Q: I lost my key and need to get the steering lock off.

asked by on February 21, 2017

So I just relocated, and my spare key is now 500 miles from me. Lost my ignition key while walking the dog, so I pulled the steering wheel cover off and exposed the switch. It starts just fine, but the wheel only turns about an inch in either direction. So essentially while the engine is running, the wheel is still in the park position. Once I got the broken key out, I hammered a screwdriver deep in the lock and tried pulling it out. No luck. I will be needing the car at the end of the week, so I am looking for a way to unlock the wheel and just start it manually until I can get it into the shop next week. There are two screws that connect the ignition cylinder to the steering column, but they both have their heads removed... I assume as a security feature. If I drilled them out and pulled the ignition cylinder away, would that unlock the wheel? Please do not suggest turning the wheel all the way to the side - again the issue isn't turning the key over; it's the wheel.

My car has 166000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You’re halfway there. The headless bolts you see are indeed a security feature. The heads are designed to twist off when the bolts are tightened. Obviously if they just unbolted, it would be far too easy for a car thief to remove the steering lock from any car. If you drill the bolts out you should be able to take the lock off of the column and free up the steering. Getting the tools in there to do the job is usually the most challenging part of the job. If you decide you can’t make this work, contact Your Mechanic to have a technician come out to your home or office to fix your steering lock for you right on the spot.

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