The car’s steering wheel is locked, which is a common problem, especially for first-time car owners. At that time, the vehicle cannot move, causing difficulty and confusion for the driver. So what causes the car’s steering wheel to lock? How to unlock the steering wheel simply and effectively? Let’s find out details with CarOn through the article below!

What is the cause of a car’s steering wheel locking?

The main reason why a car’s steering wheel is locked is usually because after parking and turning off the engine, the driver still intentionally turns the steering wheel to straighten the wheel. Because auto-locking the steering wheel is an anti-theft feature equipped by manufacturers for vehicles. If the engine is turned off, the power steering pump does not work, causing the steering wheel to lock.

The steering wheel lock is only designed to prevent thieves, so you can rest assured that this condition does not affect and does not cause any damage to the vehicle.

4 Ways to unlock the car steering wheel

Use the key to unlock the steering wheel

Use the key to open the steering wheel

This is the simplest solution when you encounter a situation where the vehicle’s steering wheel is locked. Because when you accidentally turn the steering wheel after removing the key from the ignition, the car may also lock the steering wheel

The way to handle this situation is to insert the key into the lock and turn the key gently. Then, determine the direction where the lock is located and turn the steering wheel in the other direction (still combined with turning the key).


– During the process of turning the key, you should not apply too much force on the steering wheel, do not shake or kick the steering wheel because this can easily damage the steering wheel.

– If the key is worn out due to long use, try pulling the lock out about 2 – 3mm to turn the key. If you can turn it, you should replace the key soon because the key is very worn.

Smooth the lock

First, clean the lock with a lock cleaning agent such as: RP7. Then, insert the key into the cleaned lock according to method 1; Then gently insert and remove the key several times to clean the stains deep inside the lock. However, you need to make sure that your key is not bent, broken, worn or chipped. If your key won’t turn the lock, you should get a new one.


– When cleaning locks with RP7, you should wear eye protection.

– You should go to reputable addresses to make new car keys to ensure the exact copy of the old key.

Replace new locks

Replace with new car key

If you have done both of the above methods but your steering wheel still cannot be unlocked, you should contact a professional car lock repair address to handle it. However, this method will cost a lot of money, so you can replace the new lock yourself by following the steps below:

– Step 1: Remove the steering wheel cover.

– Step 2: Use the corresponding screwdriver to open the lock.

– Step 3: Compare the old lock and the new lock before replacing to make sure the new lock works well (by inserting and removing the key several times to check the smoothness of the key and lock).

– Step 4: Replace the new lock onto the lock assembly and make sure you place it in the same position as before.

– Step 5: Install the lock assembly back into the car, start it and open the steering wheel to check.

Restart the car

Restart the car

The solution when the car’s steering wheel is locked is very simple, just turn on the engine and the steering wheel will be unlocked

There is a case that is easily mistaken for a steering wheel lock: the steering wheel is heavy. This is a common problem with vehicles using electric power steering systems. If the engine is turned off, the oil pump that supports the steering and braking systems cannot receive energy. Therefore, the steering wheel will become heavier and especially for people with weak hand strength, it will often be difficult to steer.

A locked steering wheel is primarily just a vehicle safety feature. Therefore, you should not worry too much if you fall into this situation. You can be completely assured that the steering system will not be affected such as cases of steering wheel slipping, steering wheel misalignment, steering wheel being heavy…

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