Tips on How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Hands on a steering wheel


You’ll be surprised how often drivers realize that they’ve accidentally locked their steering wheel until they try to drive. If you’re having trouble starting your FIAT, Dodge, Ram car, or the key won’t turn in the ignition, chances are the steering wheel may be locked. There’s no cause for alarm; this often happens by accident and it’s an easy fix. Learn how to unlock a steering wheel below, courtesy of the service experts at Hendrick Dodge Cary.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Unlocking the steering wheel is easy. Follow these steps below: 

  • Pull the wheel down in the same direction that you did when the wheel was first locked. 
  • Unsure about which direction that is? Try both — the wheel will move a bit when you pull in the right direction. 
  • While holding your steering wheel in the right direction, insert your key into the ignition and start the engine. 
  • If the wheel doesn’t unlock and/or the engine doesn’t start, turn the wheel in the other direction and repeat the step above.
  • Your steering wheel should now be unlocked! 

Unlocking a Steering Wheel: Handy Tips

Keep these tips in mind when unlocking your steering to avoid causing any damage: 

  • Avoid using brute force to unlock a locked steering wheel; you could damage parts of the steering mechanism.
  • Try a different key if you can’t turn the key, as the problem may be the key itself and not the steering wheel. The key can be worn and can’t engage the car’s tumblers. If you think there’s an issue with your key, our parts department can make you a new one. 

How to Lock Your Steering Wheel Intentionally

There are several benefits to locking your steering intentionally. If you’re not in a familiar area and you need to leave your car for a while, this provides an extra level of security. Locking your steering wheel makes it more difficult for someone to start your car. Follow these steps below to lock your steering wheel:

  • Turn off your car and take the keys out of the ignition. 
  • Turn the steering wheel one way or the other until you hear a click.
  • Your steering wheel will lock until you return. Unlock the steering wheel and start your car. 

Get More Service Tips at Hendrick Dodge Cary! 

If you’ve tried all of the steps above and you still can’t unlock your steering wheel, contact our service center to schedule a service appointment. Our certified team will inspect your vehicle and get to the root of the problem. Before stopping by, don’t forget to check out our current selection of service specials to use on your next appointment.

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