How to Upgrade BMW 4 Series Steering Wheel

Upgrading the steering wheel can not only enhance the aesthetics of your car's interior. But it also improves your driving experience. Whether you're looking for the sporty feel of a BMW 4 Series M Sport, the luxury touch of an Alcantara, or the high-tech allure of a carbon fiber steering wheel, this guide will walk you through the process step by step.


In this Dyna Performance guide, we will discuss the tools and materials required. We will choose the right tool for the upgrade. And we will go through the step-by-step upgrade process, calibrating and testing your new control wheel.

Tools and Materials Required

Before diving into upgrading, make sure you have the following tools:


  • New Steering Wheel. Depending on your preferences, choose between the BMW 4 Series M Sport steering wheel, Alcantara, or carbon fiber one. 
  • Socket Set. You'll need a socket set with various socket sizes, including a torque wrench.
  • Screwdrivers. Screwdrivers, both flathead and Phillips, will be necessary.
  • Trim Removal Tools. These are essential for prying off interior panels without damaging them.
  • Steering Wheel Puller Tool. To safely remove the old steering wheel.
  • Airbag Disconnect Tool. A specialized tool for disconnecting the airbag.
  • Safety Gear. Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself during the installation.
  • Owner's Manual. Keep your BMW 4 Series owner's manual handy for reference.

Choosing the Right Steering Wheel Upgrade

When selecting a new BMW 4 Series Alcantara steering wheel, consider the following factors:


  1. Model Compatibility

Ensure the steering wheel you choose is compatible with your specific BMW 4 Series model. The compatibility may vary depending on the year and trim level of your vehicle. Consult your owner's manual or contact a BMW dealership for guidance.


  1. Material

Decide whether you want a leather-wrapped BMW 4 Series Alcantara, or carbon fiber steering wheel. Each material offers a different look and feel:


  • Leather. The leather provides a classic and luxurious appearance. It's comfortable to grip and is a popular choice for those seeking a timeless interior.
  • Alcantara. Alcantara is a premium synthetic material that mimics the look and feel of suede. It offers a sporty and tactile sensation, making it ideal for performance-oriented driving.
  • Carbon Fiber. Carbon fiber steering wheels exude a modern and high-performance vibe. They are lightweight and often feature carbon fiber accents for a distinctive appearance.

  1. Design

BMW offers various wheel designs. It includes the sporty BMW 4 Series M steering wheel and more classic ones. Choose one that suits your style and complements the aesthetics of your car.


  1. Features

Some steering wheels come with extra features. They're heating, paddle shifters, or multifunction buttons. Decide which features are important to you and align them with your driving needs. For example, a heated steering wheel can be valuable if you frequently drive in cold climates.


  1. Budget

Set a budget for your upgrade and stick to it. Different BMW 4 Series steering wheel upgrades come at varying price points. So consider your financial constraints when making your selection. Keep in mind that higher-end materials and advanced features may come at a premium.

Step-by-Step Upgrade Process

Step-by-Step Upgrade Process

Embarking on the journey to upgrade your BMW 4 Series steering wheel is an exciting endeavor. In this block, we'll guide you through each meticulous step. We will go from safely removing the wheel to expertly installing your chosen upgrade.


This process is not just about enhancing the aesthetics of your car's interior. It's about transforming your driving experience.


So, roll up your sleeves. Gather your tools and prepare to embark on a journey that will redefine your connection with the road.

Removing the Current Steering Wheel

For removing the old BMW 4 Series M sport steering wheel


  • Disconnect the Battery. Before you start, disconnect the car's battery to ensure safety. This step is crucial to prevent accidental airbag deployment. Locate the battery in your BMW, usually found in the trunk or under the hood.
  • Access the Airbag. The airbag cover is typically located at the center of the steering wheel. Depending on your car’s model, you may need to remove a trim piece to access it. Refer to your owner's manual for specific instructions.
  • Disconnect the Airbag. Use the airbag disconnection tool to disconnect the airbag. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to prevent any mishaps. Safety should always be your top priority when dealing with airbags.
  • Remove the Airbag. Now, carefully remove the airbag from the BMW 4 Series Alcantara steering wheel. Handle it with care and place it in a safe location, away from potential damage.
  • Access the Steering Wheel Nut. Beneath the airbag, you'll find a large nut securing the wheel to the steering column. Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove this nut. Ensure you have the correct socket size. It's to avoid damaging the nut or the surrounding components.
  • Use a Steering Wheel Puller. After removing the nut, attach the steering wheel puller tool to the steering wheel. This tool is designed to safely remove the old steering wheel without causing damage. Follow the tool's instructions to ensure a smooth removal process.
  • Gently Remove the Steering Wheel. For the BMW 4 Series steering wheel upgrade, apply pressure to the puller tool. It's to coax the old steering wheel off its shaft. Be gentle throughout this process. It's to avoid any damage to the steering column or surrounding components.

