how to unlock steering wheel

Unlocking Steering Wheel: A Detailed Guide About How To Unlock Steering Wheel?

by Hooria Batool

Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by

A locked steering wheel makes it impossible for you to start your car: Either your ignition switch won’t turn, or you will notice a warning light if your vehicle has a start-stop button. This guide will give you details about how to unlock the steering wheel?

What causes a locked steering wheel?

A locked steering wheel is not always indicative of a problem with your vehicle, but simply that you have activated one of its safety features. The lock only engages if the car is turned off and the wheel is turned a few degrees left or right, at which point it encounters one of the lock slots, preventing further movement.

There are two good reasons why the steering wheel lock engages. The steering wheel is locked in one direction if someone breaks into your car using this anti-theft device. Furthermore, it’s a safety device: when you park on a hill and turn your wheels toward the curb, the locked steering wheel prevents the vehicle from falling down the slope if the parking brake fails.

How to unlock steering wheel?

Fortunately, you can easily unlock your steering wheel and start your car with these simple steps.

1. Ignition Cylinders in Cars

Most cars have an ignition cylinder directly attached to the steering wheel lock. Wiggle the steering wheel left and right with significant force with your left hand to unlock it. While turning the ignition key from the LOCK to the ACC (accessory) or START position, use your right hand to turn it from the LOCK to the ACC (accessory).

2. Automobiles with a start button 

The steering wheel lock is essentially an electronic deadbolt. Wiggling the steering wheel with your left hand requires considerable force. Tap the start-stop button with your right hand at the same time. Be careful not to step on the brake. If you follow these steps, your ignition should be set to ACC mode and your steering wheel unlocked without starting the engine.

Other options

The steering wheel lock may wear out, break, or malfunction in other ways. Try spray lubricant or a different key on vehicles with an ignition cylinder. If the ignition cylinder is damaged or worn, a new one may be necessary. Check that the essential fob battery is good, or try a different key fob on vehicles with push-button starts. You may have an electrical or electronic problem if you cannot unlock your steering wheel.

A locked wheel can be prevented by steering where you want the wheel to be, resting the vehicle on its parking brake, releasing the steering wheel, putting the transmission in PARK, and shutting off the engine. Wait until you are ready to start the engine again before touching the steering wheel.

The benefits of steering wheel locks

Any of the following scenarios can be handled by locking the steering wheel.

  • The steering wheel lock is added to the vehicle as a safety feature that keeps burglars at bay. Providing they can get into the car. It will save you from dealing with the heartbreak of losing your beloved vehicle to a thief.
  • When you park your car in a prone area, the steering wheel lock also comes in handy. There is a risk that the hand brake may not be sufficient to stop the car from rolling away. Thanks to the steering wheel lock, you can ensure the safety of your vehicle and those around you, as your vehicle will not roll down the slope unexpectedly.

Tips and tricks for unlocking a steering wheel

Are you wondering how to lock your steering wheel? A steering wheel will automatically lock when the car is off or in a park to prevent unintended motion. If your vehicle was in action when you turned it off or if there was pressure on the steering wheel, this is more likely to happen. If this safety feature fails to disengage when you get behind the wheel, you may become frustrated. You can correct the problem by following these steps:

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  • Insert the key into the ignition.
  • Start the vehicle by gently turning the key.
  • Turning the key more forcefully won’t help if your vehicle doesn’t start immediately.

Play around to see what works, but don’t shake the steering wheel or apply excessive force. Being too aggressive will only make it more difficult to remove the lock. If you are still unable to unlock your steering wheel, you can try a few things. Keep these things in mind:

  • It’s possible that your key is worn out. Please slightly remove it from the ignition (1/16 of an inch) and turn it again. Check if the key has been damaged if this doesn’t work.
  • Debris might be getting in the way of the key. Remove the key and reinsert it several times. Attempt to turn the lock again. A small canned air can also be sprayed into the ignition slot.
  • You can also apply pressure to the steering wheel in some cases. Determine which way the wheel will turn by applying pressure. If you turn it in one direction, it won’t be able to move, so turn it the other way. Press lightly on the key as you do so.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to install a new ignition lock. If you need a part, you can pick it up at our Sterling parts department or schedule service at our Sterling dealership.

How to stop your steering wheel from locking again?

A steering wheel lock is one way that can cause you significant inconvenience. It is best to avoid this by doing either of the following:

  • The car can be checked regularly; you don’t need to take it to a mechanic. The parts of the vehicle that don’t require a mechanic’s attention are covered in this section. Every ninety days, one thing to check is the power steering and transmission fluid.
  • You notice something is loose or damaged when you unlock the steering wheel. The steering wheel should be fixed or replaced.
  • When you’re driving, don’t make sudden turns. It is common for some drivers to make sharp turns when they don’t have to. It might cause your steering wheel to lock, which is unsuitable for your vehicle. You should also avoid pulling the steering wheel when the engine is off.

Is there a button to unlock the steering wheel?

No, there is no button to unlock a steering wheel. The steering wheel is usually locked as a safety feature to prevent the vehicle’s unauthorized movement while parked and not in use. This is accomplished using a locking mechanism that engages when the key is removed from the ignition or the car is turned off. The key must be inserted into the ignition to unlock the steering wheel and turned to the “on” or “accessory” position. This will disengage the lock and allow the steering wheel to be turned.

However, some high-end vehicles may have a push-button start feature that allows the driver to start the car without inserting a key. In these cases, the steering wheel lock is automatically disengaged when the driver presses the brake pedal, and the start button is pressed. The steering wheel will then be free to turn, allowing the driver to steer the car.


Your car won’t start if you have a locked steering wheel: you will either not be able to turn the ignition switch, or you will see a warning light about it if it has a start-stop button.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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