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Hi and welcome to my Passat B5 blog. I decided to start writing my own guides after having to trawl the internet in search of 'how to's' and useful instructional guides. I have been building cars for over 10 years and began after realising that I could often do a better job than the mechanic I would be paying. So here it is my first guide...
Tools required:
  • T55 Torx bit or 12 point bit (obtained from dealer)

Ensure your wheels are pointing dead straight. I found it best to let the car roll into its parking space, not holding the steering wheel and allowing the car to find its own positioning.
Next use the 10mm spanner to remove the negative terminal from the battery located at the back of the engine bay. This is very important as you don't want the airbag accidentally going off while you are working. Remember that disconnecting the battery will reset your stereo, clock and ECU, I will cover these in more detail but if you have a factory radio you will need the security code (usually in the manual or you may need to contact the dealer).

Insert the key into the ignition and turn to the first click so the wheel won't lock as you will need the wheel free to rotate in order to get the airbag off. Turn the steering wheel 90 degrees one way to allow full access to the back. At the back of the wheel on each side you will find a small hole just big enough for a small flat head screw driver.

Insert the screw driver in the hole making sure its angled with the handle against the column. Push it until you feel resistance from the clip. You need to push the screw driver down on the clip within the steering wheel that holds the airbag locking latch in place. This may require a few attempts before feeling and hearing the catch release. The airbag should pop forward on one side. Remove the screw driver and turn the wheel in the opposite direction until you can access the second hole and repeat the process with the screw driver until you feel the airbag catch pop. You can then allow the airbag to come forward slightly.

Carefully unplug the yellow connector attached to the back of the airbag and place it somewhere secure. You can now see the centre nut holding the wheel in place and if you look just above the springs you will see where the screw driver releases the catches.

How Free Should Rear Wheels Spin When Lifted B5 Passat

Using the T55 torx bit (or 12 point bit) you can now undo the centre nut. I used a T55 bit attached to a 10mm socket with 1/2 extender bar and torque wrench. The nut should be very tight so hold the steering wheel steady with one hand while turning the nut. If the steering wheel has seized onto the spline a good tip is to refit the nut 2 turns before pulling at the wheel, that will stop you losing any teeth as well as avoid damaging the wiring harness behind the steering wheel. Once free carefully pull the wheel forward and allow the wiring harness to free itself.

Place the steering whel onto the steering column ensuring the splines line up and the wheel is in the correct position. The centering mark on the wheel needs to line with the centering mark on the column. Using a torque wrench set to 50 newtonmeteres or 37ft lb you can retighten the nut. If you don't have a torque wrench you can use a socket set wrench with a piece of pipe for leverage. Ive read that the nut has a life of 5 uses before needing replacement but as long as you don't overtighten or damage the nut it should be okay anyway. Plug the yellow airbag connector back into the rear of the airbag and push the airbag back into the steering wheel until you feel it click on both sides. Remove the key from the ignition and reconnect the battery with the 10mm spanner. Turn the ignition to the first position and check all warning lights go out correctly but don't start the engine yet.

You will need to enter your radio security code and reset your clock. Refer to your owners handbook if usure. At this point you will need to make sure you correctly reset your ECU to allow any fault codes to clear and the engine to run properly.

Now refer to my Passat B5 ECU Reset. > > > Click here < < <

How Free Should Rear Wheels Spin When Lifted B5 Passat Used

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