Thanks to having hands all over, the steering wheel can become worn, dirty and smudged the more times that it is touched. It can also break or become discolored by the sun. A dirty or cracked steering wheel is obviously very dangerous as it can make the car difficult or impossible to steer. If you are restoring the interior of your car or truck to high standard, the wheel is one of the first parts that judges or spectators notice when they look inside the car. A great wheel compliments the interior well.
Cars were originally steered by tiller similar to what you would find on a boat. Faster speeds meant that a new way to control the steering had to be developed. Without power assist, the first steering wheels were very large in order to provide plenty of leverage when the driving was trying to turn the car. Wheels mat have been made of plastic, rubber, metal or wood. Sporty cars usually had three spokes with a wood wheel. The Nardi wood wheel became one of the most stylish and iconic of the sports car wood and chrome wheels. They usually had the horn button in the center that featured a cap with the brand or model name on it. The requirement of air bags greatly changed the parts' design. Now it has to be big enough to fit the bag and many other components for the safety system.
Here are some basic instructions for installing a new steering wheel on the car or truck. This is specifically for vehicles without air bags. The air bag is a sensitive safety device that is best to have a qualified mechanic installing it. Be sure to have all the tools you need. These are not complete instructions and they are not specific to any make of car.