The tilt lever is completely missing from my 2005 F-150 (newly purchased). It is a tilt equipped wheel - can I just use an adjustable wrench to turn the large square nut on the side of the column? I only need to move it once into a more comfortable position and then lock it there.
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Steering Wheel Adjustment .The lever is located under the steering column, slightly to the left. To adjust the steering wheel: 1. Pull the lever down. 2. Move the steering wheel up or down into a comfortable position. 3. Pull the lever up to lock the wheel in place. Do not adjust the tilt lever while driving.
There should be a small lever, usually on the left of the steering column, under the steering wheel. If you pull or lift on the lever, it allows the steering wheel to be tilted up or down. When you release the lever or push it down, it will lock the steering wheel at that height.
I have a 2005 Toyota Camry and I had the same problem, the tilt steering lever would not lock the steering column into a fixed position. This is what I did to fix it. It should work for you too.
Purchase a 1" to 1-1/2" wide nylon washer at your local hardware store, a big-box store may not have it . Cost is under a dollar (was for me). It needs to be of a "fender" type variety(small hole for how wide it is) and about 1/8" thick or so.
You will need to access the steering column, so remove the plastic trim by removing the screws located behind the steering wheel. You will need to turn the wheel 90 degrees in each direction to do this.
The tilt lever is held in place by a nut with bolt, retention ring(?) and a set ***** bolt.
You must first remove the set *****, which is the one closer to the handle of the lever, with a 10mm wrench. (PHOTO 1). Counter-clockwise turns will remove it.
Once the set ***** is off you can remove the retaining ring which keeps the pivot-point nut from loosening. (PHOTO 2).
Remove the pivot-point nut using a 14mm wrench. This bolt is REVERSE threaded, so clock-wise is what will take it off. Sorry, no photos of this, its crowded under there.
Remove the lever and any broken bits of the original mechanism. (PHOTOS 3 & 4).
My broken bits do not equal the entire original part. Bits missing.
Place your new Nylon fender washer over the bolt followed by the lever and then the pivot-point nut. (PHOTOS 6 &7).
This is not a fender type washer, but it is what I used and it seems to have worked well. I think a smaller hole would be preferable--you can always enlarge a too-small hole.
Tighten the nut (turning counter-clockwise) until things snug up. Try the lever and check if it feels like it used to. Keep snugging up the nut until the lever tightens enough to hold the wheel where you want it without it moving or sliding out of position. This may take several attempts. Once you have it where it feels right, replace the retaining ring over the nut and replace the set ***** tightening it (clockwise) firmly.
Replace trim and done!
10 to 20 minutes, very basic tools and materials for under a dollar. All for what a dealership would charge over $500 for plus labor. I hope this helps, it worked for me!
STEERING WHEEL TILT LEVER ON LOWER LEFT OF THE STEERING WHEEL NEXT TO THE TURN SIGNAL SWITCH JUST LOOK FOR ANOTHER LEVER BELOW TURN SIGNAL SWITCH THATS YOUR STEERING WHEEL TILT LEVER. YOU CANT MISS IT UNLESS IT BROKEN OFF.
Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable with an adjustable wrench. Wait a few minutes before starting work to allow any current to dissipate. Set the parking brake.
Tilt the steering wheel down to the lowest position. Move the
gear shift lever to first gear. Leave the key in the ignition. Remove
the lower under dash panel plastic clips and screws with a screwdriver.
Lift the lower panel upward and remove the upper clips. Disconnect any
electrical connections and remove the lower trim panel from the work
area. Move the gear shift lever to the Park position and turn the key
Remove the bolts from the knee bolster plate with a socket wrench
and remove the plate from the work area. Remove the two ignition switch
bolts using a socket wrench. Disconnect the electrical connector and
remove the ignition switch.
Install the new ignition switch using the retaining bolts and
tighten with a socket wrench. Connect the electrical connector. Install
the knee bolster plate and bolts using a socket wrench. Turn the
ignition on and move the gear lever to first gear.
Connect any electrical connections to the lower trim panel.
Install the lower trim panel using the upper clips. Install the bottom
screws with a screwdriver and insert the plastic clips. Shift the gear
lever into Park and return the steering wheel to its normal operating
position. Connect the negative battery cable with an adjustable wrench
and close the hood. Release the parking brake. Start the engine to make
sure the new ignition switch is operating properly.
This is a simple mechanical issue (no electronics involved).
Remove the plastic housing from around the steering column and ignition area. It is held with screws from under the column area. There are two screws from the top that you may need a short screwdriver to reach. Some are phillips and some are hex head. Just take your time it will come.
Once open you will see interlocking teeth or "gears" on the top of the column. One in mounted to the column the other engages into the tilt release teeth. This is the tilt mechanism. The top lever is lifted up by the adjusting lever. When the teeth are disengaged the wheel can be moved up and down.
Look to see the linkage is intact from the lever to the top gear. Pull the adjusting lever to see it is working and trying to lift the top gear up.
It can stick. Use WD40 if struck. Try shaking the steering wheel up and down while operating the adjusting lever (right side of column behind the turn signal lever).
Still struck? Use a screwdriver to lift the gears apart. The wheel will tilt easily now. Move to the desired position and engage the gears again. It will now be locked in the position you want.
It sounds complex but it is not. Just take your time and it will be obvious.
Note that while working you should have the negative cable removed from the battery. You do not want to trigger the air bag or damage the electronics. With the negative cable removed you will not have a problem.