How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Woman Starting Car Ignition

While a locked steering wheel can be the result of an automatic safety feature of your RDX, MDX, ILX, or TLX, or a simple jam in your steering wheel, it can be nerve-wracking wondering how to fix it and how you’ll get back on the road. Thankfully, this is usually an easy fix and something you can do yourself. Learn more about how to unlock a steering wheel or stop by our Sterling Acura of Austin service department have our Acura technicians help you!


How to Unlock Your Steering Wheel

When it comes to knowing how to unlock your steering no matter where you are: follow these quick steps:

  • Pull down in the same direction you yanked the wheel when you initially locked it.
  • If you’re not sure which direction to go, try both directions. You’ll know the correct direction when you feel the wheel move a bit.
  • While holding your wheel in the correct direction, put your key into the ignition and start your car. If the wheel remains locked, your car doesn’t start, or both, try turning the wheel the other direction and repeating this step. One or the other has to work.
  • Now your steering wheel should be unlocked

Things to Keep in Mind When Unlocking a Steering Wheel

If you’ve tried the following and have still had some trouble, you may want to consider the following to help you fix the issue and get back on the road:

  • Avoid Excessive Force: Forcing the wheel can damage parts of the steering mechanism. Instead of relying on force, you want to turn the key to the “on” position and use varying amounts of pressure while wiggling the wheel back and forth.
  • Try Different Techniques: If you aren’t able to get the key to the “on” position, slowly turn it in the ignition with one hand while slowly adjusting the wheel back and forth with your other. This can help realign things and allow you to start your car.
  • Use a Different Key: A key’s shape can deteriorate with regular wear and tear and it is possible that your key is no longer able to engage your vehicle’s tumblers. An Acura dealership will be able to make a fresh key using the serial number of your vehicle so you aren’t getting a copy of a worn key.
Man Holding Key to Ignition

Find More Acura Service Assistance at Sterling Acura of Austin

Now that you know more about how to unlock your steering wheel, you can find even more helpful service tips and tricks when you make your way over to Sterling Acura of Austin. And, between our expert service and OEM parts department you can also take advantage of service discounts and coupons on car battery replacements and more to save on the essential maintenance your Acura sedan or SUV needs to continue to run at its best for years to come. Contact us today for more information or come visit our car dealership near Pflugerville!


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4801 S IH 35 Frontage Rd • Austin, TX 78744

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