How to Remove the Steering Column From Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Removing the steering column on your Vehicles is a simple process and should take you no more than an hour or two. In the past, the steering column on some Vehicles developed a defect between the inner and outer tubing which resulted in a failure of the steering mechanism, requiring replacement of the shaft. If you feel you may have a defective steering column, or need to replace it Vehicles any other reason, you can remove the column yourself and save the cost of the labor in the process.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Steering Column From a 2002 Chevy Silverado

Wheel

Disconnect the Silverado's battery at the negative terminal, loosening the cable clamp nut with a wrench. Make sure the front wheels are facing forward and wait two minutes after disconnection (to deplete the air bag power).

Remove the cover from the fuse box at the dashboard's left end, pull the central instrument cluster bezel off and then unscrew and remove the knee bolster below the steering column using a screwdriver. Unbolt and remove the reinforcement panel with a wrench.

Insert a small screwdriver into the holes in the back side of the steering wheel (you may need to turn the wheel) to release the air bag clips. Disconnect the air bag module from the wheel and disconnect its electrical connectors.

Unplug the horn's electrical connector, remove the wheel's retaining nut with a wrench and mark the wheel's position to the steering shaft with a marker.

Connect a puller tool to the steering wheel and remove the wheel from the shaft.

Column

Remove the tilt lever on the steering column if one is present.

Unscrew and remove the lower half of the steering column covers with a screwdriver, then pull the upper half off.

Disconnect all the electrical connectors on the electrical harness and then pry off the clip retaining the harness onto the column.

Unscrew and remove the body control module and its bracket using a screwdriver and disconnect the yellow wiring harness for the air bag clockspring from the module.

Unscrew the nut for the steering shaft and pull off the bolt attaching the upper shaft to the intermediate one. Mark the relationship between the two shafts with the marker.

Remove the steering column's upper and lower mounting nuts with the wrench, lower the column and pull its shaft off the intermediate shaft.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdrivers

  • Marker

  • Steering wheel puller

 How to Remove the Steering Column in a Jeep Cherokee

Remove the cover off the steering wheel. You should be able to pop it off its connectors around the wheel, but if you are struggling to remove it, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it off.

Disconnect the electrical connectors for the horn and air bag. Use a wrench to remove the retaining nut. Pull the steering wheel up and lift it off the shaft. Place it in a safe area for reattachment later.

Remove the windshield wiper and turn signal switches. Unscrew their mounting screws and unhook them from the electrical connectors. Take the lower and upper steering column covers off.

Use a wrench to remove the bolts attached to the steering lock and upper sleeve. This will allow you to remove the upper and lower clamp bolts and the retaining bolts for the upper column. Pull the upper steering shaft and tubing out of the vehicle in one unit.

Repeat the process on the lower steering column. Use a wrench to remove the clamp bolt and retaining bolt for the dust boot. Remove the lower steering column from the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver set

 How to Remove a Steering Column in a 1973 Super Beetle

Park your 1973 Super Beetle on level ground and take the key out of the ignition. When parking the Super Beetle, make sure that the wheels are positioned straight ahead.

Disconnect the negative cable of the car battery. The negative cable of the battery has a "-" sign and is color black.

Pry off the center cap of the steering wheel using a utility knife. Be careful not to damage the cap of the steering wheel.

Locate the wire inside the wheel that connects the horn button to the horn and disconnect it. Be careful not to damage the wiring harness inside the steering column.

Remove the steering wheel retaining bolt and the disc beneath it with a ratchet. Set aside both the bolt and its washer aside.

Pull the steering wheel toward you carefully but strong enough to detach it from the steering column. Wiggle the wheel around to dislodge it from the shaft. Set aside the wheel on a soft surface so you don't damage it.

Remove the upper and lower cover of the steering column. Then remove bolts of the steering column. Slide off the turn signal and remove the windshield wiper switches.

Remove the upper column retaining bolts, and take out the upper steering shaft and the tube together. Set the whole unit aside and move on the lower part of the steering column.

Remove the lower steering column retaining bolt and spring with a ratchet. Then remove the main clamp bolt on the steering column.

Pull out the lower steering column from the floor board to detach it completely.

Items you will need

  • Utility knife

  • Ratchet

 How to Remove the Steering Column in a Chevy Cavalier

Detach the negative battery cable from the battery of your Chevy Cavalier and move the cable out of the way so that it does not come into contact with any metal parts.

Locate the fuse box underneath the dashboard, between the steering column and the driver's side door. Remove the 15-amp fuse that goes to the air bag and then find the yellow 2-way connector that is at the bottom of the steering column.

Unhook the Connector Position Assurance (CPA) plug from the side of the yellow 2-way connector. Unfasten the 2 screws with a screwdriver on the back side of the steering column that holds the air bag in place.

Pry the air bag cover down on the front of the steering wheel and unhook the electrical connector on the back of the air bag. Detach the horn wire next to the air bag connector by pulling it straight out.

Detach the nut on the top of the steering wheel with a socket wrench and use a steering wheel puller, which you can get at any local automotive supply center, to remove the steering wheel.

Undo the wiring cover on the underside of the steering column with a screwdriver and unhook the wiring harness inside the column. Locate the screws on the underside of the dashboard that connect the steering column to the dashboard and remove with a screwdriver.

Detach the steering column from the floor board with a screwdriver and pull the electrical wiring out of the bottom of the column and remove the tubing from the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Open end wrench

  • Fuse puller

  • Screwdriver

  • Steering wheel puller

  • Socket wrench set