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Old 12-06-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
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I'm towing a Lexus LX470 and recently had a bad experience. I tow with the key in the ignition, freeing up the steering wheel from locking. So when leaving the coach/car parked I pulled the key out of the car to lock the doors. When returning, I simply put the key back in and started towing down the road. A guy came up behind me, telling me my tires were turned, leaving rubber down a 2 mile stretch of road.

So I got out and sure enough, the wheels were turned about 5 degrees and the steering wheel locked in place. The shoulder of one tire was torn up (New tires, of course), although I can still drive it until I get to a tire store.

Has anyone had a similar experience with a Toyota product or other? Did my removal of the key set off something electronically in the steering wheel so that when the wheels turned ever so slightly they locked? I can't figure this out....
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:01 PM   #2
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I'm towing a Lexus LX470 and recently had a bad experience. I tow with the key in the ignition, freeing up the steering wheel from locking. So when leaving the coach/car parked I pulled the key out of the car to lock the doors. When returning, I simply put the key back in and started towing down the road. A guy came up behind me, telling me my tires were turned, leaving rubber down a 2 mile stretch of road.

So I got out and sure enough, the wheels were turned about 5 degrees and the steering wheel locked in place. The shoulder of one tire was torn up (New tires, of course), although I can still drive it until I get to a tire store.

Has anyone had a similar experience with a Toyota product or other? Did my removal of the key set off something electronically in the steering wheel so that when the wheels turned ever so slightly they locked? I can't figure this out....
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Most cars steering locks with the wheels turned when the ignition is turned off (theft prevention)I guess.
I made a similar mistake once, drove 80 miles but I did not make a short enough turn to lock the wheels until about 200 yards from our house. Hope I don't do that again.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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I tested mine by coasting downhill with the engine off and the key in the "off" position. I never was able to lock up the wheels, so I don't think that is my problem here.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
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I don't think you can just put the key in the ignition after you removed it and have the wheel lock retract ....You have to actually turn the ignition on to put power to the retract mechanism and then just turn the key off and leave it in the ignition to tow....Once you remove the key it takes power to retract the wheel lock and the only way to get power to the wheel lock is to turn the key on ....Then just turn the key to the off position but don't remove the key to tow(this is only in the newer Toyota's).... JMHO ...Jim
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:25 PM   #6
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Slabman I will try to explain this like my Toyota mechanic did. When you turn the to the on position it unlocks the steering - you can then turn key to off position BUT DON'T REMOVE KEY - the steering will remain unlocked for towing. If you remove the key for any reason the steering locks and you have to re-insert key and turn on to unlock steering. When you coasted the vehicle down hill you had to turn key on to get into neutral so it would coast. When you turned key on it unlocked the steering - you turned it to OFF but it remained unlocked for coasting. Had you removed the key while it was coasting the steering should have locked up. As you can see from my sig I tow a 00 Tacoma. I don't trust the key on then off to keep steering unlocked so I tow with the key in ACC position so it stays unlocked. I close doors and lock truck with an extra key - my elec locks will not function with key in ignition. I hope that I have not totally confused you on this. By the way don't ask me how I found all this info - been there done that. Take care and safe travels............Jim
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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I also initially towed my Tundra with the key in the ACC position. After extensive testing, I realized that the column remained unlocked with the key in the off position as long as you turned it to on and back to off without removing it. I shake the wheel as much as I can to make sure the wheel is unlocked and I always watch the truck carefully in my rear camera when I start out to make sure the truck is tracking around turns as it should.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:00 PM   #8
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Hey, thanks, guys.....those ideas make complete sense. And they really do explain exactly where I went wrong. I just spent over 500 bucks yesterday, recovering from my stupidity!

Question for Jim. Are you telling me I can lock the doors with the key in the ignition? If so, please elaborate. I tried using the second key, but the doors will not lock.

Won't the key in the ON position run up the miles on the odometer?
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:14 AM   #9
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Bob, keeping in mind my truck is 7 yrs old, but I can setup to tow turn key to acc close doors and lock doors with another key that the wife carries in her purse. I don't ever leave the key in the ON position when towing - I always tow with key in ACC position and It does not change odometer. I don't know about the Lexus as it is newer than my truck. Hope this helps. Merry Christmas and travel safe.............Jim
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:03 AM   #10
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Jim, in an earlier post you said your "electric locks won't function with key in the ignition". But in this last post I think you are saying you DO lock the doors with the key in.....so how is that? Are you saying you can mechanically lock the doors? This doesn't make sense to me.....

On mine, when I hit the remote lock and another key is in the ignition, it will not lock! Maybe they do it differently on your truck?
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:47 PM   #11
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Bob in the other post I figured that I really confused you with the comments that electric locks wont function with key in ign and then saying that I locked the doors - or what ever I said even confused me.

My elec lock button does not function with a key in the ign just like your remote will not function with key in ign. You are right I have to manually lock the doors from outside with a key. I am not sure why I can lock it with a key and can't with lock button in door but it works. I don't have remote for the truck.

Bob I sure hope I got it right this time - myabe I need a cajun translator at the La/Tx border. Take care, travel safe and Merry Christmas................Jim
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