Steering Wheel Won’t Lock (Reasons and What to Do)

Jerry Wilson
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Reasons Why Steering Wheel Won’t Lock

The most common reasons for a steering wheel that won’t lock are:

Too much play in the steering wheel

Some makes of vehicles, such as Chrysler have a rather sloppy steering wheel. The torque caused by the wheels turning may pull the steering wheel out of lock. Just remove the steering column cover plate and double check that the lock is in the correct position and that there’s no play in the ratchet mechanism.

The cable is sticking

The cable that links the locking lever in the steering wheel to the lock mechanism in the column is probably sticking and therefore not freeing the lock when the steering wheel is turned or after you’ve pulled the lock.

Check that the column is lubricated and if that doesn’t fix it, take a look at the locking mechanism inside the steering wheel. The locking mechanism has a small button on the side, push it to release the lock. If it doesn’t work, you may have a faulty locking mechanism.

The lock mechanism is broken

If none of the above fix it, the lock mechanism in the steering column may be broken. The steering wheel may feel spongy or have play in it.

What to do About It

One one of the most common steering wheel problems, many people say, is when the wheel won’t lock. The wheel can stick or it can just feel like it’s not quite tight.

The fix to this problem is not so simple. It could be an easy fix, but you may need to go through several steps to determine the correct problem. In some cases, more than one type of problem can be making your steering wheel not lock securely or feel like its not tight enough.

Before you get to this point, you should determine if the problem is occurring for just you or for everyone. For instance, if your steering wheel feels loose, the problem could be a loose bolt. Unfortunately, this is something that affects just you. However, if the wheel simply will not lock whether you are the driver using the wheel or someone sitting in the passenger seat, there is a more common issue.

” Your problem might be that you’ve reached a stop or that you have a faulty ignition switch. This type of problem is usually frequent and affects everyone using the wheel. In this case, it could be that the switch has simply worn out. It may be that the ignition switch is getting faulty. This problem is not as common as the loose bolt problem, but it is still something to look into.


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