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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 11-10-2007, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help: steering wheel & key is locked!

Greetings,
I need some help. I work at a Tuweep on the north side of Grand Canyon National Park. I have a visitor that has a 4Runner problem and I would like to try to save him some money. Getting the 4Runner towed out of here can cost $1000 at least.

He has a 1996 4Runner V6 SR5 4WD with 145K miles. The transmission is an automatic. He can not get the vehicle to turn on . The steering wheel is locked and the key will not turn all the way to the right. He say the key turns, but feels like it is catching on something that will not let it go the whole way. He can not get the steering wheel to release and the key will not release it. He has tried pressing the brake down all the way, but still nothing.

If anyone has a simple solution, I would appreciate the help. If it is a complex problem...he is prepared to bite the bullet and have it towed.

Thanks,
2wptaco
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is just a suggestion....but it will take 3 hands.
I take it that it has a floor shift automatic.
Hes got to jiggle the wheel and turn the key at the same time someone pushes the shifter back and forth and around in park.
Sounds like the lockout is stuck.
Did he park on a incline?
A bump from the bottom (Bumper) might help as well.

just sayin.......
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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its probably because the steering wheel was turned when the key was not in the ignition and locked as a safety/anti theft feature. this happened to me once and i swore there was something wrong with it but i just turned the steering wheel really hard as you try turning the key a couple times and it should unlock
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Spence1016 and kdf.

I suggested the thought on the shifter...not sure what the out come was. He does have the floor shifter. They had been working on the locked steering wheel for about 3 hours, but could not get it unlocked.

They are camping in the campground for the evening. I was going to take any and all solutions down with some tools in the morning.

Thanks,
2wptaco
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is very commendable... the world needs more park rangers like yourself.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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x2 on the turn the wheel usually happens when the wheel is turned or has pressure by something trying to turn it when you relieve the pressure by turning the wheel the key should turn no problem.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KdF View Post
This is just a suggestion....but it will take 3 hands.
I take it that it has a floor shift automatic.
Hes got to jiggle the wheel and turn the key at the same time someone pushes the shifter back and forth and around in park.
Sounds like the lockout is stuck.
Did he park on a incline?
A bump from the bottom (Bumper) might help as well.

just sayin.......
X2

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Old 11-11-2007, 11:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. Unfortunately we could not get the steer wheel unlocked. We worked on the 4Runner for a couple hours this morning and the owner and friends tried for hours last night. They decided to have the 4Runner towed to a mechanic.

If I hear any details on what was wrong...I will post a Thread.

Thanks again for everyones help,
2wptaco
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:36 AM
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