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How to Unlock Steering Wheel: 2 Best Quick and Effective DIY Methods to Know

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 on your own. Yes, it is very much possible and there are, in fact, two ways to do it.

What You Need to Unlock the Steering Wheel

There are two 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 you need in your toolkit are:

  • Screwdrivers
  • A socket set
  • WD40

How to Unlock Steering Wheel?

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

Unlocking the Steering on Your Own

Here are three alternatives under this category

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: 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 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.

The method of How To Unlock Steering Wheel
How To Unlock Steering Wheel in an easy way.

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Unlocking through Ignition Set Replacement

This part is a bit technical, but you will have to take to 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.

Find out How To Unlock Steering Wheel
Learn How To Unlock Steering Wheel

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.

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 the key. Don’t do it. It can damage your vehicle irreparably.

Try these maintenance tips to save yourself from a heap of trouble.