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  4. How to unlock the steering wheel of a car?

How to unlock the steering wheel of a car?

“You can unlock your steering wheel by inserting the key into the ignition and turning it. Mechanical failures, security mechanisms, and frequent sharp turns cause a steering wheel to lock.”

1) First, insert your key into the ignition switch and turn it without too much force. If the key turns, then the steering wheel will be unlocked. Should you have difficulty turning the ignition switch to the ACC position, turn the key while turning the steering wheel right and left to release the tension.

2) When the steering wheel is locked with a pin on one side, you will only be able to move the wheel in the other direction. As you turn the key, give pressure to the steering wheel in the direction the wheel moves.

3) Make sure you do not keep shaking the wheel from side to side. Such an action can harm the locking pin, therefore lowering the chances of your wheel becoming unlocked.

4) If your key is worn and it does not seem to make it through the process, draw out the key inserted in the ignition a little, and then turn it. 

Once the steering wheel is unlocked, you are now good to go!


If the problem continues to persist, we highly recommend a visit to one of our Kia Service Centers as soon as possible. 

1) Power steering pump issues

- The most common cause is a gridlock within the power steering pump. The power steering pump enables convenient car steering for drivers. However, an unexpected power loss in the engine can trigger the steering pump to fail, resulting in a locked steering wheel.

2) Security and safety mechanism

- Unless you have any critical problems with your car, the reason will be the vehicle’s security mechanism designed to protect your car from theft by locking the steering wheel. The steering wheel may also lock to prevent the car from rolling back down when parked on a steep hillside or if a handbrake failure occurs.

3) Frequent sharp turns

- Frequently taking sharp turns can cause the steering wheel to lock. It also damages the transmission system and the engine, undermining the overall performance of the car.

4) Sudden lock up

- If the ignition system has debris inside or is worn out, the locked steering wheel cannot be unlocked by inserting and turning the key. Such a failing mechanism can hinder drivers from turning the engine on and off, and if it occurs while driving at high speed, the driver can be put in danger.

5) Engine control unit (ECU) failure

- This is an uncommon cause but still can lead to a steering wheel lock. A broken ECU can result in a sensory issue, triggering the steering wheel locking mechanism to be switched on. Moreover, a faulty ECU hampers power from being sent to the power steering pump, therefore locking the steering wheel.