You may find yourself with the steering wheel locked for no apparent reason as you prepare to take the wheel of your Toyota Camry. This typically happens, and in most cases it is not very serious. Having said that, be sure to follow the steps we will discuss with you in order to find the option as simply and quickly as possible.
Before solving the question, we will first help remind you how the starter mechanism works.
How the steering wheel of my Toyota Camry 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 Toyota Camry’s engine as soon as you turn the key.
When should it be changed?
Three cases may justify the need to change the switch on your Toyota Camry:
- The switch on your steering wheel was damaged or forced, most often because someone tried to steal your car.
- The switch suddenly failed and no longer works at all.
- The switch on your Toyota Camry reveals signs of weakness, there is a little delay between the time the engine starts or you need press the key very hard.
Check carefully your steering wheel with your Toyota Camry’s manual to see if the switch is made of one piece or if the two elements (lock cylinder and switch) are separate. Indeed, it is possible to exchange only the out-of-service element, which is more economical. You will likely need to spend about a hundred euros if you work with a garage, between 20 and 50 € if you change it yourself.
Now to the facts:
How do I unlock the steering wheel of my Toyota Camry?
On a car, locking the steering wheel when stationary is a basic 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 probably 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 Toyota Camry. Try without forcing, in mechanics, it is hardly ever good to force so act smoothly on the steering wheel and the key until you come across the unlocking point.
Maneuver the steering wheel, if your key is locked, move the steering wheel in the direction it wants to move and your key will therefore turn. Be careful, you must be more or less synchronized when you turn the steering wheel and the key of your Toyota Camry.
Do not shake the steering wheel too hard. If you force too hard, you may ruin the switch pinions, which will permanently block the steering wheel on your Toyota Camry. If this still doesn’t work, try to remove the key just a little. 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 therefore be wise to change it quickly.
It is also likely that your switch may be seized. 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 Toyota Camry’s switch and then try to insert the key again. Play it gently to use product all over it.
Also, simply check that your key is not damaged or blunt; if the teeth are no longer as they were originally, they will no longer have the capacity to move the pinions of the cylinder on your Toyota Camry’s steering wheel.
If the problem comes from your key, remember to take your duplicate in order to make another copy and thus have two keys that are in working order for your Toyota Camry.
As you have read earlier, the main reasons 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 units 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 maximize their life span.In the event that you have any additional questions about the Toyota Camry, do not hesitate to consult our Toyota Camry category.