1998 Toyota Camry Steering Wheel will not lock

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  #1  
Old 10-16-05, 08:41 PM
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1998 Toyota Camry Steering Wheel will not lock

The steering wheel lock on my 1998 Toyota Camry just started not locking when the key is in the lock position. The transmission shift still locks. The car seems to drive normally my question is. Do I need to have this repaired right away or is it ok to drive and get it repaired at a later date? I would be grateful for any help.
Rainman
 
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  #2  
Old 10-17-05, 02:54 AM
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Location: Long Island, NY
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You can turn the wheel a complete revolution and it doesn't lock?
 
  #3  
Old 10-17-05, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by toyotaman11769
You can turn the wheel a complete revolution and it doesn't lock?
No when I tried turning it far to the right it did lock.
 
  #4  
Old 10-17-05, 06:29 AM
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Is turning far to the right the same as one complete turn?
 
  #5  
Old 10-17-05, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by toyotaman11769
Is turning far to the right the same as one complete turn?
Yes I am turning it all the way to the right one complete turn.
 
  #6  
Old 10-17-05, 09:10 AM
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No when I tried turning it far to the right it did lock.
I'm a little confused

If it does lock there is no problem. You did state if you turn it far to the right it does lock?

It's not supposed to lock as soon as you remove the key, but lock if some trys to steer the car without a key in. You may have to turn it a bit but thats what will happen if it is driven without the key.
 
  #7  
Old 10-17-05, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by toyotaman11769
I'm a little confused

If it does lock there is no problem. You did state if you turn it far to the right it does lock?

It's not supposed to lock as soon as you remove the key, but lock if some trys to steer the car without a key in. You may have to turn it a bit but thats what will happen if it is driven without the key.
Sorry if I confused you. The steering wheel used to lock with just barely a movement of the wheel when the key was in the lock position now it doesn't but since it will lock if turned I'm satisfied that all is well. Thank you so much Larry for the help.
 
  #8  
Old 10-17-05, 10:40 AM
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It all depends where you stop the wheel. There is only one spot where the lock mechanism locks in.
 
  #9  
Old 10-17-05, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by toyotaman11769
It all depends where you stop the wheel. There is only one spot where the lock mechanism locks in.
Thanks again for the info. I guess I was concerned because I went from the steering wheel locking with very little movement on the wheel to now it will lock but I have to give it the full turn. Maybe it's just wearing out.
Rainman
 
  #10  
Old 10-17-05, 04:38 PM
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It can't wear out. There's one notch where a pin engages to lock the wheel. If you stop the wheel by the notch and you move in the direction of the notch it will require very little movement to engage.

If you stop by the notch and you move it the opposite way you will need to go all the way around almost a full turn to engage.

In all my years of working on Toyota's I have never seen one that failed to lock.

The older ones had more notches and locked in more places. This presented problems because people would have difficulty getting it to release (you would have to giggle the wheel while turning the key) especially older people.

These same older people would use the wheel to hold on to get out of the car locking it without realizing it.

The newer ones (like yours) only lock in one place and under normal circumstances will not lock because it will take about 3/4 of a turn from straight to lock.
 
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