A lot of drivers will panic and have to call for technical assistance in the situation where they cannot move the steering wheel after engine ignition. If you are in this situation, however, don’t freak out because it is most likely that there is no serious problem with your car at all. It could very well be that the steering wheel was automatically locked, which is a feature designed by the automaker to protect your car against theft. Most of the time, the steering wheel is locked because the driver made the mistake of rotating the wheel after shutting down the car engine.
How to unlock your steering wheel
The steering wheel will be automatically locked when the engine has shut down but the driver still deliberately rotates the steering wheel. This is a feature designed by the automaker to protect against theft. Interestingly, the steering wheel cannot be actually ‘locked’, but only the steering support system is turned off. In automotive models that feature electrical steering support, a non-functioning steering support system would lead to a lack of hydraulic power. In this case, the steering wheel can only be moved with a very strong force, which makes driving the car practically impossible.
If you ever face this steering lock problem, don’t worry because it is very simple to solve.
The only trick is to simultaneously insert the car key into the lock while using force to shake the wheel and move it from side to side. Performing these two actions at the same time is necessary, since the key cannot be turned to ignition otherwise. If you can’t move the wheel, which shouldn’t be a problem because it is not too heavy, ask someone for help.
This is just an anti-theft feature, which ensures the safety for car owners and does no harm to the vehicle’s steering system. But if you want to save some sweat starting your car when it is locked, the experts’ advise for you is don’t try to move the steering wheel after all systems are shut down. You should make adjustments when the engine is on and the steering support system is active. Additionally, make sure to drive straight when you park because the wheel can be automatically locked if the steering wheel is at an unbalanced position when you pull out the car key.
Locked steering wheel is one of numerous incidents that drivers might encounter on the road. Read our article here to know how to response properly to certain on-road emergencies.
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