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4 Steps to Unlock Steering Wheel

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

In this article, I’ll show you how to Unlock a steering wheel easily.

The steering wheel is used to navigate and maneuver while driving for security reasons; the steering wheel can also be locked.

On the other hand, most car users don’t know how to lock and unlock their steering wheel, so they often lock it by mistake.

A locked steering wheel will defy any attempt to turn/rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise because it has been pinned down, and the result is that the car will continue moving in a straight line until it runs out of gasoline or hits an endpoint.


The only way to Unlock a steering wheel is by holding the wheel to a position and then trying to start the ignition.

Let’s see how to unlock a steering wheel easily without wasting too much time.

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

There’s no worse frustration than starting your car and finding out that the steering wheel isn’t responding, especially when you’ve no idea of unlocking or locking the steering.

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A steering wheel gets temporarily locked when you turn it too quickly in a particular direction, and this happens during parking or turning at a point.

Follow the below steps to unlock your steering wheel successfully.

  1. Try moving the steering in opposite directions to determine which drives more freely.
  2. Turn and hold the steering to the direction that allows for movement
  3. Insert the right key into the ignition and try to crank the engine
  4. If the steering wheel isn’t unlocked, turn the steering to the opposite direction and try starting the car again.

If you followed the above steps holistically, your steering wheel should be unlocked now.

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However, resist applying force while holding the steering wheel to both ends; you can use little pressure on the key.

You should also ensure you use the appropriate key for your car unless it isn’t unlocked.

This technique works for all cars, but you can check your manufacturer’s guide for any personalized guide.

If the steering wheel remains locked after implementing the above guide, you should seek a mechanic’s service.

How to Lock a Steering Wheel

For added security, you must lock your steering wheel when parking in a high-risk or unfamiliar neighborhood to prevent car theft.

Here’s how to lock your steering wheel easily.

  • Turn off your car and take the key out of the ignition
  • Turn the steering wheel quickly to an end until you hear a clicking sound.
  • Your car steering will remain locked until you get back to it.


Why is my steering wheel locked up?

Sharp turns usually cause a locked-up steering wheel; however, if your steering wheel gets locked up while driving, there could be a problem with the steering rack, power steering system, issue with the steering suspension, or car ignition lock.

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How do you unlock a steering wheel lock without a key?

To Unlock the steering wheel without a key, press and hold the brake pedal while pushing the start button.

You can shake the steering wheel at intervals while at this.

Why is my steering wheel locked and won’t start?

You must insert the right key into the ignition to unlock the steering wheel and start the car.

Does the steering wheel lock when the battery dies?

No, a steering wheel doesn’t lock up when the battery dies, but the engine will not respond.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.