How to Fix a Locked Steering Wheel on a Dodge Neon

by Heather Finch

Your Dodge Neon may have a steering wheel lock, designed to prevent someone from turning the wheel unless the ignition key is in place. This feature is both used as an anti-theft measure and to prevent people (such as children) from playing with the steering wheel when you are not around. Sometimes you can accidentally lock the steering wheel without realizing it, and may be surprised when you come back to your car and can't turn the steering wheel.

Lock the steering wheel by rotating it halfway while the engine is still running. Remove the key after turning off the engine and jiggle the steering wheel slightly until you feel the lock engage.

Release the steering wheel lock by inserting your ignition key and starting the engine. If you can not easily start your car, do not force it.

Keep the key in the ignition and jiggle the steering wheel slightly to the left or right until the lock disengages and you can start the car. If you locked the steering wheel by turning it to the left, you will have to turn it to the left to unlock the steering wheel. If you turned the wheel to the right, you will have to turn it more to the right to unlock the steering wheel.

Make sure the car is in Park. If you accidentally did not put the car fully in Park, it may not start.

Have a mechanic remove the torque lock, located underneath the steering wheel and steering wheel hardware. This will prevent the lock from engaging permanently.

Tip

  • check Prevent accidentally engaging the steering wheel lock by letting go of the steering wheel before you turn off the car and letting it "settle" naturally.

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About the Author

Heather Finch has been a freelance writer since the turn of the 21st century. Her official career began during her freshman year of college writing editorials about anything from manners to politics. Writings by Finch have appeared in the Western Herald, the Sturgis Journal and eHow.com. She has a bachelor's degree in creative writing and environmental studies.