Can A Car Be Towed With The Steering Wheel Locked?

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

It is generally known that if your steering wheel is locked, the vehicle won’t start at all, because either your ignition switch won’t turn or, in case your car has a start-stop button, you may see a warning light about the steering wheel lock on the dashboard.

Luckily for us all, it is quite simple to unlock the steering wheel and get your car started through very easy steps. But can a car be towed with the steering wheel locked?

No, a car can not be towed with the steering wheel locked. You must not lock the steering wheel of any vehicle that is being flat towed.

Doing that would most likely cause its wheels to scrub or drag sideways whenever you are taking a turn to either side of the road. Consequently, the steering wheel needs to be unlocked in order to enable the wheels to turn as required and eventually straightened back out when needed.

What situation can lead to a car being towed with the steering wheel locked?

There are really very few reasons that may necessitate your steering wheel to be locked up and possibly force you to tow it like that, though at a very grave expense.

First, the steering wheel can lock up if you use the wrong key, make too many frequent sharp turns, power steering wheel malfunction or even that of an ignition lock.

Once you are able to identify why it got locked up in the first place, act fast to fix the root cause of this threat. Though you may be forced to tow the car with the steering wheel locked due to any of the reasons given here, you are still strongly advised against doing that for reasons of safety to very vital car parts.

Trending Searches

Can a car be towed without a steering wheel lock?

Yes, you can. This is primarily because the steering wheel lock serves only to prevent thieves from taking the car and driving it away, but it does not in any way interfere with towing the vehicle.

In some situations, the steering wheel can even be removed entirely using the key that comes with it,  but if it gets lost or stolen, the driver is,  in all honesty, stranded until a locksmith arrives, though a professional removing the device can cost you a lot of money.

What happens when you lock your steering wheel?

If the steering wheel gets locked, you will definitely not be able to start its engine, because either your ignition switch won’t turn or,  if the model of your car has a start-stop button, a warning light on the dashboard may come on to alert you of it. Luckily, it is easy enough to fix the problem and get the car started by using equally very easy steps too.

Do you lock the steering wheel on a tow dolly?

Yes, the steering wheel of the vehicle-in-tow must necessarily be locked. However, in situations where the vehicle is not equipped with a locking steering column, the steering wheel will have to be tied securely in that case.

Can a car be towed with a steering wheel not locked?

Yes, it can. In fact, that is the most recommended or preferred way to tow a car. When the steering wheel is not locked, the vehicle being towed will be easily steered to simulate the movement of the vehicle towing it. Otherwise, the car being towed will have difficulty turning to either the left or right at sharp or even slight bends.

Can one disable the steering wheel lock for a dolly towing?

Although you can remove or disable the steering wheel lock if you want, you are still advised against doing that. This is because the steering wheel lock is a car theft prevention device designed to stop thieves from driving the car away at your expense. If you want to remove it, you can do so easily with the key that comes with it.

However, if that key is either lost or stolen, the owner of the car will obviously be stranded until a locksmith fixes the problem, though removing the device using professional help can be quite expensive too.

Read Also: Can a tow truck get a car out of a garage?

Can a car be towed with a broken or spoilt steering wheel lock?

You can tow the car whether the steering wheel lock is either broken or stolen. The only risk or threat you will obviously face is that of getting the vehicle stolen in the event of thieves making an attempt on it, but it doesn’t interfere with the possibility of towing.

FAQ

How do you tie a steering wheel lock?

In order to tie the steering wheel lock, it is best done using the strap. To do that, put one end of the strap at the brake pedal and thereafter, pass the second end through the steering wheel, particularly in cars such as the Dodge Challenger, which has a slot in the middle of the steering wheel, though most cars actually do too.

After going through these manoeuvres and tieing up both ends of the strap, the steering wheel is essentially locked. Alternatively, whenever your steering wheel fails to lock up when the key is off, you can always lock it using your seat belt.

Wrap the belt a couple of times around the steering wheel and then buckle it up in place. Now, you can pull the seat belt all the way out just so that, as you retract it round, it will lock up.

Do you lock the steering wheel with a tow bar?

No, you don’t. Flat towing with a properly mounted towbar is as safe as trailing your rig and is also much more superior to using a tow dolly, but you don’t lock the steering wheel with it.

Basically,  the towbar will disconnect the automatic transmission system of the vehicle so as to allow you to tow it. In the alternative, you can either disconnect the front axle manually or use an axle lock device as well.

