How to Disable a Steering Wheel Lock [Ignition Lock]

Sometimes, features that protect our vehicles can turn into a nuisance. If you have ever dealt with a locked steering wheel, you know this. The steering wheel lock helps to prevent theft, but if you are unfamiliar with what it is and how it works, you might run into problems. 

We will go over the basics of the steering wheel lock and how you can get it unlocked easily.

How Does the Steering Wheel Lock Work?

The ignition lock activates when the steering wheel moves when the car is not running. When activated, the steering wheel will not be able to move, making it much more difficult to steal the vehicle. 

The lock can be accidentally triggered when using the wheel for support when getting in or out of your vehicle. You may trigger the lock when you park and not realize it is activated until you get in your car to drive again later. It is also easy to trigger if you try to move the wheel before turning the car on. 

How to Unlock a Locked Steering Wheel

Disengaging the ignition lock is not difficult (as long as you have your key). The process will differ slightly depending on if your vehicle has a push-button start or a traditional key ignition. The steps outlined below are generalized and might not work for every vehicle. If you are unsure, consult your owner’s manual.

Key Ignition

When the steering wheel is locked, it can still move a small amount. If you put your key in the ignition while it’s locked, you won’t be able to turn the key at first. By turning the wheel slightly, you will release tension from the lock, and the key will turn. That’s it! The ignition lock is disengaged. 

Audi Q7 Key

Push Button Ignition

Many modern vehicles utilize a push-button ignition instead of a traditional key. The steering wheel can be unlocked on this type of vehicle by pushing the ignition button with your foot OFF the brake. This will disengage the lock without starting the car. 

Audi Q7 push start

How to Stop the Steering Wheel From Locking

As we said earlier, using the steering wheel as support when getting in and out of your car, or touching it when the key is not in the ignition can trigger the lock. If you want to prevent this from happening, avoid moving or leaning on the steering wheel after parking your car.

Auto Repair and Service at Borst Automotive

Typically, a triggered ignition lock is not a cause for concern and can be addressed at home. Most vehicle owners will deal with this situation at some point. 

If you have other issues with your car or truck, take it to a repair shop you can trust. Borst Automotive has locations in Tucson, Mesa, and Phoenix, and is staffed with ASE-certified technicians. Our teams are equipped to handle all your needs, from general service to in-depth diagnostics and repairs. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

Borst Automotive is here to help when you need it. Give us a call, schedule an appointment, or stop in today!