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Removing Your Steering Wheel and Air Bag
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Steering Wheel and Air Bag

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

Short screwdriver, 12 point

Applicable Models:

VW Golf (1999-05)

Parts Required:

New steering wheel, if needed

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 several repairs on the GTI. When you remove the driver airbag, it is important 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 with out having to worry about this.

There are several different types and makes of air bags and steering wheels for the GTI. They are NOT interchangeable so make sure you get the proper air bag for the wheel. This article will demonstrate how to change out the four spoke wheel.

Make sure your steering wheel is centered and the front wheels are pointing straight ahead before you disconnect the battery.

Disconnect the negative battery cable (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable (yellow 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 (yellow arrow) and lower (green arrow) it as far is it will go.
Figure 2

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

Turn the wheel 90 degree.
Figure 3

Turn the wheel 90 degree. On the back side of the wheel there are two access openings (one on each side). Insert a short screwdriver or Allen key into the hole.

Tilt the screwdriver or Allen upwards (red arrow) while gently pulling the airbag away from the wheel (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Tilt the screwdriver or Allen upwards (red arrow) while gently pulling the airbag away from the wheel (yellow arrow). Once the one side is released turn the wheel 180 degrees and perform the procedure on the opposite side

Figure 5

This photo illustrates the hooks (red arrows) that are held in place by the spring clips

This photo illustrates the spring clips that you will be trying to move with your screwdriver (red arrows) to release the hooks.
Figure 6

This photo illustrates the spring clips that you will be trying to move with your screwdriver (red arrows) to release the hooks.

Remove the yellow airbag connector (red arrow).
Figure 7

Remove the yellow airbag connector (red arrow). These are usually very tight so use care and do not pull the connector by the wires.

Insert your multi point socket into the steering nut (red arrow) and remove.
Figure 8

Insert your multi point socket into the steering nut (red arrow) and remove. Hold the steering wheel with opposing pressure to while loosening the nut; 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

This is where you need to mark or scribe the wheel where it meets up with the steering shaft (red arrow).
Figure 9

This is where you need to mark or scribe the wheel where it meets up with the steering shaft (red arrow).

Remove the air bag wiring connection (red arrow) from the slip ring (green arrow).
Figure 10

Remove the air bag wiring connection (red arrow) from the slip ring (green arrow).

Pull the wheel straight back and off the steering shaft and slip ring (red arrow).
Figure 11

Pull the wheel straight back and off the steering shaft and slip ring (red arrow).

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:36:06 AM