How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Hands on a steering wheel


If you get into your vehicle in Lawrenceville and you’re unable to turn the steering wheel or the key won’t turn in the ignition, don’t panic. Your steering wheel probably became locked by accident, but unlocking it doesn’t take long. Learn how to unlock a steering wheel using the directions from our service team below, and you’ll be back on the road in no time! We’ll also cover how to lock a steering wheel intentionally so you can understand how it happened in the first place.



Unlocking a Steering Wheel, Step-by-Step

Sitting in a Suwanee parking lot wondering how to unlock your steering wheel? Try not to stress, and follow these steps to mobilize your steering wheel:

  1. If you can discern what direction the steering wheel was last turned, you can start by pulling it downwards in that same direction.
  2. Try pulling in both directions if you aren’t sure which one is correct. You’ll feel the steering wheel start to budge a little bit when you’re turning it in the correct direction.
  3. Hold the steering wheel in position and insert your key into the ignition. Start the engine and test the steering wheel’s movement. 
  4. If you still can’t move the steering wheel, turn the car off. Turn the wheel in the other direction, then repeat step three.

After following these steps, your steering wheel should be unlocked. If you’re still having trouble, read some additional tips below.

Additional Tips For Unlocking a Steering Wheel

If you’re struggling with unlocking your steering wheel, consider these tips:

  • Don’t Be Too Forceful: There’s no need to strongarm your steering wheel to unlock it; you could actually damage parts of the steering mechanism, making it all the more difficult to unlock it. Use the steps laid out above and maintain gentle pressure when you pull the wheel down.
  • The Problem Might Be Your Key: If you can’t turn your key in the ignition, it might be the key itself at fault rather than the steering wheel. The key might be too worn out to engage your car’s tumblers, which you can confirm by trying your spare key. If the spare key works, you can get a replacement for the original key at our parts center.

How to Lock Your Steering Wheel Intentionally

Knowing the trouble it can cause, why would you want to know how to lock your steering wheel? Understanding how a steering wheel locks can help you avoid locking it by accident in the future. However, there may be other times when you want to lock your steering wheel as a security measure. Learn how to lock a steering wheel, below:

  1. Remove your key from the ignition after turning off your car. 
  2. Gently turn your steering wheel as far as it can go in one direction. 
  3. That’s it! When you get back to your vehicle, follow the instructions up above if you need help unlocking your wheel again. 

Visit Our Service Center for Assistance

Are you experiencing continued problems with your steering wheel or ignition? Schedule service with Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth and our technicians will get to the root of the problem. If you’re looking for additional service tips you can trust, take a look at our service information hub where we answer questions like how to clean leather seats and when to replace your battery.

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