Saturday, 26 October 2013


Every half decent tool kit should include a Vernier gauge, but just as useful is a BluTack-ometer.
The steering wheel on my (otherwise) trusty Citroën Berlingo became loose, but I've been too busy to sort it. Just prior to picking up my mother-in-law from the airport this morning seemed like a good time. Modern vehicles are so over designed, even the simplest of service tasks can be very complicated. Add the possibility of an exploding airbag into the equation and things could become quite comedical. But not more so than a self-detaching a steering wheel mid-corner. A quick Google informed me of slightly more professional people who had broken noses on the job, so my woe-ometer was already red lining before I started.

Step 1) disconnect battery. 2) wait twenty minutes (apparently air bags can hold a charge for several minutes). 3) insert screwdriver into small hole (three of) on reverse of steering wheel housing to flex back sprung wire retaining clip of airbag.
(you will not see the view shown in above photo unless you are a dashboard mite with a head-torch (I took this photo after the event for clarity). 4) un-clip right side electrical collector block. 5) gently prise out airbag unit.
6) tighten central bolt.
- But you don't know what size it is?
So take a lump of BluTac. Kneed it until soft and then press firmly into the Torx bolt centre to make a male impression.
Walk to you local tool shop for an appraisal - careful not to sqidge your small sculpture en route .
I needed a T50 socket. With a dribble of Loctite 243 on the thread of the removed bolt (which was frighteningly only finger-tight), I then torqued it back up on the splines.
Mother-in-law was not impressed with my dirty dungarees. BP


User.One said...

I am impressed by your ingenuity. For future reference if you put the hazards on once battery is disconnected it will dump any residual charge thus negating the need to wait for 20 minutes. Although that is a god time to make a brew, and drink said brew with some biscuits. I was told this tip by a fireman as they cut me out of my car the other week.
The hazard tip btw.

Mick P said...

I use a version of the Blu-Tak method for determining the type and size of an out-of-sight fastener - you know, some b*stard thing round the back of the airbox or whatever - but I press my thumb (other digits are available) into said fastener and have a look at the shape it leaves. Doesn't last long enough to pop round the local tool shop, but OK for getting the right bit of kit from the toolbox.

JP said...

When cars first started coming out with Bags, thieves learned it was more profitable to steal those than the stereo. The cops found it easy to catch the less competent ones ... they were the ones unconscious in the back seat