Unlocking the Mystery of Your Subaru Legacy’s Steering Wheel: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a proud Subaru Legacy owner, one of the last things you want to deal with is a locked steering wheel. Not only can it be frustrating, but it can also be dangerous, especially if you’re on the road. Fortunately, unlocking a Subaru Legacy steering wheel is a relatively easy process that can be done using a few simple methods. In this article, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to unlock your steering wheel and get back on the road.

Reasons Why a Steering Wheel May Become Locked

Before we dive into the different methods for unlocking your Subaru Legacy steering wheel, it’s essential to understand why it may become locked in the first place. A locked steering wheel is often the result of the following situations:

  • Steering wheel was turned while the car was off
  • Malfunctioning ignition switch
  • Malfunctioning steering wheel locking mechanism
  • Defective key

Different Methods for Unlocking a Steering Wheel on a Subaru Legacy

There are a few methods that you can use to unlock your Subaru Legacy steering wheel. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Method 1: Turn the Key and Wiggle the Wheel

This method may seem obvious, but it’s often the most effective way to unlock a steering wheel. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Insert the key into the ignition
  2. Turn the key to the "On" position, but do not start the engine
  3. While holding the key in the "On" position, try to turn the steering wheel back and forth
  4. Wiggle the wheel vigorously while turning the key at the same time
  5. If the wheel has been unlocked, you should be able to start the car as usual
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Method 2: Use a Different Key

If the key you’re using is defective, it may not work to unlock the steering wheel. In this case, you can try using a different key to see if it works. You can also try cleaning the key to make sure that there isn’t any dirt or debris obstructing it.

Method 3: Unlock the Steering Wheel with a Screwdriver

This method may sound extreme, but it can be effective if the other methods don’t work. Here’s what you need:

  • A flat-head screwdriver

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Insert the screwdriver into the slot located on the bottom of the steering column
  2. Apply gentle pressure and turn the screwdriver to release the locking mechanism
  3. While holding the pressure on the screwdriver, gently turn the steering wheel back and forth until it unlocks
  4. Remove the screwdriver and start the car as usual

It’s important to note that while this method can be effective, it should only be used as a last resort. Using a screwdriver to unlock your steering wheel can cause damage to the steering column and should be done with caution.

Precautions to Avoid Damaging the Steering Wheel or Locking Mechanism

It’s important to take precautions when attempting to unlock your Subaru Legacy steering wheel to avoid causing damage to the steering wheel or locking mechanism. Here are some essential precautions to keep in mind:

  • Be gentle when turning the steering wheel
  • Avoid using excess force when attempting to unlock the steering wheel
  • Make sure the key is inserted properly into the ignition
  • If using a different key, ensure that it’s the correct key for your car
  • Avoid using a screwdriver to unlock the steering wheel unless it’s a last resort
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Troubleshooting Tips

If you’ve tried all the methods outlined above and your steering wheel remains locked, there may be an underlying issue that requires a mechanic’s assistance. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you pinpoint the issue:

  • Check the ignition switch to make sure it’s functioning correctly
  • Check the steering wheel locking mechanism for any signs of damage or obstruction
  • If you’ve recently had work done on your car, contact the mechanic to see if they may have caused the issue


Unlocking a Subaru Legacy steering wheel doesn’t have to be a complicated process. By following the methods outlined in this article, you’ll be able to unlock your steering wheel and get back on the road in no time. Remember to take precautions to avoid damaging your steering wheel or locking mechanism and seek assistance from a mechanic if the issue persists.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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