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90 MacKenan Drive, Cary, NC, 27511

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

2022 Kia K5 in Sapphire Blue

A lot of times, drivers don’t realize they’ve locked their steering wheel until they get back in the car and notice they are having trouble starting the vehicle. If the key won’t turn in the ignition, this is a clear sign that the steering wheel is probably locked. A locked steering wheel isn’t anything to be concerned about; it usually happens accidentally and is easy to fix. Find out how to unlock a steering wheel and how to lock your steering wheel below, courtesy of the Hendrick Kia of Cary service team.

A Step by Step Guide On How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Unlocking your steering wheel is a pretty simple process:

  1. Pull the wheel down in the same direction you pulled when the wheel was originally locked.
  2. If you aren’t sure which direction to pull then try both — the wheel will have a small bit of movement when you pull in the right direction.
  3. While you’re holding your steering wheel in the right direction, insert your key into the ignition and start the engine, you should feel a release of tension.
  4. If the wheel doesn’t unlock and/or the engine doesn’t start, turn the wheel in the other direction and repeat the above step.
  5. Now, your steering wheel should now be unlocked!

Tips to Keep in Mind When Unlocking Your Steering Wheel

To avoid causing any damage to your new Kia model, keep these tips in mind when you are unlocking your steering wheel:

  • Avoid Using Brute Force: You can’t use brute force to unlock a locked steering wheel; you may damage parts of the steering mechanism. Instead, follow the steps above while applying pressure.
  • Try a Different Key: If you can’t turn the key, the problem may be the key itself — not the steering wheel. The key may be worn and can no longer engage the car’s tumblers. If you suspect a problem with your key, Hendrick Kia of Cary can make you a new one.

How to Lock Your Steering Wheel

Why would you want to know how to lock your steering wheel? Well, if you’re leaving your car in an unfamiliar area outside of Durham or Apex, it can provide an extra level of security. Locking your steering wheel can make it more difficult for someone who shouldn’t be at the wheel to start your car. To lock your steering wheel intentionally, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn off your car and take the key out of the ignition.
  2. Turn the steering wheel one way or the other until you hear a click.
  3. Your steering wheel will lock until you return, unlock the steering wheel, and start your car.

Learn More with Hendrick Kia of Cary!

If you still can’t unlock your steering wheel after trying the steps above, the certified Kia service team at Hendrick Kia of Cary can help get to the root of the problem. Be sure to contact our service center online or give us a call directly at (833) 756-7614 to speak with someone from our service department. Meanwhile, take the time to explore our service tips hub for more helpful service information!


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