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Old 03-08-2017, 11:49 AM   #1
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2016 Toyota Avalon

I my not be using the "search" feature correctly, but could not find any results for this question. Does anyone have experience dolly towing a 2016 Avalon? Would like to use an ACME EZE tow dolly, but was wondering if unlocking the steering column and letting it free-wheel causes any issues with the electric steering system. Would appreciate any thoughts on this subject!
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHammer View Post
I my not be using the "search" feature correctly, but could not find any results for this question. Does anyone have experience dolly towing a 2016 Avalon? Would like to use an ACME EZE tow dolly, but was wondering if unlocking the steering column and letting it free-wheel causes any issues with the electric steering system. Would appreciate any thoughts on this subject!

As long as the ignition is in ACC or OFF you will not have any problems. If it is towed with the ignition in the ON position you will get a bunch of skid control lights and fault codes. If this happens disconnect the battery for 10 minutes and see if the codes clear. If not take the vehicle out and drive it, making several turns, and stopping and shutting the engine completely OFF. Repeat this procedure three times. If the codes don't clear the car can still be driven till you can get it to a dealer to have the codes cleared electronically, $$.


Another thing you can do is load it on the dolly and make sure the steering is unlocked and then dis-connect the battery. That way there is no chance codes will be set.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks IIIkrob for the info. This model has the push button start so I have to leave it in ACC for the column to remain unlocked. If I remove the Stg Lock fuse it will remain unlocked when the ACC times-out after 30 minutes. That seems to reduce the battery drain so hopefully won't run down the battery after a day of towing. It is actually fairly easy to turn the wheel with the power off, so I'm hoping it won't damage any of the steering components leaving it unlocked while towing the dolly. Once I'm sure I won't hurt anything I can put a dash-mounted switch on the fuse to make it easier.
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:18 PM   #4
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Thanks IIIkrob for the info. This model has the push button start so I have to leave it in ACC for the column to remain unlocked. If I remove the Stg Lock fuse it will remain unlocked when the ACC times-out after 30 minutes. That seems to reduce the battery drain so hopefully won't run down the battery after a day of towing. It is actually fairly easy to turn the wheel with the power off, so I'm hoping it won't damage any of the steering components leaving it unlocked while towing the dolly. Once I'm sure I won't hurt anything I can put a dash-mounted switch on the fuse to make it easier.

As long as it is in ACC or OFF it will not damage any of the steering components either electrical or mechanical.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:50 PM   #5
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Thanks much!
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:35 PM   #6
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dochammer: Are you saying that you leave it in acc and pull the steering lock fuse? The shop foreman at my Toyota dealer says that if you pull that fuse you might get a check engine light. Then there can be even more problems. He is going to try installing a battery disconnect and see what happens. This is on a Tacoma I will be following your posts as I want to know what happens
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:12 PM   #7
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I have tested pulling the strg lock fuse while it is in ACC then turning the ignition off completely. So far no ill effects. The check engine light does not come on and there does not seem to be an increase in battery drain. The steering column stays unlocked until I put the fuse back in before I turn the ignition on. Of course all of these tests are with the vehicle sitting in the garage. According to my neighbor (who owns his own successful Toyota/Lexus repair shop) it should not make any difference whether the vehicle is sitting still or being pulled down the road. The earliest I'll be able to tow the vehicle is June of this year. Hopefully can find some definitive answers by then!
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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Apparently Southwest Driveline in Yuma has set up a number of Toyota vehicle's with PB start. I am going to drop by their shop this fall.
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:39 PM   #9
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Are you sure? Don't know about the Avalon, but vehicles with pushbutton start usually don't have steering wheel locks. They use an electronic anti-theft system and don't need it. Have you tried turning the wheel when the car is Off?

Option #2: Get a Mastertow , Stehl or Roadmaster dolly that has a swivel platform and then you won't need to have the steering unlocked.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:38 PM   #10
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Gary: I know the Tacoma with the PB start also has a steering wheel lock. many of the Toyotas are similar. Today's vehicles are so darn electronic. The BCM and ECM ( are they all one today?) can play havoc with flat towing. Pulling fuses can turn your Toad into a statue that won't move or start! I know of one Tacoma owner that took apart the column and removed the pin that does the locking. This is a big deal as that area is protected . It is secured with headless bolts! Another Toyota owner made a fuse bypass and still the wheel locked after one hour. Maybe the wiring is multiplexed? I preferred when the most complicated part of a vehicle was a few Bosch relays!! Just read of all the problems Colorado owners were having. As I posted one Toyota shop foreman thinks we need a battery disconnect. I have one in my junk drawer and when I have time he is going to try this on one of their new Tacomas.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:53 AM   #11
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Yes, the Avalon does have the PB start and locking steering column. They did away with the ability to use the manual key (embedded in the key fob) to keep the column unlocked. The longest I've left the fuse out has been 24 hours and the column has remained unlocked. My neighbor tells me that as long as I put the fuse back in before I turn on the ignition it should not generate any computer codes and that has certainly been the case. I'm waiting to hear back from the Acme folks to see if they have gotten any feedback from other Avalon owners. Will let you know when I have some more info.
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