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I added paddle shifters to my 2015 Toyota Camry XLE V6, and it worked! Here's a guide on how to do it. ONLY WORKS WITH XLE

6930 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bobby63
Hello, this is my first post. I own a 2015 Toyota Camry V6 XLE, with smart key access / push button start, and one option, the blind spot monitoring. My car did not have paddle shifters and I wanted them. However, I could not find anyone who had a 7th gen Camry and successfully added paddle shifters to a model that did not have them. I think that only the SE and XSE have them. So, I ordered a 2015 Toyota Camry steering wheel taken off of a 2015 SE model without airbag, but with paddle shifters off of Ebay for $100. Then I took off my old wheel and airbag, put in the new wheel, put in the old airbag, and it worked!. The paddle shifters work perfectly. I will post all the stuff I used and the videos I used on YouTube. I have some pictures but the videos I post are not mine but are more helpful. It took me probably 1.5 hours and I am horrible at it. I am not even a mechanic and have basic tools. I don't even have a jack or jack stand, or lift. It should be able to be done in 1 hour or less.

According to other posters, this does not work with a Camry LE model. It only works with a Camry XLE, I think because the steering wheels are different? I think the LE models don't have the programming for the paddle shifters, only the SE and XSE (which already come with paddles) and the XLE (which has the same steering wheel as the SE and XSE but without the paddles). In other words, the SE, XSE, and XLE all have the programming for the paddle shifters but the SE and XSE already have paddle shifters with them, but the XLE doesn't. So if you add the steering wheel with paddle shifters to an XLE, it is plug and play.

What you need:
10mm wrench/socket (for removing negative battery cable)
Flat head screwdriver (for removing airbag and airbag cables)
19mm socket wrench (for removing steering wheel)
Another steering wheel that exactly matches the wheel that you have, but that has paddles already. I used Ebay. You can't add the paddles to your existing wheel because a wheel with paddles and a wheel without paddles are built differently and it is easiest to just buy a wheel that is the exact same as the wheel you have on your car already, but with paddle shifters on it. Look at the back of a steering wheel with paddles and the back of a steering wheel without paddles, they are built differently.

First, unlock all the doors of the car and lower one of the windows. I lowered the driver's window. Open the trunk if you need to get anything from it. Make sure the car's steering wheel is perfectly straight so that you can easily align the new steering wheel. Then pop the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery using a 10mm wrench or socket (I used a wrench) and wait 10 minutes. I waited 10 minutes to be absolutely sure that the airbag won't go off. Once you disconnect the battery the trunk release won't work so I just kept the trunk open the whole time. Make sure the car is dead by trying to unlock the car and turning the lights on/off or rolling windows up/down.
Video used:

Then, after waiting 10 minutes after disconnecting the battery, disconnect the airbag. First, remove the left and right plastic covers on the steering wheel. One is on the cruise control stock on the right and one is on the left. They should pop off easily with a thin flathead screwdriver.
After that, it is time to remove the airbag. DON"T DO THIS UNLESS YOU DISCONNECTED THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE FROM THE BATTERY AND WAITED 10 MINUTES! You don't want the airbag to go off in your face when you try to disconnect it. To disconnect it there are 2 pins on the left side of the steering wheel and 1 pin on the right side (the side with the cruise control lever). Just push those 3 pins using the flat head screwdriver and the airbag will pop out easily. I used two videos to help me out with this one. The hard part is finding where the pins are. One is on the left side of the steering wheel, down lower, and one is on the left side of the wheel, but higher. The left lower one must be pushed up, and the left higher one must be pushed down. Once you push them, they will click and the airbag will move slightly. The last one is on the right side, and was hard to find. I had to lean over the passenger side and look hard to find it but once you find it push the pin forward. This was the hardest part. Once you do this, the airbag will fall out but will still be connected by the airbag wires (Yellow) and the airbag ground wire (blue)
Videos used:

Picture of the left top pin:

Picture of the left bottom pin :

Picture of the right pin (The side with the cruise control lever) (The pin is above the cruise control, when the wheel is oriented normally:

Picture of the steering wheel with the 3 pins circled:

Those 3 rods are the pins, but where I circled is where you will push them to disconnect the airbag. This is from my old steering wheel and it's disconnected.
Picture of the steering wheel without circles:

Next, disconnect the airbag cables from the airbag.
They should be yellow in color, with one black connector and one orange connector, with yellow parts on top. Picture with them:

You just need to get a flat head screwdriver and first push both of the yellow tabs up, and then you can just lift them up from the bottom with the flat head screwdriver. This took me 4 minutes because my screwdriver was too thick. A flat one works great. Just try to get it under the yellow tabs and lift them up. Once the yellow tabs are both up (they won't pop all the way out, they will just go up), you can disconnect both wires by lifting the black and yellow parts up. I will provide pictures and a video I used.
Pry these yellow tabs up first, and then pry the black and orange tabs that are connected to the airbag up. The yellow tabs are circled in red. Once the yellow tabs are pried up, then pry where the arrows point, in that gap between the tabs and the airbag using the flat head screwdriver. Pry them up and they will pop out easily and disconnect from the airbag. Then disconnect the blue wire (ground wire) from the airbag and you can remove the airbag. I circled where it disconnects in green.

