Replacing steering wheel rotary volume control

Johnny Leon

Full Member
May 17, 2005
122
4
Anyone replaced the steering wheel rotary volume control ? The one on my 2016 1.8 FR has played up occasionally for a year or two but got worse recently. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't work at all, sometimes rotating up actually decreases the volume. Do you have to remove trim in centre of wheel to get to the left hand switches ?
 

az101

Active Member
Aug 29, 2011
74
7
Burnham-on-sea
I've actually done this but for a different reason. Worked out to be cheaper overall to buy a whole second hand wheel (was about £40) pull the parts I needed and replace.
Process was
Disconnect battery
Airbag out
Pop the steering wheel Controls out (both sides wired together)

You may even find you can clean yours up. They are just clipped together.


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Johnny Leon

Full Member
May 17, 2005
122
4
Thanks az101. Do airbag and switches just clip in place, ie not bolted in ? Any technique to getting out so as not to damage anything ?
 

ZK_FR150

Active Member
Apr 16, 2016
202
27
Spray some wd40 or electrical contact cleaner through the gaps first and give it a few spins and see how you get on.
It might save you the faff of taking it.
 

az101

Active Member
Aug 29, 2011
74
7
Burnham-on-sea
If you do need to take it out there are 2 clips holding airbag in. You need to prise them outwards with a flat head. Towards the outside of the wheel. There should be a guide on here so where. But it's a similar process to mk7 golf ect. Then the controls the self just pull out. Need a bit of force but they just friction fit


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R.Bot

Active Member
Oct 30, 2019
17
12
I had this a few times a while back, figured it was dust / general hand "grime" etc getting in over time. Hoovered it with the nozzle held real close almost covering thumbwheel, now do this every time I hoover car interior, has never happended since.
 
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Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,786
535
The switch will be a do-da called a rotary encoder. If you can get it apart, which you often can, and clean it out it should be fine. The random jumping around you mention is classic behavior of an encoder with crap between the contacts.

One thing you can dry is simply rolling the wheel round a lot. With car off, just whiz the wheel back and forth, round and round many times. This might be enough to clean it up.
 

manji

Active Member
Sep 19, 2010
175
19
Portugal
I've been getting the behavior you guys mention also. My car is under warranty so I'll take it in next week.

I'll try to speed-spin the thing around and see how it goes. :D
 

Johnny Leon

Full Member
May 17, 2005
122
4
So I tried hoover, contact cleaner and air duster but no joy, in fact it now sends random demands without me touching it which I have to counter with the main volume control ! I've ordered a second hand wheel to swap the control panel from.

The airbag retaining clips appear tricky to get at according to workshop manual. Oddly it say use a torx screwdriver as flat head can damage clip ? Need to rotate wheel to get at one at a time and you can't see what you're doing
. Hopefully don't need to actually disconnect airbag electrically and risk triggering fault code, just pull forward enough to get at switch wiring ?

Similar guide
 
Last edited:

manji

Active Member
Sep 19, 2010
175
19
Portugal
Mine is hopefully getting fixed under warranty next Tuesday.

Will report back when it's done.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

Johnny Leon

Full Member
May 17, 2005
122
4
Finally got round to replacing the controls after getting a second hand wheel off ebay. Straightforward once you get confidence in what you're doing. Unclipping airbag was actually the easy bit after trial run on spare wheel. If you select a mid-size flat blade screwdriver that fits nicely in the slot in the wheel it locates securely when then prising the clip. Useful to have a 90 degree hook probe to pull retaining clip for airbag connector. The plug that connects the controls to the airbag connector is a pain to get out though . Was convinced there must be a hidden clip but no, just a very tight fit. Had ESC, tyre pressure loss, start/stop and park pilot warnings and loss of one-shot windows and cruise control on switching back on. Reset tyre and windows and others went away after a drive and ignition off/on.

Note the workshop manual tells you to use a torx screwdriver and that flat blade may damage wiring ? Also to disconnect and reconnect battery with ignition on ? I didn't, I did it with ignition turned off. It also warns you may get airbag warning light and need to get code cleared which worried me but didn't happen. Note also the diagram showing the airbag connector and retaining clip has the labelling transposed. The manual actually made we worried about doing the job whereas if I'd just followed az101's instructions with quick look at youtube videos I'd have been fine !
 

az101

Active Member
Aug 29, 2011
74
7
Burnham-on-sea
Glad you got it sorted mate. I agree it's a fairly easy job. Did it fix your issues? Second hand wheel is the way to go. Buying the controls alone is pricy!


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