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Help- Car ignition and steering wheel locked up

59er59er Posts: 30
edited June 2015 in Hyundai
I have a 2009 Sonata Limited that is generally in fine working order. Tried to move it today after a snow and the key won't turn in the ignition, the steering wheel is locked up and can't shift it. We can unlock and lock the doors. Seems like an electrical problem? Any insights or suggestions?

See Also: How to unlock your Hyundai steering wheel


  • Have you tried jiggling the wheel back and forth while you are trying to turn the key to the start position? Sometimes the steering wheel lock mechanism gets a little out of alignment and won't let you turn the key. Also there should be a way to bypass this interlock. My son's Honda has a little place by the gear shift lever where you can stick the key in and (with your foot on the brake) shift out of park and into neutral. If you can get it into neutral, you should be able to start it. Check your owner's manual and see if there's a way to bypass the steering wheel/park interlock.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,901
    Sometimes the wheel needs to be tugged pretty hard, with a lot of force, to release the key lock. That happened on one of my cars once... called AAA and they forced it.

    I should mention one other cause for a problem like this, as it happened to me once. And was quite embarrassing. I went out to one of my cars (it was a Hyundai), put the key in the ignition, and it would not turn. The wheel was straight, not locked, so I could not figure out why the ignition would not turn. Finally I called Hyundai Roadside Assistance. While I was waiting for the tow truck, I noticed the key was not the key for that car! I quickly called Hyundai and told them to call off the service person. Yes, quite embarrassing. The funny thing was, this other key for a different brand of car fit into the ignition of the Hyundai.
  • 59er59er Posts: 30
    Thank you for your quick reply! My husband was able to get it into neutral through the lock on the gear shifters and then he applied a blow dryer to the frozen ignition! That did the trick.
  • 59er59er Posts: 30
    Hi Backy,
    I just saw your message. Are you the same Backy of white wagon fame on the VW vortex board years ago?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,901
    No. So much for having a unique handle!
  • We went to start our 2012 Enclave and the key turned to the 2nd of the 4 ignition positions and locked up. Steering wheel locked, no power to anything, no lights, or anything. We put it on a charger thinking it may have been a dead battery and the battery showed full power. We had to call for a tow to a dealership and they now have had the car for the 2nd day and can't find out why it happened. They did get it started and drove it but don't know what caused this. We're pretty unhappy right now that this happened on a $50,000 vehicle with 5000 miles on it and the service people have no clue of why it happened or if it will happen again. Any suggestions? Has this happened to anyone else?
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