How To Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key?

The steering wheel is the building block of the control system of your car. It is the most important component of the car that is operated by the driver’s hands. A sense of having the car in control hits the driver’s mind as soon as his/her hands are positioned on the steering wheel. Steering wheels are responsible for smooth turnings and they regulate the direction in which your car goes. However, this complex structure can act faulty. Steering wheels can turn into a difficult structure to operate with time. The problem is bigger if you have a locked steering wheel that refuses to move in any direction.

You might end up in a situation where you are left with a locked steering wheel that won’t unlock with a key. This is not a usual situation that you come across frequently. Stressing about it is not a solution to the problem. There are a few things that you can try to fix this issue. Therefore, you should just stay calm and work on the potential solutions to this problem.

Why Did My Steering Wheel Lock Itself?

The steering wheel of your car locks itself as a safety protocol. Locked steering ensures that the car does not move when an unauthorized identity tries to move it forcefully.

1. Automatic Lock To Prevent Movement

The car manufacturers install this function to ensure that the car doesn’t move on its own. As soon as the car is parked and locked, the steering wheel is locked. This is a basic safety measure that locks the steering wheel.

2. To Protect From Theft

There is a list of things that a thief can try to get his hands on your beautiful machine. Thieves know a variety of hotwire techniques to start the car without a key. Therefore, to prevent such mishaps, the steering wheel locks automatically when the vehicle experiences any suspicious activity.

How To Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key, Using Different Methods

Wondering, how to unlock steering wheel without key? Various methods can be tried in a situation like this. Therefore, you must choose the best alternative for your car. These methods require some pre-implementation resources. These resources are an ignition lockset, a screwdriver, and a lubricant spray.

1. Using Another Key

The first method is a convenient way of dealing with this complex situation. Additionally, You don’t need any instruments for trying this out, all you need is a spare key that might work when the original one doesn’t. If you have tried unlocking the steering wheel with the normal key that you use and didn’t get any results, trying a spare key is a potential solution. Sometimes, the problem lies in the key.

2. Ignition Set Replacement

The second method that might work is technically complex. You might need professional guidance for trying this out. The instruments required for this method include A screwdriver and a new ignition lock system. Furthermore, you should have proper knowledge about how your car’s steering wheel functions.

Removing The Column Panels

The ignition set can be replaced by removing the column panels of the steering wheel. You have to loosen up the screw holding the lower part of the steering and repeat this process for the upper part.

Installing A New Ignition Lock System

First of all, you need to free the lock cylinder. This can be done by identifying the lock release tab. Install the new ignition lock system under professional guidance. Now, you need to place the lock cylinder as it was placed before and cover the structure with the column panels again. This method is a potential solution to this problem because the lock system can wear out with time. Therefore, installing a new ignition lock system is helpful. This process is not complex in nature. However, having it done under professional guidance reduces the risk of damage.

3. Repairing Sticky Locks

The third method in the list is not complex and can be easily tried. The only thing you need to try this is canned air and a cleaner spray. Usually, the steering wheel locks itself due to a sticky locking mechanism. This problem can be fixed externally without the need of opening any component of the steering. Therefore, it is a relatively easy method to try. You must try this method before calling a locksmith or a mechanic since this can prove to be a simple solution for a complex problem.

Cleaning The Keyhole

You must ensure that the keyhole is dust-free. To do so, spray a cleaner spray into the keyhole so that all the dust is cleaned out. Additionally, using an electric cleaner to get rid of the unwanted residue in the keyhole is advised.

Spraying Canned Air Into The Ignition

Sometimes, the problem might not be in the steering wheel, but the ignition of your car. Debris and dust accumulate over the ignition and this leads to a locked steering wheel. Therefore, getting rid of this residual debris is a solution to the problem. Once the ignition is cleaned, the steering wheel stops to lock itself.

Sliding The Key In And Out

All the possible solutions on how to unlock steering wheel without key imply that the key does not work in the first place. Therefore, after you have ensured that the keyhole and the ignition is cleaned, using a lubricant spray is advised. Consequently, a clean keyhole eliminates a sticky locking mechanism. You must try to slide in the car key in and out. Giving it a gentle turn to unlock the steering wheel should be tried. The steering wheel will unlock if the problem was caused by any sort of dust and debris.

Ensuring The Condition Of The Key

There might be a situation where the steering wheel and its locking mechanism are completely intact but still won’t unlock. Therefore, you must inspect the key that you are using to unlock the steering. A burnt or broken key is unable to pass through the locking mechanism.


Summing it up, there are a lot of things that you might find on “how to unlock steering wheel without key”. However, the reliable solutions and techniques are the ones that imply no external damage to your vehicle. The car steering should be checked for an internal problem and repaired accordingly. Once the problem is fixed, The car key will easily unlock the steering wheel.

Stay safe and keep driving

Thank you

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