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How to change the steering wheel?

The steering wheel is indispensable for driving your car; it’s unthinkable imagining a vehicle without it. So it’s unusual to think about changing the steering wheel.

Unlike most car parts, the steering wheel is not only replaced when it stops working. If the steering wheel stops performing its function, it’s a sign of worst problems that can’t be solved by just changing the steering wheel.

Therefore, most drivers may never need to replace their car’s steering wheel.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s an uncommon repair. Concerns about the aesthetics of the vehicle interior and comfort are the main reasons to replace this part. We explain in detail, in this article, the reasons beyond the replacement and how you can change the steering wheel.

Read also: The 3 types of steering systems we want you to know

A synthetic steering wheel of a car.

Why change the steering wheel?

Although you rarely need to replace your car steering wheel, this repair is common.

But why change it?

Some original steering wheels are too big or too small for their drivers. The difference in size on medium and long journeys causes discomfort. That is why drivers choose to buy steering wheels that suit their height. Thus, they can drive comfortably and improve the driving experience.

On the other hand, aesthetics is also crucial. Over time, a steering wheel can deteriorate: it loses colour, gets sunburnt, the material begins to unravel, and so on. Although a fabric steering wheel cover can solve these problems, replacement is the best solution to maintain the aesthetic design of your vehicle’s interior.

Still, on the aesthetic side, some prefer to change to a steering wheel different from the original one of their car. Some drivers adopt a sportier style and opt for an unusual steering wheel.

But note that if you buy a universal steering wheel, you may miss out on some of the controls available on the original piece of your car. So, before you buy, ask a professional mechanic to confirm that all the remotes will remain functional.

Also note that when changing your steering wheel, you should buy a part that is compatible with the model of your car. Otherwise, it will not work. Also, don’t just choose a steering wheel for aesthetic reasons. Think also about driving comfort and select the one that best suits you and your car.

Read also: Automatic or manual car? The differences, perks, and downsides

Steering wheel and dashboard of a car.

Instructions for replacing the steering wheel

If your car’s steering wheel is uncomfortable or damaged, it’s time to change it. And we explain how you can do it.

In this case, we use a Volvo XC60 as an example and install a used original part. To change the steering wheel of this car model, all you need is a screwdriver.

However, remember that whether you switch to an original brand part or a sportier-styled aftermarket part, you should always select the compatible and most suitable steering wheel for your car.

To change the steering wheel, follow these steps:

  1. Start by disconnecting the car battery. As you will be touching electrical wires, we recommend disconnecting the battery 1 hour before starting this repair.
  2. Pull away the tabs on the back of the steering wheel.
  3. Remove the airbag by undoing the screws on the back of the steering wheel.
  4. Loosen the fittings and disconnect the electrical wires.
  5. Remove the screws with a screwdriver.
  6. Remove the steering wheel from the vehicle.
  7. Fit the steering wheel into the corresponding housings.
  8. Tighten the screws with the screwdriver.
  9. Connect the electric wires.
  10. Fit the tabs on the back of the steering wheel and the airbag.
  11. Connect the car battery and give the key to ensure the steering wheel is working.

If you prefer, you can watch the step-by-step video tutorial below.

If in doubt, we recommend you visit a registered garage.

If you are looking for a steering wheel for your car, you can find over 20,00 on our website for more than 60 brands.