Whatever the reason for changing and upgrading your steering wheel, here is how to do it properly.
Upgrading your steering wheel has many benefits, such as more comfortability and control, depending on what you're after. The mod is relatively simple to do yourself at home, with only a few basic tools, if you know what you're doing... which is what we're here to help you with!
First of all, you may want to buy a new steering wheel before taking your OEM one off, but which one to buy? The first thing to keep in mind is a size difference. Usually, a stock steering wheel is quite large and thin, depending on what car you have, a smaller steering wheel will make your steering more sensitive but might make it harder to turn when parking if you don't have power steering. Also, you get aftermarket steering wheels that are designed to sit closer to the driver than the OEM one, which is great for more control and will give you more legroom too.
You'll also have to invest in a steering wheel hub specifically for your car, which is easy to find online. The hub will come out with a specific bolt pattern to attach your new steering wheel to, which is usually standardized at 6x70mm or 6x74mm. Make sure you know which one you're purchasing before you buy a steering wheel or it might not fit (you do get steering wheel hubs that accommodate both sizes).
Next, you're ready to take off your OEM steering wheel. First, disconnect your battery, this will lower the chances of your airbag going off and prevent you from sh*ting your pants when the hooter wires touch. Head over to your steering wheel and pull back the centre cover, this should pop off, use a screwdriver covered in a cloth (to prevent scratches and scuff marks) or panel remover to help get this off. You will then be exposed to the steering wheels airbag, which is connected to the back of the centre panel. Unplug the wireswhile standing by the driver's side door, don't sit in the driver's seat, just in case the airbag is bewitched! You will see the centre steering wheel nut which holds the OEM steering wheel and hub in place, loosen this bolt but don't completely remove it. The reason for that is so when you're pulling the steering wheel off, you don't smack yourself in the face with it when it pops off. Once it's loose, remove the bolt fully and take out the OEM hub and steering wheel, replace your OEM hub with the aftermarket one, making sure it is lined up. Connect the hooter wires to the new hub, then align the new steering wheel with your aftermarket hub, fit the steering wheel with the six screws and you're good to go!
Take a look at this episode of Donut Media's Money Pit with Zac to see how it's done practically!
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