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Old 01-27-2018, 09:52 AM   #1
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2018 Ram 1500 - how to unlock steering?

I bought a 2018 Ram 1500 because it has a neutral lock out so I can flat tow it. My F150 didn't have that. The manual is pretty straight forward as to how to get it in neutral but it doesn't say anything about unlocking the steering so it can be towed without damaging front end of truck. Is that necessary? Is putting transfer case in neutral all that is needed. I have called local Dodge dealer and they are clueless. They just read the manual to me.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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If you have a locking steering wheel, you should have it unlocked (key in ignition) while towing - otherwise things could get exciting! If having ignition on in a position that unlocks the wheel, you may also have to either pull a fuse that power that with, or disconnect battery to prevent it draining while being towed. I would think that the owners manual would say something about steering wheel locking, too.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:32 AM   #3
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Well JD,
First off, just like I've done with many other folks here when they've had questions on towing setup, I've gone to the i-net to find an '18 Dodge Ram 1500 owners manual to see what they have for procedures on towing behind a motor home. That's where you need to look. "Towing" your truck, in say, emergency situations, (by a tow truck) can be a bit different. You just need to look in the section that says something about "Recreational towing". IN the Jeep manuals, it states: "Behind a motor home".

So, if you can, look for something like that, if you haven't already. But, in any case, if your truck IS flat towable, then all the procedures SHOULD be in that manual, step by step. As for UNLOCKING your steering, well, that's kind of a given. If your key is in the column, and the steering locks when the key is completely off, then yes, you'll have to determine just what position it needs to be in for flat towing your truck.

In some vehicles, from the "insert" position, the key can be turned one click and, that will unlock the steering but, not energize any of the electrical system. But, on some, that position DOES energize SOME of the electrical system. So, without seeing the manual and, reading what the instructions say about that particular procedure, I can't help any farther. ON both our toads, a '15 Jeep JKUR and, an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, the keys are completely removed for when we tow. But that really doesn't help you.
Scott
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:05 AM   #4
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Thanks Fire Up, but if you re-read my post you will see I did read the manual. I talked to the dealership. Neither knew anything about unlocking the wheel OR how to turn off the electronics. My Ram doesn't have a key, at least not one that you insert. It is electronic push button that is either off or on. Kinda frustrating. Seems like a simple thing to me.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMDDDS View Post
Thanks Fire Up, but if you re-read my post you will see I did read the manual. I talked to the dealership. Neither knew anything about unlocking the wheel OR how to turn off the electronics. My Ram doesn't have a key, at least not one that you insert. It is electronic push button that is either off or on. Kinda frustrating. Seems like a simple thing to me.
Roger that JD,
I forgot to finish what I was saying about looking for an '18 Dodge Ram owners manual on the net. Because it's apparently so new, the net doesn't have one yet. The latest I can find is a '15 owners manual. And that does me (or you) no good. My thoughts here are, if the owners manual does have a section on towing behind a motor home but, doesn't say anything about unlocking the wheel, then it's not important. I can't for the life of me, think that if, Dodge authorized that particular truck to be flat towed, and wrote up some procedures for prepping it to be flat towed in the owners manual, that they'd forget such an important procedure as "UNLOCKING THE STEERING WHEEL".

Let me ask you, when you shut your truck off, in prep for leaving it, (at home or, in a parking lot etc.), can you turn the steering wheel at all, from full left to full right? Does it lock at any particular point?
Scott
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:22 AM   #6
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Just read the manual on line. Doesnít say anything about key so have to assume that your steering wheel doesnít lock. Says transfer in neutral, trans in Park and tow 4 down OR rear wheels on a dolly.
Doesnít address what happens to the front wheels if towing backwards on a dolly since the steering doesnít lock. Sounds like it could try to steer itself.

