You could find yourself with the steering wheel locked for no apparent cause as you prepare to take the wheel of your Chevrolet Silverado. This sometimes happens, and in most cases it is not very serious. Nonetheless, be sure to follow the steps we will discuss with you in in an attempt to find the solution as simply and quickly as possible.
Before solving the question, we will first help remind you how the starter mechanism works.

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How the steering wheel of my Chevrolet Silverado works

First, the starter switch is made up of two components.

  • The cylinder of the lock in which you insert the key to turn it
  • The electronic switch behind it. It will provide the electrical impulse to start your Chevrolet Silverado’s engine from the moment you turn the key.
    When should it be changed?
    Three cases may justify the need to change the switch on your Chevrolet Silverado:
  • The switch on your steering wheel was damaged or forced, in most cases because someone tried to steal your car.
  • The switch instantly failed and no longer functions at all.
  • The switch on your Chevrolet Silverado reveals signs of weakness, there is a small delay between the time the engine starts or you need press the key very hard.
    Check carefully your steering wheel with your Chevrolet Silverado’s manual to see if the switch is made of one piece or if the two elements (lock cylinder and switch) are different. Indeed, it is possible to exchange only the out-of-service element, which is more economical. You will have to spend about a hundred euros if you work with a garage, between 20 and 50 € if you change it yourself.
    Now to the points:

How do I unlock the steering wheel of my Chevrolet Silverado?

On a car, locking the steering wheel when stationary is a safety feature against theft. The steering wheel can only be unlocked by inserting the corresponding key into the vehicle.
Insert the key into the switch. Your steering wheel has almost certainly been locked since the last time you removed the key from the switch.
To unlock the steering wheel, only turn the key to the right and you can start the engine of your Chevrolet Silverado. Try without forcing, in mechanics, it is never good to force so act gently on the steering wheel and the key until you find the unlocking point.
Maneuver the steering wheel, if your key is locked, turn the steering wheel in the direction it wants to move and your key will then simply turn. Be careful, you must be more or less coordinated when you turn the steering wheel and the key of your Chevrolet Silverado.
Do not move the steering wheel too hard. If you force too hard, you may ruin the switch pinions, which will completely block the steering wheel on your Chevrolet Silverado. If this still doesn’t work, try to remove the key slightly. The idea is to find a position that would allow it to turn. Try one or two millimetres less depressed.
If you can start, your key is worn out. It would consequently be wise to change it quickly.
It is also likely that your switch may be gripped. In the event of a blockage, it may necessitate a little specific anti-seize agent. Send one or two splashes into the slot of your Chevrolet Silverado’s switch and then try to insert the key again. Play it gently to apply product all over it.
Also, just check that your key is not damaged or blunt; if the teeth are no longer as they were in the beginning, they will no longer have the capacity to move the pinions of the cylinder on your Chevrolet Silverado’s steering wheel.
If the problem comes from your key, remember to take your duplicate in order to make another duplicate and thus have two keys that are in working order for your Chevrolet Silverado.

Conclusion :

As you have read earlier, the main causes for a steering wheel lock are a damaged key or a jammed cylinder. In automotive mechanics, the majority of breakdowns or malfunctions are due to parts that are poorly or not taken care of. Keep them in good condition by simply cleaning them regularly and also by taking care of them to optimize their life span.

In the event that you have any additional questions about the Chevrolet Silverado, do not hesitate to consult our Chevrolet Silverado category.