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Publish Date - August 25, 2020

Author: Mary Williams

Categories:   Useful Automotive Information   

How to Unlock Steering Wheel

When Steering Wheel locks, you feel angry, scared and helpless. It’s ok as the steering wheel locking feature is a part of vehicle safety that prevents it from any movement without any key or when the wrong key is used. This way your car won’t be stolen or towed. But, there comes a time when the steering wheel gets locked accidentally making the driver feeling flustered.

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When Steering Wheel locks, you feel angry, scared and helpless. It’s ok as the steering wheel locking feature is a part of vehicle safety that prevents it from any movement without any key or when the wrong key is used. This way your car won’t be stolen or towed. But, there comes a time when the steering wheel gets locked accidentally making the driver feeling flustered. If you own a car that has a start-stop button, in the case of a locked steering wheel, you will see a warning light on the front panel. Instead of worrying or thinking about towing a car to the nearest garage, take a moment to read below points to unlock the steering wheel and get going to the destination.

Ignition Cylinder Installed Cars:

Unlocking Using External Force: The steering wheel of the car moves on the right or left. Now, if the steering wheel gets locked, one among the two directions will be springy. Determine this direction, place both hands firmly on the wheel. Do not shake or rock back and forth the wheel. Just hold it steady and with constant pressure, turn the wheel in the direction to unlock the steering. There will be a moment when the steering wheel is turned to the limit, hold the position and turn the key to ignition using normal pressure. This process will fix the problem the steering is locked due to external jerk.

Cleaning Steering Wheel and Column Area: One of the dirtiest parts in Car’s interior is the steering wheel column area. At times when dirt or debris gets stuck, the steering wheel gets jammed with the slightest movement. It's imperative to keep this column tidy to avoid such an accident. Read the manual to access the car’s Steering Wheel Column to clean and lubricate the area. This won’t take too much time of you know how to open and close the column. If you have no idea about this step, it's advisable to get your car towed to a garage. Another way to open the locked steering wheel is to use a spare key. When we use the same key every day to drive the vehicle, the ridges become worn out with time. This way the patterns of the key don’t match the lock forcing the steering wheels to get locked. Use the spare car key to see if it turns in the key cylinder. If this trick doesn’t work, maybe your car needs a lock replacement or the chip might not be functioning. In both scenarios, it's advisable to get it done by a mechanic in a garage.

Releasing Sticky Locks: There are times when we put the key in the ignition, both key and steering wheels get jammed in that exact potion. Under such conditions, don’t try to pull the key out with force as at a wrong angle, the key can break and get stuck in the locking system. To unlock the steering wheel, using the key which is stuck requires patience and electric cleaner. Put on the handbrake of car and the gear in neutral position so once the car is on, you can stop it from moving forward or backward with a jerk. Now, slowly try to pull out the key using very little force. If the key is stuck, you can use a small amount of the electric cleaner to pull out the key. Be careful not to spray too much liquid on the keyhole. One or two squirts will be enough to clean the passage and get key out. Once the key is removed, clean it and use it again with the slight pressure to turn-key towards ignition. This will unlock the steering wheel.

Get your Ignition Assembly Checked: The worst-case scenario in the locked steering wheel can be the busted ignition part in the car. Unless you are well aware of replacing the car accessories or a qualified mechanic, you can do the replacement work. The ignition assembly check is something that needs to be done in a proper garage by a mechanic.

This is the only way one can find out if the mechanic can be tinker the ignition assembly or check if the whole part needs to be replaced. Also, faulty ignition assembly just won’t lock the steering wheel, it will also prevent you from starting or driving the vehicle.

Automobiles With a Push Start Button

Even the modern cars with push-start buttons are facing the steering wheel lock situations which are due to a glitch in the electronic deadbolt. The solution is to wiggle the steering wheel with a significant force by turning it to the left side. While doing this you need to push the start-stop button simultaneously. While doing this do not step on the break as it will start the engine. Doing this a few times, the car will go on ACC mode and will automatically unlock the steering wheel.

Additional Solutions to Unlock the Steering Wheel.

As we discussed above, the steering wheel can lock due to the wrong movement, wear out lock, break or electronic glitch. Cars with ignition cylinder, one can try using spray lubrication or a spare key to unlock the steering wheel. But if the ignition cylinder gets broken, it's advisable to get the replacement done in the nearby garage. With a push start button system, you need to check the fob battery and if it's not working properly, try replacing it with a new one. If doing all this doesn’t unlock the steering wheel then the problem might be with the electrical circuit of the steering.

How to Avoid Steering Wheel Lock?

The apt way to prevent a locked steering wheel is to move the wheel in the direction you want, park the vehicle, pull the hand brake, release the steering and shut off the engine. While getting out of the car, do not take the support of the steering wheel so it gets pushed in one direction. Also never allow your kids to play with steering wheel especially when the car is with the push start button. Pushing the button too many times in one go can cause a glitch with the steering wheel system.

Conclusion:

Unlocking the steering wheel is simple if you know how to work it out in the right way. If you follow the given directions, the car with the ignition cylinder or push-start button, the steering wheel can be unlocked with ease.