How to remove a steering wheel without a puller

Steering wheel removal is a task that is performed by many car owners over the course of a vehicle’s life. However, most people are unaware of the number of ways in which a steering wheel can be removed. Tags: car parts, cars maintenance, removing steering wheel

Remove the horn pad and then the nut that holds the steering wheel on the shaft

  • If you don’t have a puller, use a hammer to tap on the top of the nut until it comes off.
  • Now remove the screws that hold the spokes together. There are usually four or five of them, depending on how old your car is. You can use a screwdriver to remove them or an Allen wrench if you have one handy.
  • Once all of these parts are removed, you should be able to pull off your old steering wheel without too much trouble.
  • If you’re having trouble getting it off or putting another one on, there are some great videos on YouTube that can help guide you through this process.

Get the right size socket on your breaker bar

If you’re working on a project car or just want to replace your old steering wheel, you’re going to need to know how to remove it without a puller. There are several ways to do this, and they all involve some amount of brute force and ingenuity.

  • Get the right size socket on your breaker bar. You’ll want a socket that fits over the nut on the steering wheel’s shaft but not so big that it slips off when you start turning.
  • Find a way to attach your breaker bar to the steering wheel shaft. If there’s not already an access hole for this, use a drill bit or Dremel tool with one of those attachments that cuts through metal easily, then drill one into place. If you’re lucky enough to have access from underneath, use an extension from there; if not, try from above or behind.
  • Attach your breaker bar and wrench onto the steering wheel shaft and give ‘er hell!

Use a long wrench to hold the shaft while turning the other way with your socket

The first thing you need is a long wrench to hold the shaft while turning the other way with your socket.

  1. Put your vehicle in park, apply the emergency brake, and chock the rear wheels.
  2. Remove the lower steering column cover by pressing down on it and pulling it out of its retaining clips.
  3. Pull off the large wire connector from the back of your ignition cylinder (you’ll need to remove some screws first).
  4. Remove the Philips screw from behind your ignition cylinder, which will allow you to pull off the plastic cover around it.
  5. Next, remove all of the screws around your ignition switch that hold it onto its mounting bracket.
  6. Once all of those are removed, carefully pull out your ignition switch with a pair of pliers or needle-nose pliers. You may need to wiggle it back and forth as well if it’s stuck or broken. If that doesn’t work, try sticking an old key into one side of the switch where there is no spring tension then gently pry

Use a hydraulic jack to get more leverage.

  • Remove the steering wheel hub: You have to remove the airbag first, which requires a special tool. You can rent one from your local auto parts store or buy one online.
  • Remove the cover: Use a screwdriver to pry it off. You may need to use some force for this step, but don’t worry about damaging anything you’ll be putting everything back together again later on.
  • Disconnect electrical connectors; There should be two sets of two connectors one set on each side of the steering column. These connectors are often held in place by plastic clips; simply pop them out using a flathead screwdriver and then pull out each cable by hand as far as it will go before pulling out its connector completely with pliers or needle-nose pliers.
  • Remove bolts holding steering shaft in place: The next step is to remove all of the bolts that hold your steering shaft in place. These will likely require an impact wrench due to their tight fit if you don’t have one handy.

Whether you have a puller or not, removing a steering wheel can be challenging for those who aren’t experienced at fixing cars due to its specialized

It’s not easy to get the wheel off, especially on older models. However, with the right tools and some elbow grease, it’s possible to do it yourself without breaking anything.

  • The first step in removing the steering wheel is getting access to the bolts that hold it on. You’ll need a socket wrench with an extension and socket set. The nuts are usually located under plastic covers so you’ll need to remove these first. There are also two bolts underneath each cover which will need to be removed before you can get at the nut beneath it.
  • Next, turn each nut counterclockwise until they come loose from the steering shaft. On some models, this can be quite difficult as they may be tightly bound by corrosion or rust over time however, if your car is relatively new there shouldn’t be too much trouble here unless you’ve got an older model vehicle with lots of miles under its belt.


Ultimately, the best strategy will be based on your specific situation, and what room you have to maneuver. Choose a strategy that fits your situation best and give it a shot and don’t be afraid to try multiple strategies if you can. You may have to start over a few times, but eventually, you’ll land on the right solution for the situation.