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CVanAken

2007 Rx400H Ignition Lock Problem

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I need help finding a long term solution to this.

My 2007 RX 400h's ignition key would not turn to start the car and it happens too many times.

It started about a year ago. Before that, I did not have this problem.

Now I am pretty good at unlocking it since I had to deal with it at least 10 times.

It takes me a long time to unlock it, at least 10 to 15 minutes, however, it unlocks eventually.

I never know when it might happen.

I wiggle the key, turn the steering wheel back and forth while I step on the brake.

I took it to my dealership and they could not find anything wrong with it.

They just said it is an anti-thief feature and I should not turn my front wheels too much while I park the car.

This problem drives me crazy because it happens too many times randomly.

I find myself stuck in the car trying to unlock it while I am in a hurry to go some where.

Is there any way I can disable this anti-thief mechanism?

I would rather not have this feature than deal with it so often.

This happened again this afternoon at a shopping mall while I was alone.

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

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You mean the steering lock? I believe every car has this feature... If the car is OFF (with no power steering) trying to turn the wheel in either direction will cause it to lock.

Just turn the wheel "while" turning the key and it should unlock...

Unless i'm missing something?

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No, it's not the steering lock. Usually that happens when the wheels are slightly turned and the pressure on the steering column causes the key cylinder to lock (it's part of the mechanism that won't allow the steering wheel to turn if the ignition is in the locked position (i.e. turned to the positions where you can remove the key).

This particular problem I just experienced a few days ago (and once or twice in the past year and a half). The wheels were dead centre, no pressure on steering column, but once the key was inserted in the ignition, it just wouldn't turn. Jiggling, moving the steering wheel...nothing worked..I just kept inserting, removing, twisting..and finally it turned again. I think this is a somewhat common problem on the RX..gonna search the forums to see if there was ever a solution.

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Well I found this..

"So, I thought I would post this on here since it was VERY helpful to me when we accidently put the wrong Lexus keys in the ignition....

After putting the wrong key in the ignition, there is a safety feature that locks out all keys from starting the car. I read somewhere online the protocol and thought I'd help anyone else out in my problem so you don't have to tow it to the nearest dealership.

Sit in the car with the doors closed, master key in hand.

Hit the unlock button on the key 3 times.

Wait 5 seconds.

Hit the unlock button on the key 3 times.

Wait 5 seconds.

Hit the unlock button on the key 3 times.

Put the key in the ignition and turn.

Voila! It SHOULD start....this worked for me and saved me $$$!"

And I seem to remember that before my key stopped working, I accidentally tried to use the key from my wife's 2010 Equinox. It didn't fit, but as soon as the metal of the key touched the metal of the ignition switch, the steering wheel started to move (you know how the steering moves away from the driver when you park, and moves back toward the driver when you put key in). I 'think' I then tried to use the Lexus key and it didn't work. I don't remember for sure, but will try this experiment next time I'm in the RX.

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I have had the same problem. I was stuck at the beach for 2 hrs. Lexus has replaced the igition for me twice. Seems to make things work just fine after that. I feel your pain. Good luck!

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No, it's not the steering lock. Usually that happens when the wheels are slightly turned and the pressure on the steering column causes the key cylinder to lock (it's part of the mechanism that won't allow the steering wheel to turn if the ignition is in the locked position (i.e. turned to the positions where you can remove the key).

This particular problem I just experienced a few days ago (and once or twice in the past year and a half). The wheels were dead centre, no pressure on steering column, but once the key was inserted in the ignition, it just wouldn't turn. Jiggling, moving the steering wheel...nothing worked..I just kept inserting, removing, twisting..and finally it turned again. I think this is a somewhat common problem on the RX..gonna search the forums to see if there was ever a solution.

I am experiencing the same issues with a used 2005 RX330 that I just bought a couple of months ago and which has seldom been driven.. Am very frustrated too..... I couldnt get the key to go in the slot at all once inside the car, after it had had already started okay with a remote starter and was still actually running.... After trying to turn the wheels a few times( per advice from dealer) the key at least finally went in, but you could still not turn it at all. I tried all three keys I had, with the same end result.

Ultimately the dealer came,he couldnt get the key turned either and had it towed for me.. That was five days ago!!1 Just became a member yesterday in hopes of trying to get some help with this issue as we dont have a Lexus dealer in town per say so I was hoping I could maybe get some info to help the Toyoto mechanic who has the vehicle at present.....IT IS Second time now I havent been able to start the vehicle even though it only had 67000 kms on it and appeared in immaculate shape when purchased, with only one prior owner.

I am scared to keep the vehicle with this going on (would not have expected a Lexus with its reputation to be so tempermental)so please advise whether u have had luck in fixing the issue or maybe can convince me that the protocol another member mentioned of unlocking the button and waiting 5 seconds, then repeating 3 x's before putting the key in, actually WORKS. I cant try it out yet as the vehicle is in the shop and its closed for the weekend.

