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Preventative measures for steering wheel tilt system


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Been looking around online before posting this question but every search turns up front end related issues. Ive recently purchased a 1999 Lexus LS400 with 128k miles on it. This is my first Lexus, and Its a wonderful car. It has this automatic steering wheel tilt function that tilts up and retracts the wheel once I turn off the engine. This makes it much easier for me to exit the vehicle as I am on the taller side so I prefer to keep this function working well. Ive read that this is a common fault with these vehicles that the tilt function of the steering wheel fails. I believe mine is on its way out if I do not address the noise that it makes. Every time it does this, it vibrates audibly as it slowly retracts itself. It sounds as if something is not properly lubricated or the leather around the apparatus is rubbing on something with a decent amount of pressure. Does anyone have experience with this particular scenario and if so, what is the culprit of this loud buzz it makes as it operates? How can I best address what is wrong with the unit that it is making this sound? It certainly seems to cause enough friction that if left unchecked, it would wear out the motor operating this mechanism.

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I've been following this issue for nearly 20 years and I have as yet to see anyone identify preventative maintenance.  It is sometimes possible to band-aid repair the early LS400 tilt/telescope system with washers and zip ties but I don't think that can be done on the later ones which may be sealed units.

There were at least three variations of the tilt/telescope system used in the 1998-2000.  The final variation was implemented at the factory in Spring 2000.  The attached TSIB describes how to retrofit the final component version if problems arose.  I was fortunate that the 2000 LS400 I drove for 11 years was assembled in June 2000 and got the final version at the factory.

 

 

1999-2000 LS400 Tilt- Telescopic Steering Column TSIB.pdf

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5 hours ago, 1990LS400 said:

I've been following this issue for nearly 20 years and I have as yet to see anyone identify preventative maintenance.  It is sometimes possible to band-aid repair the early LS400 tilt/telescope system with washers and zip ties but I don't think that can be done on the later ones which may be sealed units.

There were at least three variations of the tilt/telescope system used in the 1998-2000.  The final variation was implemented at the factory in Spring 2000.  The attached TSIB describes how to retrofit the final component version if problems arose.  I was fortunate that the 2000 LS400 I drove for 11 years was assembled in June 2000 and got the final version at the factory.

 

 

1999-2000 LS400 Tilt- Telescopic Steering Column TSIB.pdf 161.64 kB · 2 downloads

Thank you so much for the reply! I will look into that. And if I discover a way to ease the vibration I will share it!

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