Installing the New Steering Wheel

The next steps are: 


  • Position the New Steering Wheel. Align the new steering wheel with the steering column shaft. Ensure it's centered correctly. Make sure that any alignment marks or indicators on the steering wheel match those on the column.
  • Tighten the Steering Wheel Nut. Use a torque wrench. It's to tighten the nut to the manufacturer's recommended torque specification. It’s crucial for securing the BMW 4 Series Alcantara steering wheel in place. Over-tightening can cause damage. So, refer to your owner's manual or the steering wheel manufacturer's instructions.
  • Reconnect the Airbag. Carefully reconnect the airbag by following the manufacturer's instructions precisely. Ensure that all connectors and fasteners are securely in place.
  • Reattach the Airbag Cover. If you removed any trim pieces to access the airbag, reattach them securely. Ensure they align properly and there are no gaps or loose parts.

Calibrating and Testing

Calibrating and Testing

You've installed your new BMW 4 Series M sport steering wheel. But the journey doesn't end there. The crucial phase of calibrating and testing your upgraded steering wheel awaits.


We'll explore the necessary steps to ensure your wheel functions flawlessly. And we will check any extra features, such as heating or adaptive cruise control.


Safety and functionality are paramount. So follow these instructions diligently to enjoy a worry-free and enhanced driving experience.

Ensuring Proper Functionality

For this:


  • Reconnect the Battery. With the new BMW 4 Series carbon fiber steering wheel installed and the airbag securely in place, reconnect the car's battery. Make sure you connect the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals correctly.
  • Start the Engine. Start the car's engine. And ensure the wheel is straight and aligned properly. Pay attention to any warning lights on the dashboard. They may state issues with the airbag or steering system.
  • Check Controls. Test all the wheel controls. It includes buttons, paddle shifters, and any other features. Verify they function as expected and that there are no issues with responsiveness.

Testing Additional Features

Perform the following tests:


  • Heating Functionality. If your BMW 4 Series carbon fiber steering wheel has a heating feature, test it. This is particularly important for those in colder climates who rely on heated steering wheels for comfort during winter months.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control. Your BMW 4 Series may be equipped with adaptive cruise control. And your new steering wheel may include relevant controls. Then, check the functionality. Ensure the adaptive cruise control settings can be adjusted and activated as intended. Ensure that the system responds appropriately to changes in traffic speed.

Safety Precautions

Throughout the BMW 4 Series steering wheel upgrade process, safety should be top priority. Here are some crucial safety precautions to keep in mind:


  • Disconnect the Battery. Always disconnect the car's battery. Do it before working on the steering wheel or airbag components. This step is essential. It's to prevent accidental airbag deployment, which can result in serious injuries.
  • Follow Manufacturer Instructions. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for disconnecting and reconnecting the airbag to prevent accidents. Airbags are sensitive safety devices, and mishandling them can lead to unintended deployments.
  • Torque Specifications. Use a torque wrench. It's to tighten the BMW 4 Series Alcantara steering wheel nut to the manufacturer's recommended specifications. Over-tightening can cause damage. While under-tightening may result in a loose steering wheel. Check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's instructions for the specific torque value.
  • Wear Safety Gear. Protect your eyes and hands. Wear safety glasses and gloves throughout the installation process. These safety precautions can prevent injuries and ensure a smooth and safe upgrade.
  • Avoid Distractions. During the installation process, stay focused on the task at hand. Avoid distractions and interruptions. It's to ensure that you follow each step accurately and safely.
  • Double-Check. Double-check all connections. It includes the airbag and BMW 4 Series Alcantara steering wheel controls. Ensure there are no loose components or electrical issues.

Conclusion

Upgrading your BMW 4 Series steering wheel can be a rewarding project. It enhances both the aesthetics and functionality of your car's interior. Follow the steps outlined in this guide. This way, you can successfully upgrade your steering wheel. Remember to focus on safety throughout the process. And enjoy the improved driving experience your new steering wheel provides.