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Ask Chris (aka-Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Auto Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 947
Experience:  16 years of experience
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The batteries dead and I can manually put it into neutral

Customer Question

the batteries dead and I can manually put it into neutral but the steering column wont unlock
JA: Did you test the battery with a voltmeter? And have you ever changed one before?
Customer: I can jump start it fine. but the right now its in my driveway in a position where I can't get a car next to it. Im on a slight decline so if I straighten out the wheel, I can roll it out to the street and get a jump.
JA: What is the model/year of your Toyota?
Customer: 2008
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I just need to get the car out of the driveway to get a jump to bring it to the garage.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I just need to know how to manually unlock the steering column with a dead battery
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 10 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Please advise if the key is not turning in the ignition. Thanks

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There is no key its a 2008 highlander hybrid. I only have a fob
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'd like a refund of my $5
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 10 months ago.

The input on my screen does not indicate you have a hybrid; apologies

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 10 months ago.

The steering column lock is an electrical solenoid that is retracted when the power button is pressed and the system powers up. With a AUX dead battery, your AUX battery is not powering up the gateway ECU to cause the steering column solenoid to energize. What I recommend: Remove the AUX battery from the vehicle and hook it to the jumpers to another vehicle. Let the other vehicle idle for 10 minutes and then reinstall the Aux battery and then try to start. Short of disassembling the column and removing the solenoid, there is no way to bypass this system to get the steering wheel to turn.