How To Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key?

You may have come across car hard starting problems often, but it doesn’t bother you until the steering wheel locks. At times the steering wheel of the car locks up and you are unable to turn the ignition key either. The problem may occur due to many reasons. In situations where there is no help available nearby, you must know how to unlock steering wheel without key on your own. Yes, it is very much possible and there are, in fact, two ways to do it.

But first, let’s find out why steering wheels lock!

Why Do Steering Wheels Lock?

You may wonder why your steering wheel will suddenly lock when you didn’t do anything to it. There are 2 main reasons behind the wheels locking. The first is for safety reasons. So every time when you turn off the ignition and remove your car key, the steering wheel locks. The car makers put this feature to the car so your car doesn’t accidentally move on its own.

The second is to protect your car from theft. The theft or mischievous people can steal your car by using hotwire technique. So to prevent that, manufacturers add this feature to cars. So now you know the reason why steering wheels lock, let’s move on how to unlock steering wheel without key.

What You Need To Unlock The Steering Wheel?

There are three ways in which you can do this feat. And, you don’t need an entire arsenal of tools to unlock the steering wheel of your car. All the tools you need for “how to unlock steering wheel without key” in your toolkit are:

  • Screwdrivers
  • A socket set
  • WD40

How to Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key?

Let’s explore the two ways to easily tip. Let’s visit each one by one.

Method 1: Unlocking The Steering On Your Own

Here are three alternatives under this category for how to bypass steering wheel lock.

1. Try inserting the key

Try inserting the key into ignition and turn the key and the steering wheel left and right all at once. Ensure that it is simultaneous. If the locking is accidental in nature, this trick will fix it with a click. The result – the key will turn fully and so will the steering wheel.

Tip for how to unlock steering wheel without key: Use normal force. If you feel that the movement is more, which can be the case mostly, try turning it more to that side. Do not exert pressure to avoid permanent damage to the locking mechanism.

2. Try using another key

Try using another key if #1 fails. At times, the problem could lie with the key. Perhaps the previous owner of the used car that you bought didn’t keep it very well. If you have the second key, try it. Odds are that it may work. If the spare key doesn’t turn right away, try #1 with it. However, there is a possibility that the newer cars may not provide that spare key.

3. If all else fails, try spraying WD40

If all else fails, try spraying WD40 in the ignition slot. There is a possibility that the wheel is locked due to solidification in lock numbers, this solution will help you free the lock cylinder. Once you have sprayed WD40, insert the key into the ignition slot and try to turn back and forth.

Even if this trick works, you might need lock cylinder replacement later.


Method 2: Unlocking Through Ignition Set Replacement

It is a treat for how to remove steering wheel lock without key. This part is a bit technical, but you will have to take recourse to it if the alternatives mentioned above don’t work. You may also need a mechanic to help you out with this. And yes, you must go through your car’s owner’s manual thoroughly before you handle a steering wheel lock this way.

1. Remove the column panels

Remove the column panels in the steering wheel. Simply loosen the screws that fasten the lower part of the steering wheel. Press the tabs on the cover and the lower part will come out free. Likewise remove the upper column too.

2. Free the lock cylinder

Free the lock cylinder by identifying the lock release tab in the ignition lock system, pressing it and turning the key till the cylinder mover backward. Try it a couple of times to set the cylinder free.

3. Install the new ignition-lock system

Install the new ignition-lock system and try the old key again. Now insert the lock cylinder like it was in the steering column. Make sure that you completely set the lock tab in the lock cylinder before you can proceed. Check the key for full turn now. You must ensure that you are able to do so before you can set the columns back again.

4. Reinstall the columns

Reinstall the columns now; first, the upper part, followed by the lower. Check that all clips are completely engaged and they are locking well. Screw it tightly so that everything is in its place. So it’s all about the second method of how to unlock steering wheel without key. 

Method 3: Unlocking By Using Loosening Sticky Locks

Another method for how to break steering wheel lock without key is using loosening sticky locks.

1. Put an electrical cleaner into the keyhole.

So when the cylinder has seized, spray a small amount of electrical cleaner into the keyhole. Remember to put a “small amount” of sprayer. Once you done it, insert your key and turn it back, then forth gently to work the lubricant in.

2. Spray canned air into the ignition.

There is a possibility that the debris caught in the ignition can prevent the key from turning, so the steering wheel is locked. Use the canned air sprayer and insert the straw from the nozzle directly into the keyhole. It will help to clean out any debris inside the keyhole.

3. Slide the key gently in and out of a number of times.

The third step of how to unlock steering wheel without key is to gently put the key in and out of the keyhole gently. At the second step, it is possible that the debris gets caught in the pins of the ignition cylinder. So moving the key gently will help to move any debris that may be caught in the cylinder. 

4. Ensure the key is not bent or damaged.

In some cases, the rounded or chipped teeth on the key will no longer engage the pins in the ignition cylinder to the depth necessary to spin it. That’s why the key won’t turn when you insert the key into the ignition. You can replace the key if the key is too damaged to turn the ignition cylinder. You should ask the dealership to work on your car since copying the damaged key won’t help you solve the problem. 

Important Advice

  • Check the level of power steering fluid. Sometimes the lack could aggravate problems.
  • It doesn’t matter if someone tells you that they know how to unlock steering wheel without key. Don’t do it. It can damage your vehicle irreparably.

Sum Up

So, it is all about how to unlock steering wheel without key. You can Try these maintenance tips to save yourself from a heap of trouble at home and ask for help from a technician when needed. Do not forget to follow us to better treat your car.