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Steering Column Switches Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Column Switches Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$500

Talent:

***

Tools:

#1 Phillips head screwdriver, T30 Torx driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Cruise control switch, steering angle sensor, steering wheel adjustment switch, turn signal switch

Hot Tip:

Lock the steering wheel in the straight ahead position for installation of clock spring

Performance Gain:

Cruise control, steering wheel adjustment, turn signals will all work and no ESP codes

Complementary Modification:

Have steering wheel recovered while it is off

Turn signal switches have been required to be on the steering column since the late 60's. Many manufacturers thought that having all the switches within the driver's reach would make driving safer by keeping the driver's hands on the wheel. In the case of our w211 chassis, this includes the cruise control switch, which is mounted at the 12 o'clock position. The steering wheel adjustment switch is mounted at the 7 o'clock position. The turn signal switch is mounted at the 9 o'clock position. With the addition of ABS, ASC and ESP a steering angle sensor has been added to the components found in the steering column. This sensor tells the ESP module what direction the steering wheel is pointing. With this sensor, the ESP module knows where the driver wants to go. In situations with limited traction, the ESP module can limit throttle opening, have the ABS unit apply the brakes to spinning wheels and control the suspension stiffness. The steering column adjustment switch allows the driver to find a comfortable position by adjusting the steering column up and down as well as forward and rearward. In this tech article we will go over the steps to replace all the switches in your steering column.

In order to remove your steering wheel switches you will have to remove the steering wheel first. See our tech article on Steering Wheel Removal.

This picture illustrates the front of the steering column with the steering wheel already removed.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the front of the steering column with the steering wheel already removed. Remove the three Phillips head fasteners (green arrows).

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, remove the three fasteners.
Figure 2

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, remove the three fasteners.

Carefully pull off the clock spring by pulling it off of the steering column shaft.
Figure 3

Carefully pull off the clock spring by pulling it off of the steering column shaft.

Look at the back of the clock spring and verify that there arenÂ't any bent pins in the electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 4

Look at the back of the clock spring and verify that there arenÂ't any bent pins in the electrical connector (green arrow).

Remove the Phillips head screw at the six oÂ'clock position.
Figure 5

Remove the Phillips head screw at the six oÂ'clock position.

Remove the steering angle sensor by pulling it away from the steering column.
Figure 6

Remove the steering angle sensor by pulling it away from the steering column.

Remove the steering wheel adjustment switch by pulling it away from the steering column.
Figure 7

Remove the steering wheel adjustment switch by pulling it away from the steering column.

Remove the cruise control switch by pulling it away from the steering column.
Figure 8

Remove the cruise control switch by pulling it away from the steering column.

Remove the T30 Torx fastener using a driver and inserting it through a hole in the bottom of the steering column for this purpose.
Figure 9

Remove the T30 Torx fastener using a driver and inserting it through a hole in the bottom of the steering column for this purpose.

Rotate the turn signal cancel tab (green arrow) from in between the turn signal switch and the steering shaft.
Figure 10

Rotate the turn signal cancel tab (green arrow) from in between the turn signal switch and the steering shaft. Rotate the cancel tab up or down, just be sure it is not making contact with the plastic tab on the turn signal switch.

Remove the turn signal switch by pulling it away from the steering column.
Figure 11

Remove the turn signal switch by pulling it away from the steering column. There are two spring loaded tabs (green arrows) that hold it on. They will separate as you pull it off.

This picture illustrates the back of the turn signal switch/steering column cover.
Figure 12

This picture illustrates the back of the turn signal switch/steering column cover. Remove the three Phillips head fasteners (green arrows).

This picture illustrates the front of the turn signal switch/steering column cover.
Figure 13

This picture illustrates the front of the turn signal switch/steering column cover. Remove the turn signal switch from the cover by pulling it forward, away from the cover. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Install the turn signal switch in the front of the cover and tighten the three fasteners in the rear. Fit the turn signal switch on the steering column shaft until the two spring clips lock into place. Slide the turn signal cancel tab into place between the turn signal switch and the steering column shaft. Tighten the Torx fastener that clamps the turn signal switch and steering column cover to the steering shaft. Install the cruise control switch, steering wheel adjustment switch and the steering angle sensor, in that order, in the steering column cover making sure not to bend any pins on installation. Fit the clock spring in the correct position on the steering column shaft. Remember the turn signal cancel tab should slide into the back of the clock spring at the 9 oÂ'clock position and snap it into place. Install the steering wheel as per the tech article on Steering Wheel Removal. Turn on the key and verify all the switches work and there is no airbag or ESP warning message. Start the car and turn the wheel from lock to lock very slowly and smoothly. Make sure there are no noises or warning messages when you are done.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Oscar Comments: Do you guys know the part number or official name for the cancel tab in Figure 10? I recently replaced the signal switch as I thought that the switch itself was broken, due to it not self-cancelling, but apparently my cancel tab is broken. Thanks!
August 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

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
 
Andras Comments: Figure 9 helped me figure out how to tighten up a loose combination switch without removing anything. Thank you!
May 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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