Causes and Solutions for Locked Steering Wheels While Driving

A sloppy steering wheel can be dangerous for the driver, passengers, and everyone else on the road. So, before you take your car out on the road, learn how to quickly settle a steering wheel.

Causes and Solutions for Locked Steering Wheels While Driving

It’s both fascinating and dangerous to have your steering wheel lock up abruptly while driving. It happens infrequently, but when it does, the consequences can be fatal. There are a variety of reasons why your steering wheel may become jammed while driving.

If the problem occurs or if you notice indicators that your steering may lock up, you must act quickly to address it. Otherwise, you risk being involved in an accident. This article will look at some of the possible causes of steering wheel locking and possible solutions.

Keynotes of this article:

  • How to disable steering wheel lock without key
  • How to disable steering wheel lock | Toyota
  • How does a steering wheel lock work?
  • Common causes of the steering wheel locked up while parked: keyless entry
  • How to disable steering wheel lock Toyota without key

How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock without Key

Let’s look at two simple ways to tip. First, let’s take a look at each one individually.

Method 1: Taking Control of the Steering Wheel on Your Own

There are three ways to get around the steering wheel lock in this category.

1. Attempt to insert the key.

Insert the key into the ignition and simultaneously turn the key and the steering wheel left and right. Make sure it’s all happening at the same time. If the locking is unintentional, this method will undo it with a single click. As a result, both the key and the steering wheel will fully turn.

How to Unlock the Steering Wheel without a Key Make use of the regular force: If you see that the movement is greater on that side, as is often the case, try turning it more to that side. However, to avoid irreversible damage to the locking mechanism, do not apply any pressure.

2. Try a different key.

If the first key doesn’t work, try a different one. The issue may be with the key. Perhaps the previous owner of the used car you purchased didn’t take care of it properly.

Try the second key if you have it. It may work. Try #1 with the spare key if it doesn’t turn right away. However, it’s possible that newer vehicles won’t come with a spare key.

3. If all else fails, use WD40 as a last resort.

If all else fails, WD40 can be sprayed into the ignition slot. If the wheel is locked owing to the solidification of lock numbers, this technique will assist you in unlocking the lock cylinder. After spraying the WD40 into the ignition slot, try turning the key back and forth.

Method 2: Unlocking by Replacing the Ignition Set

It’s a joy to learn how to unlock the steering wheel without a key. This section is a little more technical, but you’ll have to use it if the options listed above don’t work.

You may also require the assistance of a mechanic. Yes, you must read your car’s owner’s manual thoroughly before attempting to remove a steering wheel lock in this manner.

1. First, remove the column panels.

Remove the steering wheel’s column panels. Unscrew the screws that hold the steering wheel’s lower section together. The lower half of the cover will come out free if you press the tabs on the cover. Remove the upper column as well.

2. Remove the cylinder from the lock.

Identify the lock release tab in the ignition lock system, press it, then turn the key backward until the cylinder mover stops moving. Try it a few times to set the cylinder free.

3. Install the new ignition-lock system.

Replace the ignition-lock mechanism and try the old key once more. Now, place the lock cylinder in the steering column as it was before. Before continuing, double-check that the lock tab is completely seated in the lock cylinder.

Now check the key for a complete turn. Before you can restore the columns, you must first check that you can do so.

4. If necessary, replace the columns.

Reinstall the columns immediately, starting with the upper part and working your way down. Make sure that all of the clips are fully engaged and that they are securely locked. Then, so that everything is in its position, tighten it up. So that’s the second method for unlocking the steering wheel without a key.

Method 3: Using Loosening Sticky Locks to Unlock

Loosening sticky locks is another way to break a steering wheel lock without a key.

1. Clean the keyhole with an electrical cleaner.

Spray a tiny amount of electrical cleaner into the keyhole once the cylinder has seized. Keep in mind to use only a “little amount” of the sprayer. After that, insert your key and slowly turn it back and forth to work the lubricant in.

2. Fill a can with canned air and spray it into the ignition.

The material lodged in the ignition may prevent the key from turning, resulting in the steering wheel being locked. Instead, insert the straw from the nozzle of the canned air sprayer directly into the keyhole. It will aid in the removal of any debris from the keyhole.

3. Gently insert and remove the key from the lock a few times.

The next step in unlocking the steering wheel without a key is gently inserting and removing the key from the keyhole. The debris may get caught in the pins of the ignition cylinder during the second phase.

As a result, gently moving the key will aid in the removal of any debris lodged in the cylinder.

4. Check to see if the key has been deformed or damaged.

In some situations, the rounded or chipped teeth on the key may not engage the pins in the ignition cylinder to the depth required to spin it.

As a result, when you enter the key into the ignition, it will not turn. If the key is too damaged to spin the ignition cylinder, you can replace it. However, because replicating the damaged key would not help you remedy the problem, you should request that the dealership work on your vehicle.

How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock | Toyota

If you use a key to start the ignition or have a push-button start, the steps to disable your Toyota steering wheel will be similar in most cases.

