Why does my steering wheel lock when parked?

With your vehicle parked and the engine turned off, the steering wheel is designed to lock automatically. There are a couple of reasons why this happens. The question most car owners ask is why does my steering wheel lock when parked?

For your safety and the security of your vehicle, the steering wheel locks as soon as you release the key from the ignition. This is a built-in safety feature designed to prevent you or someone else from walking away from your car before ensuring it is in the park.

Your car’s steering wheel lock was designed to make you feel even safer when your vehicle is parked. The lock secures the steering wheel to not be turned while your car is parked. The lock is controlled by a cable that runs under the dashboard and activates the mechanism once you pull on the lever.

What is a steering wheel lock?

steering wheel lock

The Steering wheel lock is a device installed on the steering system of the car. It has the help of which people can easily park their vehicles and secure them from theft. It keeps the thief away who wants to steal our vehicle and stays safe all the time with steering wheel lock.

A steering wheel lock is used in the main steering mechanism. When the steering wheel is locked, you take off your car from the parking place.

Importance of steering wheel lock

A steering wheel lock is particularly important if you’re in an area with high theft rates. Having your wheels stolen may not just result in inconvenience but poses a significant safety hazard. Car thieves often use special tools to quickly and easily remove even the most secure wheel locks, so when getting one, make sure it’s one they can’t get past!

The Steering wheel locks are an inconvenience to thieves because they must break the lock to steal your wheels.

It doesn’t matter if you’re parked or driving; a thief needs only seconds to cut your lock and remove your wheels. By simply installing one of these inexpensive devices, it would slow down a thief enough to think twice.

How to disable steering wheel lock?

If your steering wheel got locked and you want to disable it by any chance, there are many ways you can do that.

  • Inserting the key in the ignition

The right way you can disable the steering wheel is to use your ignition key. You should use the key to unlock the steering, and it has to be done with care. To do that, you should follow the following step:

Insert the key in the ignition center and move it in the direction like you want to start the car

Apply pressure when trying to start the car and ensure it is not too much so that you do not damage the key

Move the steering in one direction and never to and fro. Moving to and fro will make it hard for you to disable the lock

Move the steering in one direction while you move the key just like you want to start it, and the lock will be disabled.

steering wheel lock

How does a steering wheel lock work?

A steering wheel lock is a device to prevent car theft by locking your steering wheel in place. They’re usually padlocks attached to your steering wheel with long wire-like chains to prevent the steering wheel from moving.

The lock prevents the car from being driven or stolen by an unauthorized person and can be set at varying degrees of tightness. A steering wheel lock is fitted over the original vehicle’s steering wheel and secured using a small, tamper-proof padlock like all vehicle locks, which have been in use since the 20th century.

How they work is easy and straightforward. The lock has a rod that goes through the steering wheel and locks by placing a pin between the two parts and spinning it until it forms an almost unbreakable security measure to keep thieves away. When inserted into the lock, it will automatically recede, allowing you to remove it from the steering wheel when unlocked.

How to lock the steering wheel?

You can always lock your steering wheel either intentionally or by mistake. However, here are ways you can easily lock the steering wheel.

Turn off your car, and take the keys out of the ignition

One of the ways you can lock your steering wheel is to turn off your car. Some modern cars are wired so that once you turn off the car and remove the ignition key, the steering wheel will lock automatically and will only unlock when you start the car.

Turn the steering wheel one way or the other until you hear a click

One of the other ways you can lock the steering wheel is by turning the steering wheel one way or the other until you hear the click. The click will tell you that the steering is locked in place. Your steering wheel will remain locked until you return and unlock it.

How to unlock the steering wheel without a key?

There are three ways you can unlock the steering wheel without a key: using another key, replacing the ignition set, and loosening sticky locks.

  • Using another key

One of the ways you can unlock the steering wheel without your key is by using any other key. Some people will try to use a screwdriver, and it will work, while some will use a similar key to their car key. Just try and insert the key in the ignition set, and once it enters, you can move it in the direction of starting the car.

  • Unlocking through replacement of the ignition set

Not everyone knows how to do this, and you should allow the expert to do it. So, if it is your only option, you should get the car to the mechanic or your locksmith to help you fix it. If you want to do the task yourself, you should follow the instruction below:

Remove the column panels

The first thing you need to do is remove the column panels in the steering wheel. You need to use your screwdriver to loosen the screws that hold the lower part of the steering wheel. You just need to press the tabs on the cover, and the lower part will come out easily. You should also remove the upper column.

