How to Unlock a Steering Wheel

Maintenance Tips from MINI of Santa Monica

You probably won’t notice you have locked your steering wheel until you are attempting to drive somewhere. If you get behind the wheel and find you are having problems starting your car, or that your keys won’t turn in the ignition, it’s possible your steering wheel has been locked.

If you haven’t experienced this before, there is no need to worry. Locking your steering wheel usually happens by accident and unlocking it is pretty easy. The biggest key is to avoid panicking and to contact a Santa Monica service department if you feel stuck.


Steps to Unlocking a Steering Wheel

Follow these tips from MINI of Santa Monica to increase your chances of unlocking your MINI’s steering wheel without damaging any internal components of your vehicle.

  • Avoid Excessive Force: Don’t try to muscle your way out of a locked steering wheel, that can lead to parts of the steering mechanism getting damaged. Instead of relying on brute force, turn the key to the “on” position and wiggle the wheel back and forth while using varying amounts of pressure.
  • Try Different Techniques: If you can’t quite get the key to the “on” position, slowly turn it in the ignition with one hand while slowly moving the wheel back and forth with your other. This combo of movements can help realign things and allow you to start your vehicle.
  • Use a Different Key: If you find your regular key is no longer working, head to your local Santa Monica MINI dealership and have them make you a new one. Over time, a key’s shape can deteriorate and it is possible that your key is no longer able to engage your vehicle’s tumblers. A dealership will be able to make a fresh key using the serial number of your vehicle so you are getting a brand new copy.

Contact MINI of Santa Monica for Additional Steering Wheel Help

Have you tried all our tips and are still having issues? Contact our service center near Mar Vista today. One of our certified technicians can help walk you through unlocking your steering wheel and put you back on the road around Los Angeles.


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(424) 581-6464

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1402 Santa Monica Boulevard • Santa Monica, CA 90404

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MINI of Santa Monica
MINI of Santa Monica
wpsupport@dealerinspire.com
1402 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA, 90404 United States
(424) 581-6464
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MINI of Santa Monica 34.0241055, -118.4852507.