However, if you can’t turn the wheel or turn the key in the ignition, you know the steering wheel lock is engaged.

If your car has a center gauge cluster information display, you’ll notice a notification indicating the steering wheel lock has been activated.

Using a standard ignition

Turn the steering wheel back and forth while simultaneously turning the key. The lock will be disengaged, allowing the car to start.

A push-button controls the ignition.

Push the brake pedal while turning the steering wheel left and right. Press the engine start/stop button. These steps should get you back on the road as soon as possible.

How Does a Steering Wheel Lock Work?

Is this your first encounter with the term? Then I’m very sure you’ve just lost your new car and are looking for a way to avoid it. A steering lock is a mechanism that locks the steering wheel at an angle, making it impossible for a skilled thief to remove it.

The ignition mechanism will shut down the engine once the keys are removed. When the thief discovers that he will be moving to another vehicle, the steering wheel will not turn on since it has been locked. It immobilizes the steering wheel, providing additional safety for your automobile.

  • The steering wheel locks prohibit anyone from moving the car if they want to.
  • Any effort to move the steering wheel in a locked car will cause the system to shut down.
  • Because a spring-loaded lever fills the slot and closes the mechanism, this is the case.
  • The master thief will then be unable to turn on the steering wheel.
  • The club has two hooks on either side and resembles a long shaft. These hooks connect the wheel to the car’s body.
  • The expanded part uses a key to lock the steering.
  • Thieves who know how to cut the steering wheel can defeat this lock. As a result, you should get the best steering wheel locks available on the market.
  • Apply the club lock to the steering before turning off the ignition by rotating the steering wheel in a small angular region.
  • The steering will not move to start the engine once it is stationary.
  • Auto thieves will notice it from the street and will not shatter the glass to gain access.
Common Causes of a Locked Steering Wheel While Parked Keyless Entry

It’s both terrifying and vexing. It’s inconvenient when your steering wheel locks up when you’re parked. This has been a source of contention for several models.

Using the ignition or replacing the ignition chamber is a popular remedy to this problem.

After applying the conventional treatment, your automobile may or may not start. For example, a simple turn-off and on will sometimes bring Ford or Tesla’s electronic power steering back on track.

This question can be addressed in several different ways. While parked, the steering wheel might become locked for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes of steering lock is when you engage one of the car’s safety functions when parking.

When you turn off the car and turn the wheels to the right or left, this happens. As a result, one of the lock slots will become clogged, resulting in a stalled vehicle.

The following are some of the unusual reasons:

Dirty locks: Dirt and debris can get into the chamber and lock it.

You most likely have a broken or worn-out key that is no longer functional.

Internal Wearing: A car’s interior wears out over time. Ignition lock cylinders are similar to ignition lock cylinders.

How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock Toyota without Key

Let’s take a look at two different approaches to the work, one by one.

Option 1: Trying to Unlock It Yourself

You can unlock it in three ways on your own:

  1. Turn the key: Insert the key into the ignition and turn it while simultaneously moving the steering wheel on both sides. If you lock yourself out by accident, there is a simple solution. But make sure you do everything at the same time.

If you use too much force on the key, the lock mechanism will be permanently damaged. Increase or decrease the amount of turn to either side depending on the movement.

  1. Use a Different Key: If the first option fails, try this one. If you have a spare key, use it to unlock the door. Carry out the same duties as in Step 1. However, getting a second key is not always a possibility, so make sure you acquire the first one.

Maintain the condition of your keys; otherwise, they will lose their optimal size and will not fit in the lock.

  1. Finally, try WD40. If the locking issue is due to the lock cylinder, WD40 may be the solution. If the lock numbers are frozen, spray them into the ignition aperture to help clean the cylinder.

Option 2: Replace Ignition Set

This would be the deeper, more technical option if the previous ones didn’t work out. You’ll need a professional for this, and you should read your car’s owner’s manual thoroughly before tackling the technical aspects.

  1. Separate the Steering Wheel Column Panels: Begin by releasing the screws on the bottom half of the steering wheel while carefully holding it. After removing those, press the cover tabs, and the lower half of the part will come off; repeat the technique for the top half.
  2. To Clear the Lock Cylinder: After completing Step 1, the lock cylinder will be visible. To move the cylinder, press the release tab and turn the key till it moves. It may take some twisting to get the cylinder to reverse and clean itself.
  3. Install a new ignition lock: Try using the key again after installing a new lock cylinder. Install the cylinder in the steering column and turn the key all the way in to make sure it works. Only then, if you’re able to, will you be able to reset the columns.
  4. Reinstalling the Columns: Now replace the columns, starting with the top section and working your way down. Make sure the clips are in place and tighten the screws at the end.


It would be dreadful and terrifying if you got behind the wheel of your car and discovered that the steering wheel had locked up while driving. However, you won’t have to worry if you know what to do in such a situation.

All you have to do now is wait and inspect your vehicle’s steering system. If you don’t have an adequate understanding of a car’s functioning system, you can alternatively seek assistance from a skilled car mechanic.

Scroll to Top