How to Break a Steering Wheel Lock Pin

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you needed to break into your car, and the steering wheel lock prevented it, you’ll want to read this post. In this article, we will teach you how to break a steering wheel lock pin without causing any damage to your car. So whether you’ve locked yourself out of your car or someone has stolen it and locked the steering wheel, follow these steps, and you’ll be able to get in without any trouble.

Whenever you turn your steering wheel, a pin in the center is pushed outwards. That’s what is engaged when you’ve locked the steering wheel and prevented people from turning it (unless they have the key to unlock it). The pins are made of plastic and can break easily with enough force. As long as you handle them gently, there won’t be any damage to your car or pin, and you’ll get in quickly!

How to Break a Steering Wheel Lock Pin

Why Do Steering Wheels have Lock Pin?

Many cars today have a steering wheel lock to prevent car theft. The major reason for this security feature in modern vehicles is that they are usually equipped with an alarm system and central locking, making stealing the vehicle very difficult without moving the driver out of the way first. In addition, a steering wheel lock prevents a thief from turning the ignition key or using a screwdriver to start your car when you hit the road after parking it at night.

Steering Wheel Lock Pin Location

A steering wheel lock pin is positioned in the middle of a car’s steering column, which runs up from the driver’s area to the steering wheel. The pin is used to prevent anyone from getting into the vehicle if they could not move you out of the way first. The steering wheel lock pin is located at the base of the steering column and must be rotated clockwise to get out. The lock will either undo itself, or you will need a special key, such as a hexagonal head wrench, to get it to release.

Use a Screwdriver

Tools and Materials:

1) Flathead screwdriver, hammer & center punch (or a drill and an 8-32 tap)

2) A length of 8 -32 threaded rod long enough to reach through your steering wheel and out the other side (you’ll need about 1.5″ sticking out on each side), two nuts that will thread onto it, and two washers that won’t fit over the tip

3) Optional: Vice Gripps or something similar to clamp to your car’s structure, so you don’t damage its paint while drilling under it

4) Optional: Thread locker such as Loctite 242

A Detailed Guide on How to Break a Steering Wheel Lock Pin

Step 1:

Determine which of your car’s steering wheel lock pins you need to remove. It is usually the driver’s side, but if you can pop open your hood and get a good look at where the column enters the firewall on the other side, you may want to consider removing that one too.

Carefully pry up any rubber covers hiding screws or bolts holding your steering wheel onto its column. These tend to fall off over time, so go ahead and stick them back if they did. You’ll find out later why that matters in step 9. If there are no such covers present, you’re not going to need them anyway!

Step 2:

With a flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the metal cover(s) over your steering wheel lock pins. They’ll likely have one rod going through the middle of them that you will bend, but it is unlikely that they can be removed easily at this point anyway.

Step 3:

If you see any visible corrosion around your lock pin, go ahead and clean it off with some WD40 or, better yet, 60 grit sandpaper followed by brake cleaner to be safe. If there is no visible corrosion present, don’t worry about it. Step 4: Insert the 8-32 threaded rod down into your lock pin hole until it touches the bottom (it shouldn’t go too far if the lock is locked). Then screw on a small washer onto each end of the threaded rod. You should be able to get the rod in just fine by hand, but if you’re struggling, use pliers!

Use a Pin and Other Tool

Step 5:

Take your flathead screwdriver and tap it into the opposite side of the lock pin one good whack at a time. You will likely have to wiggle it around some since there is a spring down, which may cause some annoying resistance. Be patient! If you are using a hammer instead of a screwdriver, make sure not to smack yourself in the face with your car’s steering wheel when trying this step out. It happens, trust me.

NOTE: How much force you apply with each whack is up to you, but I’ve found that breaking pins isn’t always an immediate result from a single whack, so spread them out a bit between each hit.

Step 6:

You’re almost done once your lock pin is wholly mangled and can’t seem to whack it anymore without hurting yourself or putting dents in your car’s interior panels/dashboard! Now remove the threaded rod from your lock pinhole. Screw on two more washers and two nuts onto either end of the threaded rod that now protrudes from underneath your steering wheel.

Step 7:

Take something that will hold those nuts securely in place while you turn it with a wrench such as Vice Grips or even a pair of pliers wrapped with some duct tape to create a handle-grip (don’t use regular pliers because they will slip and you just spent all that time destroying your lock pin to no avail!).

You’ll need to use a wrench on the other side because the nuts are underneath. I used Vice Grips since I wasn’t about to smash my car’s paint with a hammer so close to the metal we were trying to drill.

Use a Wrench

Step 8:

If you don’t have one, use your drill (or screwdriver), slowly but surely, turn both of those nuts counterclockwise until your steering wheel pops off or until that handle-grip slips off and flies across the garage. How quickly this happens depends on how much force you apply when spinning it! If you can grip tighter without fear of slipping, do so and get it over with. If you can’t, then stop and try to grip it tighter. Be careful not to slip if doing this by hand!

Step 9:

Your lock pin should be mangled entirely and popped out of the hole completely, but don’t let that deter you from finishing up all four! Repeat these steps for each of the remaining lock pins on your steering column.

Once they’re all destroyed, re-insert your disk key into each of them (since some may be missing) and give your steering wheel a quarter turn in both directions to make sure they all work like new again! Then reattach that sucker back onto its column after removing any leftover parts/screws/bolts.

Step 10:

Now’s the time to go back and clean up any corrosion you may have missed with your sandpaper or WD40/brake cleaner (if it wasn’t there before) because this is the final step! How much you want to polish it is up to you, but I went all out and used half a can of PlastX only because the entire interior of my car was pretty grungy anyway.

Notice how dull the finish on mine became after removing all those locks. These steps will help in how to break a steering wheel lock pin.

What Happens if My Steering Wheel Locks Up?

If you are involved in an automobile accident, your steering wheel may lock up. Unlike most vehicles of the past 40 years that had a simple steering wheel locking mechanism activated by placing the ignition key into the lock and rotating 90 degrees, today’s vehicles have more complicated security systems built into them to prevent theft. For example, many luxury cars feature what is known as a “club” system on the steering wheel.

Use a Hand Tools

These club systems often use a set of pins within the steering column itself that stop any movement of the pedals or wheel when engaged. Thieves can easily use this system against you if they gain possession of your car keys by either forcing you out of your car at gunpoint or simply waiting for you to make your daily commute and swiping the keys while they are still in the ignition.

A club steering wheel system is designed to keep people like yourself from moving the car, but it doesn’t stop you from moving within the vehicle. The pins that engage when the system is activated will often disengage if extreme force is applied to them; however, it’s not a good idea to attempt this without having some knowledge about what you’re doing since you could cause serious injury by trying to rip apart a set of locked steering wheel pins.

You Can Check it Out Bypass Ignition Lock Cylinder


So, there you have it. A step-by-step guide on how to break a steering wheel lock pin. If you find yourself in this situation and don’t have access to the proper tools, remember that a little bit of creativity and determination can go a long way. Be safe and stay vigilant while breaking into your vehicle—and always consult with a professional if you’re unsure about how to proceed.

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