Last week, we shone the spotlight on some of the common issues that may affect your ignition system. We also went over what our Melbourne auto locksmiths can do to get you back on the road.
Sometimes however, the problem has nothing to do with your keys or ignition - in some instances, the issue could be as simple as you accidentally locking your steering wheel!
Before you ring your car locksmith, we suggest trying this method first. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t do anything - best case scenario, you could save yourself some cash by doing so!
“Have I locked my steering wheel?”
Many modern cars come with an in-built deadbolt that locks up the steering wheel. This is one of your car’s many safety features, which aims to prevent vehicle movement without the key, or if the wrong key is inserted.
The idea is that should a ne’er-do-well get into your car, they won’t be able to get anywhere because the steering wheel won’t budge.
Say they hotwire your car - the moment they try to turn the wheel, it will lock, stopping them from getting away and forcing them to abandon their efforts.
This lock only activates when the engine is off and the keys are removed. Turn the wheel too far to the left or the right, and your car will interpret this as an attempted theft, and will activate its lock.
Unfortunately, sometimes you can accidentally activate it without even realising!
- You’ve accidentally parked with your steering wheel turned all the way left or right
- You turned the steering wheel after removing the keys
This triggers the steering wheel deadbolt, stopping your wheel from moving. When you return, you may notice that:
- Your key won’t turn
- Your steering wheel won’t turn
- You’re stuck
While we aren’t against earning a bit of extra cash, we feel that you shouldn’t have to pay to fix what’s a very easy problem to solve.
Luckily, it’s a pretty easy fix!
Once you insert your car keys, you should be able to move your steering wheel. If you can't however, there’s a good chance that your steering wheel is locked.
If you’ve accidentally locked your steering wheel, you’ll want to run through the following process before calling our Melbourne auto locksmith...
Step 1: Try moving your steering wheel to the right and left
While this won’t fix your locked steering wheel, it will give you the information you need to solve the issue.
In particular, you may notice that one direction has a little bit of slack, while the other is completely locked.
Step 2: Turn the wheel all the way
Once you’ve identified the direction that still has some give, you’ll want to turn your steering wheel all the way in that direction until you hit a brick wall. You’ll want to hold the steering wheel there.
Whatever you do, do NOT shake or rattle the wheel while doing this, as this can make the problem even worse.
Step 3: Insert your keys
While holding the steering wheel, use your free hand to insert your keys. Turn the key as normal while also gently jiggling the steering wheel from one side to another.
This will relieve the lock pressure, freeing your steering wheel and allowing you to turn your car keys once more.
Whatever you do, DON’T force the key. Instead, use the normal amount of force you use when turning your key.
Step 4: drive off
If all goes well, the deadbolts in your steering wheel will deactivate, allowing you to get back on the road!
“What if my car uses push-button start?”
Here’s the thing: while the word “keyless” might be in the name, the truth is that your system isn’t completely keyless!
Many keyless entry fobs come with a hidden key for emergencies, and you’ll find a recessed ignition chamber tucked away under the steering column, hidden in the dashboard somewhere or sometimes even hidden in the button itself.
Using this key, you can replicate the steps listed above.
In some cars with push-button start, you can also go through the exact same process, but swap out turning the key with lightly tapping the start button for the same results!
Obviously, how effective this is will depend on your model. Still, it’s well worth trying.
What if this method doesn’t work?
If this won't work, then it might be time to ring your local car locksmith!
This method works in almost all car brands. If it isn’t unlocking your steering wheel and your key is still refusing to turn, chances are that your car has other issues in need of fixing.
This can include problems such as:
A jammed ignition chamber
One obvious reason why you can't turn your car key is that the ignition might be jammed!
While it’s tempting to spray it with lubricant in an effort to get it to budge, it isn’t always the best idea. In some cases, this can collect dust and grime, making the problem even worse.
Our car locksmiths use specialised lubricant that doesn’t congeal or pick up dust and dirt to get your ignition turning.
If this doesn’t do the trick, then odds are that there’s another car key problem at play.
Investigate your car key
Could the issue be with your ignition itself? It isn’t impossible!
Are you the type of person who uses a lot of force to turn their keys? Do you jam the keys into the ignition when you start your car up?
If so, don’t be surprised if the ignition itself is worn to the point where your keys no longer fit!
If this is the case, our auto locksmiths in Melbourne will disassemble your ignition chamber and replace any worn pins and tumblers inside until they match
your keys once again.
Your keys are busted
Are your keys:
If so, you may need to think about getting your keys replaced.
Luckily for you, our auto locksmiths in Melbourne can cut replacement keys for broken or worn-out keys on the spot.
Can't turn your car keys? Contact a Melbourne locksmith today!
If it involves keys, locks and ignition chambers, we can fix it!
We understand that the last thing you want is to find yourself stranded on the side of the road because your steering wheel has locked, or because another ignition problem is stopping you from starting your car.
Luckily, a quick call to an emergency auto locksmith in Melbourne can solve this for you.
Our team offers extended after-hours emergency service - give us a call at any point between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday business hours or other times call for our Emergency after hours service
Our mission is simple: to get you back on the road with minimal delay.
Stranded? Steering wheel won’t budge? Keys won’t turn? Contact Galmier Locksmiths on 0407 022 234!