Steering wheel won’t lock and car won’t start issue will most likely be a problem caused by the steering lock system.
In contrast, difficulty in knocking the steering wheel and starting the car will most likely be caused by a faulty ignition switch.
This article will examine both units and their relationships to help you understand if either of the systems is at fault or both of them.
Let’s get started!
Why Steering Wheel Won’t Lock and Car Won’t Start
There are several reasons why the car won’t start or lock the steering wheel, but the most likely one is a bad ignition switch. However, if the steering wheel does not unlock and you are unable to start the vehicle, the steering lock may be defective.
It is usually frustrating to troubleshoot or diagnose your vehicle for problems when you do not know where to start or the origin of the fault.
Many reasons can cause a malfunctioning steering wheel lock, and irrespective of the reasons, solutions must be found; if not, you will not be able to move your car.
In this section, we will be looking at seven reasons why your steering wheel won’t lock, and they are;
The Lock System May be Bad
A broken electric locking mechanism in most modern cars can be why your steering wheel won’t lock.
A wiring problem or short circuit can cause such a problem steering system. However, you can confirm the actual origin of the problem by troubleshooting the locking mechanism using a multimeter.
The Actuator Is Bad, Probably Broken
A damaged actuator is another reason your steering wheel has problems locking or unlocking.
The actuator’s primary function is to help release and unlock the steering wheel when the ignition is turned on or off. Whenever the ignition is turned on, electricity travels through the solenoid, activating a translatory motion of the actuator from the solenoid to the cog.
Since the actuator is a moving part, wear and tear is inevitable and is expected to fail over time.
System Malfunction May be the Issue
Modernized vehicles that depend greatly on the ECU to control various systems in the car are usually victims of computer malfunction.
Whenever the computer malfunctions, you can also cause your steering wheel not to lock.
A Damaged Cog
A damaged Cog is another major reason your steering wheel refuses to lock. The cog and the detent work together like bread and butter. However, the cog is on the ignition cylinder, and the detent is on the steering column. They both slot onto one another to hold the steering wheel in place.
The Detent May be Bad
A worn-down detent can cause your steering wheel difficulty in locking. At times the steering wheel will not lock at all if they didn’t is broken.
The primary function of the d tent is 2 hold the steering wheel in place whenever the key is pulled out of the ignition.
Therefore, it wouldn’t cease functioning whenever the detent suffers structural damage, precisely wear and breakage.
The Steering Wheel May Be Loosed
A major cause of difficulty locking the steering wheel is a loose steering wheel, which many drivers and mechanics overlook.
If your steering wheel feels too free when you turn it, then there might be an issue with the connection of the steering wheel to the steering column.
You may Not be Turning the Steering Wheel Right
Another reason your steering wheel is not locking is how you turn the steering wheel.
If you do not turn the steering wheel far enough, probably, it won’t lock into place. This scenario occurs when the key is removed from the ignition, and the steering wheel is still far off from its mean position, either to the left or right.
Whenever the steering wheel is turned too far to the left or right, you can be sure that the detent on the steering column will also be out of place.
What is the Function of Steering Wheel Lock
There are many reasons why a steering wheel lock is installed on a vehicle, and some reasons seem crazy or even paranoid, but in general, the steering wheel lock act as a defensive unit that keeps the vehicle safe from human and natural factors that can cause harm to the vehicle.
The steering wheel lock is also a technology that predates most anti-theft systems in the automobile industry. This technology works with the principle of an ignition lock designed to intercept with the steering column and cause the steering wheel to be only free whenever a key is inserted into the ignition.
Stealing cars without superlative anti-theft systems will be easy if the simple yet ingenious steering wheel lock technology is not imbued as a last defense line.
Apart from the reason of theft, which is mainly a subject of human factors, there is also a reason whereby the steering wheel lock protects the car from unsafe conditions and impending accidents.
Parking your car on a slope is one of these conditions where a steering wheel lock can come in handy in averting severe damage to your car and its surroundings because of an unsuspecting accident.
Steering Wheel Lock Won’t Unlock
Sometimes the steering wheel will not unlock even when the key is inserted into the ignition. Whenever the abovementioned situation occurs, most drivers become frustrated and seek a solution immediately.
The steering wheel is still locked even with the key inserted in the ignition when tension has built up in the steering column.
An easy fix for this situation is to wiggle the steering wheel until it’s in a position where attention is relieved, and the key can start the car.
Also, a worn-out ignition cylinder can cause a similar problem and must be replaced as soon as possible to get your vehicle started again.
If you have a problem starting the car even while the steering wheel is locked, then it will be advisable to visit a professional mechanic as your ignition may face a more severe problem.
How To Fix Steering Wheel Won’t Lock Issue
Fixing a steering wheel problem may look easy, but it is a very complex process, as many faults have similar symptoms in the steering system.
If you have enough technical knowledge of the steering system, you can attempt to fix your steering wheel whenever it has difficulty logging in; however, it is more advisable to seek a professional mechanic to diagnose the problem so as not to make a mistake.
Making a mistake while fixing the steering wheel issue can be very dangerous because your steering system is in charge of your vehicle’s control, and if you lose control on the highway, it could result in an accident.
Also Read: Steering Wheel Shaking (Causes & Solutions)
Frequently Asked Questions – Steering Wheel Won’t Lock and Car Won’t Start
Why Won’t My Car Start, And The Steering Wheel Is Locked?
If your car won’t start and, at the same time, the steering wheel is locked, you probably have an ignition switch problem or a steering lock problem.
Why Does the Steering Wheel Lock Up When Off?
Whenever your car is ‘off,’ the steering wheel locks up for the safety of your car from theft or unsafe conditions.
Will A Car Start If The Steering Wheel Is Locked?
If your car steering wheel is locked, the car will most likely not start, and there is either a problem with your ignition or steering wheel.
Conclusion – Steering Wheel Won’t Lock and Car Won’t Start
A vehicle’s steering system is vital; it helps us control its motion and protects it from theft. A relationship has been drawn between the steering lock and the ignition cylinder and how they can cause problems for each other if one or both of them become faulty. The reasons for these problems have been highlighted in this article, and the easiest solution to any steering wheel problem is to have a professional mechanic look at it for a proper diagnosis.