How to Replace a Steering Column

by Contributor

There might be several reasons to replace the steering column in your car. Perhaps there's a clunking or squeaking noise coming from the column or maybe someone attempted to steal your car by hotwiring the ignition and damaged the steering column. In most cases, replacing a steering column might best be left in the hands of professionals, but if you're feeling ambitious, give it a try.

Purchase the proper steering column kit from your local dealer or retail automobile repair outlet. Make sure you have the correct column for your make and model.

Disable the airbag in the steering wheel following manufacturer instructions, if an airbag is present. Straighten the front wheels and lock the steering column into position. Remove the airbag module.

Remove the steering wheel by lifting off the center cover, disconnecting the horn wire and removing the retaining nut and washer. Pull the steering wheel straight back to remove from the shaft.

Take off the steering column upper and lower covers. Disconnect all electrical connections in the column. Remove the turn signal and windshield wiper switches.

Disconnect the gearshift linkage for a column-mounted lever or the interlock cable for a floor-mounted shift lever. Remove the steering lock and spacer sleeve, upper and lower clamp bolts and upper column-retaining bolts. Take out the upper steering shaft and tube as one assembled unit.

Disassemble the lower steering column shaft by removing the clamp bolt and the retaining bolts for the dust boot. Pull out the lower steering column.

Replace by reversing Steps 1 to 5 for installation of the new steering column.

Items you will need

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