Installing a new car steering wheel is a complicated process, but one that can be accomplished with a bit of patience and time. When attempting to replace your steering wheel, it is important that you follow the manufacturers instructions. To perform this job you will need a screwdriver, a new steering wheel and pliers. You should also have a copy of your vehicle's service manual handy just in case you need it. Here’s how you go about installing a new steering wheel.
Removing the Old Wheel
Orientate your vehicle so the wheels are pointing straight ahead.
Prior to working on the car you should disconnect the battery. You want to do this in order to prevent the horn from sounding while you work on the steering wheel. Alternatively, you can remove the horn fuse from the fuse box.
Next, you will need to remove the horn mechanism. Press down on the center of your steering wheel to depress the horn cap. Then twist the cap or ring and remove the horn emblem cap. To do this, you will need to pull it off or pry it loose. Your horn cap may be attached by the use of screws. If this is the case you will need to unscrew them prior to removing the cap.
Disconnect the horn wire or the connecting mechanism. When disconnecting the horn, you may be forced to clip the wire below the plastic sleeve. Save this sleeve for later.
Detach the steering wheel by removing the nut-shaft.
Place a mark on the shaft. This should be placed at the 12 o’clock position. This is done so you can make sure the steering column is properly lined up when you replace the nut-shaft.
Pull off the hub of the previous steering wheel, using a pliers or a puller. Next you can remove the old steering wheel.
Installing the New Wheel
Place the metal sleeve over the steering column.
Place the hub over the shaft, lining up the shaft with the previously applied mark. You may be required to rotate the plastic horn tube in order to properly align the hub in the necessary position.
Take the plastic sleeve and spring, and re-insert them into the horn housing. It may be that the sleeve extends too far outwards. If this is the case cut the sleeve down to roughly 1/8” above the housing.
Insert the new wire lead (provided in your steering wheel kit) into the plastic sleeve. The larger end (often bell shaped) should come into contact with the horn housing. Next, insert this assembly into the housing and lock it into the proper position.
Place the new wheel on the column, feeding the new wire through the center holes. Properly align the new wheel. Fasten the hub to the steering column once the wheel is in the correct position.
Re-attach the shaft nut. Once finished, re-install the shaft nut retaining clip next. Tighten the nut.
Tighten the shoulder bolts.
Re-connect the lead wire to the connector. Position the spring in its proper spot on the center nut. Re-align the horn cap and push it back into place. Turn the cap until it properly tightened.
Re-connect the battery, or re-install the horn fuse.