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What would cause my steering wheel to lock up? When I put the key in the ignition, I'm not able to turn it. What should I do?

(98 ford explorer)

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You may be parked in such a way that there is torque on your transmission, keeping it from engaging fully in park. Without your truck being fully in park you will not be able to start it or even move the key. Try rocking the truck a bit with your body weight as you try to GENTLY nudge the gear selector lever more fully into park. Then try again to start it. It may take several tries, and you may have to have someone help you "jiggle".

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It musta worked. You got a greenie.
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Hope so. After the guy who mistakenly drained his tranny fluid instead of his motor oil, I hesitated to even answer this one.
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This may be something to do with the front tires being pinched or turned when parking. This can cause pressure to the steering parts; hence, consulting a mechanic should be able to get you some advice on what to do with the situation.

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it locks if you turn the steering wheel while the car is off and no key in the ignition, to unlock the steering wheel put the key in ( first you turned the steering wheel all the way to the right dont let go till you turn the key once,

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You must relieve the pressure on the lock.
The key was shut off while the steering wheel was being tuned in one direction or the other.
You must turn it in the same direction to take the load off the lock.

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