Any advice as I am starting to be convinced I have a lemon and dont know if I can trust the vehicle anymore.. The old van I drove is 10 years old , (not even in the same class of vehicle) yet I never had the number of issues with it that I have already had in two months with this 5 yr old Lexus..Yes it is winter time and maybe the cold has something to do with this though I dont buy what I was told that possibly the key had had snow on it the nite before when I put it in the ignition and the moisture could have frozen the starter..Temps did drop to minus 20+. Both incidents have happened on the two coldest days we have had since the purchase. I may still have some negotiating room so need to know whether it is safe to ""love it or leave it with the dealer for good''. IF YOU HAVE FIGURED OUT THE PROBLEM AND IT IS FIXABLE IT MAY MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN MY DECISION to keep it or not. You expect reliability in a vehicle of this nature which I no longer am convinced it has,though there were and are so many things I loved about it....Who wants to pay good money for a vehicle that wont start?

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1sttimeowner- Cars are SO complex these days that it is maddening sometimes (and I have worked on cars all my life), but it's not likely to get any better. It's not Lexus, it's ALL cars (the complexity).

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I have the same issue going on. W/O 2005 RX330 vehicle now 5 days.....I had the Toyota mechanic try the tip from the person of pressing the unlock button 3 x's, waiting 5 sec, then repeating 3 times before trying the key.. Unfortunately he tried that and it didnt work... In fact created another issue. He couldnt get the right passenger window up afterwards and as it is about -30 out he wasnt impressed. Hopefully he can now figure out now how to get the window shut... Yikes.. He is ordering a new ignition cylinder for it and as we are quite a distance from the nearest Lexus dealer I am w/o ""Lexy"" for quite a few more days. Am told that the key will THEN have to be sent out by the Lexus people to a locksmith to be recoded before they can ship part back here...Thank God they gave me a a loaner car..

Also talked to a service tech at a Toronto Lexus and he said he hadnt seen this happen before in 10 years of working there.. My dealer assured me he knew the service records of my vehicle and it was maintained diligently and he has never seen it either on the other Lexus' he has sold... Arent we lucky to be one of the few it happened to,IF the truth was told? Not!!!!!I am not under warranty , cost of part, shipping and the towing of vehicle is mid $600.00...I have ONLY driven the vehicle about 30 times, put on max 400 kms and this vehicle only had 67000kms on it when I bought it a couple of months ago... Frustrated to say the least!!!! Love a lot about it but I compare it to a beautiful women who is heartless.....You may have to bite the bullet and have a new cylinder put in... Good Luck

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I need help finding a long term solution to this.

My 2007 RX 400h's ignition key would not turn to start the car and it happens too many times.

It started about a year ago. Before that, I did not have this problem.

Now I am pretty good at unlocking it since I had to deal with it at least 10 times.

It takes me a long time to unlock it, at least 10 to 15 minutes, however, it unlocks eventually.

I never know when it might happen.

I wiggle the key, turn the steering wheel back and forth while I step on the brake.

I took it to my dealership and they could not find anything wrong with it.

They just said it is an anti-thief feature and I should not turn my front wheels too much while I park the car.

This problem drives me crazy because it happens too many times randomly.

I find myself stuck in the car trying to unlock it while I am in a hurry to go some where.

Is there any way I can disable this anti-thief mechanism?

I would rather not have this feature than deal with it so often.

This happened again this afternoon at a shopping mall while I was alone.

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

I am having same issues. Just found some pointers about the merits of tapping the key while in cylinder with a hammer, screwdriver and WD40 on postings on PAGE 2 of this RX330 Forum. Didnt go back far enough last nite when I was trying to find help with this problem. Worth checking out..... Whoever would have thought????.... Hopefully one of these suggestions posted earlier will solve your problem. Could just be jammed up but it does appear unfortunately to be a bit of a design error... Good Luck and sure hope it works for u. Keep me posted. <_<

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I need help finding a long term solution to this.

My 2007 RX 400h's ignition key would not turn to start the car and it happens too many times.

It started about a year ago. Before that, I did not have this problem.

Now I am pretty good at unlocking it since I had to deal with it at least 10 times.

It takes me a long time to unlock it, at least 10 to 15 minutes, however, it unlocks eventually.

I never know when it might happen.

I wiggle the key, turn the steering wheel back and forth while I step on the brake.

I took it to my dealership and they could not find anything wrong with it.

They just said it is an anti-thief feature and I should not turn my front wheels too much while I park the car.

This problem drives me crazy because it happens too many times randomly.

I find myself stuck in the car trying to unlock it while I am in a hurry to go some where.

Is there any way I can disable this anti-thief mechanism?

I would rather not have this feature than deal with it so often.

This happened again this afternoon at a shopping mall while I was alone.