Then the airbag can be removed. The steering wheel without airbag will look like this. The white connector with the black and red wires should still be connected though. You will need to disconnect the black connector, and the white connector with the black and red wires. In this picture, the white connector is already disconnected. They are both connected at the top of the steering wheel, to the black part. The black connector is on the left, and the white connector is on the right. I will post a picture of where they disconnect from and what it looks like when they are both disconnected. The arrows are pointing to where you disconnect them from. This picture is taken after disconnecting them like I said.

Now, get a 19mm socket and disconnect the nut from the steering wheel. It might be difficult but I didn't need a breaker bar, I just used a normal 19mm socket wrench. Try to make sure the wheel stays straight when removing the nut. Once it is removed just pull out the steering wheel, feeding the yellow cables through the gap at the top to free the wheel. The airbag cables will feed through where I circled. When you remove the wheel, do NOT move the clock spring or any related parts (the black part where everything disconnected from and everything near it) or else it will mess up your calibration and it will cost a lot to replace it. I think $1000 according to this guy in the video. Watch the video:
Skip to about 5:35. It is slightly different for my car but the idea is the same. Watch from 5:30 to 6:30.
Picture where the gap you feed the cables through is circled:

OK, then remove the wheel. Then, put in the new wheel, feeding the airbag cables (yellow cables) through that same gap. Then tighten the nut down. I tightened it down to 37 ft pounds.
Then, connect everything back together. For my new wheel, all I had to do was reconnect the black and yellow connector to the new wheel and plug in the paddle shifters (they connect to the left lower white connector. They should be already connected but mine weren't. They just plug in easily). For your old wheel without paddle shifters, it should have a white plug where the paddle shifter connector should be. (left lower white connector). This is there for cars without paddle shifters. If your car has paddles, the wires for them should be connected where this connector is, instead of having that white plug there. Make sure everything is connected (except for the airbag wires and the blue airbag ground wire). If something isn't connected, the paddles might not work.
I'm sorry I can't provide pictures for these, I didn't take any. And I only have 1 picture left that I am allowed to post. But it is very easy. It should take like 2 minutes or so. Just make sure everything is connected (except airbag wires and blue airbag ground wire). You can't mess this up easily. If you start the car and the audio buttons or paddles or something isn't working you just have to disconnect the battery, wait 10 mins, pop airbag out again, and figure out what isn't connected.

Then just reconnect the airbag wires (yellow wires with black and orange connectors) to the airbag, reconnect the blue wire to the airbag. Then push in the airbag to the car and it will snap in. Make sure all 3 pins reconnect to the airbag. Just push the airbag in all around and the 3 pins will connect. Then. reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery and start the car. Make sure the audio buttons, paddles, and cruise control work. Make sure everything is aligned. I just took it for a 10 minute test drive and everything functioned great. You might lose your A/C settings and time but my car just automatically got the time after 1 minute or so, I think cause of the navigation system. The hardest part of this for me was finding a 19mm socket wrench and disconnecting the airbag.
Picture of new wheel installed with paddles:

Now, the paddles should work, but for my car they only work when the car is in Sport mode (S). They do the same thing as moving the shifter up/down. It is better though since you don't have to move your hands off of the wheel. I don't know if it was worth $100. Next time I would have just bought a car with paddles already but this one was a good deal, and the V6. And I think I have the only XLE V6 with paddles right now, and it is a nice feature. But when I trade this car in I'm going to just get something with either the ZF 8-speed auto or a dual clutch trans. I'll enjoy the paddle shifters til then, I guess. This post took almost 2 hours to make but it's worth posting to help out others, since I couldn't find any guide or anything.
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· Registered
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey I got one more update. I said that the paddles only work in S mode but I was wrong. It also works in D mode. If you're in D mode and in manual mode you can hold the plus paddle to switch back to D. You can also shift up/down while in D, just like in the SE/XSE cars. The paddle shift software IS in my car. I think it is in all of the 7th gen Camrys, even ones without paddle shifters. I can confirm the paddle shift software is in the XLE versions even though they don't have paddle shifters.

· Registered
1 Posts
I did this with my 2015/16 Camry even tho the connection is there with all wiring it has failed to work on my car did get my voice command to work with the updated sat nav unit installed but no paddle shift working. Would I need to drop by a Toyota dealership to enable the paddle shifters ?

· Registered
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have updated post with info. According to other posters, this will only work with a Camry XLE because I believe that the LE models have a completely different steering wheel and are lacking the paddle shift software. The XLE has the paddle shift software but not the paddle shifters and the SE and XSE already have paddle shifters. If I'm wrong someone correct.
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