Your Ultimate Guide To Lock Your Steering Wheel And Kickstart Your Car! 

Steering lock is an important safety measure by car manufacturers that protects the vehicle against thefts. Since the ignition system connects to the steering wheel, so the car should lock right after you switch it off.

However, in some cases, the steering doesn’t budge, the car won’t start even after turning the key to lock, and the danger of stealing prevails. 

If you’re facing this issue right now, we urge you not to panic. This article will describe how you can fix the issue in a few minutes!

How Can The Steering Wheel Lock? 

Having your steering wheel locked in one position leading to the car’s engine not starting can be pretty annoying.

It is obvious to understand that you require a solution in this case. However, let us see why this must’ve happened?

We’ve enlisted some possible reasons so that you can decipher the problem before fixing it.  

  • A broken detent- You must know that a broken or worn-out dent is the most common reason preventing the steering from locking. It is the part that grabs the steering wheel when you close your car. Damage to this system will not allow it to hold the lock. It may have happened if the detent is old or subjected to regular use, and it usually happens with old cars. 
  • Breaking of a cog- Cog is that part of the automobile that is fixed to the steering system. When a cog breaks, you should take it for repair or replacement. Call for an expert mechanic in this case.
  • The electric compliant locking system is broken- Latest models utilize an electric locking mechanism. It helps in keeping the steering wheel in place. If this mechanism is damaged, then the steering wheel’s lock will not be removed from its designated area and won’t lock. This system is connected through wires, and if these wires are worn out, you will have to replace them. 
  • The steering wheel is loose: If the steering wheel dislocates from its position or it doesn’t look perfect, there’s a fair chance that something near it is broken. If something is not in the right place, you can put it back to its original position.  

Some of these problems require expert treatment, and you will have to take your car to a mechanic. In contrast, the other issues can be fixed by you even if you’re not an expert. Let us focus on these issues! 

How To Fix The Lock System Of The Steering Wheel If The Keyhole Is Dirty? 

You’ve inserted the key for the ignition chamber, but the steering won’t lock, then out of many possibilities, one common one can be that the keyhole is dirty.

Resolving this issue is very simple. You have to clean the dirty hole with these steps- 

  • First, insert the key inside and out several times if the dirt is visible. 
  • Make sure you’re using a clean key. 
  • Use a dehumidifier spray and spray it inside the hole. The spray can also be purchased online if it isn’t already in your house. 
  • Now, try unlocking again. 

If the problem persists, you may consider other issues mentioned below. 

Why Do Older Cars Face This Issue?

An older vehicle’s keyholes will exhibit wear and tear over time. Wearing out is common, but before replacement, consider these steps-  

  • If you’re reinserting the key, but in no vain, try to twist the key inside the hole.  
  • While you insert the key, do not put pressure on breaks.
  • If it still doesn’t start, then it’s time you have to replace the key or check for the inside mechanism of the ignition system. 

A key’s task is to move the pins situated inside the ignition chamber. When a key is bent, it isn’t able to perform its function, and the car won’t start. Replace your key in this case.

How To Lock The Steering Without Starting The Engine? 

If your car has a push-button to start the engine. In this case-  

  • Apply a little force to stir or wiggle the steering wheel with one hand.  
  • Keep wiggling the steering wheel with some energy, and use your other hand to press the start button. 
  • During this process, you should not use brakes.

Doing this will turn the ignition into accessory mode and fix the problem without turning on the ignition.  

What Should You Do?

Have you pulled out the key from the ignition chamber, but the steering wheel is still in the same position? We have an obvious answer to this situation- you’re probably not turning the steering wheel farther enough.

That means you’ve turned the steering wheel in the wrong direction, or it is not close enough to its designated place. 

You might have moved it far away from the right or left side. Therefore, it makes the wheel shift from its original spot.

You can try moving the steering till it finds the detent of the locking system. You know that a detent grabs the steering wheel to locate it in the right place; nevertheless, you have to keep wiggling the steering till you find the right spot.  

Shall I See A Mechanic If My Steering Wheel Isn’t Locking? 

Absolutely yes! You can fix the issue with your car’s locking system if you face any of the above problems. However, if none of the solutions works, you shouldn’t nudge the ignition chamber or inside parts more and call your local mechanic.  

In Conclusion 

You know what to do if the steering wheel won’t lock and the car won’t start. There can be many reasons, and mostly a broken part(s) is the most common. If any part is damaged, you will have to replace them or seek a professional’s advice. 

In the uncommon case, when the steering is not locked because of dislocation, a dirty keyhole, or a bent key, you can quickly fix it yourself. We hope you’ve found the answer to your queries in this article!

Liam Dare

As CEO of, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.