[Biturbos4] Instrument clusters, steering wheels, and airbags

Keman keman at interwolf.net
Tue Apr 19 00:47:54 EDT 2005

Just for reference, if you remove the steering wheel retaining bolt- a
10mm triplesquare drive, and mark the steering shaft underneith with
reference to the wheel- basically drawing a line with a marker so when you
put the wheel back on you can put it on the right notch .. the steering
wheel slides off with ease.

The airbag connectors self terminate when disconnected, eliminating the
chance of popping, and so long as you keep the ignition key off, no codes
will result of the airbag being disconnected while you pull the IC. Many
people will tell you to disconnect the battery before playing with airbags
as a safety measure, to this I simply state that no audi tech I've ever
seen nor any honda tech (I've been both) has ever done that. Noone
bothers, the car is more likely to explode than one of those airbags being
accidentally deployed during removal.

To yank the airbag, you just come in at it from the sides through the
access holes near the base of the wheel with I think.. a T25 torx. The
bolts don't come out, they just loosen up and stay in the wheel. There's
two of them 180 degrees apart from each other.

So. It's really a piece of cake. You can get a triplesquare drive "socket"
at most autoparts stores for cheap. I recommend using an air impact wrench
attached to it to blast off the steering wheel bolt as then you don't have
to deal with trying to hold the wheel, just a quick squeeze of the trigger
and it's off.

Thankfully, no steering wheel pullers or any other painful to use
equipment is needed.

As for the instrument with dead pixels-- I suspect it's a bad contact
developing between the matrix display and the circuit board beneith. There
might be some sort of rubber contact strip that connects the two, and it
may be as simple as wiggling it around to re-establish a connection.
Emperical evidence of this can be shown from Audi charging a core for the
IC and selling new "rebuilt" units. Good luck getting it apart though, it
might be tricky. Mine was fading at 96k miles and I was going to take it
apart but I sold it first.

- Keman

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005, j y wrote:

> This ?? has been asked before. The short answer is 'no'. It's tricky to remove the IC with steering wheel intact, but it can be done. Takes about 30-45 minutes depending on whether you've done it before.
> Grant <gfl1 at optonline.net> wrote:Good morning all,
> I want to remove my instrument cluster ('00 S4) to see if I can find
> any way to restore the dim and fading display (temp, computer, etc).
> I'm thinking connectors, contacts and a quick search for dying voltage
> regulators, which at least used to plague VW dashboards. The Haynes
> book I have recommends that the steering wheel be removed, and first
> the airbag be removed.
> I dont really want to get into all that unless its necessary. So:
> 1.) Any advice?
> 2.) Must the steering wheel come off before the IC comes out?
> Thanks,
> Grant

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