BenzWorld Senior Member
Date registered: Nov 2009
Vehicle: 2010 SL63 AMG, 2001 SL500, 2012 Corvette Z06, 2013 Lexus RX350, 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe, 2015 Ram
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
I was too impatient to wait for advice on how to disassemble that plastic cover, so I went a head and drilled a 3/8 inch hole through the bottom of the plastic steering column surround.
It worked out perfectly.
The big phillips head on the bracket conveniently points at an angle toward the center of the bottom of the column cover. I made the hole through the plastic cover, at the bottom, right next to the expanding leather collar that ties the cover to the dash. It allowed me to poke a large phillips screwdriver through and crank that bracket tight, after repositioning it.
The only way anyone could ever see the hole is to lie on their back in the footwell.
Amazing! The seemingly unrelated problems of the steering squeak, the turn signal lever that fails to return, and the ESP/ABS lights - all fixed.
For anyone else facing this issue, it was not too daunting a task. It only took a couple of hours, and now that I have done it once, I could repeat the job in about half an hour, like this:
- Remove the negative lead from the battery. You don't want to accidentally explode the airbag in your face.
- There are two holes in the padded back of the steering where the bolts that hold on the airbag are inset. Get a Torx T30 bit at least 3" long. The inset holes are to narrow for any kind of socket, so the driver bit has to be long enough to reach. Remove the airbag, and unplug the connectors.
- Ensure the steering is pointed straight ahead and the wheel is level.
- Put the ignition in position one so that the wheel lock is disengaged.
- Make a scratch or a mark on the edge of the bolt to use an an indicator when you retighten it later.
- Use a 10mm male hex socket and a long breaker bar to undo the bolt that holds the wheel. I had to improvise with a 10mm allan key and a 30 " length of steel pipe. You have to put some muscle into it. I tried my little electric impact driver first, but it didn't budge. I wasn't going to try an air impact driver, because it seemed to extreme.
- Undo the small phillips screws that hold the angle sensor (round black plastic thing). Make sure the screws stay in it so that it doesn't come apart. Pull it off the column.
- Undo the three larger phillips screws that hold the turn and cruise control levers. Pull the levers out of the way.
- Those three screws go into the bracket that is clamped to the steering column with a large phillips head bolt. This is the bracket that is presumably loose, and causing the problems.
- Here's where my method of drilling a hole for the screwdriver comes in. You either have to get that plastic cover out of the way or go through it to access the phillips head.
- I positioned the bracket with some trial and error. I loosened it, then screwed the lever assembly to it, and then moved it all around until the little stem from the turn lever was riding above the metal column but not rubbing on it. ( I think this will make sense when you see it).
- Reassemble. Be very careful not to overtighten the small screws that hold the angle sensor. the holes could strip out very easily. Use threadlocker on the steering wheel bolt and make sure you tighten it until it returns at least to the same position as it started.
Last edited by dbischoff; 09-03-2011 at 04:42 PM.