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Steering wheel airbag electrical connector (proper) removal

I’m replacing the multifunction (turn signal) switch on a 1997 Hyundai Elantra using a Haynes manual. I have been very careful about following procedures for disabling the SRS system, etc. I have to remove the steering wheel, no problem, but I am at point in the procedure where the electrical connectors to the airbag itself are to be disconnected (so it can be moved out of the way for the rest of the repair). The forward part of the harness had a nylon type connector that was easy to remove as its design was self-evident: just push on on a plainly visible clip to separate it. However, at the airbag itself is smaller connector going directly into the device that I’m having trouble with. I can’t quite figure out the “trick” to get it off and I don’t want to break it. Pulling straight out was tried but I think there is some kind of retainer. I can see a tiny little tab inside the thing but don’t know if it needs to be pushed, pulled, or slid a certain direction, or some other technique/tool is required. I’ve toyed with it a bit to no avail. I’m afraid I’m going to damage it and the manual isn’t specific here. Any advice?

We Don’t Have Any Hyundais Around Here But If You Do And You Have A “Take It Off Yourself” Salvage Yard . . .

. . . If all else fails then maybe a trip there might offer up a “cadaver” vehicle with no battery on which you could “experiment” with said removal. There’s probably something else you need for a 13 year-old car, anyhow.

I have seen some connectors (not Hyundai) that have a secondary locking device that pulls out a “click” to get out of the way of the primary locking device.


I encountered one of those double lock type connectors you’re talking about underneath the Elantra’s bolster plate when I was working on a separate problem that also required driver’s airbag disabling a few weeks ago but it was “decipherable”. I was able to access airbag connector from there without steering wheel disassembly at that time. I’m headed back out to the garage: (past experience suggests that if I’m “forcing” something then I am doing something wrong, so I’ll be careful)…

I got it off: I carefully pried the connector shell halves (top and bottom) apart to access two leads. They were 90 degree solderless crimped pins at the terminus. These had to be carefully, individually pulled straight out to free the airbag from the harness. Kind of unusual in that it required breaking down the connector and pulling on the wires themselves rather than pulling a (connector) shell. A shell protects the wires and provides strain relief, so why they constructed it this way is beyond me. Anyway, thanks for the advice, maybe this post will assist others.