How to Unlock Steering Wheel without Key

You’re about to head out for the day when you realize…you don’t have your keys!

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This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have somewhere to be right away, or you’re already late and don’t want to risk being late even more because of this mishap.

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Luckily, there are multiple ways to unlock your steering wheel without your keys; here are just a few of them!

First, call around to some local tow truck services and get quotes for unlocking your steering wheel without a key.

Find out how much it will cost for them to drive over there, hook up their special car-busting gadgetry and then drive back with your keys. This will give you an idea of what it would cost if they have to bust open your steering wheel.

Then, see if you have any friends or family members who own cars similar to yours—and ask if they have extra ignition keys lying around (or better yet, keep an extra set on hand yourself).

This is probably your best bet because having an extra ignition key on hand is cheaper than paying someone else to unlock your car.

Finally, try calling a locksmith—but be prepared for sticker shock! Some locksmiths charge upwards of $200 just to come out and unlock your car door.

That said, if you’ve got no other options, at least now you know what to expect from a service like that. Bottom line: Don’t panic when you lock your keys in your car; there are plenty of things you can do (that won’t break the bank) before resorting to more drastic measures.

Whether or not you need to pay for a locksmith depends on how fast you need your car unlocked.

Why do Steering Wheel Locks?

If you find yourself in an emergency and your keys are inside your car, don’t panic.

You can still drive your car without a key. Locksmiths use devices called steering wheel locks for just such an occasion.

This will allow you to maneuver your car down a lane or two so that you can call for help. It is also useful if you have locked your keys in your car. Keep reading to learn how to unlock a steering wheel without a key.

Most drivers with newer cars, who lock their keys in their car, reach into their glove box or under seats and feel around for anything they can use as a substitute key.

When they do not find anything helpful there, they often break windows or risk getting arrested by calling roadside assistance at great expense.

Luckily there is a tool available that makes it possible to remove steering wheel locking pins without damaging them—or your car window glass—making it perfect for emergencies like these.

What do You need To Unlock The Steering Wheel?

You need a Slim Jim tool. This is a special unlocking device used by security professionals.

Check with your local locksmith or try searching online. You also need pliers, wire cutters, and access to your car’s electrical system for wiring.

The entire process should take less than an hour if you have all of these tools on hand. The steps are listed below

  1. Disconnect your battery so that there’s no power going to anything in your car, including lights and door locks. This ensures that there’s no risk of accidentally locking yourself out while working under your dashboard. Remember where each cable goes as you disconnect them—you may want to write down some notes as you go along.
  2. Remove any trim pieces from around your steering wheel or console. These are typically held on by screws or clips, depending on what kind of vehicle you have.
  3. Remove any screws holding your steering wheel onto its shaft (if applicable).
  4. Using a Slim Jim tool, remove the plastic cover over your ignition cylinder. If you don’t have a Slim Jim tool, use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off instead.
  5. Using wire cutters, cut off two small wires connected to your ignition cylinder. The wires will be covered with protective sheathing; just snip through both layers at once with wire cutters for best results.
  6. Use pliers to bend one end of each wire back towards itself.
  7. Connect one end of one wire to an exposed metal part of your ignition cylinder using electrical tape. Connect the other end of that same wire to another exposed metal part on your ignition cylinder using more electrical tape.
  8. Repeat step 7 with another pair of wires and another exposed metal part on your ignition cylinder.
  9. Reconnect all cables leading into and out of your car’s electrical system, then reconnect your battery before starting up again!

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel Push to Start?

Rather than using a key, some cars are now equipped with push-to-start capabilities.

If you’re locked out of your car and don’t have access to your vehicle’s key, here is how you can manually unlock your steering wheel. Before we get started, please make sure that your vehicle’s engine is not running; if it is on, simply turn it off before attempting any further steps.

  1. Open your driver-side door.
  2. Turn the ignition lock in an anti-clockwise direction.
  3. Continue turning until you hear two clicks from inside your steering column.
  4. Take hold of both sides of your steering wheel and pull forward gently until you feel it pop into place.
  5. Close your door and start your car as normal.
  6. After starting your car, press down on both sides of your steering wheel until you hear another click.
  7. You should now be able to drive away without fear of being locked out again!

