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lexpert, Lexus Master tech
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 2100
Experience:  Master Certified with lexus, 8 years experience with Lexus
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2000 Lexus LX470, when turning on the key, heard something

Customer Question

Hi, 2000 Lexus LX470, when turning on the key, heard something break inside. the key did not break, it was the connecting cam that goes between the key cylinder and the switch. As a result, the key could turn freely, thereby rendering it useless. Are you familiar with this situation?
JA: No. I'm the Lexus Mechanic's Assistant.
Customer: o.k.
JA: Is the car in "Park" or "Neutral?" Do you know if your car has a "wheel lock" feature?
Customer: I have already removed the key cylinder and removed the top end of the broken cam. I am unable to remove the lower broken part even though it is free. The car is in Park, and the steering wheel is locked. It appears that a locking mechanism if blocking removal of the broken part.
JA: What is the model of your '00 Lexus?
Customer: LX470
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Well, go back and read my previous statement. Yes, am fixing myself, however, can't fix it until i get the steering wheel unlocked. I cannot unlock it with the key cylinder and key because it is broken off inside. Is there a mechanic there who knows this situation?
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Pearl, that is about it.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Lexus
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
UHHH, I already agreed to the priority service. anyone there?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
To clarify: The key is not broken and the cylinder is removed, along with the top end of the broken connecting cam that goes between the key cylinder and the switch. I am unable to remove the lower broken piece of the connecting cam because the steering wheel is in the locked position and won't move. Therefore, I need help in understanding how to unlock the steering wheel locking mechanism that is blocking the removal of the broken piece. thanks. Lloyd
Expert:  Chris (aka - Moose) replied 6 months ago.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose), my normal schedule online is around lunch and after dinner till early morning.

  • I am sorry no one has helped yet in return for the question fees you have already paid.
  • I believe I can help with this question.
  • Reply and let me know when your able to work on this concern.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am not sure you can help me because I have a new problem. Here goes: Since I did not hear back (i get it - New Years Eve time) , i went ahead and removed the key cylinder and removed the top (broken) end of the cam like connecting rod between the key cylinder and the switch attached to the lower end on the outside. While attempting to fish the lower broken part of that rod out i turned the steering wheel for a better view, causing the steering wheel to lock. There is a spring loaded part that sticks out into the inside of the tube/housing. It is near the bottom on the right side as you are looking down into the tube. Before I accidentally locked the steering wheel I could move it all the way to the right. That would free up the entire space so you can remove the broken connector. I have been unable so far to remove the broken part because that spring loaded part won't go all the way back to the right with the wheel locked. Next i removed the two screws holding the switch, and can energize the dash and lights by turning the switch with a flat head screw driver. I can even get the starter to move and had no reason to start the vehicle since it is in my garage anyway. However, I had hoped to be able to unlock the wheel - thereby giving me space to fish the broken part out. In conclusion, I need to remove that broken part and the locked steering wheel appears the only reason i can't. I can get hold of the broken piece with my little lighted claw retriever tool, it just does not have enough clearance to come out. I know dynamite would work, but I don't have any. Thanks Lloyd
Expert:  Chris (aka - Moose) replied 6 months ago.

You are correct this has now become something I can not explain how to address I would need to do so in person. I will opt out and see if another can help.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello there Moose: Well, it appears i will not need the assistance as i was able to remove the broken piece although my solution was definitely not pretty. Even had time to watch a football game today. thanks for trying.