The steering wheel lock functions as both a security and safety feature. Even if the potential thief jump-starts the car, they won’t be able to drive it without the key.
When the car is parked, a steering wheel lock fixes the direction of the wheels for safety.
The steering wheel lock will prevent the wheels from straightening out when parking on an incline or descent, which will cause the car to roll down if the parking brake fails.
With the ignition key, the steering wheel lock can only be turned off. The other option is to remove or break the ignition switch, but you won’t be able to start the car if you do that.
In this post, we’ll show you how to disable a steering wheel lock in several ways. Let’s get started!
What’s a Steering Wheel Lock?
A steering wheel lock is a device that is mounted on the steering column of a vehicle to stop it from being driven by anyone other than the owner. It serves as an immobilizer and a theft deterrent.
The locking mechanism is typically a bar that can be secured with a key or combination lock, preventing the driver from turning the wheels. By doing this, you safeguard your investment by preventing car theft while you’re away.
Depending on the model, there might also be some extra security features integrated into them to prevent theft if the original keys are taken or copied, such as alarms or cloning protection systems.
Steering wheel locks have been used to directly lock the steering mechanism for many years and come in a variety of forms.
Modern models use a steering-column-mounted locking bar that can be engaged when not in use with a key or combination lock and disengaged while in use.
Steel bars that are typically 12 to 16 inches long make up the majority of models. They are the ideal choice for anyone looking for extra security while they are away from their vehicle because they are simple to install and frequently don’t require special tools or knowledge to install.
Some cars come equipped with built-in alarm systems that go off when the doors are locked, blocking all other entry methods aside from those that are permitted, like a key or wallet transmitter.
These alarms are a great way to give your car an extra layer of security since they typically don’t need any extra accessories.
Some steering wheel lock models also include cloning protection features if you’re looking for even more security. With the aid of this technology, burglars will be unable to duplicate your key and use it to steal your vehicle.
Cloning protection prevents duplication by encrypting the signal from your key fob. This implies that even if a thief were to manage to obtain your keys, they would not be able to be used to steal your vehicle.
Adding a steering wheel lock is always a smart move, regardless of the kind of security system you already have in place. They provide an additional layer of theft protection and are inexpensive, simple to install, and affordable.
A steering wheel lock is a great option if you want to give your car the best security possible.
Read more: How To Lock Fishing Reels On Your Car Roof?
Why is My Steering Wheel Locked?
Your steering wheel may lock up for a number of reasons, but most of the time this doesn’t mean there is a problem with your car. The most frequent causes of a locked steering wheel in a car are listed below.
- The majority of contemporary cars with turn-key ignitions come with an auto-lock safety feature that locks the steering wheel automatically each time the ignition is turned off. To prevent your car from moving on its own, car manufacturers use this feature.
- Automobile manufacturers also include an anti-theft feature in their vehicles to deter auto theft. The steering wheel won’t come off when a car thief attempts to steal your vehicle using the hot-wiring method.
- The trouble with the steering system. Frequently, the steering will lock until the problem is resolved because the fluid will leak or become dirty.
- The steering wheel may lock while you’re driving if one or more of the suspension, rack, or steering column components fail. Even so, it does occasionally occur.
Why Would You Disable Steering Wheel Lock?
You might want to turn off the steering wheel lock for a few different reasons.
The first situation is when you lose your key and are unable to get a replacement from the manufacturer. In this situation, you’ll need to unlock the steering wheel lock in order to take the vehicle to a dealer or locksmith to get a new key made.
If the steering wheel lock is not working properly and is preventing you from operating the vehicle, you may also need to turn it off. To have the car fixed or replaced in this situation, you’ll need to tow it to a mechanic or dealership.
Finally, if you’re selling the car and the buyer doesn’t have the key, you might want to disable the steering wheel lock. As a result, the new owner won’t need to tow the vehicle; instead, you can disable the steering wheel lock.
How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock With Key?
- The key is the most effective way to remove the steering wheel lock. Try one of the other approaches mentioned above if you don’t have the key.
- Insert your key into the ignition cylinder and turn it to the “On” position.
- Find the button on the back of the steering wheel that releases the lock.
- Press and hold the steering wheel lock release button while turning the key to the “Off” position.
- Your steering wheel ought to be unlocked now that the key has been removed from the ignition cylinder!
- If your car has an electronic steering system, you might need to reset it first by pressing and holding the reset button for 5 seconds.
Read more: How To Start A Car Without A Key?
How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock Without Key?
Method 1: Unlocking through Ignition Replacement Set
If you don’t have the key and your ignition lock cylinder is stuck, you can try to replace the entire ignition set. Your steering column will need to be partially disassembled for this, but it’s a simple procedure.
You ought to be able to turn the key to release the steering wheel lock once the new ignition set is installed.
Method 2: Unlocking With a Slim Jim
Try unlocking the steering wheel with a slim jim if you don’t want to replace the entire ignition set.
This approach works most of the time, but it does require some skill and endurance. Place the slim jim in the space between the dashboard’s top and the bottom of the steering wheel.
Next, gently raise the slim jim until it catches on the locking mechanism. Turn the key to release the steering wheel lock once the slim jim is in position.
Method 3: Breaking the Steering Wheel Lock
If all else fails, try unlocking the steering wheel. Make sure you’re ready before attempting this because it will require some force. Use a blunt object (like a hammer) to strike the locking mechanism in the middle of the steering wheel to unlock it.
If you apply enough pressure, the locking mechanism ought to give way, allowing you to turn the key and release the steering wheel lock. Remember that not only will this damage the lock, but other parts as well.
