Updated at: 10-08-2023 - By: Lucas

What a pain it is when you’re about to get behind the wheel and discover that your steering wheel has been locked. To unlock your steering wheel, the obvious question is how, and perhaps even how to unlock your steering wheel with no key?

We’ll go over a few alternative approaches to accomplishing this goal in this article.

Why Do Steering Wheels Lock?

How To Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key

Let me tell you that it’s not always the case that your steering wheel has become jammed because you’ve done something improper. Safety is one of the primary reasons for steering wheels to lock.

When you take your key from your car and turn the ignition off, your steering wheel will automatically lock. In order to ensure that your car does not move on its own, car makers have put in place this safety precaution.

Your steering wheel locks once the ignition is turned off and the key is withdrawn as an additional deterrent to criminals.

In order to prevent a criminal from stealing your car, manufacturers have made it more difficult for them by locking the steering wheel. This extra security measure was implemented to cut down on the number of vehicles being stolen or lost.

Even if your automobile appears to be functioning normally, your car’s steering wheel may still be jammed.

Other possibilities for why your steering wheel has suddenly locked include a dead battery, using too much force the last time you used it, or even dirt and filth on the wheel.

How To Unlock Your Steering Wheel

How To Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key-2

You may unlock your steering wheel in one of three ways. You’ll need a few things before we get started. You’ll need these items at home, so make sure you have them.

  • A hammer
  • WD40
  • Screwdrivers
  • Chisel
  • Canned air (might need to go to the store for that one)

You can unlock your steering wheel once you’ve gathered all of the essential tools.

Method 1: Using A Key

There are just four alternatives to choose from.

Insert your key into the ignition and turn it on at the same time to see if it helps.

Then, go back and try to turn the wheel the same way you did before. In the event that you can’t recall, you can switch the direction and it will work.

You can also try a different key.

If your primary key doesn’t work, see if you can locate the spare key that came with your automobile when you bought it. Your primary key may not be working for a variety of reasons. When buying a used car, you never know how the previous owner handled the master key.

It could also be a simple problem like a dead battery or prolonged use. However, newer models of automobiles do not come with a spare key, therefore technique 2 will come in handy.

WD40 is the third option.

The ignition port might become clogged with dirt, causing your steering wheel to become stuck. Dirt, debris, or the hardening of the lock tumblers could be to blame. Apply WD40 to the ignition port and the surrounding area.

Attempt to re-open the lock by gently inserting your key and rotating it back and forth until it works. You’ll still need to get your lock cylinders checked out, and possibly replaced, even if this approach works.

Use a hammer as an option.

It’s a little strange, but it does the job. If your key won’t go into the ignition, try tapping it softly with a hammer after you’ve inserted it halfway.

Make sure you’re aware of the force you’re using when you press the hammer against your key before choosing this option. The key must not be bent or broken due to the force or angle at which it is being held.

Method 2: Unlock Via Ignition Replacement

This is more of a scientific approach. The approach described above should be tried first before attempting this one. In the event that you decide to go with this procedure, you should seek the assistance of a specialist.

Additionally, you’ll need to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual ahead of time.

Step 1: Remove the screws holding the steering wheel’s bottom panel by detaching the column panels from the steering wheel.

The cylinder lock can be freed in this step. In order to locate the cylinder lock, you must press the tab on the locking system and then press it inward. This requires turning the lock counterclockwise until the cylinder moves counterclockwise. The lock cylinder must be freed by repeating this procedure.

Attempt to unlock the ignition with your old key after installing a new ignition system. As a last resort, you can always use the car’s secondary key, if it’s available.

Step 4: Put the column back together. Before screwing the screws back into place, make sure the lock cylinder is back in its original position and that the lock tab is set in the cylinder lock.

Method 3: Unlock Using Canned Air

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When employing this technique, take sure to check the powered steering pump’s liquid level first.

Step 1: Spray the lock with the electrical cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes.

Spray the lock with canned air as a second step. The dirt and debris will be removed from the lock by using this method.

When you are satisfied that the lock has been thoroughly cleaned, insert your key and turn it over. Repetition of this action is required to unlock the steering lock lever.

If this doesn’t work, it’s possible that your key is the source of the issue. It’s conceivable that the teeth on your key are jagged, preventing it from making contact with the steering wheel. In this situation, you’ll need to either get a new key or use the one you received when you bought the automobile if you have one.

How To Unlock A Steering Wheel With A Keyless Car

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Keyless vehicles, by definition, lack an ignition port via which you might be able to remove a stuck steering wheel. While simultaneously pushing the start/stop button, gently move the steering wheel left to right to unlock your vehicle’s steering.

To unlock the steering wheel, repeat this procedure until the wheel is free. Maybe try hitting the start button while depressing the brake and wriggling the steering wheel to the left and right if that doesn’t work.


Can a steering wheel lock whilst driving?

They can, but only in exceptional circumstances. Only when the automobile is neither running or parked can the steering wheel’s automatic locking function be enabled.

How much does it cost to unlock your steering wheel?

If these measures fail, you’ll need to take your car to a mechanic, which might cost you up to $200.

How do you release a steering lock?

While turning the key in the ignition port with your right hand, shake the steering wheel left to right with your left hand.


I sincerely hope that this guide has provided you with a better understanding of the various methods available for unlocking your steering wheel without a traditional key. To unlock your steering wheel, simply follow these three simple steps.

Before attempting any of these approaches, you should seek advice from a specialist because they can be quite complex. Before attempting any of them, be sure to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual.