DaKa

LS430 Steering Lock - Ignition barrel not turning

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I noticed a posting earlier about trickle chargers for batteries, but too late for me as mine has gone flat when I went to start it today.

The worrying thing (this happened a few weeks back but after 10 minutes it cleared itself) is that I couldn't turn the ignition, with or without the key in place?

I have the Battery on charge now as the alarm was making some weird clicking noises (presumably o/a flat Battery) until I disconnected it.

The Battery will change soon enough, but I'm worried as to why the ignition wouldn't turn and wondered if anyone else has experienced the same?

I suspect that as my wife was last to use the car, she may have inadvertently pulled herself out of the car using the steering wheel while the 2 x motors returned it to its 'docked' position - just a guess?

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I haven't got an LS430 but I would think the most likely cause is just that the steering lock was just being a bit tempremental.

A slight wiggle left/right of the wheel while trying to turn the key should do it.

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So I put my Battery on charge and went back 24 hours later only to find that my charger had fused o/a power cable wires twisted and frayed. 

Fixed and back on charge another 24 hours later and when reconnected, power at last, and alarm activated (always makes me jump) and with hardly any persuasion the ignition barrel turned and all seemed well again.

That is until this morning, 48 hours later, and despite the car unlocking and seemingly charge in the Battery (the Battery is less than 12 months old) the ignition barrel (with or without key inserted) is not turning. It pushes and the steering wheel return out/down to its driving position, but the lock doesn't turn as if steering lock on again.

Has anyone had similar, can I disable the steering lock, permanently or otherwise?

At the moment I'm not using any force to try and turn the key as don't want to make matters worse.

I notice both the red and green lights next to the start key are still occasionally flashing, but not sure what they normally do when starting?

I've put it back on charge again, my thinking being that the power disconnect may reset the alarm? Not sure what else to try if the key doesn't turn when I try and start next?

 

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Again, I don't know the car but the power steering column for up/down, in/out is electrical, but as far as I know the steering lock is purely mechanical.

Once it's locked it takes a bit of force turning the wheel left/right while trying to turn the key in the barrel.

In other words, I don't think it has anything to do with the Battery, you just need to be more persuasive with it - but I'll let an actual owner confirm or deny that  🙂

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Hi I have had the same problem, even a few years ago being stuck at a petrol station and unable to unlock the steering. I called out the AA, but eventually did as Herbie is advising, wiggled it around a bit. Very occasionally it happens, but again just move the steering wheel from side to side and wiggle the lock.
As regards Battery, this lasts about 10-14 days on mine before it is flat. That is if the Battery is fully charged in the first place and some weird things happen when the Battery is low. I keep mine on CTek now all the time.

Regarding the ignition/ lock barrel, I never use the key at all, but I found a solution by just playing around with it. Good luck , Roger

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So just to update that it was just a little more force needed to release the steering lock, turning it clockwise, but not much more, perhaps one of those weird things?.

I noticed when the steering returned to its rest position again that the wheel appeared to give a slight click to the left just before it stopped?

I started/stopped it a few more times and the movement of the wheel (e.g. twist left at the end before stopping) seems to have stopped and I've had no problems turning the barrel since - so all good and I'll know what to watch out for if it recurs.

I'll be sure to keep the Battery charged while we are so little able to use our cars - no doubt the DVLA are working out how much they can refund us all on our road tax!

 

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14 hours ago, DaKa said:

how much they can refund us all on our road tax!

more likely how much more the Govt can spend on the roads  !

OR maybe just how much more road tax they can charge next year to pay for all the lockdown stuff

Malc

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Happened to me today. I have been charging my 430 every 10 days or so. It has not moved for 6 weeks.  I needed something from the car and the blippers did nothing. Opened the car on the key and the lock will not turn. The car is absolutely dead. No light, not even a glimmer from the internal light.

New Battery tomorrow as the old one is just over 4 years old and a fairly cheap Numax premier put in by the previous owner. Like many other s on here, it drains down in 14+ days but it fine in normal use.

Could it be the immobiliser (with no power) has gone into its previous mode of 'I am off so you cannot steal me'. Why is a dead/weak Battery promoting this unusual condition?

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I have noticed through experience that very weird things happen when the Battery starts to fail, or go below the required output. Charge it or replace it and bingo all good again. I think it is just one of the characteristics , and I am told not confined to Lexus, also happens on Mercs so I have been told.
Good luck , Cheers, Roger

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On 5/2/2020 at 8:29 PM, DaKa said:

So just to update that it was just a little more force needed to release the steering lock, turning it clockwise, but not much more, perhaps one of those weird things?.