How to Replace Ignition Set?
You can try to replace the entire ignition set if your ignition lock cylinder is jammed and you don’t have the key. This will involve some steering column disassembly, but it’s a simple procedure.
- You ought to be able to turn the key to release the steering wheel lock once the new ignition set is installed.
- Before working on the ignition system, disconnect the battery.
- The screws holding the bottom half of the steering column cover in place should be removed.
- Access the ignition system by pulling the lower half of the steering column cover down.
- The wires at the ignition switch’s back should be disconnected.
- The ignition switch should be removed after the retaining clip has been released.
- Make sure the new ignition switch is properly seated in the retaining clip before attaching it to the steering column.
- Reattach all of the wires to the ignition switch’s back and fasten them with the retaining clip.
- Reinstall the lower half of the steering column cover and secure it in place by tightening each of the screws.
- By starting your car and making sure you can turn off or on your steering wheel lock as necessary, you can test your new ignition system.
How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock With Slim Jim?
Try using a slim jim to unlock the steering wheel if you don’t have the key. This approach is generally effective, but it does require some skill and patience.
- Put the slim jim in place between the top of the dashboard and the bottom of the steering wheel.
- Up until it engages with the locking mechanism, slowly slide the slim jim up.
- After installing the slim jim, you should be able to turn the key to release the steering wheel lock.
- The electronic steering system in your car might need to be reset, so press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds before continuing.
Breaking the Steering Wheel Loc
If all else fails, try releasing the lock on the steering wheel. Before attempting this, make sure you’re ready because it will involve some force.
Use a blunt object (like a hammer) to strike the locking mechanism in the center of the steering wheel to unlock it. If you apply enough pressure, the locking mechanism ought to give way, allowing you to turn the key to release the steering wheel lock.
- Gently tapping the steering wheel lock with your hand until you find a hollow spot will help you find the sweet spot.
- Use a blunt instrument (such as a hammer) to repeatedly strike the sweet spot until the locking mechanism malfunctions.
- Once the steering wheel lock has been released, turn the key to start your car as usual.
What is the Cost of Fixing the Steering Wheel Lock?
A steering wheel lock typically requires $100 to $200 in repairs.
However, there are many variables that go into determining the price of your steering wheel lock fixation, so it may differ from one location to another.
The type of vehicle, the issues you are having with the lock on your car, and the components that need to be replaced all affect the price.
As a result, the cost may increase if you take your car to the best mechanic in your community. This is due to the fact that they offer quality car servicing at a marginally higher service fee.
How to Disable Steering Wheel Lock on a Push to Start the Vehicle
There are various steering and ignition systems for automobiles. A push button is used to start your car’s engine in modern vehicles, which also have keyless entry, sophisticated electronic steering systems, and turn-key ignition. Consequently, they lack ignition ports where the car’s starting keys can be inserted. Here’s how you will know the steering wheel lock has engaged with you have a push-to-start car:
- After depressing the brakes and pushing the push button, the car won’t start.
- The push button will begin to flash.
- You will be informed that the steering has been locked by a message that will appear on the dashboard.
Here are the two ways you can unlock a steering wheel push-start vehicle:
- First, press the push button while releasing the brake pedal, holding the steering wheel with your left hand, and making a gentle left-to-right turn.
- Remove your foot from the brake pedal, press the push button twice, and jiggle the steering wheel.
Conclusion: Different Ways To Disable the Steering Wheel Lock
Depending on the options you have, there are a few different ways to disable a steering wheel lock. Simply turn the key in the ignition to remove the lock if you have it.
If you don’t have the key, you can try breaking the steering wheel lock or unlocking the wheel with a slim jim. The entire ignition set can be changed as well.
Whatever approach you decide on, be sure to be ready before using it to avoid damaging your vehicle.
Can You Disable the Steering Wheel Lock Without the Key?
It’s true that there are two ways to unlock a steering wheel without a key: by changing the ignition lock system or by loosening the locks with an electrical cleaner. You must have a mechanic replace the ignition lock for you, it’s important to note. However, using an electrical cleaner and compressed air, you can quickly and easily remove stubborn dirt by yourself.
Can I Drive Without Steering Wheel Lock?
Driving without a steering wheel lock can increase your car’s risk of theft, so it is not recommended. If you must operate a vehicle without a steering wheel lock, make sure to park in a well-lit area and maintain constant watch over it.
A steering wheel lock called a multi-lock is made to be more challenging to break than a regular lock would be. Because multi-lock typically has a thicker bar and stronger construction, it is more resilient to attacks using brute force.
How to Remove a Stuck Steering Wheel Lock?
You can try WD-40 or another lubricant to unstick your stuck steering wheel lock. Simply spray the lubricant into the keyhole, wait a few minutes, and then try to turn the key once more. Before the lock is released, you might need to repeat this procedure several times.
You can also use a lighter or another heat source to warm the keyhole as an alternative method. The metal will enlarge as a result, making it simpler to turn the key. Avoid overheating the metal to prevent harm to the lock.
If the problem persists, try turning the key with a set of pliers or a wrench. The key might be harmed by this, but it’ll probably do the trick.
How to Prolong Steering Wheel Lock Life?
You can do a few things to extend the life of your steering wheel lock. Prior to anything else, confirm that the key you’re using is the right one and that the keyway is clear of obstructions.
The lock should also not be subjected to extremely high or low temperatures as this could cause it to warp or even break. Finally, to keep the keyhole operating smoothly, lubricate it frequently with WD-40 or another lubricant.