Introduction: Carbon Tape Heated Steering Wheel
We must be especially careful when driving. In winter we often have to drive with gloves, while the steering wheel is not warmed up enough. Of course this affects the safety. Make your steering wheel heated to improve your safety!
You can easily do it using a small piece of carbon tape.
See how easy it is.
Step 1: Shopping List
1. 4 (or 8 for double power) feet of carbon tape (length depends on your wheel circumference).
3. A piece of electric wire (18-24 AWG).
4. Kapton tape.
Step 2: Step by Step
1. Remove the steering wheel (if it hasn't an airbag only!)
2. Measure the diameter of the steering wheel. Carbon tape length should be slightly smaller to leave a small gap between the ends of the tape.
3. Cut the required piece of the carbon tape. I recommend using a carbon tape width of 44 mm. This will allow you to close a large part of the surface of the steering whee and make absolutely uniform heating.
.4. Silver glue wires to the ends of the carbon tape. You will be more convenient to work if you sew the wires to the tape first to fix it, as shown in the photo. Then soak the wire and the carbon tape with a silver glue. Silver glue will ensure the highest quality, reliability and long service life.
5. Apply a rubber glue to the surface of the steering wheel and stick carbon tape. Position the tape so that it was convenient to lay the wires from the tape to the center of the steering wheel. Do not forget to leave a small gap between the ends of the carbon tape.
6. Connect the wires to the free sliding contacts in the center of the steering wheel.
7. Connect the wires in the steering column to a free button on the dashboard.
8. Wrap the carbon tape with Kapton.
9. Put on a steering wheel cover you like.
Step 3: A Bit of Theory...
The average circumference of steering wheels is 4 feet. At 12 volts 4 feet of 44 mm carbon tape will give about 18 watts of heat. In my tests this power needs 3-5 minutes to get 77F from 23F. So I recommend you to use two stripes of carbon connected in parallel. It provides approximately 36 watts of heat. This power is enough to warm your steering wheel to a comfortable temperature just for a few seconds even if the bitter cold outside. Simply cut 4 feet + 4 feet of 44 mm carbon tape and glue them one next to other. That way you can cover whole the wheel surface. Glue the wires to the both ends of the carbon tape stripes so they will be connected in parallel. As you can see I get 40 Watts of heat power (12V x 3,33A = 40W).
Step 4: No More Driving Gloves!
...a heavy frost on the street. I sit in my car, insert the ignition key and click on the steering wheel heat button. The wheel immediately becomes warm and I can just go.
My safety is in my hands!