You always need the steering wheel to be unlocked as long as the vehicle is being flat towed. Other than this, the front wheels of the towed car would scrub or drag around the corners.

However, when you unlock the front wheels, it enables the towed vehicle to turn and follow the tow vehicle as it is being towed.

Do I lock the steering wheel when towing?.

No, you don’t. The steering wheel of all towed cars should stay unlocked as the wheels keep turning accordingly and straighten back out when needed too. This will enable the towed vehicle to follow that which is towing it around bends at corners. Otherwise, its wheels may drag or scrub at such places, with the possibility of serious damage.

What causes power steering to lock up?

Should your steering wheel lock up while your car is in motion, perhaps the most likely cause is a lack of power steering fluid, or a dirty steering wheel fluid too. If any damage has caused the system to spring a leak, it could also lead to a lack of fluid pressure in the system as well.

Read Also: Can you tow a car without plates?

Why did my wheel lock up?

As has been repeatedly discussed, there are three common reasons why your steering wheel may lock up; you may be using the wrong key, making frequent sharp turns, a power steering wheel pump failure or even an ignition lock. Once you are able to determine the cause of the steering wheel lock up, act promptly to fix the root cause.

How do you tow with a locked steering wheel?

If your steering wheel fails to lock with the key off, you can use your seat belt to lock it. To do this, wrap the seat belt a couple of times around the steering wheel and then buckle it in place. Now pull the seat belt all the way out so that you can retract it to lock up. This will surely lock your steering wheel

Why does my steering lock when parked?

The commonest reason for your steering wheel to get locked is that, when parking the car, you have engaged one of its safety features without knowing. This usually happens if you turn off the car and then turn its wheels a bit either to the right or left. Consequently, one of the lock slots may get blocked and you will obviously have a stuck car.

How do you tow a car without keys?

In order to tow a car without its keys, perform the following steps:

  1. First, determine whether it is a front or rear-wheel-drive car. Then, check your user manual if you are not sure.
  2. Secondly, install a self-loading dolly. Next, place the dolly beneath the rear wheel if the car has a rear-wheel-drive or the front wheel if the car has a front-wheel drive.
  3. You can then attach a tow strap. But please, do not attach it to either the bumper or axle of the car
  4. Finally, drive away slowly and carefully afterwards.

How do you tow a car with a rope?

To tow a car with a rope, the safest thing to do is to drive slowly. To connect the towing rope effectively, start by using a bowline to secure it if it does not have a hook.

Thereafter, be aware that the rope may slip off the tow hitch if you secure it only to that, so secure it in more than just one place, just to be sure. Finally, most ropes are three to five feet in length, so make sure that you get the appropriate length too.

Read Also: Can you stop your car from being towed?

How do you unlock a wheel lock?

There are several methods through which this can be done satisfactorily, but we shall endeavour to discuss that which is very reliable and easy to carry out. Before you start on this method, remove your wheel locks with the wheel lock key and then perform the following steps:

  • Step 1. Get all the materials needed to do the job, such as a lug nut wrench, lug nut itself and so on.
  • Step 2. Make sure that your vehicle is in the ‘park’ position.
  • Step 3. Then, align the key with the nut.
  • Step 4. Place your lug nut wrench on the wheel lock key.
  • Step 5. Afterwards, turn the lug nut wrench counterclockwise.
  • Step 6. Finally, you can turn the wheel lock off even by hand, and you are essentially done.

How much does it cost to fix a locked steering wheel?

The steering wheel system is made of various components, and that determines its repair costs, though there is the cost of labour added into the mix too. All in all, most repair cost for the steering wheel ranges from about 150 to 1000 dollars, with only a  very slight variation here and there from one auto shop to another.

Can A Car Be Towed With The Steering Wheel Locked – Conclusion

The steering wheel lock might have featured very prominently in the article, but for what it is worth, it is mainly required to prevent thieves from taking away your car.

However, it is important when towing too. If this lock is engaged while towing, the towed car will not be able to manoeuvre as it should behind the tow vehicle because of the restriction of the lock on its steering wheel, which may result in very serious damage to several car parts too.

In essence, always tow with the steering wheel unlocked. On the issue of the tow bar, it is used to connect the front of the dinghy vehicle to the back of the tow vehicle, while the tow vehicle pulls the dinghy, and the tow bar pivots them both, thus allowing for a smooth towing.

Leave a Comment