Tips on How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

For many Farmington Hills drivers, when their steering wheel mysteriously locks up on them, they don’t realize it’s because it is supposed to. If you’re steering wheel isn’t moving when you attempt to turn on your car, then you’ve likely activated a safety feature that, thankfully, can be unlocked. Below, we’ll detail what to do when your steering wheel is stuck and your key in the ignition won’t turn. If the advice from our Tamaroff Honda service center experts below doesn’t do the trick, we’re happy to assist you further. Just reach out!

Why Did my Steering Wheel Lock?

If you’ve found yourself pounding on your steering column because your wheel won’t move and key won’t turn, take a deep breath. Everything’s working as it should, and there’s an easy fix. So why the heck does the steering wheel lock? Because, after you’ve parked, you likely tugged the wheel sharply in one direction or another, possibly as you exited your vehicle. This activated a feature meant to lock your wheels when parked on a steep incline to, in theory, prevent your Honda from rolling into Lake St. Clair.

How to Unlock Your Steering Wheel

Unlocking your steering wheel is easy if you know how the mechanism that locked it works. Below, we’ve included a step-by-step guide to assist Troy-area drivers.

  • The method to unlocking your steering wheel: If it is this safety feature you’ve activated, there’s an easy way to deactivate it. Simply turn the wheel in the direction you turned it in initially to lock it. If the wheel doesn’t budge at all, try the other direction. When you feel the wheel budge—it’ll only move a little bit—insert and turn your key. It should unlock!
  • Don’t try to overpower your steering wheel. You can’t muscle your way out of a locked steering wheel. Adding some elbow grease to this problem may, in fact, break something. Instead, put your key in the ignition and turn it to the on position if possible, then turn the steering wheel back and forth gently. Some finesse just might be the fix you were looking for!
  • What if the key won’t turn? Similarly, gently wiggle your wheel back and forth as you attempt to slowly turn your key to the on position. Adjusting each with ease may realign things and enable you to start your car.
  • Could there be a problem with your key? Sure, this may not be the mechanism working as intended, but a problem with your car’s key. In this instance, attempt to use a spare. If that’s not working, you can always head to your local Honda dealership and have them make you a new one. A key’s shape can deteriorate with regular wear and tear and it is possible that your key is no longer able to engage your vehicle’s tumblers.

Contact Tamaroff Honda for Additional Help

If you’ve run out of tips to try, feel free to reach out with any locked steering wheel questions. We’re always happy to assist, both over the phone at (248) 965-1049 and in person. Contact us today so a member of our team can help walk you through unlocking your steering wheel and put you back on the road around Bloomfield. You can even find more helpful features such as how often to change your oil. And if you need any other maintenance on your Honda, schedule a service appointment in Southfield, and don’t forget to take advantage of our service specials!