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

I am having same issues. Just found some pointers about the merits of tapping the key while in cylinder with a hammer, screwdriver and WD40 on postings on PAGE 2 of this RX330 Forum. Didnt go back far enough last nite when I was trying to find help with this problem. Worth checking out..... Whoever would have thought????.... Hopefully one of these suggestions posted earlier will solve your problem. Could just be jammed up but it does appear unfortunately to be a bit of a design error... Good Luck and sure hope it works for u. Keep me posted. <_<

Rather than WD40, I would probably spray a touch of graphite in the lock... [i'm on my second RX, and have never had the problem, thankfully. But if it were to happen, I would try the screwdriver/tapping trick and some graphite of the screwdriver/tapping worked.]

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Ooops had the page wrong that would direct you to some help. It is on Pg 4- Post Title is Key Does Not Turn by TRYENDA Go to Pg 2 of those postings... Called my mechanic, he tried their suggestion and Voila IT WORKS....Said he himself would replace the cylinder in event it could happen again but I am going to try and save the $600.00+cost to replace it and keep fingers crossed that it wont happen again or at least if it does I may be able to correct it myself with the hammer method... Unbelievable!!!!!!My trusty old van is looking better all the time to me but she sure isnt as pretty inside as Lexy is..Well good news is that even the mechanic learned something today. Go figure... :cheers:

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I need help finding a long term solution to this.

My 2007 RX 400h's ignition key would not turn to start the car and it happens too many times.

It started about a year ago. Before that, I did not have this problem.

Now I am pretty good at unlocking it since I had to deal with it at least 10 times.

It takes me a long time to unlock it, at least 10 to 15 minutes, however, it unlocks eventually.

I never know when it might happen.

I wiggle the key, turn the steering wheel back and forth while I step on the brake.

I took it to my dealership and they could not find anything wrong with it.

They just said it is an anti-thief feature and I should not turn my front wheels too much while I park the car.

This problem drives me crazy because it happens too many times randomly.

I find myself stuck in the car trying to unlock it while I am in a hurry to go some where.

Is there any way I can disable this anti-thief mechanism?

I would rather not have this feature than deal with it so often.

This happened again this afternoon at a shopping mall while I was alone.

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

I am having same issues. Just found some pointers about the merits of tapping the key while in cylinder with a hammer, screwdriver and WD40 on postings on PAGE 2 of this RX330 Forum. Didnt go back far enough last nite when I was trying to find help with this problem. Worth checking out..... Whoever would have thought????.... Hopefully one of these suggestions posted earlier will solve your problem. Could just be jammed up but it does appear unfortunately to be a bit of a design error... Good Luck and sure hope it works for u. Keep me posted. <_<

Thanks Pauljcl per the graphite tip. Hopefully one can buy this at Canadian Tire or get from a mechanic... Count your blessings this hasnt happened to you. OMG... the bill for that and the a/c sensor replacement would have put me back almost 1200.00.. Didnt want to have to pay out that kind of money so I am thrilled these tips were out there. BLESS THE INTERET and thank you all for sharing your tips... :)

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I need help finding a long term solution to this.

My 2007 RX 400h's ignition key would not turn to start the car and it happens too many times.

It started about a year ago. Before that, I did not have this problem.

Now I am pretty good at unlocking it since I had to deal with it at least 10 times.

It takes me a long time to unlock it, at least 10 to 15 minutes, however, it unlocks eventually.

I never know when it might happen.

I wiggle the key, turn the steering wheel back and forth while I step on the brake.

I took it to my dealership and they could not find anything wrong with it.

They just said it is an anti-thief feature and I should not turn my front wheels too much while I park the car.

This problem drives me crazy because it happens too many times randomly.

I find myself stuck in the car trying to unlock it while I am in a hurry to go some where.

Is there any way I can disable this anti-thief mechanism?

I would rather not have this feature than deal with it so often.

This happened again this afternoon at a shopping mall while I was alone.

PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

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I took my 2008 RX400h down to Discount tires to purchase a new set of tires, and one of the service guys gets into my car and tries to start it with the wrong Lexus key.

Then we get the right key and it would not turn the ignition on. We call the Lexus dealer in Lubbock Texas (120 miles North of me) they tell us to unhook the battery for 5

minutes - did not work. then we tried to wiggle the steering wheel back and forth while while turning the ignition key. Called Toyota dealer in Midland, they said to put it in neutral and let it roll

several feet. I decided to call the Lexus Dealer in El Paso, Texas --- They told me that one of the tumblers got stuck when the wrong key was inserted, for me to get some Graphite and

spray it into the ignition key hole, which I did and it still wouldn't work, so out of frustration I got a small hammer started tapping on the ignition key hole pretty hard -- then put my key into the switch

it turned it right on. In my opinion on this anti-theft stuff is a bunch of BS, all that is wrong is a stuck tumbler -- Graphite and vibration from bagging on the ignition with a small hammer will pop the stuck tumbler loose.

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Did you see my link in post #13 above? No need to keep a sledgehammer in the glovebox.

Put key in ignition, hit key hard with palm of hand (in the direction the key is inserted, not the direction it turns) and...voila!! It works...

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