How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

My 1996 civic had an accident prior to me buying it and because of that, the driver's side airbag had been used. I initially was only going to replace the airbag but after looking around on ebay it appeared that I could also get a new steering wheel with it for almost nothing. I spent $55 shipped and had an almost new airbag and steering wheel to install. I believe this guide will apply to all models of 1996-1999 honda civics.

Most car repairs are simply a matter of removing the old part and installing the new one. This is also known as bolt-on repairs or replacements. The steering wheel and airbag replacement are no different.

Removing the old parts

Start by removing the plastic plates that cover the airbag screws on both sides of the steering wheel. I used a key but a flathead screwdriver might be more suitable. Insert the screwdriver into the indent and it should pry out very easily.

Inside you will find a T-25 torx screw. I didn't have a Torx driver
that large so I made a $10 trip to Home Depot.

Mine was on very tight
and required some force to loosen. Remove the screws from both sides.

The airbag/steering wheel center part should lift right out but will have some wiring attached.

Unclip all wires from the inside of the steering wheel. The big yellow clip requires that you pull down on the spring-loaded yellow sleeve to remove. The smaller clips just need to be pressed in.


There is only one nut holding in the steering wheel. I can't remember the size right now but it is a medium sized nut, I believe 19mm or 21mm in size. I had a large breaker bar that I used to loosen it but it came off without too much trouble.


Tip - I didn't do this part but you may want to. After the bolt is off, mark the alignment of the wheel with a black felt-tipped pen on the bolt head and mark the same spot on the new steering wheel so you'll put the new one back where the old one was.

To remove the steering wheel, PULL HARD. Mine was stuck on well and required a lot of force to get off. I pulled and jiggled it straight out until it popped back at me.

Getting the wiring ribbon cable back in place

The long white ribbon cable is there to facilitate the wheel spinning around in both directions. You will want to keep it at it's default alignment. To do this, make sure you don't spin it around any more, straighten it or pull it out. Just remove the plastic top and wiring that comes out of it from the old steering wheel, being careful not to change the alignment. Re-insert the ribbon cable back into the pocket so that it all lays flush and isn't bent or out of place.


Put the cap back on into the same position it was in before removal.

Installing the new steering wheel

Place the new steering wheel onto the center splined bolt and feed the wiring through the hole. Pull all of the wiring through the hole and get ready to line it up.


If you've marked the alignment with a pen, use that to line it up, otherwise eyeball it, put the bolt on, drive around a little, realign, replace, repeat. Once you've got it in the correct alignment, tighten the bolt by holding the steering wheel with one hand and tightening with the other. I don't know the amount of torque required but it should be tight without using strenuous force.

Reconnecting the wiring

Re-clip all the wiring back on the way it was. My model has cruise control but the wiring is really just for cruise control, horn, grounds and the airbag. Reattach everything and there should be no loose wires. Make sure to test the horn to check that it's all connected properly. After driving you will also want to check the cruise control wiring if applicable. The large, yellow airbag connector needs to be pulled back to be connected just like it required for disconnection.

Installing the new airbag

The new airbag should now be wired and ready to screw back into place. Just insert it into the only orientation it works in, push it down tight into the steering wheel and tighten the screws on the sides. The screws should go on very tight to detract from theft or malfunction. Replace the plastic plates on the side which just pop back into place and you are all finished.

Note - Your SRS light will still be on as there may be other parts required to get your SRS/airbag system 100% operational. Even if you have replaced every sensor and airbag, the system will need to be reset which can be done by a Honda dealership. This guide offers no guarantee that the airbag system will work until it has been checked by an authorized facility.

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31 Comments

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the airbag deployment caused the motor to shut off

after my small accident with an airbag deployment i can no longer start the car. a guy told me there is a buttom to press to allow the car to start. do you know where this button is

ATTENTION

proior to removing any air bag system it is IMPORTANT to remove the battery cable and de-energize the system or serious injury or damage may occur

The steering wheel on my 2004

The steering wheel on my 2004 cr-v is starting to deteriorate and I was wondering if a multifunction wheel from a civic VTil is compatible????

replace steering wheel/airbag

Hey- thanks for the awesome pix! and the crisp detail! nice job... I have a 97 ej6 and I took yer advise with ebay search, unfortunately- for me, my exsisting steering wheel is in better condition than any of those posted- so- my question is can I just replace the airbag (which I found on ebay for a good price- thanks again)? also my kid has me all scared about setting it off while trying to install it- whats the risk? For the passenger airbag I just installed a delete - would you know how to secure in place without using glue, right now the clips hold it in place but it has play- when the airbag deployed it kinda jacked up the dash.

