Loose Airbag / clunky steering wheel

CL Wong montesawong at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 13 21:04:39 EDT 2002

Well I finally got around to taking a look at my loose
and clunky airbag.

Unplugged the airbag power via the red/purple plug
behind the passenger side of the center console cover.

Loosened the 2 T30 torx screws on the back of the
steering wheel and the whole assembly comes out.

The four springs under the T30 torx screws appears to
provide some resistance to prevent the horn from
honking over bumps.  While it doesn't hurt to stretch
these out while you're in there, it seems like the
real clunking culprit is the 2 outer torx screws
bottoming out.

In my case, the addition of washers only made the
airbag play worse (manifested as a rocking motion from
top to bottom).  I discovered that the 2 torx screws
mate to a brass spring loaded insert on the airbag
unit. This brass insert has a circlip on the top part
to prevent it from depressing too far during
installation. As a last resort,I removed the circlips
to see if I could get the airbag unit to seat properly
and minimize the top/bottom rocking motion. (Odd,
since tightening the bolt moves the brass insert out
not in against the circlip.)

After removal of the circlips and addition of 1 washer
per side (2 might be better) the airbag unit appears
to be much more secure than before.

Tomorrow I will see if my fix was a succesful one.


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