View Full Version : Lights on Steering Wheel

10-12-12, 12:01 PM
How can you get your lights on your steeling wheel back to working when they go out?

10-12-12, 12:13 PM
Either replace the entire switch or get real good with a soldering gun :)

My volume switch bulb is out presently, haven't made my decision yet.

10-14-12, 12:06 PM
On a 2006 STS.
I just completed renewing two of my steering wheel lights, on right side, and had some trouble.
Here is the procedure to get into there:
Lets break this up into two segments, those who are replacing the little circuit board,
and those who are very qualified with a soldering iron and "METER" !
Both procedures require you to dis-assemble the steering wheel air bag and the assembly
for the buttons.
Tools needed: straight slot screwdriver, very small phillips and small slot, t-20 torx driver,
First locate the 3 holes behind the steering wheel, get a regular straight slot, and turn the
wheel so a hole is positioned at the speedometer, insert the screwdriver, and turn slowly, until
it locks into something, then turn to release that section of the air bag cover, turn the wheel to the second hole, same way, and release that section, and the third hole, the same thing, NOW the air bag is loose to pull away from the wheel, one small TAN push on wire is attached , IT IS FOR THE HORN,
disconnect it and let the air bag holder fall on the two big wires attached, the car is OFF so the air bag will NOT deploy. look and you will see two black Torx screws, remove both, and gently pull the switch holder assembly toward you, from the three points, they are ONLY pushed into these points.Remove the plug assembly for the steering wheel heater, this is what you need the small flat screwdriver for,
now rotate the assembly, to look at the bottom of it. There are electrical plugs to release on each
set of switches, unplug them , and on the switches there are 3 small philips screws remove then and the switch assembly will come off, careful, there are two plastic actuators, that fall out of the bottom of the switches, they can be put back later, so you can remove them, if you wish.
If you are changing out the circuit boards, you are almost done, and reverse the procedure, with the new circuit boards installed,and viola.....
If you are going to repair them.
Verify which pins are for the bulbs, the middle one, and another next to the middle one.
Mark them with a magic marker,
They are 12 volt bulbs, and the radio shack replacement bulbs NEED a slightly larger hole,
for the new bulbs, and actually connect on one side of the PCB, and solder on the other.
So a Fantastic solder joint may not get you connection to the bulb.
I had to use a tie-tie, as it has a single wire, very small to make connection the board could
NOT give me,You may NOT need this jumper. This is a jumper to make it work..
When finished verify with a meter you have connection,to the middle pin, and the pin next to it, by connecting your meter across the pins, and shorting
the connections of the bulbs,it should go to 0 ohms.This verifies connection to the bulbs.
The Radio Shack bulbs I used were 272-1154 12V 50 ma.About $ 1.50 each.
you need to hand drill the holes in the PCB a little larger, to accept the new bulbs.
Scrape the contacts for soldering well, and use a flux for fast soldering.
You can test by plugging the PCB only into the socket and turning ON the lights.
Then, reassemble and enjoy !
OH YEAH, I tested my Steering wheel heater, and it "IS" burned out.
OH YEAH the old bulbs have a condom on them, BLUE, and are reusable to the new bulbs. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
Good Luck and Happy Motoring...

10-14-12, 12:51 PM
I've never used a soldering gun, so I think I will just chill with it the way it is.

10-14-12, 02:42 PM
Is there any chance little LEDs could be used instead of incandescents?

10-14-12, 03:59 PM
The problem with changing to LED's is that you would need to add current limiting resistors. I don't know if there would be enough physical space, unless you used surface mount resistors. At minimum, this would likely require some modification to the circuit board. You'd also need to be comfortable working with SMT devices as they do not tolerate much heat. The 2008+ are LED, but that doesn't really help here.

10-14-12, 04:20 PM
From what I've seen, surface mount resistors are out of the question, as it is a VERY small PCB, and the majority of the space
that is NOT used has film (Conductor) covering it, pretty much in it's entirety, doesn't mean it can't be done, but I would NOT
want to take that project on. Good Luck !

10-14-12, 04:59 PM
Soldering is a skill that almost anyone can learn. I'm sure there are many good hobby sites on the web with tutorials, just as close as your favorite search engine. A used soldering iron, a small spool of solder and some scrap wire may not even cost $10 at a garage sale or flea market. Many PC tool kits include an iron that often gets thrown away.

Mastering the skill takes more work and the right tools for the job. A soldering iron is often too big and/or it's temperature is too hard to control for smaller jobs. Most of today's surface-mount asssemblies are built on automated assembly lines and are often tiny. I use magnifying glasses and a lightwieght Radio Hack soldering pen powered by AA batteries. Medical forcepts make a good heat-sink to only heat the connection point.

10-14-12, 07:09 PM
Surface mount assembly lines use robots to precisely place components on the circuit board. Solder is in the form of paste and the boards are passed through an infrared oven. This differs a lot from the days of through-hole components and wave solder machines.

Soldering irons are available in several different wattage ratings and different sized and shaped tips. A good soldering station has a variable temperature tip. Expensive stations are able to ramp up the temperature based on a trigger type input. This can ensure very small parts don't heat too quickly and crack. Good optics and a steady hand are essential. Solder can be purchased from electronic supply houses in paste form, although it must be refrigerated. I use an extremely fine solder for most work I do. A 25W iron will work for many applications, although even this can be too hot for some work. Selecting the right tip and keeping it clean is crucial.