How to Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key?- Learn this Easy Task

How to Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key

There may come a time that starting your car can be a bit of a challenge. It may be because the key is not turning once you insert it into the ignition. If you experience this, it is safe to assume that your steering wheel is the problem. So, if you have locked it by accident or if you are not familiar with the whole system, we are here to help you out.

In this post, we will be discussing the ways on how to unlock steering wheel without key. There are many things you can do to solve this problem, and that’s right, you can do it even without the key. You don’t need to pay for a repair service or go to a dealership because you can do this task on your own. Read on if you want to know more.

How to Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key

How to Unlock Steering Wheel Without Key

The Process of Unlocking the Steering Wheel

In case you are not yet familiar, the steering wheel gets locked once the key has been removed from the ignition. Designed as a safety feature, it also avoids the turning of your car without the key inside the ignition socket. This is vital, especially if you are parked on an incline. The lock has the capability to prevent your vehicle from moving even if the brakes are not working.

In addition, you might find the steering wheel locking mechanism for when you need to tow your vehicle or even avoiding theft of the car itself using hotwire techniques.

What Do You Need to Unlock the Steering Wheel?

Before we begin this tutorial, you first must gather all these necessary materials to be able to do this task right the first time. You will need the following:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Socket sets
  • WD40

Step-By-Step Instruction on How to Unlock the Steering Wheel

There are two ways in which you can unlock the steering wheel. The first is to unlock it on your own using the key and the other one is to unlock it using a lock set. Now, let’s talk about the first one.

Insert the key

This might be the single most important step in unlocking the steering wheel. If the locking is accidental, you need to make sure that you turn both the steering wheel and the ignition key simultaneously. Once you hear a clicking sound, the steering wheel will unlock and the key will successfully turn inside the ignition slot.

Try a different key

If the first step doesn’t work, it may be because there’s something wrong with your key. And because every new car comes with a pair of keys, you may also try inserting the spare one and do the first step again.

Use a WD40 spray

WD40 is a lubricant serving as a penetrant, a rust preventer, and a moisture replacer. You just need to spray WD40 into the ignition slot. If the locking is caused by solidification, doing this step will effectively unlock the steering wheel. After spraying, insert the key again and rock it back and forth gently.

3 Ways to Remove a Wheel Lock Without a Key

Another way to unlock the steering wheel is by using a replacing ignition lock set. Follow these steps:

Remove the column panels in the steering wheel

The first thing that you must do is to loosen the screws that hold the lower column of the steering wheel. After doing that, you may now press the tabs in the cover to unlock the lower part. Then, remove the column cover and set it aside. Lastly, remove the upper column cover.

Free lock cylinder

You will be able to see the cylinder of the ignition lock system once you have removed all the covers. You need to keep pressing the lock release tab and turn the key up until the ignition cylinder moves backward. However, you need to be careful about removing parts on the lock cylinder. It is also highly recommended that you refer to the owner’s manual first.

Install new lock cylinder

You may now insert the key from the old lock system into the new one. Then, you need to insert the lock cylinder into the steering column. Ensure that the lock tab is seating properly in the lock cylinder.

Reinstall the column panel

Now, the last step is to reinstall the column panel back and make sure that all clips are locked completely. You also need to insert the screws to lock them tightly.


Unlocking a steering wheel is something that you can do on your own. If you notice how easy it is, you would realize that you would not need to have it repaired.

To summarize, all you need to do is to dismantle the wheel column and insert the ignition system. Easy, right? We hope that this quick guide will help you when you’re faced with a locked steering wheel situation.


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