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LS430 Steering wheel auto-tilt small downward movements

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I have freed up my broken tilt motor such that it now sends the wheel up and down very smoothly and easily.  The telescopic motor is siezed and I'm happy to leave it that way having adjusted manually for my desired reach.

When turning ignition off, the wheel cheerfully swings up to the highest position, as designed.  What's strange is that when switching on again, the wheel comes down about a third of the way, not all the way back to the memory.  If I press the memory button, it'll come down a little more.  Press it a third time and it'll come down to the stored position.  Very strange that it won't run more than half a second or so downward on automatic.... but if I manually adjust it'll easily go top/bottom/top with no interruptions.  On that basis I suspect control/measurement rather than motive power.

Is there a position sensor I should be examining, perhaps?

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I had exactly the same problem with my 430 - I spent alot of time resetting electrics by removing Battery, setting memory many times and programming key to the memory settings.

It went on for so long that in the end I was so used to pressing the memory button each time I entered the car that it was no longer any hassle for me

I never did find an answer so I came to the conclusion that it behaved like this because the telescopic motor had packed up - this conclusion became even more true when on hot summer days the telescopic motor temporarily fixed itself meaning the problem went away and the steering would come down to my setting automatically.

Luckily my current LS430 has had the motors replaced by lexus and they both work perfectly.

IIRC lexussparesdirect were selling refurbished motors at one time - and replacing these motors is an achievable task.

hope this helps

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That's really helpful (if disappointing) to know, thank you Mark.

I might just pull the fuse and disable it all, as it's usually just me driving her.

On the other hand, as I can't resist tinkering, I might see whether it's possible to find a used motor/column and dismantle...

... but I think having to press the memory button several times will become a nuisance, *especially* as this car doesn't allow me to switch between memory positions on the move (as I used to regularly do in several Mercedes models in the past to vary my position and avoid DVT.

Thanks again,

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I've always said the motors on these probably fail because the retraction etc is fairly slow, and mostly when we park we get out quickly grabbing the steering wheel for support, that puts enormous pressure on the motors.  They both work on mine and I'm very conscious about not grabbing the wheel when I get out.  I've also never come across any other reasons for the problem whether intermittent or permanent that weren't caused by motor failure/failing.

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11 hours ago, steve2006 said:

I seem to remember a version of the Toyota Landcruiser used the exact same motor but it was a lot less money 😀


Would certainly be good to know what model that was!  I'm going to take the "no rush" approach, keep an eye out for breakers and meanwhile ditch the fuse and disable it all until I find a used motor affordably, it's certainly not important enough to divert funds from more rewarding repairs 🙂

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One further question ... having decoupled the telescoping motor drive from the shaft it seems that moving the wheel in and out requires a massive force - should this slide smoothly? Assuming so, I’ll need to free that up before considering a motor replacement. Anyone moved a wheel in-out by hand without having to use significant body weight?

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24 minutes ago, Malc said:

just a thought ....... remembering reading on here in times past ...........  aren't there actually TWO motors involved ?


Yep, one for tilt and another for telescopic 😀

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