Steering Wheel Lock Up While Driving – Causes & Solutions

You might have heard the phrase “Bolt from the blue”. A locked up or stuck steering wheel may feel the same.

Driving the steering wheel locked up maybe the worst thing you might feel driving. For various reasons, when driving, a power steering locks up. It’s unwise to ignore these no matter how basic the explanations might be. 

Some of the most essential control mechanisms of a motor vehicle is a steering wheel. If the steering wheel screws up when driving, this is very disturbing and terrible. 

The steering wheel would not be able to move the vehicle because it is locked when driving.

Going through a lot of research we have found some major problems that may cause you this awful trouble. But it is never enough. 

7 Causes of Steering Wheel Lock Up While Driving

1. Sharp Turns 

If you take sharp turns quite often, your car’s transmission system will get affected. 

If you attempt to do many quick turns in a limited period, you would definitely lose the steering wheels. Sharp curves will also damage the engine of your vehicle and will cause your steering pump to be sticky.

2. Electric Power Steering Failure

Electric Power Steering Failure

The EPS (Electric Power Steering) motor malfunction could fail sometimes to let you steer your wheels due to malfunctioning. As it is powered by electricity from your car’s power supply it is common to misfire the signals it needs to steer the whiles. But there is a slight advantage, or it could be said as good luck that you will feel your wheels heavy, very heavy but it will not lock. Yet a heavy wheel will be very much difficult to manage and you may end up experiencing an accident.  

3. Ignition System

Ignition System in car

Let’s talk about another malfunctioning. You know that when you and your car’s key is out of the car and ignition no one can steer your wheels. But due to Ignition malfunctioning, your car can fail to detect that car keys are in the ignition. So it could lock up your string wheel.

4. Steering Lock Bar

Steering Lock Bar

As we explained, as you turn off your car, the car locks itself up which is known as Lock Bar. Due to factory defects like the improper casting of the steering lock bar may cause in locking the steering wheel while driving. So you should check everything from the start. 

5. Lock Assembly Problem

Have you ever notice that before your car locks itself up, it makes a sound almost squeaky? But we would suggest you think, does your car make any sound like that before locking up? If the answer is “No” then there is a problem with the lock assembly system.

On failing of assembling the key, without any notice, the steering wheel may lock all of a sudden. Therefore the main cylinder can not correctly follow the commands by adjusting the position of the switch. It can cost your life while speeding on the high way.

6. Power Steering Pump

Nothing can compare to human interaction. Back in the day’s cars did not have the feature of Power Pump for Steering. You should have used your arm muscles to turn the wheels.

Nowadays you can have cars with a power pump to steer your wheels which contains a lot of valves and linkages in the pump. If you drive on roads that are full of debris it may cause your pump to lock up while driving.

7. Other Causes 

 Engine stalling

As it is said it will be never enough to talk about the cause for locking up your steering wheel. But if we come up with one of the most important causes, we should mention Engine stalling. 

It causes failure of the power steering and it locks up the steering wheel.

Currently, there could be a lot of reasons behind the engine stall. These might include a mass airflow sensor, defective crankshaft or camshaft position sensors, defective coolant engine temperature sensor or switch, damaged spark connector, defective coil(s) or wire ignition, insufficient fuel pressure, and so on.

Solutions of Steering Wheel Lock Up While Driving

Now as we have come up with some major problems. Now let have some solutions. Let’s take it from the bottom !!

1.  Considering other causes

A fault in installing your car engine can end up in an accident, so take the following steps to save yourself and your loved ones. 

  • Have your car tested carefully by an experienced mechanic before you buy your vehicle. 
  • It might also cost you money to repair or replace faulty components. Yet life is more precious than that. 
  • Don’t hurry when buying a car, because life depends on you and your loved ones. 

2. Solution for Power Steering Pump

A moaning noise from your hood will alert you of the effects of a defective power steering engine. Replacing or fixing the power steering pump would be the safest way for you to avoid the Crash Because STEERING WHEEL LOCKS UP. 

