Why Would a Steering Wheel Lock?

When you remove the car key from the ignition, a steering lock engages to keep thieves from steering the car effectively if they hotwire it. However, sometimes the wheel is turned so that the car key cannot disengage the lock when the owner gets back into the car.

The best way to get the steering wheel unlocked is to slide the key into the ignition and turn the steering wheel gently back and forth, a slight amount in each direction while still turning the key. The key engages the steering lock and opens it up, allowing free motion for the steering wheel.