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Automotive / Spare Parts

How to Choose an Aftermarket Steering Wheel

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Sharon Willis
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Choosing the perfect aftermarket steering wheel can be the cherry on your performance car cake, allowing you to fine-tune your beloved motor so it gives you the driving experience you crave. There are thousands of different custom steering wheels to choose from which gives you plenty of options but can also complicate the selection process. 

There are several benefits to choosing an aftermarket steering wheel for your car. The most obvious benefit is that they can improve the aesthetics of your car’s interior. When you have invested significant time and money into your car, you want to make sure all of the various elements are geared towards your preferences in terms of looks. Adding an aftermarket steering wheel is a great way to bring character to your interior without making excessive changes. 

Not only will an aftermarket steering wheel change the way your interior looks for the better, they also help to provide you with a more personalised driving experience. Steering wheels vary in materials, thickness and diameter, and most will have special finishing touches that can make your car feel more like it was made just for you. 

Many modern aftermarket steering wheels also have a quick release feature which is perfect for performance cars that may have less space in the cockpit. The ability to remove the steering wheel and take it out of the car while it’s parked also gives you extra peace of mind because it acts as a deterrent for thieves. After all, it’s much more difficult to steal a car that doesn’t have a steering wheel fitted. 

Choosing your steering wheel

When it comes to choosing a steering wheel there are a few things you need to think about. Firstly you might like to decide on the material you prefer. The most popular choices are leather, suede, vegan leather, wood, and high quality synthetics. Each material offers a unique feel and finish, and each will have different care requirements. 

In a nutshell, leather is the most popular choice because it is luxurious while also being hard wearing and easy to care for. Suede is another popular choice because it provides a unique feel in the hand, though you will need to understand how to care for it to protect its fibrous surface. Wood is a classic choice that gives your interiors a retro, vintage feel and will last a long time without showing wear and tear. Vegan leather and synthetics are great if you’re looking for durability without the hefty price tag. 

In terms of choosing your steering wheel’s thickness and diameter, these are things that will depend heavily on your driving style. A wheel with a smaller diameter will feel more agile and responsive in the hand, while larger wheels are often smoother and more comfortable. Both will require the correct steering wheel boss kit to ensure a good fit and you should make sure they are compatible with each other. 

The thickness of your steering wheel also has a bearing on the handling of your car. A thicker steering wheel is generally easier to grip, especially if you have larger hands, while a thinner steering wheel might give you a more connected driving experience. Racing drivers and people who wear gloves while driving tend to prefer a thinner wheel because they allow for quicker steering.

Advice on fitting your aftermarket steering wheel

Of all the custom work you can do on your car, fitting a custom, aftermarket steering wheel is one of the simpler tasks and you don’t really need a lot of technical expertise to do it yourself. To ensure you get a good fit, you first need to check that your chosen wheel will be compatible with the car make and model you have. This is a vital first step because not all steering wheels will fit every car, so check this first. 

Once you are certain that the steering wheel you want will work with your car, you can go ahead and buy it, and get all the extra bits you’ll need for the fitting. Fitting will vary between steering wheels, and will depend on whether you want a quick release mechanism, and most steering wheel systems will have specific fitting instructions so you need to be aware of these before going ahead. If you are not sure of anything, it is best to leave the installation to an expert because there is always the potential for expensive mistakes to be made.

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Sharon Willis
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