Removing a GMC Envoy’s steering wheel involves a few tools, a little muscle and one very special piece of equipment: a steering wheel puller. Not something every shade tree mechanic has in the toolbox, the steering wheel puller is a special device attaching to certain points inside the steering wheel so the assembly can be pulled from the steering column. Contact auto supply dealers and ask if this tool is for rent. Renting for a few hours can end up being a better choice than a tool taking up room in the garage that may never be used again.
Start by disconnecting the battery. This will inactivate all the electrical systems in the Envoy and especially the airbag.
There is no easy way to access the back of an Envoy steering wheel. Either get on your back underneath the steering wheel and work reaching up or work “blind” by reaching around to the back and feeling for certain locations. From behind the steering wheel, however, there are four depressions where bolts are located. These are either screws or allen head bolts depending on your model Envoy. When these are removed, pull the steering wheel center straight forward. Be careful to check for the wires connected to any center-mounted controls on the steering wheel (horn, audio, cruise control).
The airbag is a centered assembly located over the steering wheel hub. Remove four screws securing the assembly and disconnect the wires. The airbag will now lift off the steering wheel as one unit. Set the airbag down on a flat table or other location where it won’t get jostled or stepped on.
Removing the Steering Wheel
Now that the airbag is out of the way, directly underneath is a large six-sided retaining nut securing the steering wheel to the steering column. A large socket is needed to reach in and remove the retaining nut. Once the nut is removed the steering wheel can be attached to the steering wheel puller.
Attach the steering wheel puller to any three of four of the connection points inside the center hub. These are open holes where bolts on the puller tool can be screwed into the steering wheel. Once attached, pull the steering wheel in a direction parallel to the angle of the steering column. Don’t pull up or down but out from the dashboard. As the steering wheel moves up the steering column, check for any wire connections leading from the steering wheel. Disconnect all the wires before removing the wheel. Once the wires are disconnected, continue pulling the wheel until it is free.
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