Telescoping Steering Wheel Guide | Mission, TX

Telescoping Steering Wheel Guide | Bert Ogden Mission Auto Outlet | Mission, TX

If you are a first-time car buyer browsing our listings on the Bert Ogden Mission Auto Outlet website, you have probably noticed that many of the cars feature a telescoping steering wheel (sometimes called telescopic steering wheel). But what does that mean, exactly? Our telescoping steering wheel guide discusses what a telescoping steering wheel is (and why the steering wheel position is crucial for your safety), how to adjust a telescoping steering wheel, and other types of steering wheels you might see on the market.

Telescoping Steering Wheel, Defined

What is a telescoping steering wheel? Simply put, it is an adjustable steering wheel that allows you to either pull it closer to you or push it farther away. Think of it like a telescope (ah, now you get it) that you can adjust by pulling it out or pushing it in to improve vision.

Back in the day, adjusting the steering often involved using tools, but nowadays (even on some older used cars), you just simply flip a lock under the steering wheel, adjust it to how you want it, and then relock it.

On older luxury vehicles and on many new vehicles, regardless of class, automatic steering wheel adjustment functionality is a desired feature. Using buttons, you can adjust the steering wheel like you might your side mirrors.

How To Adjust A Telescoping Steering Wheel

If you have a super old model, you may need to break out the toolkit. But if your vehicle has a lock that you can flip or, even better, a button you can press, adjusting should be easy.

But how should you adjust your telescopic steering wheel? That is, what’s the ideal setting? This depends on your height. Those with average height will have the easiest time selecting the position that works best for them, while those who are really short or really tall won’t have as many good options.

As you adjust, consider not just your comfort but also your safety. You might prefer the steering wheel to be right on your chest so you can lean back — or far forward so you have lots of extra room — but somewhere in the middle tends to be the safest. You need range of motion, but you also need to sit up in an alert position.

The best advice for adjusting your telescoping wheel: Set the wheel so that you can comfortably have your hands on three and 9 o’clock with the front wheels straight. If you are able to turn the steering wheel (both ways) so that your hands are at 12 and six — and you are comfortable and don’t have to lean anywhere to do so — it’s probably safe.

Never adjust your steering wheel while driving. If you think you need to adjust your steering wheel and it’s urgent, put on your hazards, pull over, make the adjustment, and then merge back onto the road.

Other Types Of Steering Wheels

Telescoping steering wheels are not the only kind that are available. Here are some other options:

  • Tilt steering wheels: Rather than adjusting in or out, this steering wheel can be adjusted up or down.
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheels: Many steering wheels offer both These are the safest steering wheels on the market for that reason.
  • Swing-away wheels: This outdated steering wheel option was almost exclusively offered on Ford models in the 1960s. Quite literally, you could swivel the steering wheel to the right and out of your way so that you could more easily enter and exit the vehicle. This steering wheel, while innovative, fell short in terms of safety features, and it’s now an all but forgotten memory.


Check out the inventory of high quality pre-owned models at Bert Ogden Mission Auto Outlet in Mission, Texas.


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