Auto Repair Shop Pro Lesson: What are Reasons Your Steering Wheel Won’t Lock?

Experiencing car trouble is something no driver wants to deal with. Unfortunately, however, every driver is going to deal with car problems at one point or another. One of these problems includes a steering wheel that won’t lock.

If your steering wheel isn’t locking while the vehicle isn’t being used, you need to get it fixed as soon you as you can. You may be wondering what can cause a steering wheel to not lock in place.

The Detent Is Damaged or Broken

In most cases of a faulty steering wheel, the detent is either damaged or broken. A detent is the part in a steering wheel that “catches” it. Over time, this part can eventually wear down, especially if the car is an older model. However, this can happen with newer cars as well. Should this happen with a new luxury car, then age is probably not the cause. Regardless, the detent is one of the first things an auto repair shop will look at.

One of The Cogs is Broken

The detent isn’t the only thing that can cause a steering wheel to lock up. In fact, it may simply a part of the detent that’s causing the issue. Even just one damaged, broken or loose cog can be the root of the problem. The detent is connected to a certain cog that’s apart of the steering column. Although this can cause a massive headache, all it takes is a simple repair or replacement and your steering wheel be as good as new.

The Wheel Isn’t Being Turned Enough

This may come off as a bit silly, but in some cases, the wheel may not lock in place if it’s not turned enough. Sometimes, the detent will need to be turned a certain way in order to catch the wheel. For some cars, especially older models, if the wheel is turned too far to the left or right, the detent won’t catch it.

Keep in mind that although this can be the cause, it’s important to check with a mechanic just in case. You never know if there is an underlying issue.

There are a lot of potential causes for a steering wheel that won’t lock in place, but these are among the most common. Be sure to visit your local auto repair shop if your car starts experiencing any issues. A non-locking steering wheel can be catastrophic if left unchecked.

For expert advice, contact us!