Glad you got it sorted Damien but no, it's not just one of those weird things, it's how the cars are designed and almost all cars have mechanical steering wheel locks. The video below shows a Honda but same principle applies (I don't know why but sound only comes out of one channel):

 

 

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13 hours ago, RgrWynne said:

I have noticed through experience that very weird things happen when the battery starts to fail, or go below the required output. Charge it or replace it and bingo all good again. I think it is just one of the characteristics , and I am told not confined to Lexus, also happens on Mercs so I have been told.
Good luck , Cheers, Roger

That is very true. On my old Prius when the 12v Battery was failing, the dash lights were all over the show. The alarm went of by itself. The wipers went wacky. New Battery = all went back to normal.

FIAT Pandas can even have the electric steering rack go crazy.

Modern cars are very iffy on a failing Battery.

 

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Likewise when my Alternator failed on the M20 strangely the Battery Warning light did NOT come on despite the Car having driven from the QE Bridge to half a mile from Stop24 perhaps purely on the Battery

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Yes Stuart same experience on my Mark 1 (Leaking steering pump) driving down the M8 Glasgow city centre and managed to get off at slip road  just round the corner from Arnold Clark who had the Lexus franchise in those days.

Tow truck for a mile and then a two day wait whilst they fitted a new alternator, not very good I think that is why they lost the franchise in Scotland

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If ya don't have your headlights on then a typical car Battery will continue to run the engine for a few hours even without the alternator. If you have other stuff running like air-con, radio, etc. then expect much less than that. The engine management and ignition parts of the cars electrics use a lot less power than most people think. It's lights and electric motors that consume power.
I had the alternator warning light come on in my old Vauxhall Carlton 2.6 at 10pm on a Sunday night. Rather than drive any further in the dark, I called the RAC and they arranged for an alternator swap with a local company. Once they told me where the company was I said I would drive there. They were flabbergasted but I explained that whilst I was 200+ miles from home, I could quite easily make it to the local company (12 miles) without an alternator. They rousted someone out of bed to swap out my Alternator and one hour later and minus £120 (plus a £20 thank you tip for the sleepy mechanic) I was on my way with a nice shiny reconditioned alternator.

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1 hour ago, ambermarine said:

same experience on my Mark 1 (Leaking steering pump) driving down the

M20 in my case, one dark night  .....  RAC recovery sent the  " One Time  " rescue guys out in a brand new recovery truck .........  which broke down as it left the depot on it's very first journey out ......  all sorted though thankfully.................... , eventually

The " locking " steering is quite common to many many cars in my long experience and a simple pull / tug at the steering wheel has always freed it up ok

Malc

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UPDATE.

New Yuasa Battery from Halfords now in. I went for the biggest 5 year Battery I could get. £98 minus 10% from a Shell Go+ voucher that gives 10% off till the end of October, which Halfords accepted. So £88.20p.

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/batteries/car-batteries/yuasa-hsb030-silver-12v-car-battery-5-year-guarantee-257748.html

I asked Lexus by email for a price but nothing forthcoming.

These batteries are tricky to fit as the two clamps keep slipping down or popping out. Plus this Battery has the positive and negative at the back near the windscreen, not at the front. Bit of a squeeze re-positioning the positive clamp. The negative is easier.

Instantly all went back to normal. Ignition lock was simple and easy to disengage, as usual. No forcing it all. All the lights on the dash lit up, and the steering wheel moved out and down as normal. Interior light very bright. Lots of pumps and motors whirling but then all bog standard normal. It reconfirms my experience that modern cars must have a good strong 12 volts. Anything less and it all goes iffy.

I charged the new 75 ah Battery and it took about 15-12 amps till my trickle charger said full. The old Battery read 5.5 volts, so that is well knackered, which in a way was reassuring. It was never really a 'strong' Battery, or maybe this car is so demanding. I will charge it and see how long it takes to discharge off the car. I have switched off the smart system which I don't like anyway.

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2 hours ago, MLW said:

These batteries are tricky to fit as the two clamps keep slipping down or popping out

EXACTLY ......  on my Honda Legend last week too .......  25 mins to refit the Battery, 23 mins of which was sodding around with those two impossible stupid ridiculous clamps

Malc

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Japanese manufactures seem to use the 'strap down' method which is good if both rods are open and exposed and you can see where they hook in. Here it was about a 4 mm slot, buried way down in a crowded Battery tray.

Mercedes seem to use a 13 mm clamp bolt at the bottom which is far easier and very solid. Took me over an hour to lock this 430 down.

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42 minutes ago, MLW said:

Japanese manufactures seem to use the 'strap down' method which is good if both rods are open and exposed and you can see where they hook in. Here it was about a 4 mm slot, buried way down in a crowded battery tray.

Mercedes seem to use a 13 mm clamp bolt at the bottom which is far easier and very solid. Took me over an hour to lock this 430 down.

I remember struggling with mine and I fitted the correct Battery with the poles at the front.

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I replaced mine with a cambuckle strap (similar to a ratchet strap) as the bolt down brackets had been ripped out of the plastic Battery tray.
The strap runs under the Battery tray (which is bolted to the body) and holds the Battery pretty solidly.

 

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So 3 months on without any problems turning the key, today the issue decided to repeat itself.

I may have pulled slightly down on the left of the steering wheel as the column reset as I depressed the ignition barrel (keyless), but no obvious reason why the steering lock should now not allow me to turn the ignition.

I've tried with key in barrel and a far tug left/right but to no avail.

What a pain - will try again in a few hours but I think the old girl is trying to tell me she no longer loves me and time for change 🙂

 

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There seems to be a lot of safety related features around the ignition barrel, on mine you cannot remove the key unless the transmission is in park and you cannot turn the key unless the foot brake is held down. You can hear clicks as the interlocks engage. Worse scenario I guess is a new ignition barrel and keys.

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Yes, you would have thought the barrel was the issue, but reading some other club lexus posts, the suggestion is the steering column (which is very expensive even if you find a donor).

I've tried jacking up the whole front of the car to make the wheels turn freely, recharged the Battery fully and still no luck.

This occurred before as per my post above back in May - I did nothing except try the folloiwng day and 'bingo' it turned.

I fear this could be fatal - so if anyone out there knows how to circumvent the, what I must presume is mechanical rather than electric steering wheel lock, please let me know.

'Trick of the Trade' desperately needed, else 'we buy any car' scrapage.

I've felt for a while that I'm on extended time with this car, albeit its running beautifully, I just felt sure that when it went, it would be a big bang and smoke etc., not a stupid steering lock that killed it!

Does anyone know the patron saint to pray to for Lexus LS430s?

 

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It turns out there is a patron saint for Lexus. 🙂

I tried for absolutely ages to get the ignition turning Saturday, all possible combinations, it was very hot and frustrating.

On Sunday I had to get the car out of the way as it was blocking others in my 3-4 car driveway - so after many more attempts I put the front wheels on dollies (not easy jacking up one at a time and sliding under) and between my wife, daughter and her boyfriend pushed the car over the block paving out of the way - it's heavy!

Further attempts to start after moving, again came to nothing.

Having started to look at towing options and who would want a car that can't be started (lucky to get £500 scrap for it) and with the car roasting in the sunshine I gave it another go Sunday afternoon and, knock me over with a feather, it turned and started with only moonier persuasion - phew.

I wanted to leave it unlocked with the key in 2nd ACC position but wasn't sure if this would flatten the Battery quicker. In the end, I've locked and unlocked the car several times and for now will keep it parked so as to not block others in the drive.

In short - now that I can turn/start again is there anything I can do to help prevent recurrence as I can't risk this happening again.

e.g. Remove steering covers and lubricate generously everywhere, or, will I just need to be ultra careful not to move the wheel getting out/in?

Does anyone know if the issue is Barrel or Column? I had fired WD40 into Lock barrel as best as able - not sure if this made a difference 24 hours later?

 

 

 

 

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To complete the update from my side on this thread - I took the covers off the steering column and lubricated just about everything liberally.

I've not had any issue with the lock since but have been extremely careful not to bash the steering wheel getting in/out.

I have however managed to stop the steering adjustment in/out motor working properly, so avoid excessive lubrication of this I guess to others. The good news is that its stuck where I like it and the up/down works fine. I'm going to leave it alone now, before I break something else!  🙂

P.S. Just bought my brothers Merc GLC250d - so the long relationship with my LS430 may be ending soon a 'someone' indoors has told me that I have too many cars - why don't they understand that cars are all different.

 

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