How to Unlock Steering Wheel without Key

What Causes The Power Steering Wheel To Lock?

There are a few scenarios that can result in your power steering wheel locking and becoming difficult to turn.

However, there is one common cause: air pressure.

If you’ve been driving with your windows down for any length of time, there may likely be some water or moisture on your power steering wheel column.

This water/moisture will create more resistance as you try to turn your steering wheel, causing it to lock up.

To fix this problem, simply wipe off all excess moisture from around your steering wheel (and even inside of your car), close all open windows, and let your car sit for 15-20 minutes so that all excess moisture evaporates away.

This should unlock your power steering wheel so that you can turn it again!

ALSO SEE: Why Does My Brake Pedal Go To The Floor?

What Happens If My Steering Wheel Locks Up?

The most common reason that a steering wheel locks up is when you leave your keys in the ignition while parked.

When you turn off your car, don’t just reach over and pull out your keys—you could lock yourself out! Remember: After you turn off your car, pull up on the shift lever or e-brake until it reaches P. This will disengage your vehicle’s steering system. Then, take out your keys.

If your steering wheel becomes locked and you don’t have a spare key, you may not be able to get back into your car.

This is where things can get difficult. In most cases, you’ll want to call a tow truck or locksmith so that they can open your door from outside. However, some drivers believe there are better ways to unlock their steering wheel without a key.

One such method involves using a coat hanger to manually turn your ignition and start your engine.

While it might sound like an easy fix, it’s incredibly dangerous—and could result in thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle.

The following guide will explain why using a coat hanger isn’t an ideal solution for unlocking a locked steering wheel without keys—and what you should do instead if you find yourself in this situation.

Another popular solution involves pouring hot water over your steering wheel.

Proponents of this theory say that once the water has cooled off, it should create enough space between your lock and locking mechanism to free up your stuck key. Unfortunately, anyone who has ever tried pouring hot water over a frozen pipe knows how quickly temperature changes can lead to cracking—which is exactly what happens when you pour scalding-hot liquid on a solid object.

In most cases, using hot water will only make things worse by causing cracks in your steering wheel’s plastic shell.

As such, we don’t recommend using hot water to unlock a locked steering wheel without keys.

Finally, some drivers believe they can use their car’s power windows to turn their ignition and start their engine from inside their vehicle. While it might sound like a good idea on paper, it’s incredibly dangerous—and could result in thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle.

The main problem with using your power windows is that you need electricity to make them work; if you don’t have any juice flowing through your battery or alternator, you won’t be able to get your window down—let alone crank up your engine.

As such, we recommend steering clear of these methods altogether.

What Should I Do Instead?: If you find yourself locked out of your car with no spare key available, call a tow truck or locksmith immediately.

Can a Steering Wheel Lock While Driving?

Yes. A steering wheel can lock while driving.

There is a common misconception that steering wheel locks will not engage while a car is in motion.

This is not true. A steering wheel lock can engage while you are driving, thereby rendering your car impossible to maneuver.

Such an occurrence would be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

Luckily, there are ways you can avoid getting stuck in such a precarious situation—this guide will teach you how and what to do if it happens anyway.

The most effective way to prevent your steering wheel from locking while you are driving is, obviously, by ensuring that it doesn’t become locked in the first place.

As I mentioned above, however, situations can arise where you find yourself unable to unlock your car with ease despite never locking your wheels manually during travel. When such a problem occurs – especially when traveling long distances – don’t panic! Simply take note of these tips on how to deal with being locked out of your car safely and responsibly.

If you’re lucky enough to be carrying a spare key for your vehicle (and if not, consider investing in one), you should use it as soon as possible. If not, try using another set of keys or call roadside assistance for help unlocking your vehicle from afar.

How Much Does It Cost To Unlock A Steering Wheel?

It depends on where you are and what type of vehicle you have. We’ve seen costs range from $100-$500! If you can get someone local who knows how to do it they’ll charge a lot less than a place that has to ship it and wait for return shipping costs.

This is one place where price shopping might save you some money!

One good thing about unlocking your steering wheel yourself: most insurance companies will cover it under their liability coverage as long as you aren’t at fault in an accident caused by your car is locked up.

