Easy guide on how to replace a steering column yourself.
Estimated time: 3-4 hours Difficulty: Medium/Hard
You will want to jack up the vehicle and place it on blocks. Jack it up using the wheel jack. Be careful where you place the blocks because remember you will be removing some of these parts and you don’t want the blocks getting in the way. Remove the jack when blocks in place.
Make sure the wheels are facing straight forward and then remove the wheel by removing the wheel nuts and taking the wheel off.
Place a container underneath the power steering lines to catch the fluid when you remove these parts. You could always disconnect the engine from the engine mounts to give yourself a bit more clearance when working underneath the vehicle and so you can drop the sub frame down a little bit more.
You best place the jack underneath the sub frame and remove the four bolts. You are best off placing the jack there so that the sub frame doesn’t just drop right down. Remove the bolts holding the power steering lines to the column, this will release the lines and the fluid will start draining into the container. Remove the bolts on the heat shield over the column to remove this part.
Inside the vehicle, behind the drivers foot pedals is a little cover with two screws that you will need to remove to gain access to a bolt which holds the column in place. Remove this bolt and then you can unbolt the steering column.
To remove the column from the sub frame you will need to lower the sub frame by removing the jack. Take the top of the column and tilt it towards the vehicle and pull it back to remove the column. Remember not to pull on the tie rod when doing this because it could knock off the alignment for the steering.
Fitting the steering column
Now you want to install the new steering column. Clean the area you are about to bolt the new rack to so that the bolts go on without any problems. Bolt the steering column to the sub frame. Move any rubber mounts from the old one onto the new column.
It’s best to jack up the sub frame to hold it in place while properly fitting the other connections to the column. Bolt the heat shield over the new column. Fit the power steering lines and any other connections to the column, securing them tightly.
The swivelling extension joint inside the vehicle behind the foot pedals will need to be bolted onto the steering column again. Put this in place and bolt them together. Screw the cover back over these parts. Put any bolts back in to properly connect the steering column to the vehicle.
Bolt the engine mounts to the engine again and put the wheel nuts back on the wheel to complete the installation. Remove the blocks and lower the jack.
You will need to top up the reservoir with power steering fluid. But first you need to bleed the system. Do this by turning the steering wheel all the way to the left and then all the way to the right to make sure all air is removed from the system.
Take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure the steering column is operating correctly. You may need to take your vehicle into a garage for alignment to ensure the steering operates at optimum levels.