Having a strong process experience, you can do it yourself. In order to fix the steering pump, the main device you will require is a special pulley puller, but not a common one.

You will need : 

Dorman 419-602 Belt Tensioner Pulley

The Dorman Belt Tensioner Pulley is designed to maintain the serpentine belt tension for belt life – while maintaining the alternator working, the water pump running, and the power steering pump and A / C compressor.

  • Steel or plastic construction for long-term heat, shock and corrosion durability 
  • The adjustment stops the sound of a tired belt tensioner pulley, pinch or groan. 
  • Parent substitution every time for the right match 
  • Produced to high-quality standards for electronics

The BIG RED  is equipped with Complete 360-degree rotors without turning and bending; Rotating parts are mounted on roller ball bearings in order to reduce the vibration and increase the performance. 

  • A 1 ton (2000 lb) lifting power manual lift chain hoist, complete with a hydraulic load brake for a specific use. 
  • Chains of 1/4 in diameter are constructed of high-quality stainless steel 20Mn2 with a black oxide finish for extra corrosion and grime strength; load-sharing gear enables heavy lifting.
  • Ideal for industrial settings and job applications such as factories, construction sites, garages, workshops, warehouses, farms, docks, wharves, and mines

3.  Solution for Lock Assembly Problem

You must have gone through the phrase “ Better an empty house than an ill tenant”. A bad or damaged assembly lock is just like that. You better not drive your car than driving with one.

So change it as soon as you find out the problem.

Here is some Assembly Lock for you : 

Beck Arnley 201-1971

Beck / Arnley pieces meet international nameplate OE type, fit, and work requirements. With a network of multinational vendors, our quality experts collaborate with you to add the right component with confidence.

  • Matches OE form, fit, and function
  • Comes with two non-programmable keys
  • Pre-lubricated internally to ensure smooth operation
  • Quality construction using premium materials for durability
  • Application-specific to ensure a correct fit for your vehicle

Arnley / Beck parts comply with the OE form and fitness and work requirements of the international nameplate. Our product experts work together with a large network of manufacturer partners so that the right component can easily be mounted.

  • Matches OE form, fit, and function
  • High quality material and componentry for optimal performance
  • Comes with two non-programmable keys
  • 100% tested for both mechanical and electrical performance
  • Application-specific to ensure a correct fit for your vehicle

4. Solution for Steering Lock Bar

Like assembly lock, The Lock Bar can also be changed or needed to be changed. But before that do consult with a good mechanic who is an expert on this. Maybe a clean up can do the work. But if you want to change your cars’s Lock Bar then check the following : 

Dorman 905-512 Steering Shaft

Dorman ‘s Steering Shaft Bearing is constructed of high strength, longer duty life components. Substitution returns the steering to full functionality.

  • Plastic construction for long-lasting durability
  • Replacement eliminates knocking and grinding noise
  • Direct replacement for a proper fit
  • Vehicle try-on testing has been conducted on this part to ensure trouble-free performance

5. Solution for Ignition System failure

Bad parts mean bad performance. A rusty key assembly point may cause this problem. You may have to apply too much pressure to the key to start the ignition. But as soon as you find out this problem you better change your Ignition system.

6. Solution for Electric Power Steering Failure

If your car’s steering wheel is powered by or controlled by EPS and if this locking problem occurs due to EPS then you should avoid driving your car until you have fixed this problem.

Consult an expert mechanic or if you are able to do it then, it is the best.

1. Avoid Sharp Turns

As mentioned above sharp turns may hurt your car engine and other parts. It mostly affects steering and suspension shafts. So first thing first tries to avoid sharp turns as much as you can. Despite this problem occurs check for damaged parts and change them as soon as possible.

Wrapping up

Take care of your car as your child. You and your loved one’s life depends on its wellbeing. Don’t let ignorance become the cause for you and your family’s grief.

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