How to Remove the Steering Wheel on a 1999 Silveradoby Don Bowman
Removing the steering wheel on the 1999 Silverado also requires the removal the air bag in the center of the wheel. It's interesting to know that a Navy man, John Hetric, an industrial engineer, designed the first air bag restraint in 1953. He based the design in part on the working aspect of a torpedo's release of compressed air. The air bag system in the Silverado began in 1973. Removing the steering wheel is not difficult but requires a steering wheel puller, since a large steering wheel nut keeps the wheel in place.
Disconnect the negative battery terminal cable using a wrench. Place the cable far enough from the battery terminal to prevent accidental contact. Allow 15 minutes for the circuits to go to sleep before continuing.
Remove the two Torx head screws securing the air bag to the steering wheel through the two access holes in the rear of the wheel. Lift the air bag up enough to disconnect the two yellow and black air bag wires and the two horn wires from the back of the air bag.
Lift the air bag off the steering wheel, keeping the front of the air bag facing away from you. Lay it face down on the passenger floor so if it should deploy it has nowhere to go.
Remove the large nut on the steering shaft using a socket. Install the wheel puller and turn the center shaft clockwise to pull off the wheel.
Install the wheel by aligning the hole for the horn over the plastic horn post and lower the wheel. Install the steering wheel shaft nut and tighten it to 30 foot-pounds using the socket.
Install the air bag by holding it close to the wheel and connecting the yellow and black wires to the air bag wire terminals of the same color. Connect the two horn wires. Lower the air bag and tighten the two Torx head screws with the Torx drivers. Connect the negative battery terminal cable and tighten it with a wrench.
Things You'll Need
- Set of Torx drivers
- Set of sockets
- Steering wheel puller
- Set of wrenches
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).