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Steering column will telescope but not tilt.


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  • 2 years later...

Switch and motor are probably fine, but the grease Toyota uses becomes hard over time. The factory setting is to have the steering while tilt up for easy entry / exit, so it is often used. The telescope is less often used, mainly when operating the memory seat settings. Both tilt and telescope became frozen on our car.

Almost every owner I've spoken to recently has some form of this problem. Fortunately for you, the tilt motor is easy to get close to. There are a couple of screws on the top trim panel, seen when turning the steering wheel left or right. After those are removed, take out the screw on the bottom. Final step is to press on the sides of the lower trim panel back by the dash and the top and bottom trim panels will separate. The tilt hinge points will be visible and I started with a few drops of light silicon oil on the hinges and on the screw shaft. After slow wiggles, the tilt started to work and I continued to add a few drops of oil while the operating range increased. At that point I also applied a little simple lithium grease and left the lower trim panel off so I can easily remove the top trim panel over the next few months to continue the lubrication process. I also had the default setting to tilt the wheel entry / exit disabled.

The manual makes a telescope fix seem easy, but the later cars have the knee airbag that is in the way.

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