A close up photo of the front dashboard inside of the 2018 Toyota Tundra

Stop getting frustrated by an unintentionally locked steering wheel

Why does the steering wheel lock on my Toyota car/truck?

Have you ever gone to start your Toyota car, truck or SUV and found that the steering wheel is locked or the key wouldn’t turn in the ignition? Do you find yourself wondering, ‘Why does the steering wheel lock on my Toyota car or truck sometimes?’ The short answer is, you have engaged one of the anti-theft systems on your Toyota vehicle. Now that we’ve identified the problem, the next step is helping disengage the steering wheel lock as quickly as possible. This feature is pretty common, if not universal, across every Toyota vehicle in the White River Toyota inventory.

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How do I unlock my steering wheel?

For the most part, the steps to unlock your Toyota steering wheel will be the same if you use a key to start the ignition or have push-button start. You will know the steering wheel lock is engaged if you can’t turn the wheel or turn the key in the ignition. If your vehicle has an information display in the center gauge cluster, you will also see a notification that the lock has been set on the steering wheel.

With a regular ignition

Turn the steering wheel back and forth while turning the key at the same time. This will disengage the lock and allow the vehicle to start.

With a push-button ignition

Turn the steering wheel left and right while pressing the brake pedal at the same time – then press the engine start/stop button. These procedures should get you back on the road with minimal disruption.

How can I prevent it from locking?

The steering wheel’s locking anti-theft feature will only engage if the driver moves the steering wheel when the vehicle is turned off and the key is removed from the ignition. The most common way it gets engaged is when someone uses the steering wheel to help them get out. If you don’t touch the steering wheel in this scenario, you won’t have to worry about it locking.

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If you have any other questions about some of the lesser understood features of your Toyota vehicle, stop by the White River Toyota showroom anytime.