Illustration for article titled How to Unlock Your Car Steering WheelPhoto: Alexandru Nika (Shutterstock)

Perhaps you are someone who is familiar with all the details and features of your car and takes pride in knowing all that your machine can do. Or maybe it’s just one thing that gets you from A to B and every time you get in, you put the key in the ignition, turn it and hope for the best (unless you have one that works with you starts with a push of a button, but that’s another story).

If you fall into the second category, you may find yourself in a situation where it looks like your steering wheel has somehow got stuck. No matter how hard you try to turn it, it won’t move. It’s annoying.

But the good news is that in many of these situations, the steering wheel is simply locked: a safety feature built into many vehicles. In this case, do the following.

Illustration for article titled How to Unlock Your Car Steering Wheel

What are steering wheel locks?

There is different types of steering wheel locksBut for today we’re going to break them down into broad categories: those that are part of the vehicle’s design (even if you don’t notice) and external locks that you buy separately and that are definitely not to be missed The club.

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If you have a built-in steering lock but aren’t aware of it, there’s a good chance you’ll activate it at some point without realizing it.

Here’s how that can happen Tony Markovich on the drive::

Steering wheel locks can be activated when you leave your vehicle. On select vehicles, this can be achieved by turning the wheel after turning off the vehicle and removing the key. When the lock is activated, the wheels are locked either left or right in a curve. Even if a criminal can start your car, it will only drive in a really wide circle. Suction cup!

What should I do

Fortunately, it’s a quick fix that doesn’t require any tools or skills. Here are Markovich’s instructions::

  1. Insert your key.
  2. Apply pressure to the turning of the key and maintain that pressure.
  3. Wiggle the steering wheel left or right or up and down.
  4. Wiggle the key until it turns.
  5. Turn on your car, all done.

Illustration for article titled How to Unlock Your Car Steering Wheel

However, he also notes that if you’re having trouble getting the key in and out of your ignition, it’s likely the dust grime and grime enters the ignition chamber over time and makes it sticky or frozen. In this case, instead of reaching for WD-40 or graphite, Markovich recommends using Tri-Flow Lube Oil or 3-in-One Dry Lube Oil.