How to Remove a Steering Wheel Airbag

January 27, 2012

The purpose of the steering wheel airbag is to protect the driver from harm if the car is ever in a collision. In the event that the driver has a collision, the airbag control system will activate and inflate a soft cushion that expands from the steering wheel. This will prevent the driver from getting injured. However, the problem with the airbag system is that sometimes it can malfunction and activate on its own. This can be dangerous for the driver, whose view will be blinded by the airbag. Here is how to remove the air bag from the steering wheel.

Tools Needed:

  • Torx bit Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips Screwdriver

1. Remove Battery Power

The first thing to do is to remove the battery power. Test which cable is negative by using a multi-meter. Remove the negatively charged cable from the battery. Now wait at least 10 minutes. This is to ensure that all the power in the electric circuit has dissipated completely, so the air bag will not be released by accident.

2. Remove the Entire Air Bag Module

Start by removing the torx screw from what is securing the air bag to the steering wheel. Locate the access holes that are usually located on the backside of the steering wheel. Most vehicles will only have two access holes. Now carefully and slowly lift the module high enough just to detach the wires from the module.

3. Disconnect the Wires

When you lift the module, you will find that there are two sets of wires. One set belongs to the horn, while the other belongs to the module. You can identify the wires by looking at the wire coloring. The module wires will be colored yellow with black strips on them. Carefully and gently remove the black and yellow wires using a needle nose plier. Since they are blade type terminals, wiggle them while slowing pulling them apart to properly remove them. Once the wire is taken out, remove the black wire located on the spade. Look for the second wire that connects the air bag to the plastic tube. Its length should be roughly 2 inch. Grab this wire with your palms and push it down slightly. Give it a little twist counter-clockwise and the tabs will be unlocked from the bottom.

4. Remove the Wire

Remove the steering wheel air bag. Do not place the air bag near any electrical source. A jolt of static electricity is enough to accidentally deploy the air bag.

5. Installing the New Air Bag

Connect the plastic connector while holding the bag close to the steering wheel. After that, connect the horn wires. Grab the tubing with one hand and slot it into the hole of the steering wheel. Twist it clockwise while pushing it down to secure the new air bag in place.

6. Reconnect the Wires

Reconnect back the two new airbag wires. Re-screw the torx screws back to the steering wheel so the bag will be secured tightly.

7. Additional Tips

During the replacement of air bag, you may consider replacing the steering wheel with an aftermarket steering wheel airbag. This will give your vehicle more precision.

Related Questions and Answers

Is it Legal to Remove a Car Airbag?

It is illegal to remove the airbag from a vehicle if you plan on driving it on the road. Doing so means the vehicle does not meet the minimum US safety standards. The government does, however, offer some car owners the ability to switch the airbag on and off via a switch. This only applies to special situations, such as a medical condition that would prevent the driver from sitting the recommended 10 inches from the airbag.