How to Break a Steering Column
Breaking the steering column is a useful solution for someone who has lost their keys or has had their steering wheel lock. This process will allow a person to start the car using only a screwdriver. Breaking a steering column should only be performed when there are no other options for starting a car.
Newer cars can suffer more damage to the column than older vehicles, however, the ability to start the engine remains principally the same.
Push a screwdriver in between the plastic cover on the steering column and the steering wheel. Use force from your hand or a breaker bar to pry the cover off the column. The plastic cover may break, so keep in mind replacement may be necessary.
- Breaking the steering column is a useful solution for someone who has lost their keys or has had their steering wheel lock.
Remove the screw holding a round plastic piece just behind the steering wheel using a screwdriver. This is located to the left of the steering column. Retain the small plastic piece as this will help you start the car.
Pry the metal plate from the ignition. This plate is located at the bottom of the ignition. Once its removed, a spring will pop out. This spring is the focal point for the lock on the ignition.
- Remove the screw holding a round plastic piece just behind the steering wheel using a screwdriver.
- This plate is located at the bottom of the ignition.
Test the steering wheel, making sure it is no longer locked. The wheel should be able to be moved left to right without being halted by the locking mechanism.
Place the plastic piece inside the opening in the ignition. There is an opening within the plastic piece that will allow you to force the screwdriver inside the ignition housing. Turn the screwdriver and the car should start.
- Do this as a last resort. Attempt to contact the dealer and get a copy of the key first.
- This solution will only work on vehicles with ignitions on the steering column.
- This will cause major damage to your steering column. Any fix will take at least a couple hours, while removing the lock will only take around twenty minutes.
Jason Chavis has been a professional freelance writer since 1998. He is the author of four books, two movies and a play as well as numerous articles for "Scientific American," The History Channel, City Pages and "The Onion." In 1996, Chavis won the award for "best science fiction/fantasy" from the River Valley Writer’s Conference.