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5090 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA, 92111

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Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Sat9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sun11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • SunClosed
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  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
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How To Unlock A Steering Wheel

A man holding the steering wheel inside a new BMW

When you’re trying to get on the road, finding out that you don’t know how to unlock a steering wheel can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress! That’s where our team comes in. If you work carefully and don’t overreact, unlocking your wheel only takes a few moments. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be adventuring in Chula Vista in no time.



How to Unlock a Steering Wheel: Step-by-Step

When you’re trying to unlock a steering wheel, using excessive force or jamming the steering wheel can make your problems worse. Keep this in mind as you take the steps below:

  1. Test the key to make sure it’s going all the way into the ignition. If it doesn’t turn, take it out and try once more. An older, worn-down key might not work as it should.
  2. Apply gentle pressure to the key, but don’t push too hard. Breaking the key off in the ignition will only make your problem worse. Starting the engine should unlock your steering wheel immediately.

If you can’t turn the key at all, you need to try unlocking the steering wheel by turning the steering wheel and the key at the same time:

  1. Find out which way the steering wheel moves. it should have a slight give in one direction, but not the other. Don’t jiggle it back and forth.
  2. Once you’ve identified the correct direction, apply gentle pressure to the key and the steering wheel at the same time.

Still no luck? You may need to replace your ignition system, but in other cases, the problem may be your key. In either case, you can get the help you need by reaching out to our service center or our parts department.

How to Unlock a Steering Wheel: Tips and Tricks

It isn’t hard to learn how to unlock a steering wheel, but the actual fix does require a careful touch. If you haven’t had success with the steps above, see if the following tips and tricks can help:

  • Try a newer key, or take it out and reinsert it several times.
  • If you can’t get the key into the ignition slot, try blowing canned air inside!
  • In order vehicles, a worn-out ignition switch might prevent you from unlocking your vehicle. Have it checked out regularly as part of your maintenance schedule.

How Did I Lock My Steering Wheel in the First Place?

The best way to avoid a locked steering wheel is to learn how a steering wheel becomes locked in the first place. For some drivers, learning how to lock a steering wheel provides extra peace-of-mind. However, it’s easy to lock your steering wheel by accident.

All you need to do to lock your steering wheel is turn it sharply in one direction after you’ve turned off the ignition. You should hear a sharp click, letting you know that the wheel is locked. Remember, don’t jiggle or jam the wheel after it’s locked! You may have more trouble unlocking it later.

Learn More About BMW Service with BMW of San Diego!

We want our El Cajon and Encinitas neighbors to be prepared for anything! If you’re anywhere near San Diego, check out our service tips and tricks, call us at (858) 295-3646, or contact us directly to get the assistance you need.

While you’re here, find out how to clean and disinfect your BMW to limit the spread of infectious diseases.

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(858) 295-1742

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5090 Kearny Mesa Rd • San Diego, CA 92111

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Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-7pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

BMW of San Diego 32.828527, -117.144328.