Removing the Ford Focus' steering column involves three major components: The column itself, the steering wheel and the driver's side airbag on the steering wheel. Like many Ford vehicles, the wheel is slightly easier to remove than in other makes, making the column removal easier as well.
Removing the Airbag
Always disconnect the car's negative battery cable before any major repairs or maintenance. For the airbags, take out the PCM fuse from the interior fuse box as well. The airbag mounting holes are at opposite sides of the steering column; rotate the wheel to one side to remove one bolt, then turn it in the opposite direction to remove the other bolt. Carefully slide the airbag off of the wheel until its clips release, then disconnect its multi-plugs. Set the airbag face up where it can't get hit by something.
Removing the Steering Wheel
Make sure the steering wheel is centralised, meaning the front wheels are also pointing straight ahead. If the car has cruise control, disconnect that system's electrical connector. Disconnect the retaining bolt in the centre of the wheel--this may require a breaker bar and socket. Mark the wheel's position on the steering shaft with tape so you know how to reinstall it. As you remove the wheel from the top of the column, push the wiring connector through the hole to keep the wiring in position on the steering column.
Removing the Column
To remove the dash panel below the steering column, remove its four screws and unclip its retaining clip. Disconnect the multi-plug from this trim panel, then disconnect the bonnet release cable from the back of the panel and the electrical connector from the diagnostic plug (if equipped on your model). Lower the column's locking lever and remove the column' upper shroud by releasing its retaining clips--a thin bladed screwdriver will work for this. The same screwdriver can be used to unclip the radio control switch, and you also need to disconnect the wiring connector.
Remove the lower shroud by removing its three screws and disconnect all other connectors--these include the connectors for the steering column switches, the antitheft system transceiver, the rotation sensor and the main wiring harness. Disconnect the airbag sliding contact by releasing the two retaining tabs with a small screwdriver.
Remove the securing bolt from the sleeve that joins the column's lower part to the steering rack--this will require an extension socket on your wrench--and then remove the column's three locking nuts and one Torx bolt. Lift the column up to disengage it from the steering rack.
- "Ford Focus: 2000 through 2005 (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual)"; Jay Storer; 2006