ABOUT USED STEERING WHEELS
WHAT IS A STEERING WHEEL?
A steering wheel is the main steering instrument on a vehicle.
WHAT DOES THE PART DO?
A steering wheel allows for control of either the front, rear, or all four wheels of the vehicle for turning or driving in a straight line.
WHAT DOES THE PART LOOK LIKE?
A steering wheel is circular and about 14 to 17 inches in diameter with a grip circumference of anywhere between 2 ¾ to 4 ¼ inches (the thickness of the part of the steering wheel you hold with your hands).
WHERE IS THERE PART TYPICALLY LOCATED ON THE VEHICLE?
The steering wheel is located at the end of the drive column or steering column in the cabin of a vehicle and in front of the driver’s seat.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A USED STEERING WHEEL?
When looking for a used steering wheel, you will first want to investigate whether or not the steering wheel for your vehicle had or has an airbag in it. Due to many recalls over the past several years, many salvage yards like Pull-A-Part do not sell airbags and remove them from vehicles as part of the vehicle intake process. If your vehicle requires an airbag, you should seek the expertise of a certified mechanic or other authorized repair facility when switching out your steering wheel.
Some steering wheels include controls for things like cruise control, the vehicle’s entertainment system, or other vehicle accessories. You won’t necessarily know whether or not these features work until you install the steering wheel into your new vehicle, but you should look for noticeable wear and tear on the buttons and controls or press the buttons to make sure they are working mechanically.
Even if a steering wheel is dirty, it can often be cleaned with professional auto detailing products and can often be restored to near-new condition. Avoid steering wheels with obvious signs of weather impact, such as fading or cracking of the materials.
Finally, you want to make sure that the steering has the proper attachments so it can fit into the steering column. This includes the connectors in the steering column that connects your steering wheel’s control buttons to the computer system in your vehicle.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING A USED STEERING WHEEL?
You should make sure that the steering is compatible with your vehicle. For instance, if you are looking for a steering wheel for a 2012 Ford F-150, then you may want to consider getting a steering wheel off of the same model vehicle. Some vehicle manufacturers use the same types of steering wheels in multiple vehicles, so a steering wheel from a Ford Expedition may also work in your Ford F-150 in this example. You can search for interchangeable parts like this using Pull-A-Part’s interchange search feature on its website.
Also, as mentioned above, you want to make sure that the steering wheel’s buttons are in working order and that if you need an airbag, you are able to find a certified replacement and can get the airbag installed by a certified repair facility. If you aren’t a professional mechanic, you shouldn’t attempt to install an airbag yourself.
Finally, you want to make sure that the steering is the optimal size for the driver. Steering wheels come in a variety of diameter sizes as well a variety of thickness sizes.
WHAT OTHER PARTS ARE CONNECTED OR THAT I MAY NEED FOR THIS PART?
The steering wheel is connected with the steering column. In order to remove and reconnect the steering wheel to the steering or drive column, you will need the following tools: Protective gloves, wrench, or 14 mm socket and ratchet. You may also need penetrating lubricant or WD-40 to loosen the nut before removing the steering wheel from a vehicle.
WHAT SIGNS OF WEAR SHOULD I LOOK AT WHEN BUYING A USED STEERING WHEEL?
A used steering wheel may have rubbing or fraying around the wheel itself. Also, the buttons on some steering wheels may be worn and pushed in. Finally, a steering wheel may have some level of sun damage if the vehicle - that it was previous in - was parked outside most of the time.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF A STEERING WHEEL?
A steering wheel can last for 100,000 to 200,000 miles.
WHEN SHOULD THE PART BE REPLACED?
A steering wheel should be replaced if the airbag on the wheel has been deployed or if the controls on the wheel are no longer operational. Also, a steering wheel should be replaced if it has been damaged in a vehicle accident. You may also want to replace a steering wheel for cosmetic reasons like the steering wheel develops cracks or becomes worn out from excessive use over time.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) ABOUT STEERING WHEELS
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A STEERING WHEEL?
The major parts of a steering wheel include the airbag, the horn button, as well as any controls including volume and radio controls.
HOW MUCH CAN IT COST TO HAVE A STEERING WHEEL INSTALLED?
Installing a steering wheel can range in price from $20 to $40. The labor time on a steering wheel replacement job is about 15 minutes at most garages. These costs may vary if you require an airbag replacement or need a certified repair facility to replace your airbag with a certified replacement that meets all current standards and safety regulations. Please consult with a certified repair facility for any airbag-related replacement needs. You can search pricing for used steering wheels and related parts on the Pull-A-Part website (see Part Pricing in the Auto Parts menu above).
HOW LONG WILL A USED STEERING WHEEL LAST?
The life of a used steering wheel will depend on the condition of the part when it is installed. For instance, if the used steering wheel has 60,000 miles on it, then the part should be able to last about another 100,000 miles. The life span of a steering wheel really depends on how much it is used, how often it is exposed to sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations.