Steering wheel swap and paddle shifter swap FAQ (for multifunction steering wheel MFSW on mk5 and mk6 Jetta Golf TDI)

back to 1000q: 2009 Jetta TDI buyer's guide w/invoice, msrp price, and more info
back to mk5 "how to" index for 2005-2009 Jetta TDI

back to mk6 "how to" index for 2010+ Golf and 2011+ Jetta


This article shows how to swap or remove and replace the steering wheel on a mk5 or mk6 Jetta, Golf, Rabbit, GTI, GLI, or Eos.

There are 3 basic types of steering wheels found on late model VW TDI, shown below: the 2005.5 only mk5 wheel, the 2006-2009 mk5 wheel, and the 2010+ mk6 steering wheel.  All VW got the mk6 steering wheel in 2010 including any mk5 models.   *The 2010 Jetta sedan is a mk5 but it also got the mk6 steering wheel and menu changes, see 1000q: 09 10 differences for details and pictures.

Steering wheel types and button differences
Mk5 MFSW (with limited edition "loyal edition" TDI badge) vs. Mk6 MFSW.

The difference between the 2005.5 and 2006-2009 mk5 steering wheel is the MFSW buttons.  The 2005.5 had two phone buttons on the left side and a circle button for switching radio modes.  The newer style (for 2006 and newer TDI) had a phone and star button on the left side.  If you don't have bluetooth the phone button won't do anything and the star button mutes the stereo.  Cars without MFSW but with MFD+ use the stalk below to control the trip computer.

Retrofitting paddle shifters or the MFSW buttons onto a non-paddle shifter wheel 
It's very difficult to retrofit paddle shifters because no manual transmission steering wheel has spots for the paddles and the back of the wheel spokes are molded a different shape.  It might be possible to retrofit the MFSW buttons because some steering wheels have removable blanks where you can screw in the replacement MFSW buttons but others don't.  If the wheel is leather it's possible but if it's plastic it's unlikely.

Retrofitting a mk6 wheel into a mk5

You can swap any 3 or 4 spoke steering wheel across any mk5 mk6 Golf, Jetta, GLI, or GTI, and Eos.  However, this only means the steering wheel will turn the front wheels.  The 3 vs. 4 spoke steering wheels and mk5 vs. mk6 do not use the same airbag.  The mk5 steering wheel (2005.5-2009) buttons and menu are different from the mk6 wheel (2010+).  If you swap the mk6 wheel into a mk5, the right spoke's left and back buttons won't work.  The left spoke button functionality depends on if you use BAP communication in the control module coding.  If not, the left and right buttons won't do anything.  If you don't, the left spoke left and right buttons will control radio station/track.  In addition, BAP will disable nav or audio information in the MFD if you have a red screen MFD.  Obviously, if you swap the mk6 wheel into any mk6, all buttons will work assuming the correct control module and coding.

Electrical differences
There are 4 major components that differ in a base vs. loaded car which concern the MFSW.  The MFD display, steering wheel, steering wheel control module, and central electric control module (CECM).  MFSW capable steering wheel control module capabilities are listed in the Parts section.  You can also use a Ross Tech VCDS to look at the part number of the steering wheel control module and compare it to the parts listing below.  If you have a car with MFD+ and just bolt on a MFSW, the buttons won't work as intended unless your steering wheel control module has MFSW capability.  *Note for 2010 and newer cars- the CECM and central convenience module (CCM) are 1 module.  You still need a MFSW capable SW control module if you don't have one.

Steering wheel control modules with software versions 0101 and earlier aren't compatible with modules 0110 and higher because they use different coding.  If you install a MFSW on a car with software version 0110 or higher the control stalk buttons will still work in addition to the MFSW.

There was also a difference in clocksprings and airbag harness compatibility.  The clockspring is the clear plastic round thing that the airbag plugs into. See the ross tech wiki for more details.

What came on what
-Some 2005.5 VW Jetta TDI and all 2006 with package 2 options had the multifunction steering wheel (MFSW).
-All 2005.5, 2006 with package 2, and 2006 special editions had the highline display (MFD+).  Just remember that due to the immobilizer, you can't just swap in a new instrument cluster and expect it to work - the dealer has to use a special tool to program the instrument cluster or the engine won't run for more than a second.  You may be able to retrieve the SKC code another way as well.
-Package 2 cars came with the MFSW and MFD+ so they all have a highline CECM.
-All 2009+ Jetta TDI had highline MFD+ displays but only sedans had the MFSW.  Most 2009 Jetta TDI station wagons had midline CECM except for Canadian highline (equivalent of SEL in US) which had a MFSW on the 2009 sportwagen.  Wagons which didn't come with a MFSW used a steering column mounted stalk like the one shown above to cycle fuel economy display, etc.
-All 2010 TDI in the US and Canadian highline have MFSW.

-2010 Golf TDI with DSG transmission also gets paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel.  The paddle shifter steering wheel can be added to any DSG transmission car that uses the mk6 steering wheel.  If you have a mk5 style wheel your replacement must be a mk5 paddle shifter steering wheel.

-If you have a loyal edition (2009 TDI special edition) you have the TDI badge on the steering wheel (visible in the first picture at the top of the page).  Other mk5 style wheels only have a blank silver badge there.  You cannot buy the badge as parts so if you want one you have to make a sticker or buy a spare adhesive TDI badge that goes on the rear of the car and stick it on the steering wheel instead.

Lowline Multi Function Display (half screen) vs. highline MFD+ (full screen).  The menu may say MFI or MFD at the top depending on the model, both are correct.  Up to 2009 are red and 2010 and newer are white/black.  The midline display is full screen but with no compass and does not have all the setting and convenience menus that the highline does.  For more on these settings, see 1000q: MFD (MFI) FAQ.

Sport style "DTM style" steering wheels
The sport steering wheels are direct bolt on replacements and can be found in both mk5 and mk6 (mk6 comes with red stitching).  The steering wheel is thicker, has hand bolsters at the 10 and 3 position, perforated leather hand grips, and a flat bottom for leg clearance.  They came from the GTI, GLI, or R32 and were available in no buttons, MFSW, and MFSW with paddle shifters.  Below left is the sport multifunction steering wheel from a US spec GTI.  The GLI wheel is the same except the badge says GLI.  Below right is a MFSW from an Eos sport.  This adds steering wheel mounted paddle shifters behind the multifunction buttons (obviously for DSG transmission only), has a slightly different shape, has no perforated leather sides, and is round instead of flat bottomed.  The right paddle is upshift and the left paddle is downshift

You can also get colored stitching on mk5 cars - the  Edition 30 GTI (Euro only) has red stitching and the Pirelli wheel (Euro only) has yellow stitching.  Both are available in no buttons, MFSW, and MFSW w/paddle shifters.  Although these cars weren't available in the US you can special order the steering wheels.  Below right is the US spec mk6 GTI wheel - it comes with red stitching.  Black stitching was standard on mk5 spec GTI wheels.  If you want black stitching on an mk6 wheel you have to get the Euro wheel.

While you could swap a 4 spoke steering wheel from the Passat onto the Jetta or vice versa, you would also have to change the airbag from 3 spoke to 4 spoke or vice versa.  Control module compatibility is unknown but the actual steering wheel will bolt on. There's no mk5 Passat TDI in North America anyways.

For mk6 style wheels: When switching to or away from the GTI style wheel you need a new airbag.  The regular and GTI airbags are different.  On mk5 cars they were the same.

Also, mk6 Golf and mk6 Jetta steering wheels are not compatible.  Although it looks like they're the same except for the right side buttons, you can see the differences in this thread:

Part numbers - click links to compare current prices, always verify with your vendor the part numbers and color - gray, satin black, or anthracite (lighter than true black)
Caution - Links have both tiptronic and non tiptronic wheels, always double check with the vendor that it has paddle shifters (if you have DSG) and MFSW buttons.
Note - auto recycler yards or vwvortex classifieds should also have used parts.
Note - base cars didn't have leather steering wheels and their wheels often discolor or wear at the top.  If you currently have a plain leather steering wheel you can sell it to someone with a base Jetta or Rabbit / Golf.
Also see 1000q: how to decode vw / audi part numbers for more on how to read the part numbers

Ross tech VCDS cable (if adding buttons or functions)

2010+ part numbers for Golf or wagons ( leather MFSW)

3c8 419 091 aj e74 (3c8419091aje74) (for cars built between 10/08 and 2/09)
3c8 419 091 an e74 (3c8419091ane74) (for all other 2010)
3c8 419 091 be e74 (3c8419091bee74) (for 2011 cars) 
5k0 419 091 b asy (5k0419091basy) (GTI steering wheel, black flash/red)
5k0 419 091 d sy (5k0419091dsy) (GTI steering wheel, black flash/red)
5k0 419 091 am asy (5k0419091amasy) (2011 GTI wheel w/red stitching) 

2010+ part numbers for Golf or wagons ( leather MFSW w/paddle shifters)

3c8 419 091 ak e74 (3c8419091ake74) (for cars built between 10/08 and 2/09)
3c8 419 091 ap e74 (3c8419091ape74) (for all other 2010)
3c8 419 091 bf e74 (3c8419091bfe74) (for 2011 cars)

5k0 419 091 c asy (5k0419091casy) (2010 GTI wheel w/red stitching)
5k0 419 091 e asy (5k0419091easy) (2010 GTI wheel w/red stitching)
5k0 419 091 an asy (5k0419091anasy) (2011 GTI wheel w/red stitching)

5k0 419 091 m asz 5k0419091masz (2010 GTD wheel black/art grey)
5k0 419 091 aq asz 5k0419091aqasz (2011 GTD wheel black/art grey)

2011 Jetta (leather MFSW )

5c0 419 091 L usz or 5c0 419 091 k usz (black/aluminum)
5c0 419 091 m e74 (black)

2005.5/2006-2009 part numbers (leather MFSW )
1st vw parts also sells new steering wheels but it's not possible to direct link to the part due to their website.

Round Eos sport wheel with paddle shifter: VW# "1q0 419 091 svft" - tiptronic wheel
GTI wheel with paddle shifter: VW# "1k0 419 091 ce tdl" from ECStuning
GTI wheel without paddle shifter: VW# 1k0 419 091 bc tdl, 1q0 419 091 ac usz, or 1k0 419 091 ct tdl may also work (not sure)
GTI Pirelli wheel (has yellow stitching)
GTI Edition 30 wheel from oempl (has red stitching, was only avail in Europe) 1k0 419 091 dd, or 1k0 419 091 dd xan
R32 wheel without paddle shifter: from ECStuning , 1k0 419 091 dg tvj
R32 wheel with paddle shifter: from ECStuning 1k0 419 091 dh tvj 

mk5 lower steering wheel emblems *TDI emblems were only available on loyal/demo edition cars.  Later TDI came with a blank badge.  
GLI: 1k0 419 685 b
R32: 1k0 419 685 3q7
GTI: 1k0 419 685 a 44u
GT:  1k0 419 685 d 3q7

Steering wheel control modules
CAUTION - 2009 and newer TDI use software version 0110 and up and cannot use modules with suffix aj or bk because their software is 101 or lower.  VW part numbers follow a certain method - see 1000q: decoding VW part numbers for more details.

Control module that work with MFSW probably on later cars (check the compatibility): VW# 1k0 953 549 with suffix [ac, cf, bk]
Control module that definitely works with 2009 for MFSW paddle shifters: 1k0 953 549 cd
Control modules that definitely don't work with MFSW: 1k0 953 549 with version suffix [ah, br, cq, af, cq, L]
Control module that definitely works with MFSW and with or without paddle shifters on 2005.5-2006: 1k0 953 549 with version suffix [aj, ac]

See the ross tech wiki page here for a full list of control module compatibility.  To add a MFSW you must have a highline control module.  Remember to check the control module clockspring (slip ring) compatibility with what you have now.

Single purple vs. dual wire harness (a new harness is required if you currently do not have buttons and want to add them)
Note: (2005-06 should have dual wire, 2007+ should have single purple but check before buying)
single purple wire airbag connector (shown here): VW# 1k0 971 584 c
dual wire harness with multifunction harness (shown in the Procedure section): VW# 1k0 971 584 L

Steering wheel buttons (shown in picture on top, the buttons come with the steering wheel unless you buy a "no buttons" steering wheel)
2005.5 MFSW (two phone symbols on left button) left buttons: 1k0 959 537 c rej, right buttons: 1k0 959 538 a rej
2006-2009 MFSW buttons without paddle shifter (with one phone and one star on left button): left buttons: 3c0 959 537 b reh, right buttons: 3c0 959 538 c reh
2006-2009 MFSW button with paddle shifter (may not include paddle shifters): left buttons: 1k0 959 537 f reh, right buttons: 1k0 959 538 c reh
paddle shifter buttons left button: 1k0 951 527 b reh , right button:1k0 951 528 b reh

You can also add aftermarket larger paddles from also makes add-on paddles.

12mm triple square bit (not torx!)
small flat screwdriver
torque wrench

If you need a new steering wheel control module you also need:
T9 screwdriver or bit and T25 screwdriver
1/8 drill bit, 2.5mm drill bit, or a thick, stiff wire
Ross tech VCDS cable and software

Procedure to swap your steering wheel on mk5 or mk6 VW Jetta or Golf

Before doing anything, also figure out if you have a MFSW capable SW control module and its compatibility with your clockspring.  If the car previously had a MFSW you have one.  If you're not sure, plug in your VCDS and enter control module "steering wheel".  Look at the part number and compare it to the ones listed above.  Although you shouldn't need the radio security code unless you physically remove the radio, you may want it handy.

1. WARNING - Make sure the car ignition is off and disconnect the negative terminal on the car battery before doing any work.  After disconnecting the battery, turn the ignition key to "ON" and step on the brake pedals a few times to discharge any stored electricity.  You have to remove the steering wheel airbag and accidental deployment could result in serious injury or damage to property.  Always wear a static electricity grounding strap when handling an airbag, plug, or wires.  Even a static electricity discharge could set off the airbag.  If you don't have a grounding strap, touch a bare metal ground on the car before and while touching the airbag or wires to discharge any small static electricity.  See the TOS Agreement for the full legal disclaimer.

2.  Unhook the air bag from the steering wheel.  Release the steering column lock and adjust it towards you.  Turn the steering wheel 90o to the left or right and look above and behind the steering wheel.  Stick a flat screwdriver through the slot in the back of the steering wheel to release one of the metal loops on the airbag hooked around the tab on the steering wheel.  These are highlighted below.   Feel around for the top of the loop and then pry the loop down to get it around the tab on the steering wheel.  Gently pull the airbag towards you and you'll feel it gently release.  Turn the steering wheel to the other side and release the loop on the other side.

Here you can see the dual wire airbag harness.  The single purple wire was shown in the Parts section.

3.  Touch a bare metal ground to discharge any static charge and then unplug the airbag connector.  The lock slides back to unlock the plug, then remove the plug.  If you have another plug at the bottom for the buttons, release that too.  *Some cars may have 2 airbag plugs and later cars may have single purple plugs.  The clear plastic thing that the airbag harness plugs into is the clockspring.  This is a wire harness wound in a loop so that it can maintain contact with the steering wheel as it rotates.  *Side note - the steering wheels have Fe Mg stamped on them which I assume means iron-magnesium.  My total guess is that this alloy was chosen because of weight, cost, and ease of casting over aluminum or steel.

4. Use a....

.....the rest of this detailed step by step procedure is for forum members only.  Please join our free community today to view.  The rest of this procedure can be viewed in this forum post.

MFSW capable SW control module coding with VCDS....

To enter the code....

If you found differences in your steering wheel installation or retrofit, please update this article by posting a report in the forums

External links

Here are some external links which expand on some of these points reset steering wheel resistance

Ross tech wiki list of steering wheel control module compatibility