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How to Remove the Steering Wheel of a 2002 GMC Sierra

by Russell Wood

The steering wheel in a 2002 GMC Sierra comes with an airbag mounted in the center of the wheel. Removing the steering wheel requires taking off the airbag, which requires some care so that you don't accidentally set off the airbag and cause injury. Once the airbag is out of the way, the steering wheel can be removed in about 10 minutes.


Open the hood. Remove the side post terminal from the negative side of the battery using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Allow the truck to sit without the battery connected for at least 10 minutes.


Locate the two holes on the backside of the steering wheel. Place one of the hex-head keys into one of the holes in the back of the steering wheel and push it toward the back of the truck until the airbag pops out of the side of the steering wheel. Repeat the process on the other side of the steering wheel, then pull the airbag out of the steering wheel. Unplug the airbag harness from the back of the airbag, using your hands. Carry the airbag face up over to a storage place, away from any static electricity. Set it in storage with the horn button pointing toward the celling.


Unbolt the center bolt on the steering wheel using the 1/2-inch ratchet, extension and socket. Place the center of the steering wheel puller onto the steering shaft at the middle of the steering wheel. Thread the two bolts included with the steering wheel puller into the two threaded inserts on either side of the steering shaft. Tighten the center of the steering wheel puller using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket until the steering wheel pops off of the steering column.


  • Never remove an airbag without first disconnecting power to the vehicle. Otherwise, you risk serious injury.

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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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