How to Install Portable Car Hand Controls For Disabled Drivers

What You'll Need
Controls to be installed
Instruction manual

Where it is necessary to adapt the existing components in a car to make the use of it easier for a disabled person, this can be undertaken by installing portable car hand controls. These controls negate the need for a car that has been entirely adapted. Being aware of the installation process will ensure that the controls are fitted safely and securely.

Step 1 – Investigate

The first step is to undertake some investigation, to determine which car hand controls are required to allow the disabled person to power it. Being aware of the precise needs of the individual will help you to determine what controls need to be installed. Similarly, the car itself must be examined, to make sure that it provides the means to allow controls to be fitted. Take note of the dimensions of the car, so that you can use them to make sure you get the correct attachments.    

Step 2 – Remove

On many cars, there will be parts of the existing controls that need to be removed, before the hand controls can be fitted correctly. For example, parts like the gear stick and the indicator will often have knobs and/or buttons on the end. In some cases, these need to be removed to make room to install the controls. Examine the join where the attachment meets the control, to determine whether it can simply be pulled off or whether a tool is required.     

Step 3 – Plot    

Prior to actual installation, plot the position in which the car hand controls will be fitted. Do this with the assistance of the individual who will be using the controls, which will ensure that they will offer some benefit. For example, a peg, ball or glove attachment that is to be fitted to the steering wheel to aid with turning it, must be installed where it is easiest to use.   

Step 4 – Installation

The process of installing car hand controls must begin with the perusal of the instructions that came with them. In addition to outlining how to install the controls, you will also be able to note what tools are required, and how long the process will take. Start by fitting the lowest controls first, such as the lever for the handbrake. This control may have bolts as fasteners, which require the use of a wrench. Hold the attachment in place and insert the fastener by hand, before using a wrench to tighten them. Test it, to make sure it is secure after installation. The control to extend the indicator lever and the gear shift will usually be quite similar.

When the fasteners have been loosened, the control can be slipped into place and aligned with the existing bar. They will usually be fastened into place with screws, which will enable them to be secured by hand, with a screwdriver. The controls attached to the steering wheel will have a hinge that can be clamped and secured. Test that the controls are secure, before allowing them to be used properly.