How to Unlock a Steering Wheel without a Key? Solved

Locked steering wheels protect your car from being lost, so you don’t need to worry about them. It’s different when you lose your key or find it deformed and do not know what to do. Don’t worry, as it can happen to anyone, and now with this guide on How to Unlock a Steering Wheel without a Key, you are on the way to finding how to get it done.

You can unlock your steering wheel by favoring help from several household tools. Screwdrivers, hammers, and compressed air are the major ones and help disable the lock. In significant situations, get your steering column removed or lock cylinders replaced by an expert to resolve the issue. 

Read the article to know the various methods by which you can easily unlock the steering wheel. In addition, look through the primary reasons so that finding the best way to disable the lock becomes less tiring and time-saving.

unlock a steering wheel without key

Steering Wheel Lock – Potential Reasons

Opening any lock without a key always seems terrific. What to do and what not is the article’s sole concern. What would your reaction be when your car key does not respond while opening the steering wheel lock? Starting from positive to negative reasons may encourage you to learn the mechanism behind the automatic locking of the steering wheel. 

1. First-Hand Safety

The steering wheel is an essential component of your car and demands protection. Likewise, when you turn the ignition off, it gets locked to avoid facing the inconvenience of the car moving on its own. Also, you become relaxed about your car will stay in its place safely.

2. Anti-theft Feature

Who does not want to keep their price possessions away from theft? Probably, everyone, modern cars are equipped with an anti-lock feature that prevents your car from going into the hands of thieves.

The steering auto-lock feature activates when you pull out your car key from the ignition hole before turning the wheel a little bit in either direction. 

3. Power Steering Fluid Lack

Fluids provide necessary lubrication to the various components of the car. Similarly, when you run out of power steering fluid, the car’s steering wheel doesn’t mind giving up and does not rotate.

Another reason may be the ignition gets filled with dirt or contamination. While the last you can think of that does not make the steering wheel work is typically the dead battery.

How do I Unlock my Wheel to Start my Car?

Steering wheel unlocking indeed makes you go pale. It does not matter whether you lost the key or got it deformed. It’s just a matter of finding household tools and opening the lock with little effort. 

Duplicate Key

Suppose you try turning the wheel and ignition at the same time and do not get benefits. The next step is to look for a duplicate spare key and perform the same as the original one. Remember to turn it gently and avoid applying too much force. Your primary duty is to revert the wheel movement rather than worsen the locking mechanism. 


Treating car components with weapons is not a good idea, but you can try it while unlocking your steering wheel. Yes, you can use a hammer and get the unlocked wheel in no time. All you have to do is to keep the key halfway into the port and hammer it. Ensure the key is adjusted inside the ignition port with a correct angle and sufficient force. 

Warning: Tapping hammer to fit the key in the hole rather than deform or bending it. 

Spray WD40

Do you encounter a situation when you keep on inserting the key, and it simply rejects your command? Well, dirt and debris are the primary reasons car keys won’t fit into the ignition hole. 

First, clean the piled-up dirt to make it contamination-free with a WD40, and then try inserting the key again. The spray WD40 should also be your choice to clear out the solidification and corrosion rudiments in the ignition port. 

Tidbit: WD40 contains a grease formula that helps lubricate, displaces moisture, and prevents rust. Also, loosen the car’s stuck parts.

Note: Look after the condition of the lock cylinders after successfully unlocking the wheel by WD40.

Canned Air

Think of another way to fit the key inside when spray WD40 does not meet expectations. Help favor from canned air. Spray directly into the lock and try again with your original key. However, if you run out of canned air, try the air compressor, fly the excess dirt particles, and unlock the steering wheel. You can achieve success in a few simple steps.

  • Spray the electrical cleaner into the ignition lock system carefully
  • Remove excess dirt by spraying canned air
  • Try inserting the key into the hole when no more debris remains inside.
  • Repeat the process to get the desired result.

Pro tip: check the liquid level of the powered steering pump before spraying.

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel without a Key? 

Try out all the ways yourself to unlock the steering wheel, but do not reach any conclusion. You should make the expert hands touch the locking mechanism to make possible the emergency steering unlocking. There are primary ways to unlock the steering wheel, such as replacing the ignition and removing the steering columns.

How do you unlock a steering wheel with a screwdriver? Since a screwdriver is considered an allrounder in repairing various equipment, you always appreciate its ability to unlock your steering wheel. The method consists of a few steps and needs attention. 

  1. Start by removing the column panels inside the steering wheel. You need to untighten the screws that hold the wheel downside. 
  2. Moving next to locate the tab and pressing it, you will find the cylinder lock. So, turn the lock and wait until it slides backward and becomes free.
  3. Install a new locking system and try to disable it with the previous key. You can also give it a try with a spare key. 
  4. Reassemble everything into their places, ensuring the lock tab within the lock cylinder is positioned correctly, and tighten the screws.

How to Unlock the Steering Wheel – Tips And Guide

You must look after the ignition lock and prevent it from getting dirt particles. Also, there are chances that cylinder pins will get dirty. Maintain hygiene from time to time. Every vehicle has a different mechanism. You should be mindful of the instructions from the owner’s guide and extract vital information. Never try to meddle in what you don’t have any idea about.

Always divide the problem between the two sides of the coin. As the ignition lock is problematic, so does the key. Maintaining a connection with the steering wheel becomes a long-lost dream if the car’s key becomes deformed or prone to plain teeth. 

Checks for Steering Issues

If you feel the problem lies somewhere else, set a maintenance schedule to get everything done before correcting locked steering wheel issues.

While you only think over the superficial causes. Make your mind broad and look for somewhere else. Other components, such as suspension, steering columns, or racks, must become worn out.

You never know when your battery exhales its last breath and the steering wheel locks. You must check the battery; otherwise, get it charged. It can be possible that you are on the road, and the steering wheel stops rotating. 

Safety Tip: Call for help while removing yourself away from traffic.

Last but not least, do not let the power steering fluid reach a low level. It can aggravate the situation to deal with.

Summing Up

You better know how to disable the steering wheel when locked naturally. However, the situation changes when you lose your key and do not know where the culprits reside, preventing unlocking. In this article, I have mentioned the DIY methods that help you in emergency unlocking. In addition, there are tips to keep in mind to avoid further problems. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to disable the steering wheel lock?

You can easily deactivate the locked steering wheel activated by the anti-lock feature. You must put the key into the ignition hole and try turning it to mitigate the tension of the lock cylinder. Lastly, ensure to wiggle the wheel slightly by turning the key from the LOCK status to ACC and then START position.

What can I do if my wheel locks up when I’m driving?

Steering locked amid the road can be due to failure in the suspension system or malfunctioning steering racks. If you are stranded, try turning the wheel and braking gently. Also, call for help, switch on the emergency lights, and get a side from the crowd. 

What causes the power steering wheel to lock?

Many reasons play their part in locking the steering wheel. While you are commuting, low power steering fluid and contaminated fluid levels. Also, taking sharp turns abruptly locks it pausing the commotion.

How to unlock the steering wheel with the push button start

Modern cars have keyless ignition locks, but it doesn’t mean their steering wheel can’t get locked. If you encounter such a situation, start by depressing the brake while pushing the start button once. Also, try turning the wheel in either direction as it goes on ACC mode and unlock it.

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