Tips on How To Unlock A Steering Wheel

unlock steering wheel

If you’ve accidentally locked your steering wheel, you might not realize there’s a problem until you try to drive somewhere. In some cases, you might have trouble starting your vehicle or even turning the key in the ignition. If you’re running late, these already stressful moments can turn into miniature nightmares. Locking a steering wheel often happens by accident, so don’t fret if it happens to you. Learning how to unlock a steering wheel only takes a moment.

Unlocking a Steering Wheel: Tips and Tricks

Wondering how to lock your steering wheel? In most cases, a steering wheel will lock automatically, in order to prevent unintended motion when the car is off or in park. This is especially likely if there was pressure on the steering wheel or if your vehicle was in motion when the vehicle was turned off.

If this safety feature fails to disengage when you get behind the wheel, it’s easy to get frustrated. Here’s what you should do to get things working properly again:

  1. Place the key in the ignition.
  2. Turn the key gently to see if the vehicle will start.
  3. If your vehicle doesn’t start right away, turning the key more forcefully won’t help.
  4. Play around a little bit to see what works, but don’t use excessive force or shake the steering wheel. Getting too aggressive will only decrease your chances of removing the lock.

If you still can’t unlock your steering wheel, there are a few things you can try to get things moving again. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Your key may be wearing out. Try withdrawing it from the ignition slightly (1/16 of an inch) and turning it again. If this still doesn’t work, check to see if the key has been damaged.
  • Debris might be getting in the way of your key. Take the key out and reinsert it several times. Then try to turn it again. You can also spray a small amount of canned air into the ignition slot.
  • In some cases, applying pressure to the steering wheel may help. Test the wheel to find out which way it wants to move. In one direction, it won’t be able to move at all, so you’ll want to turn it the other way. Maintain light pressure on the key as you do.

In some cases, it may be necessary to install a new Ignition Lock. You can pick up the part you need at our Sterling parts department or schedule service at our dealership.

Get the Help You Need from Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles

Whether you drive a new Volkswagen or some other vehicle, our team wants to help you get back on the road! Contact our service center with any questions you have, or reach out by phone today.

Want more tips from Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles? Find out how to remove a car battery or learn when you need to get car maintenance today.

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