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Pelican Technical Article:

Airbag Removal

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0 to $600

Talent:

****

Tools:

Small flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Airbag

Hot Tip:

Take your time locating the release clips

Performance Gain:

The airbag does its job by saving your life

Complementary Modification:

Replace steering wheel

The airbag is typically removed when removing or changing the steering wheel. In this article, I'll cover the steps involved with removing it safely.

The first step is to disconnect the battery (See our article on Battery Replacement for more information). You'll want to wait at least 10 minutes before starting work. This is very important, as the airbag is a dangerous explosive package and can be accidentally set off by a variety of factors. Also, the airbag control system is designed to remain operational for up to 10 minutes after the battery has been disconnected. Work smart and you should be ok.

You'll also need to remove the instrument cluster from the dashboard. This is done to provide enough clearance to reach the release catches on the back of the steering wheel. See our article on Instrument Cluster Removal for more information.

The airbag is removed by accessing two release catches on the backside of the steering wheel.
Figure 1

The airbag is removed by accessing two release catches on the backside of the steering wheel. After the battery is disconnected, put the key in the ignition and unlock the steering wheel. Now rotate it 90 degrees from straight as shown in the photo.

Fit a small flathead screwdriver through the exposed access hole.
Figure 2

Fit a small flathead screwdriver through the exposed access hole. You'll want to fish around for the release catch. This part of the job can either go super quick or you'll be spending some time searching for that catch. Try not to get too frustrated. Once you hit the catch, lever the screwdriver up in the direction of the green arrow. You should hear a pop and one side of the airbag will release. Now turn the steering wheel 180 degrees to access the catch on the opposite side.

Shown here is the backside of the airbag.
Figure 3

Shown here is the backside of the airbag. In this photo you can barely see the release catches on the steering wheel. The idea here is that the retaining pin (blue arrow) is held in place by the catch (yellow arrow). Moving the catch allows the pins to pop out. Once the airbag is free, carefully pull the electrical connector (red arrow) out of the airbag.

And here's the finished result with the airbag removed.
Figure 4

And here's the finished result with the airbag removed. Reinstalling the airbag is literally a snap; plug the electrical connector in, then pop the airbag into the steering wheel, making sure the catches engage.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:52:08 AM