Unlocking a steering wheel without the right key can be tricky. But there are solutions! In this guide, readers will discover several methods to unlock their steering wheel without a key.
It is important to ask if this is necessary. If you have a spare or access to an automotive locksmith, calling them is the best option.
If not, these alternatives may help:
- Needle nose pliers
- Slim jim
- Ice cubes/hot water
- Penetrating oil
- Identical lock
- Take it apart to disable it.
Ways To Unlock A Steering Wheel Without Key
Steering wheel locks are common car features. But, when you don’t have the right key, it can be frustrating. Don’t worry though, there are various methods to unlock a steering wheel without a key. Here, we will explain how to do this:
Use a Slim Jim
A Slim Jim is widely employed to open a steering wheel without a key. This L-shaped metal has half-diamond points for grabbing the grooves in the tilt column. Slide the device between the window and door rubber, then push it down. This should unlock the lock.
Many modern cars have safety features that prevent a Slim Jim from unlocking them. Thus, check your model before trying this approach.
Use a Coat Hanger
Coat hangers can be a handy tool for unlocking a steering wheel without a key. But, this method only works for certain models of cars. It’s not recommended for newer vehicles.
To use a coat hanger, straighten one end of the wire and carefully insert it between the rubber molding on the bottom side of the ignition keyhole. Wiggle the wire around until you feel it hit a latch or notch that releases the lock mechanism. Turn the ignition key and start the car.
Warning: This method could damage the car’s ignition system. If you’re unsure, don’t proceed. Instead, contact an experienced locksmith or an automobile manufacturer.
Use a Towel
No key? No problem! Use a towel to unlock your steering wheel. Wrap it snugly around the wheel and tie it tight. The band should be visible through the fabric. Then, use your hands to try to turn it. Apply light pressure. If you can feel friction against the fabric, it should unlock. However, this method will not work on all cars, so take caution!
Use a Screwdriver
Using a screwdriver is a good way to unlock a steering wheel without a key. Firstly, locate the screws at the base of the column. There are usually three. Then, use a screwdriver to unscrew each one. Don’t twist the screws too much and put pressure on the metal nut below.
Gently tug on the lock plate until it comes free. Check that there isn’t something else blocking access first, or you could cause damage.
Afterward, remove the steering wheel cover and find the ignition cylinder. Insert your new or old key to unlock the steering wheel. You can also use the same key for other components, such as locks and handles from within the console and the trunk.
Wrapping up, there are lots of ways to free a steering wheel without the key. If the key is lost, jammed, or stuck, it’s best to hire a professional locksmith. But if you have the tools and know-how, attempting an unlock yourself could be economical. A pro will probably do the job better with less danger of harm, so it’s worth thinking over these DIY options based on your needs and situation:
- Using a screwdriver.
- Using a wedge tool.
- Using a coat hanger.
- Using a lockout tool.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ways to unlock a steering wheel without a key?
There are a few ways to unlock a steering wheel without a key, such as using a slim jim tool, retrieving the lock cylinder, or using a universal steering wheel lock removal tool.
How do you use a slim jim tool to unlock a steering wheel?
To use a slim jim tool to unlock a steering wheel, you must first locate the locking mechanism. Once you have found it, slide the slim jim tool between the window and the weatherstripping. Then, move the tool up and down until you find the locking mechanism. Once you have found it, push the tool in and up to unlock the steering wheel.
How do you use a universal steering wheel lock removal tool to unlock a steering wheel?
To use a universal steering wheel lock removal tool to unlock a steering wheel, you must first locate the locking mechanism. Once you have found it, insert the tool into the lock cylinder and turn the tool until it clicks. This will release the lock, allowing you to unlock the steering wheel.