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Steering Column Adjuster Motor Grinding

Emperor Penguin

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As you already know, the moment the tip of your ignition key enters the starter, the steering column moves the steering wheel either up or down.  Likewise, when you stop the engine and turn it to the off position, the steering wheel goes up.  That's a cute bell & whistle, but to me that feature is unnecessary.  Recently, the motor that adjusts the steering wheel is grinding when I first put the key in, and usually I will have to toggle the adjuster knob and coax the steering wheel to stop the grinding noise so I can adjust the steering wheel.

Has anyone here had that same problem?  That grinding noise sounds pretty serious, and I fear that maybe it will die and the steering wheel will be locked in an undesirable position.  Apparently something needs to be replaced, but for now I don't have an idea of where to search.  Is there a part number I can look up online?

Also, if I cannot find the part or if the part will be too costly, can I somehow disengage this adjuster motor and keep the steering wheel in a fixed position?  Nobody but I will drive the car anyway, so there is little sense to make it adjustable.

My car is a 1995 Lexus LS400.

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as a NEW member, the FIRST thing you need to do is SEARCH other people's steering problems, this has been covered for years.

there are even videos showing you how to fix it.. THEN if you dont understand, ask for help.

a 5 cent garden hose washer will fix it (usually). see videos.. 

2 screws to remove the covers, then 3 screws to remove the plate and you are looking at it.


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It may be the gear. If it is and you need more then the washer fix, new gears are not expensive. Rock Auto has them. 

You will find the search feature on forums to be if great help. In general before posting please run a search on not only the forum, but on your favorite search engine. 

Most videos will even come up on a search engine. But it helps to search YouTube directly. 

The only frustrating thing can be if you get so many responce and most are off subject that the results are useless. 

Like if you search for 95 Lexus Ls400 radiator cap and get everything that has the word cap in it. So it helps to learn the advanced search options. 

We welcome you. 

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Thanks, guys, and sorry for my ignorance.

I actually found a YouTube video detailing the repair and the zip-tie method worked perfectly well.  Saved me hundreds of dollars at the shop.

When I opened the plate, I saw that the gear was recessed, as in the video.  I chose the zip tie instead of the garden hose washer because I fear that a rubber washer will be more likely to grind down than plastic.  I suppose that whatever was in there previously simply ground itself away over time.  Any idea, guys, what was initially there when the car was new?  Something was in there before the gear recessed itself.

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