). The contact plug will only pass out the metal plate one way (green arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
Renato_W201 Comments: I'll post this here, because it is somewhat related just barely.
Can someone briefly explain how to replace the bearings of the steering column?
My steering wheel has a bit of play mainly up and down, am I right in assuming it may be the steering column's bearings?
Sorry for posting this question here and thanks in advance for any help.

My best regards,
Renato
June 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure they are available without the entire column. If they are, you would have to remove the column, then press the bearings on and off. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
smiler Comments: Hi,just tried to fit a different steering wheel to my mercedes 190e w201 1993 but found that it wouldn't fit due to horn part being lower than my one,so put my previous wheel back on and now srs light won't come on when I turn ignition on.Any ideas what I've done wrong,thanks.
May 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have caused a short. I would check the vehicle for fault codes to start. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
quesnoy Comments: Thanks, Nick. I think you are correct. From the pictures, it appears MB actually made on of the splines larger than the rest so that the steering wheel could only be put on one way. Man, that's the kind of over-engineering I like. I don't think other manufacturers do that, but I could be wrong. I haven't had to remove a steering wheel from any other cars.
December 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for getting back to me. Other manufacturers do the same, or at the minimum have marks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
quesnoy Comments: Hi Nick. Just wondering if you made any mark on the steering shaft and corresponding mark on the steering wheel to make sure it is in the same alignment when you reinstall. I am going to be putting a new steering wheel on my car and am wondering if there is any way to make sure I get the splines in the exact alignment when I put the new steering wheel on. Wouldn't it be nice if manufacturers put these marks on for you??? I haven't checked yet, but I'd be shocked if this was the first car to have them.
December 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually there are marks made at the factory, if there are none, I suggest making your own. This way you get the wheel back tot he same place as it was before. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steh-fan Comments: What's the torque to put it back on?
November 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have the specs handy. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jakers Comments: This is a great "How To", thank you so much. If I want to replace the wheel with one that doesn't have SRS, is there a way to disable the wheel SRS so the light doesn't come on? They make a hub adapter and smaller wheels I want to use.
January 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is no way to disable the airbag system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JIA300D Comments: Steve, Wayne, What an excellent post !! Brief, explicit, tips, pictures . . . you guys did it all. Please continue :- your work. A real benefit to the MB DIYselvers not so expert like you guys. Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!
October 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cyberdyne Comments: Hi!

Thanks for the tip. I got it sorted, the secret is to tighten the torx screws on the horn contacts as tight as you can. Really need to use as much force as you can and then tighten the two torx screws on the back of the wheel that secure the airbags, not too tight or too loose, takes a bit of fiddling to find the "sweet spot"!
October 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad yo0u got it sorted out and hope we contributed somehow. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
cyberdyne Comments: One bump I have run into though, when I hit the horn fuse #7 blows and this takes not only the horn, but the signal lights and outside temp display along with it.

Not sure what I am doing wrong here? Any hints?
September 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds to me like the horn or the wiring are shorted to ground. Unplug the horns and see if the fuse still blows. If it doesn't then the horn is shorted, if it does then the wiring is shorted - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
cyberdyne Comments: Thanks! This was exactly what I needed to remove and replace the steering wheel on my SEC!
September 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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