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  #1  
Old 08-02-2003, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
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Creaking steering wheel

Has anyone had this problem? For the last couple of months I have noticed that my steering wheel on my '93 400E (130 k miles) makes a "creaking" sound if I apply any fore and aft pressure on it. For example, if I hold the wheel at the 12 o'clock position and move my hand foreward and backward, I'll get the noise. This is NOT the creaking others have described in the front end from bad ball joints; what I'm talking about happens at rest and seems to be clearly coming from the steering wheel and/or column itself.

FWIW, I do have a telescoping steering wheel. That mechanism seems to be working fine, and the creaking sound happens regardless of how far in or out the wheel is telescoped.

I'd appreciate any thoughts and experience anyone may have had on this.
Thanks!
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'93 400E
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2003, 04:22 AM
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Location: Santa Clarita, CA, USA
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Hello,

I also have a 1993 400e with a creaky steering wheel. There is play fore and aft, but the column itself is not moving. It is isolated to the steering wheel. It is present during low speed manuevers such as in a parking lot. On the highway I don't notice it.

I'd like to present the problem to the board members before I start dismantling the steering. Any advice or experience with this is appreciated.

Thanks,
Nolan
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2003, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Cumming Ga.
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This noise is probably caused by loose screws inside the steering wheel. If you remove the airbag from the steering wheel you will find 4 torx head screws that the horn contacts are mounted with.Tighten these 4 screws and also check the philips screws down inside the wheel for tightness. That should take care of the noise.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2003, 04:21 PM
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Location: Santa Clarita, CA, USA
Posts: 133
Fixed!

Hello,

The creaking is gone. Just for more info, the air bag is held in place with 2 torx screw from the rear of the steering wheel. They are T-30. Once the airbag is released, just move it aside and use a T-25 torx to tighten the screws. I had 2 that were several turns loose and 1 that was barely snug.

Thanks again for the help.

Nolan
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2003, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 801
DieselGuy,
Did you disconnect the battery before doing this . I wanted to fix the noise on my car as well and want to make sure I do it right..
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:26 PM
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Location: Santa Clarita, CA, USA
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Hello,

Yes I did disconnect the battery first as a precaution. When I removed the airbag I did not disconnect the wiring. I simply held it aside as a tightened up the screws. Also, I extended the steering column as far out as possible and diconnected the battery afterwards. I then turned the wheel so the screws holding the airbag from the rear are down towards the floor. This gives you more clearance to use a torx screw driver. You can turn the steering wheel the other way with the engine off to get to the other screw.

Hope this helps.

Nolan
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2003, 10:17 PM
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Location: Omaha, NE
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Thanks for the input, RPM55 and DieselGuy! I'll have to do this myself this weekend. Very helpful to have the exact Torx sizes too!

This is one of those annoying little noises that can just drive you crazy ....
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2003, 10:46 PM
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Location: Omaha, NE
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I took off the airbag today and one of the horn ring screws was a little loose, and that's all it took to make the noise. That was a simple fix!

On mine, at least, the airbag-holding screws, and the horn screws, are ALL T-25; didn't have to use my newly-acquired T-30 screwdriver at all.

Thanks to all for helping!

PS to anyone going to do this: please do follow the recommended procedure for airbag safety. The manual says:

1) Disconnect negative battery terminal; then

2) Disconnect red SRS test connector under passenger's footwell

before you take off the airbag.
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