Steering Wheel Won’t Lock When I Take The Key Out (HOW TO FIX)


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Steering wheel won’t lock when I take the key out: Your steering wheel should lock up after switching off the engine and removing the key from its slot, but sometimes it refuses to do so which can be quite frustrating indeed.

Before this will happen, one or more of many factors must prevail. Advisedly, treat any problems with the steering wheel or steering wheel angle sensors with every seriousness because of the vital roles they play in your safety and also other road users.

Why is my steering wheel not locking?

Many reasons can be indicted as to why your steering wheel will fail to lock even after you’ve stopped the engine and removed the key.

The most notable causes for this failure are worn out or broken detention, broken cog, failure to turn the steering wheel far enough, broken actuator, broken electric locking mechanism, computer malfunction, loose steering wheel among many others.

The dent is that part of the steering wheel that ensures your steering wheel locks perfectly and should it wear out or break down, it will fail to catch the steering wheel properly.

READ ALSO: When You Get Any Of These Signs, Then Your Power Steering Gear Box Is Bad

The cog, on the other hand, is that part that fits into the dent of your steering wheel to ensure that your steering wheel locks normally. When you turn the steering wheel too far to either the right or left, it is likely not to lock even after removing the key.

How do you get your steering wheel key to lock?

The most advisable approach when your steering wheel won’t lock is to reach out to the experts for help even if it means towing it.

This is mainly because addressing such faults may involve taking out both your steering wheel and its column,  in the process of which serious damage can be done to other components.

A mechanic, however, can easily get the job done since he has not just the expertise but the right tools as well.

How do you bypass a steering wheel lock?

It is highly imperative that you know how to unlock your car where the key fails to work or it is lost.

There are two or three ways via which you can accomplish that easily using a screwdriver, a socket set, and WD 40.

In the first method, try inserting the key into the ignition and then turn the key and the steering wheel left and right all at once.

READ ALSO: What Can Cause Car Steering Wheel To Shake Then Goes Away?

Make sure that you do this simultaneously. If it locks accidentally, this method might work. Alternatively, you can try using another key.

This is particularly important where a used car had a previous owner who did not keep it well. If you have a spare key, try it. If all these methods fail, try spraying WD 40 in the ignition slot of the car which will likely cause the key to turning by freeing the lock cylinder.

You may eventually have to change the cylinder after spraying the ignition with WD 40.

The second method involves unlocking the key through the replacement of the ignition set. Where all these methods fail, you may have to seek the help of a mechanic.

The mechanic will have to first remove the column panels of the steering wheel by loosening the screws that fasten it.

After doing this, press the tabs on the cover, and the lower part may come off free. Likewise, remove the upper column too and free the lock cylinder by identifying the lock release tab in the ignition lock device, press it, and turn the key until the cylinder moves backward.

Install the new ignition lock system. Finally, reinstall the columns by first putting the upper part in place before the lower part.

The third method has to do with unlocking the steering wheel using loosening sticky locks. To do this, put an electrical cleaner into the keyhole.

READ ALSO: Why Does My Toyota Steering Wheel Control Doesn’t Work?

Thereafter, insert your key and try to turn it back and forth using a lubricant. You may also try spraying canned air into the ignition in case some debris is caught up it which prevents it from turning.

Another approach is to slide the key gently in and push it several times in the hope that any debris caught in it can also be dislodged. 

What do you do when your key won’t turn in the lock?

The best advice when your key won’t turn is to seek the help of a mechanic who has not only the tools required but also the know-how to enable him to solve the problem without the fear of damaging something in the process.

The steering wheel won’t lock when I take the key out – Conclusion.

When it involves steering wheel locking issues, your best approach is to get expert assistance since most do-it-yourself procedures may pose potential risks to other vital car parts and you want to avoid that.

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