Check with your agent to see if your policy covers accidental lockouts like these or not. Most likely, it does (at least for customers with comprehensive coverage).

Otherwise, check with locksmiths to find out what their fees are. They may be able to provide better prices for you as well. The cheapest way? Break into your car—that’s illegal in many places but might be worth it if you don’t want to pay anything at all!

Just remember that doing so won’t count toward any future claims against your auto insurance.

When you’re locked out, it’s not about how much money you can or cannot afford to spend.

It’s about getting back in your car as quickly and easily as possible. The longer you’re stranded on a roadside somewhere, the more likely someone will break into your vehicle and steal something valuable.

Or worse—someone might get hurt if they try to break into your car while you are still inside! The best thing to do is call a locksmith right away.

Yes, it will cost some money but hopefully, they have someone close by who can get there within minutes so that you don’t have to wait long at all before being able to start up again!

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel with a Keyless Car

If you’re locked out of your car with keyless ignition, there’s a way to get back in.

The solution is simple, but it requires tools that can be bought at any hardware store.

Here are some tips on how to unlock a steering wheel when your key fob doesn’t work.

  • First, go to your local auto parts store and buy two screwdrivers: one small and one large.
  • Then take off all of your jewelry and pull off any stickers or decals from your door panel—you don’t want anything blocking access to your car’s lock cylinder.
  • When you open up the driver’s side door (if you have power locks), locate where your lock/unlock button is—it should be under a little flap right by where your knee would rest while driving. It might also be labeled door ajar or door lock.
  • There will also be an indentation below it for you to insert your tool. Using your larger screwdriver, gently pry up on the button until you feel resistance; then use your smaller screwdriver to push down on it until you hear a click sound.

This should unlock both doors, allowing you to drive away safely!

If you find yourself locked out of your car frequently, consider adding a spare key somewhere like under your seat so you won’t need to mess around with getting into your car. But if you can’t find it, try these steps again before calling a tow truck service.

In most cases, a professional locksmith can open your car faster than waiting for help to arrive. But remember: You may have to pay extra if you call them after hours or on weekends.

How to Unlock Steering Wheel with Dead Battery

If you have a dead battery, your key fob won’t work and you can’t unlock your car from inside.

This can be frustrating if you need something from inside your vehicle—the key fob probably has your house keys on it! In most vehicles, there are a few ways to open your door with a dead battery. Most are fairly simple and only require small tools.

Some cars even have special emergency release handles for just such an occasion. Here are some ideas for how to get into your car if you find yourself locked out with no way to unlock it:

  1. Use a slim jim or coat hanger to reach through an open window and pop the lock. Be careful when doing so as you don’t want to break any glass or scratch up your car by forcing anything through it. Once you’ve unlocked one door, simply use that same method for unlocking all other doors. It may take a little bit of time but should not cause any damage if done carefully.
  2. Look around your vehicle for hidden compartments or pockets. Many newer cars have a button under their steering wheel that will allow you to manually unlock all doors at once. Older models might have a toolkit in their trunk with everything needed to gain entry, including tools necessary to break in (like a hammer).
  3. Look around your vehicle for hidden compartments or pockets. Many newer cars have a button under their steering wheel that will allow you to manually unlock all doors at once. Older models might have a toolkit in their trunk with everything needed to gain entry, including tools necessary to break in (like a hammer).
  4. Find someone willing to help you enter your car. Call someone who lives nearby and ask them for help getting back into your vehicle. They’ll need to know where you parked and what kind of car you drive so they can look for it quickly. Then give them directions over the phone about how they can open your door using whatever method works best for them.
  5. Call roadside assistance. If none of these methods work, then call roadside assistance and let them come rescue you. The service usually comes with a fee but could save you money in insurance deductibles later on if you’re able to get home safely after calling them. Also, remember that many auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance coverage as part of their plans so check with yours before paying extra for it separately.

Author: Mechanic Mike Besso

Hi There, I am Mike Besso and this website is dedicated to the automotive industry. I have been a mechanic for many years and my experience includes fifteen specialization in heavy commercial work as well as private cars. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked for a long time at Global Rebound Automotive companies (Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others ) as a Mechanic and Mechanics Supervisor. I hope to share some of my knowledge with others.

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