Changing a Steering Wheel on a 2009 Mozda5


2009 Mazda5 Sport
Disclaimer: This is how I did it, it worked for me. You take responsibility for your own actions if you try it yourself.

The back of the plastic wheel which came with the 2009 Mazda5 Sport I bought from my daughter had split. There's a rough and annoying perhaps 2" long section which stands out and bugs me every time the wheel spins in my hands when I drive it, something must be done.

$30 delivered from Ebay got me a very nice stock leather wrapped wheel from a pricier model.

First thing, very important, disconnect the negative cable from the battery, 10mm socket or wrench. Repeat, no fooling around, you're dealing with an airbag, and unless you're into potential explosions in your face, disconnect the negative cable from your battery. Some say to wait as long as an hour to make sure the electricity has powered down from the airbag, I waited 15 minutes. Again, you do this at your own risk.

On the left and right side of the steering wheel, when the wheel is set to a level position, below the rim you will see round rubber covers, maybe an inch in diameter. Pry them out with a small screwdriver and set them aside. Take a ratchet and extension and a 10mm socket and remove the bolts from inside the holes behind where the plugs were. This will free the airbag and you can gently remove it. It will be attached with a yellow wire, with yellow and orange plugs.

You can't remove the black plug that the yellow wire is attached to below the wheel. On the back of the airbag where the yellow and orange plugs attach, you will see a small black plug in each. Pry the black plugs up with a pick or small flat screwdriver, and set them aside.

Wrap the blade of a medium flat screwdriver with electrical tape so as to prevent metal to metal contact and gently pry the orange and yellow plugs off the airbag. Set the airbag aside. There is a small bundle of wires coming out of the steering wheel, ending in a white plug next to the black airbag plug below the wheel. Remove that white steering wheel plug from the base it's in. There's also a small single wire, perhaps a ground, which also pulls off the wheel. The plug and wire bundle stay with the wheel.

In the center of the steering wheel is a 21mm bolt (11/16 socket will also work). Align the steering wheel so it's in a perfectly level driving position, so you can align the replacement wheel, and remove the bolt. My steering wheel just came right off at that point with no effort. If yours does not, start tapping gently behind it to loosen it. Don't yank the steering wheel into your face, yes, I've seen it happen.

That's it. Replace it with a better wheel, a custom wheel, whatever. Installation is just the opposite of removal. In the center of the hub on the steering column, there is a small circle with two gray plugs, the plugs must be aligned to fit into holes in the steering wheel.

Good luck!

Edit: Two things, first, you should put a drop of blue Lock-Tite or other medium thread fastener on the 21mm bolt when you re-install it to prevent it from coming loose, and second, you might want to write down your radio presets before you disconnect the negative battery cable.
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