How to Disable a Steering Wheel Lock

Updated April 17, 2017

Almost any car on the road today has a steering wheel lock. The lock is designed to deter and prevent a car thief from successfully stealing the automobile. It is generally engaged when the driver turns the car off with the transmission in park and turns the steering wheel to a certain degree. Many car owners also inadvertently engage the steering wheel lock when the rely on the wheel to help them exit the car.

Put the car's transmission into park. If you do not have an automatic transmission, you can disregard this step and go to step 2.

Engage the brake of your car with your foot. Place the car's key into the ignition if it is not already there.

Place your right hand on the ignition key and your left hand on the steering wheel of the vehicle. Turn the ignition key as if you are trying to start the car at the same time as you turn the steering wheel left and right in short, quick motions. These two actions together with the car's brake engaged will release the steering wheel lock.


Be sure to turn the steering wheel firmly back and forth or else the lock will not release.


If you properly follow these steps, the lock will release quickly. If it takes more than a few attempts to get the lock to open, you should see a professional mechanic to inspect your car.

Things You'll Need

  • Car keys
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About the Author

Michael Scarn is a legal, automotive, fitness, business and aviation writer. He has been a professional writer since 2006. Scarn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Brigham Young University as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate—both from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.