How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Steering Wheel

It only takes a moment to learn how to unlock a steering wheel. All you need to do is pull the wheel in the right direction while you turn the key to start the engine. However, unlocking a vehicle’s steering wheel often requires a careful touch, especially if you’re attempting it for the first time. We’ve laid things out step-by-step below!

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

Every once in a while, our service team gets a call from a driver who’s stuck on the side of the road with a locked steering wheel. Here’s how we help them get back to business:

  1. Carefully turn the steering wheel left, then right, to see which direction offers the most give.
  2. One direction should allow more movement than the other. Keep the wheel held in that direction with gentle pressure. 
  3. Insert the key into the ignition. Attempt to start the vehicle with one hand while you turn the steering wheel with the other. Successfully starting your vehicle should cause the wheel to unlock!
  4. If this doesn’t unlock the steering wheel and start your engine, try turning the wheel in the other direction and give it another try.

Does your vehicle have push-button start? The steps for unlocking a steering wheel won’t change much. Here as well, you’ll just need to start the vehicle while you gently turn the wheel in the right direction.

Unlocking a Steering Wheel: Tips and Tricks

  • Trying to unlock a steering wheel with brute force will absolutely damage your steering column, turning a non-issue into an expensive repair.
  • Sometimes, using an old or damaged key will prevent you from unlocking the steering wheel. Try out a different key if you can’t seem to turn the ignition. Once again, don’t force it; you’re at risk of breaking the starter.

If you can’t seem to unlock your steering wheel, don’t stress out and make the problem worse. Contact our service center directly to get the help you need.

How to Lock Your Steering Wheel Intentionally

Learning how to lock a steering wheel intentionally can help you park anywhere in the Northern Chicago or Milwaukee area with greater peace of mind. Even if someone can break into your vehicle, they won’t be able to unlock the steering wheel without a working key. Locking the steering wheel can also be helpful if you like to leave your vehicle’s doors unlocked when you’re working on Waterford and Racine job sites. Your vehicle will be protected, and your tools will be accessible.

With this in mind, here’s how it’s done:

  • Turn your vehicle off and remove the key from the ignition. 
  • Turn the steering wheel in one direction until you hear a click!
  • If you try to move it back in the other direction, you’ll see that it’s locked.

Lynch Truck Center is Here to Help!

We want our customers to be as comfortable as possible behind the wheels of their vehicles! If you’re ready to take on another challenge, check out our service tips online! If you’re ever facing a challenge that you can’t handle on your own, all you need to do is schedule service.

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