Question about 1999 Lexus ES 300

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Can't start the car - key will not turn.

Get in - insert key - steering column automatically adjusts - dash does not light up - key will not turn at all. 1999 Lexus GS300. Tried both keys - headlights work (manually)- battery tests good. Remote lock / unlock works,. Just can't start the vehicle. It is not the steering wheel lock - wheel is free to turn side to side. This is the first time it has happened to me. It is my wife's car and she has called me twice in the past month from work with this problem. I thought it was the steering wheel lock - not sure why it started but after a minute or two - it started for her. I have been trying to start the car for nearly an hour with no success.

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  • jbarnaba Sep 08, 2009

    Turns out the lockout must be really sensitive - I was turning the wheel back and forth - seemed to be turning pretty freely but must have been resting against the stop pin keeping the key from turning. Pulled down on the wheel and the key turned to start. Thanks for the response - I tried it before turning the wheel again.



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I don't know the answer cause I don't have this car, But sometimes keys are pressed too far in, try pull the key out just a hair and trying it there, also make sure the car is in park and try pressing the brake too.

Posted on Sep 08, 2009


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1990-94 Cabriolet,1990-93 Fox, 1990-92 Golf and Jetta

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Fig. Lock cylinder drill point.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
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  6. Remove the lock cylinder by pushing a small drill bit or piece of wire into the hole and pulling the cylinder out. It might be easier to insert the ignition key, turn it to the right a little and pull on it.

To install:
  1. Insert the lock cylinder into the housing with the key in the cylinder.
  2. While gently turning the key side-to-side, press the cylinder in to the stop. It should click into place.
  3. Temporarily fit the steering wheel onto the splines, then make sure the column locks and unlocks smoothly.
  4. Install the switches, column covers, wiring and the steering wheel.
  5. Connect the battery cable.

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  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Center the steering wheel.
  3. Remove the air bag.
  4. Remove the steering column switches.
  5. If the vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, detach the shift lock cable from the lock cylinder housing.
  6. Remove the adapter sleeve from the steering column.
  7. Remove the spring and horn contact ring from the steering column assembly.
  8. Detach the sheer bolt.
  9. Insert the ignition key and unlock the cylinder, then detach the wiring connectors.
  10. Once all wiring has been detached, slide the housing off the steering column.
  11. Mark and drill the lock cylinder as shown and described in the above procedure.
  12. Compress the stop spring and pull the lock cylinder out of the steering column housing.
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  15. While you gently turn the key, insert the lock cylinder fully into the housing.
  16. The rest of the installation procedure is the reverse of removal.

NOTE Always use a new shear pin when installing the lock cylinder.

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