Release the lock cylinder

The next thing is to release the lock cylinder, and you can only do this by identifying the lock release tab. Once you locate it in the ignition lock system, you need to press it and turn the key until you move the cylinder backward. It might require more than one trial to get the cylinder out freely.

Installing the new ignition lock set

Once you have removed the ignition set, you need to install the new one into it. You should insert the lock cylinder in the steering column and ensure you completely set the lock tab in the lock cylinder before you complete the task. Ensure you can turn the key open and close before setting the column back again.

Reinstall the columns

You should 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 securely locked. Once everything is in its position, tighten it up.

Other methods of unlocking a locked steering wheel

Spray an electrical cleaner in the keyhole

Sometimes when the cylinder seizes, it might be a result of the dirt in the cylinder, and one way to get rid of it is through the use of some electrical cleaner. You just need to purchase one or two from amazon or any local store and spray the keyhole.

Leave for some minutes, then insert the key and move it toward starting the car. You should get to experience the free movement of the key as the lock will be loosened.

Spray canned air into the ignition

One other way to unlock is to spray canned air into the ignition. Debris will be one of the reasons the wheel may be locked, and the sprayer will help clean out any debris inside the keyhole.

How to unlock a locked steering wheel push to start?

To unlock the steering wheel push to start, the following steps will need to be followed:

1: Take the key out of the ignition

2: Apply the parking brake

3: Remove the door key from your keyring (if applicable).

4: Push the brake pedal

5: Press the trip reset. You will hear a clicking noise; proceed with step 6.

6: Continue holding down that pedal and press on the left side of the steering wheel while turning the ignition on and off 5: times within 15 seconds.

7: Release all pedals and keys, counting to five after the last release before re-starts.

8: Your vehicle should start for this first time in 12 hours of malfunction mode as per ENDEAVOR/SAAB recommended service manual bulletin

steering wheel lock

How do you prevent car theft?

Before you can understand how to prevent car theft, you need to know exactly what car theft is. Car theft occurs when someone steals your automobile from you without your consent, either with or without force. After some time, car theft became a serious concern for lawmakers of most states in the US.

There are steps you can take to deter thieves from stealing your car. There are also some common mistakes that robbery victims make that only increase their chances of becoming a victim of car theft. Protecting your garage is the first step toward preventing your car from being stolen.

Some of the best thieves in the world can make short work of any standard garage door, especially if it is manually installed. If you have a garage, take precautions to ensure potential robbers can’t easily open it.

Talk to a craftsman about obtaining a sturdy opener that is hard to manipulate or break into by force. It may cost a little extra money, but it will save you thousands down the road when you avoid having your car stolen because thieves could not access your garage.

The next thing you should do is to make use of a car alarm system that will give a loud warning sound whenever anyone tries to forcefully break into your car. Also, you can use your steering wheel lock, which will be extra work for thieves to carry your car away even if they easily break into the car.

Frequently asked questions

Why isn’t my key turning in the ignition?

The ignition lock cylinder is a common problem area on many vehicles. Over the haul, the worn key (or keys) will not remove from the cylinder and makes it impossible to start your vehicle. The problem is easily diagnosed and inexpensively repaired for your convenience.

Can the gear lock be broken?

The gear lock will withstand most breaking efforts; however, it can be broken if enough leverage is applied. The strength of the gear lock is dependent on the size of the defective tab after removal. The stronger the locking disk is attached to a different part of the sheet metal by bending or welding, the less likely your gear lock will break.

Can you bypass the ignition switch?

Yes, bypassing an ignition switch is a simple modification to make your vehicle start without needing a key. The ignition switch was made easier to bypass with a few extra wires and some easy soldering.

Can you spray wd40 in car ignition?

Yes, you can spray wd40 into your car’s ignition, but please make sure your engine is off before doing so. Use a small straw to direct the stream of wd40 into your ignition, then quickly put it back together (use two paper towels on either side wherever two pieces come together to minimize any chance of getting wd40 on other places). Wd40 will clean and lubricate the parts of your engine if you spray it in there.


This page gives the right answers to all questions on the steering wheel and the most important one: Why does my steering wheel lock when parked? We gave the perfect answers on this page, and we hope you get all that you need to know from this page.