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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Wheel Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

T24 long Torx socket, 10mm Allen head socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Steering wheel

Hot Tip:

Lock the steering wheel by removing the ignition key to hold the steering wheel still

Performance Gain:

Gain access to steering column switches

Complementary Modification:

Replace steering column switches if necessary

One of the main driver inputs while driving your car is your steering wheel. As you turn your steering wheel you are also turning the steering column shaft. The other end of a steering column shaft is attached to your power steering rack. This is the part that actually moves both spindles either left or right depending on which way you want to turn. The steering wheel also houses the driver side airbag, along with steering wheel mounted switches. These switches allow the driver to control the instrument panel and radio features without having to take their hands off the wheel. There are also switches mounted on the steering column. If any of these switches were to fail you will need to pull the steering wheel off to service them. In this tech article we will go over the steps to remove your steering wheel.

This picture illustrates the view of the steering wheel from the left side of the car.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the view of the steering wheel from the left side of the car. Turn on the ignition key and position the steering wheel 90 degrees either left or right from straight ahead. In this picture we have rotated the steering wheel 90 degrees to the right.

This picture illustrates under the steering column.
Figure 2

This picture illustrates under the steering column. Using a T30 Torx long socket with ratchet and extension to loosen the fastener mounted inside the steering wheel through the access hole in the back of the steering wheel. This fastener is captive in the steering wheel and will remain in their housing for installation.

Turn the ignition switch on and move the steering wheel to the straight-ahead position.
Figure 4

Turn the ignition switch on and move the steering wheel to the straight-ahead position.

This picture illustrates the right side of the spare tire in the trunk.
Figure 5

This picture illustrates the right side of the spare tire in the trunk. Disconnect the negative battery terminal (green arrow) of the battery and allow the car to sit for 5 minutes before attempting the next few steps.

This picture illustrates the steering wheel.
Figure 6

This picture illustrates the steering wheel. Flip down the airbag to expose the three electrical connectors. The green connector (green arrow) and the yellow connector (yellow arrow) are for the airbags. The black connector (red arrow) is for the steering wheel switches.

Release the yellow and green connector locks. (Image shows locks released.)
Figure 7

Release the yellow and green connector locks. (Image shows locks released.) 

Using a flathead screwdriver, lever up on the green connector to remove it from the airbag.
Figure 8

Using a flathead screwdriver, lever up on the green connector to remove it from the airbag.

To remove the black connector, use your finger to push in the locking tab (red arrow) and pull the connector in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 9

To remove the black connector, use your finger to push in the locking tab (red arrow) and pull the connector in the direction of the blue arrow.

Place the airbag assembly facing upward in a safe place until you are ready to install it.
Figure 10

Place the airbag assembly facing upward in a safe place until you are ready to install it.

Locate the steering wheel fastener (green arrow).
Figure 11

Locate the steering wheel fastener (green arrow).

Using a 10mm Allen head socket on a breaker bar, remove the steering wheel fastener.
Figure 12

Using a 10mm Allen head socket on a breaker bar, remove the steering wheel fastener.

This picture illustrates a close up look at where the steering wheel is mounted to the steering column shaft.
Figure 13

This picture illustrates a close up look at where the steering wheel is mounted to the steering column shaft. Note the arrows on the steering wheel (green arrows) should line up with the lines on the steering column shaft (yellow arrows). You will install the steering wheel with these marks lined up properly.

Pull the steering wheel off of the steering column shaft.
Figure 14

Pull the steering wheel off of the steering column shaft. You will not be able to fit all of the electrical connectors through the access hole at the same time. Route one connector at a time out of the steering wheel and put it in a safe place.

With the steering wheel off of the steering column be careful not to let the airbag clock spring rotate at all while you have the steering wheel off the car.
Figure 15

With the steering wheel off of the steering column be careful not to let the airbag clock spring rotate at all while you have the steering wheel off the car. The correct position for the clock spring isPictured here where you can see the three mounting fasteners (green arrows) and the arrows aligned with the marks for the steering wheel (red arrows). Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Route the three electrical connectors one at a time through the steering column access hole and fit the steering wheel onto the steering column shaft with the lines and arrows lined up. Install and tighten the fastener. Plug the three electrical connectors into their respective ends and fit the airbag in place in the steering wheel. Tighten the two captive fasteners inside the back of the steering wheel. Reconnect the battery and start the car. Turn the steering wheel from left to right and make sure there is full rotation in both directions and there are no noises coming from the steering column.

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Comments and Suggestions:
valts Comments: is disconnecting the battery necessary? Can disconnecting a battery cause some electrical problems?
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes it is necessary. Otherwise fault codes will be set or possible damage to electrical components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Al Comments: In Figure 2, using T30, are you loosening the air bag fasteners? And did you turn the wheel 90' to be able to have some clearance for the ratchet to fit?

Also, why did you use flathead screwdriver to lever up on the green connector, but not the yellow?
August 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, rotate wheel as shown. Access holes at bottom.

The photo can only show one connector, the step notes to unlock both using a flathead, as shown. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kassu Comments: Thank you for your good instructions. One correction is still needed. Removing airbag connectors figures 7 and 8, you should first release the connector locking see attached picture. Otherwise you can make harm to the connectors.

Best Regards
Kassu
December 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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