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Jim Jensen

Chevy truck steering wheel locked.

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The steering wheel locked on my 1996 Chevy truck and the key will not turn to release it. I have searched the internet for possible solutions, they all read about the same thing. Put a little pressure on the key and shake the steering wheel. I have tired this numerous time and had no luck.

I figured I was going to have to take the steering wheel off to either have the cylinder rekeyed or find what the problem is with the locking mechanism. The problem is the way the wheel is locked I can't reach one of the screws that holds on the airbag which means I can't remove the steering wheel to get at the lock.

Does anyone else have an idea to unlock the steering other than shaking the wheel?

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Usually when this happens its simply the lock has pressure on it from the steering wheel. Try it again by turning the wheel firmly one way while trying to turn the key. If that doesnt work try turning the opposite way. I'd be surprised if that doesnt work unless the problem is actually the tumbler.

If you do need to get at the tumbler you can remove the collar around the column without taking the wheel off.,

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I agree with mac. This is usually caused by pressure against the steering wheel lock and when you release that pressure the key will work.

If that doesn't work a BFH will, but then you will have to save the pieces lol.

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try tapping the lock cylinder with the handle end of a large screwdriver with the key removed. Then insert the key and try to turn. repeat several times.

It may be a coincidence that the lock cylinder is stuck and the wheel just happens to be locked in position. Whacking the lock cylinder will let the tumblers drop back into place and hopefully get the key to turn. It works about 90% of the time for stuck cylinders.

If you get it to turn replace the ignition lock tumbler immediately!

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I removed the bottom half of the collar but the top half has a lip that goes under the steering wheel. I am guessing there must be a screw under there holding it in place because it doesn't slide out from under the steering wheel.

The truck is parked in my driveway and the wheels are straight. I have seen on the internet that this problem can occur if the wheels are bound up against a curb for instance. This is not the problem in my case.

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Tapping on clylinder with a ratchet handle worked!! Thanks a million. I wish I would have posted my question on Friday morning rather than Sunday afternoon. Oh well at least I can get myself to work in the morning.

I will be replaceing the tumbler asap.

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I actually learned that trick on a ford focus forum. I had one with a stuck lock cylinder and the steering wheel needs to be turned 90 degrees to remove the screws for the column covers. I happened to catch the whack with a screwdriver out of the corner of my eye. Been using it ever since. Great tip to have stuck in the back of your mind. Especially when you work on chevy, ford, and especially chryslers!

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