Honda Horn with Airbag, functionally

I recently purchased a Honda accord EX,, with the air bag deployed, from viewing the pictures here ,, I noticed the deployed airbag did not have the other side of the yellow connector.Do I need to have that connection in order TO HAVE MY HORN WORK????.Additionally,,may i purchase the airbag and center piece separately??? //or the center piece without the air bag?????

dude, thanks for this clear

dude, thanks for this clear and easy to follow write up. Just in the process of putting my 99 Si back to standard as Im selling it. Was a bit worried about this SRS issue but your instructions sorted me out. Thanks again.

Seatbelt/airbag connection

I recently had an minor accident that set off both the airbags in my 99 Honda CRV. Since then, both front seat belts are non-functional. They will not budge. Is this related and if so, how can I get my belts to work again. Also, do they make a replacement 'cover only' for the steering wheel? I do not want to replace the air bag, just cover the mess that is there.

how to replace a honda civic airbag and steering wheel

are the instructions the same for a 1995 Civic DX?

Any time you're doing

Any time you're doing anything electrical with the car, it's a good idea to disconnect the battery first.

Question

I don't think you mention this but, does the battery need to be disconnected?

i have a cavalier would you

i have a cavalier would you be able to change the steering wheel if it has the air bag there, and simply put the new steering wheel on?

Unfortunately, you may need

Unfortunately, you may need to go to a dealer to have it checked out. There may be ways to reset the SRS system but if the light is on, you'll want to check all sensors and airbag deployment units as well as the main unit.

How to shut off the SRS light on my 1996 HONDA CIVIC

Hi I just bought a Honda Civic 1996 from a friend and the SRS light is on,how can you help me to get the SRS light to go off,thanks Jack

Just finished

Thanks for your post. I did a 95 honda civic as well and your post was invaluable.

The nut for the steering wheel is 19mm.

Did my steering wheel swap

Did my steering wheel swap today on my 95 civic ex. The torx screw that was used in the airbag was not a T25 but a T30. :)

Other than that your thread was very helpful to me.

Thanks
JUN

The torx screw in my 98 Civic

The torx screw in my 98 Civic is NOT a T25. That almost stripped it out, and the T27 bit was the correct size.

Hey would you happen to know

Hey would you happen to know where i can find instructions on how to replace an airbag module for an 05 honda civic? THANK YOU for your help

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

Would you happen to know how to remove a steering wheel from my 90 hatchback dx

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

Unfortunately no. You will probably need to have any used sensors replaced and the control module will either need to be reset by a dealer or replaced.

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

Hi I was recently in a car accident where both of my airbag deployed in my 1994 honda civic! I do have front bumber damnge and hood. But I was wondering if I do change my wheel and passenger airbag, will it deploy again if I were to get into another accident?and If so where can I find a new wheel, and passenger airbag for my car?

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

do u noe wut dat white long string is called ? n how much it is ?? n how to replace it ?

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

I was wondering a hypothetical question.(I'm writing a short story and don't know about airbags)If my airbag were to deploy, would I be able to just shove it back in and replace the cover. Obviously it wouldn't deploy again, however, I just need to know if the car is functional and I could still use the steering wheel. Odd question, but I want this to be authentic. The car is a 1998 honda civic, so this seemed like a good place to start.Thanks

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

awesome DIY!!! would you happen to know if the plugs and everything else is the same as the australian model just on the other side?interested in doing some diy myself just worried that somethings might be different in a LHD to a RHD.none the less, great wr

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

Its all neat what you've done, but totally useless unless you change the AIRBAG MODULE too. In case of a collision the airbag WILL NOT deploy. You can't reset the module its meant to work only once.

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

I have a 97 honda civic and the code i got for the srs light was 9-7. what is that? thankyou

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

I found my parts on ebay, but all I replaced was the steering wheel and driver's-side airbag. I'd search around for your parts there and also from aftermarket parts manufacturers.

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

HelloI own a honda crx del sol and I want to install the airbag, module and seatbelts. Can you please tell me where to find it to buy it and how to install it... I would appriciate that...With RegardsDespotidis Pantelis

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

You actually can clear the SRS code by useing a Paper clip. Then depending on the SRS flashed it can tell you if you have other fault codes. Let me know if you need the instructions

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

Where did you get the clock spring from? Do you have a link or a part number? Please let me know, thanks!

re: How to replace a Honda Civic airbag and steering wheel

haha Thanks! You're a very nice lady.