Why Is My Honda Steering Wheel Locked?

Unlock your Honda steering wheel by firmly pulling it to one side while turning the key in the ignition. Follow along for all the details.
Written by John Davis
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If your Honda steering wheel is locked, you should be able to pull it slightly in one direction or the other. Firmly pull the wheel to whichever side you can while turning the key in the ignition. If this doesn’t work, there may be a deeper mechanical issue causing your wheel to lock.
Honda has long held a prestigious spot among car enthusiasts and regular drivers alike for its exceptional line of reliable and long-lasting vehicles. They’re also some of the safest cars on the road—thanks, in part, to their locking steering wheel mechanism designed to prevent your car from being stolen or rolling down a hill if the brakes fail. 
While this feature can be a lifesaver (literally) it might also cause some concern if you enter the vehicle to find the wheel locked.
Don’t worry, though!
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How to unlock your Honda steering wheel

Your Honda steering wheel might lock if you or someone else accidentally triggers the locking mechanism that’s there to prevent your car from being stolen or rolling down a steep incline. 
It’s pretty easy to lock the wheel inadvertently—turning the wheel while parked or without the key in the ignition can trigger the locking mechanism—so don’t freak out if you find your wheel locked.
Luckily, it’s also relatively easy to unlock the steering wheel.
First, try to turn the wheel in both directions. You should be able to pull it slightly to the left or right. When you determine which direction the wheel can turn, pull it firmly to that side while turning the key in the ignition
Following these steps should unlock your Honda steering wheel. If this process doesn’t work, you may have a more severe mechanical problem.
MORE: Are Hondas expensive to maintain?

Why your Honda steering wheel lock might engage

Besides the anti-theft locking mechanism, several things could cause your steering wheel to lock up. If your Honda steering wheel is locked and the above method doesn’t work to fix it, you could be dealing with anything from a faulty ignition lock cylinder or frozen tumblers to a severe power steering system failure
Let’s explore some of the most common things that might cause your steering wheel to lock. 

If the steering wheel locks while parked

If your car is parked and the steering wheel won’t turn, you should first try to unlock it using the method above. But if that doesn’t work, chances are you have an ignition failure. The anti-theft feature that locks your wheel works together with the ignition system. 
And if this feature gets stuck and the wheel won’t turn, you may need to replace your
ignition switch
or the ignition cylinder. 

If the steering wheel locks while driving

Although it’s very rare (fortunately), your Honda’s steering wheel might lock up while you’re driving down the road. If this happens to you, chances are your car is experiencing a catastrophic failure of the power steering system, steering column, steering rack, or suspension system
If you’re driving down the road and this happens, try your best to maintain a level head and control of the vehicle. Keep both hands firmly on the wheel and gradually press the brake to slow yourself down. If you can turn the wheel at all, try to navigate toward the side of the road and then call for help.
Roadside assistance or towing insurance can really come in clutch in situations like these.

If your steering wheel is usable but stiff

If your Honda’s steering wheel isn’t quite locked, but it is growing increasingly difficult to turn, there might be a problem with your car’s power steering system.
The power steering system has several components that must function properly for your steering wheel to turn easily. If the wheel is stiff or hard to turn, you might have a bad
power steering pump
, dirty
power steering fluid
or a low fluid level, or a power steering system leak.
If you’re experiencing an issue like this, you’ll likely need to take your car to a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the problem. 

How to save on Honda insurance

While Hondas aren’t generally known as one of the most expensive vehicles to insure, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a better deal and save some money. And if you have to fix a costly power steering problem, the last thing you need is an overpriced car insurance policy. 
can help you find the best deal for your individual situation. When you download the Jerry app, you only have to provide a few key pieces of information—like your phone number, accident history, and vehicle identification number—before gaining access to real-time quotes from dozens of top competing insurance providers. 
As a
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just saved me $193/month on my car insurance. They literally found me the cheapest policies out there and with better coverage! Seriously, just sit back and watch Jerry work its magic.” —Rachel B.
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