What are these little indentations for on the sides of steering wheel?

mr6jammr6jam Member Posts: 4
edited December 2018 in GMC
When I got my brand new 2018 Yukon Denali back from the GMC dealer repair shop (Koons of Tysons Corner GMC) I noticed someone punctured holes into the sides of my steering wheel where there are little indentations made by the factory. (The repair shop replaced the steering column because it was making strange sounds when turning the steering wheel). When I asked the actual mechanic who did the repair work why he punctured holes into sides of my steering wheel he said "that is how it's supposed to be" and "those are access ports". Can someone confirm that this is true? I find this hard to believe - why would GM not provide pre-made holes if this is in fact an access port? Why would GM want someone to take a screwdriver and punch a hole through the side of my steering wheel of my brand new truck? Please see attached photos of this. I want to make sure I know what I am talking about before I go back to the dealership and raise hell.
Thanks for any help.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I will ask around about this. I'm also curious. Stay tuned. The only factory "access holes" I ever heard of were punch-outs, designed to pop out and then be replaced.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 232,970
    It's hard to believe that a new car is supposed to look like that, after repair.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2019
    I posted this in another topic for an experienced tech to look at, and he seems to think that yes, this is a proper procedure, although perhaps the indent holes were not properly punched at the factory, resulting in a less than tidy "punch out".

    You can read all about it here: (scroll to the last 4 posts in the topic, at least the last 4 as of today Jan 1.


  • mr6jammr6jam Member Posts: 4
    Thank you Mr_Shiftright!
    What I find curious is that there already is what appears to be an access port at the bottom of the steering wheel that would achieve the function of aligning the position of the steering wheel by aligning the different holes and plates with each other. See image below. Can you see if the mechanic has any thoughts about this? Or should I start posting to the other thread you linked below?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'll post that for you. Stay tuned.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2019
    Where is this hole exactly? Can you zoom out so we can see where it is in relation to the wheel's orientation north/south? The access holes for the airbag should be at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock.
  • mr6jammr6jam Member Posts: 4
    It is located directly below the steering column, facing down. It's hard to see, but note the hole directly at the tip of the red arrow on the attached image.

  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,708
    edited January 2019
    Different purpose on those: They are down on the column. The first two punch outs you noted are for releasing the clips that hold the airbag module onto the wheel itself.

    As was stated, accessing those releases was not done cleanly (well, on the second one anyway; first photo looks like "as intended"), looks like a result of the plastic over the punch out being too thick on one side. Cheap design element, probably due to the assumed infrequency of access.

    I think an easy clean up on this is to "fill out the oval" with a small drill bit (on the second one only). The location is subtle (you're likely the only one who will ever notice it, though I can understand why it might drive you a little crazy!).
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • mr6jammr6jam Member Posts: 4
    Understood, and thanks.
    What caught my attention initially were various signs of hasty workmanship such as: Scratches cause by apparently using a screwdriver to pry open the plastic panels surrounding the steering wheel, and the other pry mark by apparently using a screwdriver to leverage against the steering wheel, and the grease marks in the general area of the steering wheel, and the orange color broken plastic clip (likely intended to hold wires in place) laying in the footwell (look closely and you can see that it is actually broken off), and the vinyl skirt being lose around the steering column because the plastic push pins/clips have not been pushed into the corresponding holes correctly and are now bent. I was able to get the skirt pushed back in for the most part properly. See attached images. I still think I might have the right to go back to the shop and give them hell for these additional items? What do you think? I bet if the mechanic was working on his own personal vehicle he would not have treated it like that. When I asked him about all of this he was quite smug and dismissive, and called me "buddy" and then walked away from me.

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