Steering Wheel And Brakes Locked Up When Parked | Solutions

Locked up steering wheel and brakes sound horrible at the same time irritating for the car drivers. Because the steering wheel and brakes are the essential parts that allow you to drive the vehicle smoothly. Actually, you can not imagine a car driving without these parts.

Most drivers complained about the steering wheel and brakes locked up when parking, but what are the main reasons for this situation? Well, here you can get to know the causes of this problem and how to fix it. 


Why is the steering wheel locked up when parked?

Steering wheel can locked up for many reasons such as

  • The steering wheel locked when there is no key in the ignition system. It is a common safety feature of a car. While you turn off the car the steering wheel locks up automatically. This is a common cause and can be solved easily.
  • If the car ignition lock is blocked with debris and dirt, it can lock the steering wheel. Moreover, an aged key that is worn out or bent can not work properly while you are trying to unlock the ignition system. 
  • Steering column is the device that connects the steering wheel with the ignition system. The steering column helps to turn the car in the potential way. So if there is any damage on the steering column, it will lock the steering wheel. Sometimes the device is worn out over time or gets jammed because of dirt and debris. Actually, if there is any issue, the steering wheel will not move smoothly.
  • The Engine Control Unit (ECU) is the sensor that delivers the activity of the car. If there are issues with this monitoring device, the steering wheel is locked up when the parked car is started.
  • If the car has a lack of steering fluid then the steering wheel will lock temporarily. When the car is parking lot maneuvers, and you feel the steering wheel is hard to move or jammed the main reason is the low power steering fluid. 

Why is the brake locked up when parked?

The brake is the significant part that helps to control the car’s speed. Driving with a locked brake can cause terrible accidents. So you should never compromise with the faulty brake. When the car is parked for a long time, the brake is locked up. Here are some probable causes that are responsible for locked brake. 

  • The main reason for the locked brake is the faulty Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Most cars are equipped with this ABS system. When this system has some fault and damage, the brake is locked up. 
  • While the temperature is freezing cold, the brake system’s hydraulic fluid may be frozen and it locks the brake when parked. Hydraulic fluid is stored in the master cylinder and you need it while pushing the brake. Fixing this problem is very easy, just heat up the frozen area, it will fix the hydraulic fluid and unlock the brake. 
  • If the car is parked for a long time, the brake can rust and later corrode. This is another major cause of the brake stuck when parked. Depending on rust progress you can remove it by yourself or call a professional. 

How to fix the locked steering wheel when parked?

First up you need to solve the most probable problem like key unlock or ignition lock problem. You can follow the steps: 

  • Set the key in the ignition system and turn with light pressure. Don’t force over the key otherwise it will break inside.  
  • Then try to turn the steering wheel in the left and right with pressure and this will unlock the steering wheel. 

If the process does not work for your car then there will be underlying problems. If you don’t want to try the DIY process to unlock the steering wheel it would be better if you call a professional and solve the steering wheel locked problem. 

How to fix the locked brakes when parked?

The car brake is a sensitive part and can be jammed if you park for a long time. It may rust or corrode over time and you can prevent it from being cleaned properly that will unlock the brake. Moreover, at low temperatures the brake can lock for some time. When you start the car the engine will melt the freezing and unlock the brake. 

If there is a problem in the ABS system, then you must consult a service center and fix the issue. Sometimes you need to replace the ABS of the car. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

  1. What can cause power steering to lock up?

There are probable reasons for power steering lock up: a mechanical failure, power steering fault and electronic ignition system failure. Power steering lock up doesn’t stop the car but it lowers the responsiveness of the steering wheel. When it happens, the steering wheel feels heavy and sticky to operate. 

  1. Can I fix the locked steering wheel and brakes by myself?

If you look at the whole content you will know there are some usual and unusual reasons for locked steering wheels and brakes. If these parts are locked for common reasons, then you can follow the DIY process that we have discussed earlier. And if there are underlying problems, it will be tough to solve by yourself. Then you must call a professional car mechanic. 

  1. What happens if your brakes lock up?

Brake helps to slow the car speed while driving. If the brakes lock up, the car will turn sharply in the potential way. It has become hard to stop at the right time that can cause severe accidents.

Final words
If the steering wheel and brakes locked up when parked, you should not drive the car in traffic. You must fix the problems fast and then drive safely. It can happen, your steering wheel and the brake is locked at the same time. This is a serious issue for a driver. So if you don’t have car repairing knowledge consult a professional rapidly.

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