If you haven’t heard of the quick release steering wheel, you are missing out on a fun accessory. This performance part serves many purposes and looks good.
In this guide, we discuss what the quick release steering wheel is. We also discuss its advantages and disadvantages while discussing whether it is safe or not.
What is a quick release steering wheel?
The quick release steering wheel is a performance replacement part that quickly detaches from the steering column. Instead of being secured with a hidden nut, the quick release wheel is secured with cotter pins, push or pull rings, and cams. Many of these steering wheels are universal in racing cars.
In the racing car, the quick release wheel is used for emergency cases. It can be quickly dismantled in an emergency, so the driver can escape from the vehicle. Since many drivers have to deal with racing suits and helmets, anything that makes escape easier is a plus.
However, the quick release wheel has also gained popularity among everyday drivers. There are many reasons why drivers consider switching to this replacement part.
Advantages of quick release steering wheel
1. Race car feel
Although these wheels are popular among race car drivers, you don’t have to be one to reap the benefits. Many performance-oriented cars would benefit from the quick release option.
As a gearhead, you might like your car to look like a racing machine, so every accessory counts. Imagine how much more capable your WRX or Honda Civic could be.
2. Greater aesthetic appeal
Even if you don’t drive a high-performance car, upgrading the steering wheel can still add some appeal. With different designs to choose from, it’s easy to add it to the list of aftermarket equipment you use for a fresh new look.
When combined with other accessories, such as a new shift knob, it can even increase the value of the vehicle. Additionally, the lighter weight means a little more acceleration, although probably nothing too noticeable.
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3. Quick escape
No one wants to think about what happens when an accident happens, but it has to be done. If you were in an accident, you wouldn’t want something as simple as the steering wheel to get you stuck in the car.
With the detachable steering wheel, you can free yourself from these situations. If you pay a little more, you may even be able to press a button to disconnect it quickly.
4. Greater security
Every car needs a steering wheel to drive. Therefore, if there is no steering wheel, it would be almost impossible to steal the vehicle.
To start, anyone looking at the car to determine if it’s a good candidate will move on to the next vehicle. They won’t want to spend time figuring out what’s going on. Remember to place the pin in a safe place when you remove the wheel, otherwise it will be difficult to put it back in place.
Quick release steering wheel
1. Loosen over time
Because the steering wheel is made differently, it may not be as reliable over time. After many disconnects and reconnections, parts can become loose.
What you may notice is travel is not as precise. If it bothers you, the only remedy would be to replace it when it happens, which will cost you more.
2. More components
There are more parts involved in the quick-release steering wheel. For example, there is a hub with this steering wheel below. It is heavy and tends to come loose over time. There is also the quick release device to deal with. You can find different styles, all of which have their own pros and cons to consider.
You should also take into account the connectors used. Depending on the type you choose, parts may come loose sooner than expected.
For these reasons, you have higher repair bills if something goes wrong or you need to replace it. Someone has to have the experience to work on these flyers. Therefore, if you can’t do it yourself, you will pay a higher price for labor. It may also take longer to remedy situations that arise, which will add to the bill.
3. Legal Parameters
Quick-release wheels may be growing in popularity, but that doesn’t make them legal wherever you drive. In fact, if you live in California or New York, you may have some trouble upgrading to a quick release variant.
It’s best to check your local laws and talk to your state Department of Motor Vehicles before making aftermarket modifications like this. Otherwise, all your hard work and money could be thrown out the window and you could face a hefty fine for the violation.
Are quick-release steering wheels safe?
When you install a quick-release steering wheel, you are removing the airbag that is in your OEM steering wheel. For this reason, it is not considered safe to use the aftermarket wheel. If you were to have an accident, you could hit your head on the steering wheel, which the airbag is supposed to prevent.
However, many people who drive daily with a removable steering wheel say they have been in accidents and never touched the steering wheel. In these cases, the driver was sitting quite far from the wheel and the seat belt was doing its job.
The other safety aspect to consider is the possibility of the wheel coming loose while driving. Faulty parts could make that a reality, leaving you holding the steering wheel while driving down the road. While it may be funny in cartoons, it’s no joke on a busy road. To prevent this from happening, it is best to purchase a reliable quick-release wheel and have it installed by a professional.
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