If you’re a Subaru owner who’s into customizing your vehicle, then installing an aftermarket steering wheel is definitely a popular modification that you should consider. Not only will it give your car a unique look, but it can also improve your driving experience with some added features that your stock wheel may not have.
But where do you start with installing an aftermarket steering wheel on your Subaru? What tools and equipment do you need? What are the safety precautions you need to take before you begin? What steps do you need to follow to ensure that your installation is successful?
Here’s a step-by-step guide with tips and tricks on how to install an aftermarket steering wheel on your Subaru.
Step 1: Select the Right Aftermarket Steering Wheel for Your Subaru
Before you begin the installation process, you must choose the right aftermarket steering wheel for your Subaru. Consider the size, design, and materials of the steering wheel and make sure that it will fit correctly with your car’s make and model. Look for a wheel that is compatible with your car’s airbag system if you want to maintain this feature.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Equipment
To install the aftermarket steering wheel, you’ll need some tools and equipment. Ensure that you have the following items before you start the installation process:
- Socket set
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Wire cutters
- Wrench set
- Universal steering wheel puller
- Wiring diagram of your car’s airbag system (if applicable)
- A friend (optional)
Step 3: Take Safety Precautions
Your safety should always be a top priority when working on your car. Take the following safety precautions before you start the installation process:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Wait for at least 15 minutes before working on the airbag system to ensure that the power is completely discharged.
- Wear protective gloves and goggles.
- Work in a well-lit and ventilated space.
- Don’t rush the installation and take your time to ensure that everything is correctly installed.
Step 4: Remove Old Steering Wheel
To remove the old steering wheel safely, follow these steps:
- Remove any covers/caps that may be covering the center of the steering wheel.
- Use the flathead screwdriver to remove any screws holding the horn pad in place.
- Carefully remove the horn pad from the steering wheel and set it aside.
- Use the socket set to remove the nut that’s holding the steering wheel in place.
- Mark the position of the steering wheel and pull it off carefully.
Step 5: Install the New Steering Wheel
Now that you have removed the old steering wheel, it’s time to install the new one.
- Attach the steering wheel adapter to the hub and tighten it with the provided screws.
- Place the steering wheel onto the adapter and tighten the nut using the torque wrench to the specified torque.
- Connect the horn button and route the wires through the back of the steering wheel.
- Test that the horn and airbag system (if applicable) are working correctly.
Step 6: Connect Additional Features (Optional)
If your new steering wheel comes with additional features, such as a touch screen or additional buttons, you’ll need to connect these to your car’s electrical system.
- Consult the wiring diagram of your car to locate the relevant circuits.
- Connect the wires from the steering wheel to the relevant circuits.
- Test the additional features to make sure they’re working correctly.
Step 7: Troubleshoot Common Problems
If you encounter any issues during the installation process, here are some common problems and solutions:
- The steering wheel doesn’t align correctly: Adjust the steering wheel adapter until it lines up correctly with the steering column.
- The horn doesn’t work: Check that the wires are connected properly and the horn settings in your car are correct.
- The airbag doesn’t work: Double-check that the airbag and wiring are connected correctly and refer to your car’s manual or wiring diagram.
Tips and Tricks for a Successful Installation
- Have a friend on hand to help with the installation.
- Keep all screws and bolts in a safe place and don’t lose them.
- Take your time and don’t rush the installation.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for both the steering wheel and your car’s airbag system (if applicable).
- Test all features before driving your car.
Q: Can I install an aftermarket steering wheel myself?
A: Yes, you can install it yourself if you’re familiar with removing and installing parts on your car. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions carefully.
Q: Will my airbag still work after the installation?
A: If you choose an aftermarket steering wheel that’s compatible with your car’s airbag system, then the airbag should still work without any issues. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and wiring diagram carefully.
Q: Do I need to disconnect the battery when installing a new steering wheel?
A: Yes, disconnecting the battery is necessary before beginning the installation process. It’s important to wait for at least 15 minutes to ensure that all power is discharged from the airbag system.
Installing an aftermarket steering wheel on your Subaru can be a fun and rewarding modification that can give your car a unique look and improved driving experience. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can successfully install an aftermarket steering wheel on your Subaru and enjoy the ride.