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Loose Steering Wheel

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Old 07 Jul 2010, 02:58 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Default Loose Steering Wheel

I just bought a 02 PT Cruiser and the steering wheel seems to wobble just slightly. Is this a common issue? How should I go about fixing it?

I would prefer not to take it to the dealer and fix myself if possible. I know it will be a little of a touchy fix because of the air bag.
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Old 07 Jul 2010, 03:06 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,758
Default Re: Loose Steering Wheel

No, it shouldn't be loose at all. Was the car it any front end damage? Is it loose at the wheel or at the shaft going down the the steering linkage. Sorry but I think yo should have it professionally looked at. It's possible the air bag was replaced after a crash and whoever put it back together did a bad job.
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Old 07 Jul 2010, 03:30 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Default Re: Loose Steering Wheel

That is definitly possible. It has been wrecked and fixed. However it was too cheap to pass up. I have done quite a bit of wrenching on my vehicles and I am positive I can get it fixed but was just looking for some tips from someone that has had one apart.

Yes the wheel is rocking slightly. It's not loose as in turning the wheel left and right.
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Old 10 Jul 2010, 07:52 am
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Default Re: Loose Steering Wheel

This was very easy to do. All it took was a 10mm wrench, a phillips screwdriver, a couple flat screwdrivers, and a 13mm socket to tighten the steering wheel bolt. Took me about a half hour or so.

I read over the instructions pasted below that I found on Yahoo answers. I used a couple flat screwdrivers to pry the retaining wires away from the bullet looking air bag retaining pin instead of a snap ring pliers.

These are the instructions for a drivers air bag. I can't paste the (Fig)
If you are inexperienced then I would have a pro do it. If you know you can do it but just need the exact directions. Here they are.

Open hood.
Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable. Wait two minutes for the capacitor to discharge.
Remove upper and lower steering column shrouds to gain access to clock spring wiring.
Fig. 9 Driver Airbag Retaining Pin

Fig. 10 First Driver Airbag Retaining Pin - Removal

Using a pair of 90 internal snap ring pliers or equivalent, pry open the retaining clip on the back of the steering wheel to release the retaining pin. Pull or press rearward on the driver airbag while doing this. The pin will release slightly.
Fig. 11 Second Driver Airbag Retaining Pin - Removal

Using a pair of 90 internal snap ring pliers or equivalent, pry open the retaining clip, and at the same time gently pry the pin away from the retaining clip, using a pocket screwdriver or equivalent, so it can slide through the middle of the clip. Use the screwdriver to push the pin through the clip.
Fig. 12 Driver Airbag Electrical Connectors

When the driver airbag releases from the steering wheel, peel rearward and expose the underside of the airbag. Disconnect the two harness connectors, squib and horn feed.

Connect the squib wire to the driver airbag. Make airbag connection by pressing straight in on the connector. The connector should be fully seated. Feel for positive snap to assure positive connection.
Connect the horn wire.
Rotate the steering wheel 90 left or right.
Place driver airbag into position and firmly snap both pins into place. Listen for the audible click at each pin. Visually check that both pins are properly seated between the legs of the clips.
Install steering column shrouds. Be sure all wires are inside of shrouds. WARNING: DO NOT CONNECT BATTERY NEGATIVE CABLE YET (Refer to ELECTRICAL/RESTRAINTS - DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING - AIRBAG SYSTEM).
Close hood
Verify vehicle and system operation
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