With the factory base model steering wheel on my daily drive being worn and unfit for a roadworthy I decided to look at grabbing a nicer wheel that would use the same airbag/horn pad as my current wheel.
I’ve never removed a wheel with airbag and thought it was a good time to see what was involved! It is indeed a very simple process and simply involves disconnecting the battery and hitting the brake pedal a couple of times to ensure the system is discharged of power before proceeding to fiddle with the airbag – unless you want to have a sleep and need a nice big pillow!
Once the battery is disconnected, there are two 10mm bolts covered by rubber inserts just below and to the rear of the combination switch ( indicator and wiper stalk for those playing at home ). Remove the covers and remove the two 10mm bolts and you’re good to carefully pull the horn pad with the airbag module inside away from the steering wheel and flip over to expose the single connector.
This connector requires a small flat head screw driver to lever the latch upwards and away from the plug to release it from the airbag. Once free store somewhere out of the way.
The steering wheel itself is held by a single bolt in the centre and is easily removed. With clenched fists pound the sides of the steering wheel evenly ( like an ape beating his chest – but beat the steering wheel, not your chest! ). The installation is the exact reverse and is super simple.
The wreckers were good enough to have a nice leather wheel from a higher spec model in great condition for just $20. I gave it a quick clean and as you can see it’s in great shape! The core steps to this project are going to be similar for most modern cars, just remember to be very gentle with the airbag, they are quite a sensitive little part!