Q: Steering wheel jammed, cannot be turned

asked by on October 30, 2015

The steering wheel in my 2009 Nissan Altima with 90,000 miles on it is locked in place. I had to have the car towed to a shop because literally nothing I did would remedy the issue. I asked the tow place when I called if maybe this was something I could work around and they said that it happened often enough that they knew the wheel would stay locked. They were certainly right, and now my car is useless! Is there a way to fix this problem that will make it so this doesn’t happen again? I would hate to be stranded somewhere with no car!

At this point, there is no other known fix for this issue other than steering wheel lock replacement. Nissan has released some service information for repairing technicians that calls out the difference in newly redesigned parts, and it seems that it is being updated. Either way, it is important to have it checked as soon as it acts up, or you run the risk of a call to the tow company.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

What could be wrong with my car if the wheel is hard to turn while driving? I put power steering fluid in the car.

There can be many different possible causes of hard power steering. The most common things to check for are a broken power steering pump belt, or a leak that has caused the pump to run out of fluid. A power...

Gauges and Radio flicker when driving

This could be caused by a faulty power steering cooling fan. The Mini's have an electrically controlled fan that will de-activate power assist if the fluid temperature exceeds a programmed standard to prevent damage to the power steering system. These...

Misfiring Engine

Hi and thanks for your question. When you see white smoke coming from the engine or at the tail pipe, this is water and ethylene glycol mixture burning off. The smoke should smell sweet. If the smoke smells sweet, then...

Car will not move in any gear engine sounds fine 2007 Nissan Murano

Hi there - the P0746 problem code indicates low hydraulic pressure internal to the transmission. It can also indicate failed speed sensors inside the transmission. I would recommend a transmission inspection by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from...

My car sounds really loud when I crank it every morning

Hi there. Not sure what you mean by "extremely loud"; whether you have an exhaust leak (sounds like there is hole in the muffler), mechanical noises (cam actuators have leaked down, and are noisy until oil pressure comes up), worn...

My 2002 Nissan Altima seems to have a power steering fluid leak somewhere. I am constantly having to add fluid, and have noticed t

Hello, thank you for writing in. You are on the right track. The power steering pump is a very common place to develop leaks. Hoses, lines, the rack, and the gear box are also common places you will find a...

Cylinder 3 misfiring during rain intermittently. Got worse, now CEL is flashing. Changed plugs, #3 had carbon fouling. Next steps?

If you drive the car while the engine is actively misfiring, that can damage the catalytic converter. The problem you are writing in about is likely readily repairable and thus I suggest you request a misfiring diagnostic and the responding...

Belt squeaking

I believe for your vehicle there is only one drive belt. The serpentine belt is kept tight via the use of an automatic tensioner. If the belt is squeaking, the tensioner needs to be checked before the belt is replaced...

Fuel Pump shuts off when filling

This is likely related to your EVAP emissions system and something called a purge solenoid. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors...

Related articles

How Long Does a Steering Column Last?
Your Your car’s steering wheel is the key to maneuvering on the road, into parking spaces and more. However, it doesn’t do its job alone. In fact, it’s only one part of many in the steering system. The steering column...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Steering Column Actuator
Common signs include difficulty starting the car, being able to take the key out of the ignition anytime, and an overheating ignition switch.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Control Valve
Common signs include leaking power steering fluid, difficulty steering, or a whining noise while you are turning corners.