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An automotive locksmith explains the causes of a locked steering wheel

Sales Galmier - Thursday, July 11, 2019

Steering wheel

It’s been a long day at work, and you just want to go home and unwind. You unlock your car, sit down and insert your key.

Uh-oh, there’s a problem: you can’t turn your key in the ignition at all, and your steering wheel is locked in place!

As automotive locksmiths, we know first hand how frustrating it can be when you jump in your car and find the steering wheel is locked.

It’s even worse when it happens when you need to be somewhere and you’re already running late.

Luckily, it’s something that’s relatively easy to fix… and here’s how!

 

What causes this issue?

Essentially, your steering column contains a deadbolt that locks up the steering wheel.

When you leave your car with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left or right, the steering can press up against this deadbolt, engaging the deadbolt and binding up your key and locking up the steering wheel.

To avoid this, we strongly suggest returning your steering wheel to its default position before yanking your keys out and going about your day.

Luckily, this is a problem with a straightforward fix.

 

What to do before you call a car locksmith

When we get a call about a locked steering wheel, we often find that there is an easy way to fix the problem.

Lots of people try to force the wheel to move or shake the wheel back and forth. This will not make the steering wheel unlock.

However, there is a simple trick that often helps to unlock your wheel.

Before you call our car locksmiths to come and fix your locked wheel, you should do the following...

  1. Attempt to turn the steering wheel to the left and right. You’ll notice one direction will be locked, and the other slightly more responsive.
  2. Turn the wheel towards the springy direction until you feel the steering wheel wants to click back. DO NOT SHAKE OR RATTLE THE STEERING WHEEL.
  3. You should now be able to insert your key in the keyhole.
  4. Turn the key with a normal amount of pressure, while gently jiggling your steering wheel. DO NOT FORCE THE KEY.
  5. If all goes well, the deadbolts should deactivate, restoring function to your steering wheel and ignition chamber

We know we mentioned it above, but it bears repeating: under no circumstances should you attempt to force your key.

If your steering wheel is locked, no amount of force will make it give. A locked steering wheel is designed to be tamper proof. So, if you’re steering wheel is locked then no amount of shaking or fiddling is going to fix it.

In fact, you’re much more likely to end up bending or even breaking your keys!

So if you still can’t turn on your car or turn the wheel, don’t get aggressive - call our automotive locksmiths instead.

 

Other problems, and how our car locksmiths can help

This solution resolves the majority of issues with locked steering wheels - however, they aren’t the only potential causes. While less common, it’s still worth reading up on these issues (and how an automotive locksmith can help!)

 

Transponder keys

Sometimes the problem isn’t mechanical - it might be a problem with your transponder!

Transponder keys emit a low frequency signal that your ignition will pick up on. If the two match, you’ll be able to use the ignition and turn the steering wheel.

The transponder key also prevent cars from being hotwired and stolen. The car will not turn on unless it can pick up the correct signal from the key.

Needless to say, if the transponder in your keys is out of power or damaged, you won’t be going anywhere!

Luckily for you, the team at Galmier repair and program transponder keys. We can even do it on-the-spot, without the original key for reference if needed!

 

A bent or damaged key

Your steering wheel won’t turn without a key in the ignition. Naturally, a damaged or bent key can also stop you from starting your car, or turning your steering wheel.

Likewise, damaged or blocked ignition chamber can also stop your keys from going all the way in, locking your steering wheel.

Of course, these types of problems also presents many more problems than just a locked steering wheel, which is why you should get any damaged keys replaced ASAP!

An auto locksmith in Melbourne comes to you, wherever you are, with on-the-spot fixes. We can cut replacement keys right then and there, as well as clear ignition chambers and repair ignition lock assemblies, getting you back on the road.

Car locksmith van

Need an automotive locksmith in Melbourne?

Most of these problems can be fixed relatively easily.

However,if the issue is simply not resolving itself, don’t be afraid to drop us a line. We’ll be glad to guide you over the phone, or even turn up in-person to fix it for you.

We have been licenced by the Licencing Services Division of the Victoria Police and we are approved by the SCEC (Security Construction and Equipment Committee).

Combine that with our status as a Master Locksmith and 15 years of on-the-job experience, and there’s nothing we can’t do!

 

More than an automotive locksmith

Looking for a locksmith for a building site? No problem - we have the required ‘red card’ in order to help you out.

We also provide a range or security products including blocker plates, electronic and code locks. All our products come with a warranty so you can be sure you are purchasing a quality product.

We provide our locksmith services from Armadale to Moorabin and everywhere in between.

No matter you’re locksmith needs - our team at Galmier can help you find a solution to your unique problems.

 

Call the team at Galmier!

We strive to offer you quality service at all times. That means that if we don’t get a result, we won’t charge you a service fee!

With quality and service guarantees like that, why would you want to use any other auto locksmith in Melbourne?

If you’re interested in getting in contact with us, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact our friendly team on 0407 022 234.

If you don’t need our help right now, go ahead and save that number in your phone anyway! That way you’ll be able to contact us quickly when you do need our auto locksmiths!