Why Is My Honda Odyssey Steering Wheel Locked?

A locked steering wheel in your Honda Odyssey helps prevent theft, but it can also signal a mechanical issue.
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If your Honda Odyssey’s steering wheel is locked, try pulling it in the same direction you initially moved it. If that doesn’t work, try jiggling it in the other direction. A steering wheel that doesn’t budge after those efforts could signal a mechanical issue.
As one of America’s top choices for family vehicles, the Honda Odyssey blends space, practicality, and style seamlessly to create the ultimate minivan. It’s equipped with an effective anti-theft device that will lock the steering wheel to prevent intruders from driving off with your beloved van. But if your wheel won’t come unlocked when you’re rushing out the door, it can be stressful.
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Honda Odyssey insurance costs
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How to unlock your Honda Odyssey steering wheel

When your Honda Odyssey steering wheel is locked, it generally means that you or someone else accidentally triggered the locking mechanism in the steering column. Using the wheel as leverage to get out of your car or accidentally pulling on it without the ignition key can cause the steering wheel to lock.
To unlock the wheel, pull on it in the same direction you initially tugged it. When the wheel starts to move, insert your key into the ignition and start the car. Your wheel should unlock all the way. If you don’t feel the wheel moving while you tug on it, try pulling it the other way. 
Although inconvenient when you’re the one who unintentionally locks your steering wheel, the mechanism is trying to protect you. If someone were to try to drive off into the sunset in your Odyssey, they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere with a locked steering wheel. 
However, If the wheel locks even when you’re not pulling on it and without the key in the ignition, it could be a sign of a serious mechanical problem

Why your Honda Odyssey steering wheel lock might engage

There are a few reasons why your Honda Odyssey’s steering wheel might lock beyond what it was designed for. The culprit could be a bad ignition lock cylinder or a serious power steering failure. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons your Honda Odyssey steering wheel is stuck.

If your steering wheel locks while parked

If your steering wheel does not turn while you’re parked, and it won’t unlock after pulling on the wheel and starting your car, it could be an ignition failure. The ignition system and steering wheel lock are closely entwined, so you may need to replace the ignition cylinder. If the cylinder isn’t the issue, it could also be the ignition switch.

If your steering wheel locks while driving

If your Honda Odyssey’s steering wheel locks while you’re driving, it can be alarming. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence. If it happens, something in your steering column,
steering rack
, power steering system, or suspension is malfunctioning.
Whenever you experience a mechanical failure behind the wheel, it’s important not to panic. Keep your hands steady on the wheel and gently tap the brakes once it’s safe to do so. Your steering wheel will probably be able to move a little bit, so use your muscles and steer the car to the side of the road as much as you can. 
Once you’ve come to a stop, you’ll need to call for help from a tow truck using roadside assistance or
towing and labor insurance

If your steering wheel is usable but stiff

If it’s not locked but your steering wheel is hard to turn, there could be something wrong with your power steering system
Power steering is what enables you to move the steering wheel freely. If your
power steering pump
is faulty or your
power steering fluid
is contaminated, it could be to blame. There could also be a leak in the steering system. You’ll need the help of a mechanic to determine the exact issue. 

How to save on Honda insurance

Thankfully, Hondas are reliable vehicles with few major issues that are inexpensive to maintain. The total ownership costs are low for vehicles like the Honda Odyssey, especially when combined with low
Honda insurance costs
That doesn’t mean you can’t find further savings—especially when you use the
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