How to Unlock a Locked Car Steering Wheel

by Lauren Wise
itstillruns article image
steering wheel and dash of british sports car image by Bo Widerberg from

Car steering wheels can lock up for a variety of reasons, but you have a few ways to try to unlock them. They require few tools, if any, to execute, and may ensure that your steering wheel won't lock up again.

Step 1

Put the key in the ignition, and turn the wheel hard in each direction while turning the key.

Step 2

Take off the steering wheel using a screwdriver. Look for a plate with a small rod that's no larger than 3 inches long--this is the lock.

Step 3

Pull the rod out as far as it will go. Replace the steering wheel using the screwdriver.

Step 4

Remove the steering wheel if you have no key. Remove the steering column and possibly the airbag with a screwdriver. The specific process can vary by vehicle.

Step 5

Locate the ignition hole and see what plastic tabs within the ignition are sticking. This shows that it is experiencing the steering wheel lock. Force this down with a screwdriver. Keep in mind that if you do this method, it could damage your steering wheel function if it is handled too roughly. You may have to bring it into a dealership.

More Articles

article divider