Good luck,
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMDDDS View Post
Thanks Fire Up, but if you re-read my post you will see I did read the manual. I talked to the dealership. Neither knew anything about unlocking the wheel OR how to turn off the electronics. My Ram doesn't have a key, at least not one that you insert. It is electronic push button that is either off or on. Kinda frustrating. Seems like a simple thing to me.
JMD,
First off, going to the dealer with something like is your first mistake. I know, I know, you'd think that since it's a Dodge product, "THEY" should know how to answer any and all your customer needs, correct? Well, as you've found out, a very, very large percentage of the time, they're clueless. I did actually find an '18 owners manual for your truck and, yep, it states absolutely NOTHING about the steering wheel lock.

So, with that being said, I'm gonna PRESUME that there is NO steering wheel lock on your truck. As I asked in my other post, have you tried to see if the steering locks when the engine is off and, you turn the steering wheel from lock to lock?
Scott

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Originally Posted by Dennis4809 View Post
Just read the manual on line. Doesnít say anything about key so have to assume that your steering wheel doesnít lock. Says transfer in neutral, trans in Park and tow 4 down OR rear wheels on a dolly.
Doesnít address what happens to the front wheels if towing backwards on a dolly since the steering doesnít lock. Sounds like it could try to steer itself.

Good luck,
Wrong!
If you go back to the '18 Owners manual and look at pages 436-438, you'll see it says TWICE, "Do not tow 4WD vehicles with a tow dolly, front or back axles". It goes on to say that, if it's done, it is quite possible that severe damage can occur.
Scott
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:37 AM   #8
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Hey Guys and Galls, Thanks for all the input. You are starting to see why I am a bit frustrated. The only think I got the dealership to commit to is if I tow it the way the manual says and it destroys the front end they will cover it. Small consolation if I am in East Egypt when it happens.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:57 PM   #9
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My Lexus RX350 is the same way. No physical key, just a push button start. And the steering wheel does lock (electrically) when the SUV is parked.

On the Lexus if you put transmission in N and shut off engine, the steering wheel does not lock. Maybe your truck is the same.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
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I am pretty certain that the Ram steering wheel does not lock. My 2014 did not. Easy to confirm. Try turning the wheel without the key in. It will be quite hard to turn but that is normal.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMDDDS View Post
Hey Guys and Galls, Thanks for all the input. You are starting to see why I am a bit frustrated. The only think I got the dealership to commit to is if I tow it the way the manual says and it destroys the front end they will cover it. Small consolation if I am in East Egypt when it happens.
Well JM,
Far be it from me to give you advice on your plans but, it seems you're worrying too much over this. If the owners manual:

1. Describes ALL steps in prepping for towing
2. Says nothing about steering lock

Then I'd just follow that owners manual and, head out and have fun. I suspect that the manufacturer has covered its bases pretty well. And, there's quite possibly many, many other folks with your same year/model truck that have already set it up for towing, and have followed the owners manual and, are towing without issue. Good luck on your setup.
Scott
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:20 PM   #12
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I don't have the truck you have, however I have a '13 Ram 3500 with push button start. I only have to put the transfer case in neutral and turn it off, steering wheel doesn't lock. You can confirm by parking on a slight hill where there is no traffic and allow it to drift down and turn the wheel and see if it locks, but be careful as the brakes will be hard to apply.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMDDDS View Post
I bought a 2018 Ram 1500 because it has a neutral lock out so I can flat tow it. My F150 didn't have that. The manual is pretty straight forward as to how to get it in neutral but it doesn't say anything about unlocking the steering so it can be towed without damaging front end of truck. Is that necessary? Is putting transfer case in neutral all that is needed. I have called local Dodge dealer and they are clueless. They just read the manual to me.
I don’t know where you got your Ram. I have a 2018 Ram 1500 and my steering does not lock. I tow mine and all I do is hook it up, place the transfer case in neutral, trasmission in Park, turn it off, take the key fob, lock the doors and go!
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:17 PM   #14
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Iím guessing the OP confirmed that his wheel doesnít lock since he hasnít posted in a week. I would have thought that he would have tried it before going through all that he went through.
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