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ignition switch stuck

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Old 12-23-10, 07:48 PM   #16
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My car is back at the dealership. One of the shop guys has my car and is driving it home tonight to try to recreate the problem. I had it happen last Thursday and then again on Sunday and since the new 'fix' by the dealership last month, I've had this happen more often. If they can't recreate the problem I get this piece of cr*p car back! I'm fed up, between the white dust issue, the dealer issues I've had, and the ignition problem I'm wishing I had chosen a different car. Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy a new(er) luxury vehicle this winter, nor do I really feel like taking the time like I did last year to do the research.

I've researched the Mercedes MLK, Lincoln MKX, Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, and the Toyota Venza and I've come to the conclusion that car manufacturers just don't care about quality and customer service anymore. Makes me wish I could get everywhere around here using public transportation or a bicycle, LOL!
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Old 12-23-10, 09:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RXSF View Post
ahh yes, exact problem on my 04 RX with 112K miles. Its been happening for about 2 years and I just traded her in last month so its somebody else's problem. lol. the cold climate makes it worse
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Old 01-09-13, 06:07 AM   #18
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Made me laugh. Something that has been working for me is that we remove the key and then there is a little "door" near the gear shifter. Pop that off and depress that button for 10 seconds. That button allows you to take the car out of park without turning the key. This has worked every time, though sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes. Which is more acceptable than the couple of hours that I have been stranded before. Worth a try and a heck of a lot less funny looking!! Actually getting the lock cylinders changed today at the Lexus dealer today (under extended warranty) for my 2006 RX 330 because of this disaster. I agree that it doesn't feel like a wheel lock problem.
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Old 06-06-13, 08:22 PM   #19
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My wife's '07 RX has had this problem intermittently since December. Usually trying the key over and over would eventually result in a successful start. Although one time it was a 45 minute ordeal that included calling Lexus Roadside assistance for a tow only to have the car start before the truck arrived. Calling the dealer usually resulted in the typical "it's the steering wheel lock, tug the wheel while turning the key" line which we knew was not the problem.

The other day it happened in the hands of the dealer service department while the car was in for service (score!). That was all the evidence they needed to get the lock cylinder replaced under the CPO warranty ($489 otherwise).
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Old 06-06-13, 09:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by NVAKeith View Post
The other day it happened in the hands of the dealer service department while the car was in for service (score!). That was all the evidence they needed to get the lock cylinder replaced under the CPO warranty ($489 otherwise).
Congrats. That is one of those once in a lifetime events. Go play the lottery.
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Old 02-16-14, 03:59 PM   #21
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Anyone have any idea how to remove the ignition lock cylinder? I can't get access to it to remove it on my 2007 rx350. I can't get the dash off.
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Old 02-16-14, 08:30 PM   #22
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What's the correct lubricant?
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Old 05-11-14, 09:10 AM   #23
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I took my son to the Lexus Dealer this morning; because of the Broken Key syndrome.

After talking for a while with the Parts guy ... I eventually went over and spoke with the service guy. Here is the scoop that I discovered regarding why the ignition key keeps getting stuck. The Service guy smiled and pulled out a photocopy of a Popular Mechanics article, from March 2008. It reads as follows:

"It's a common problem - as evidenced by the fact that twice in the past month I had to go out and help someone get his car started. Here's the scenario: Get into your car, try to start it. The ignition key won't turn the lock cylinder. Try again, this time twisting the key hard enough to worry about breaking it off. Nope - now you're going to have to call a tow truck to get your car hauled to the dealership.
Wrong. There's no problem. You shut off the engine while holding a little torque on the steering wheel, which left the front wheels a little skewed. When you took the key out, and the locking pin slid home, the steering column tried to straighten itself out. That put pressure on the locking pin, which made the key hard to turn.
To relieve that pressure, just wiggle the wheel back and forth an inch or two while you gently try to twist the key. This will unload the pin, and off you go."
The article has a nice illustration of the wheel locking pin, ignition key & cylinder and the starter ignition switch.

The Service guy told me that there is no bad parts in my son's car; we do not need a new ignition cylinder; nothing needed for service. This is just how it works.

In the meantime ... the Parts guy was cutting a new key for my son. Basically, he had twisted off the plastic component from the metal key piece. The Parts guy told me we could pay for another Lexus Key (which will eventually break) for $69, or we could purchase the Eternity Key which is a Lexus Dealership approved key (for $99). The Eternity Key comes with a lifetime warranty. He said (and the research I performed later indicates) that this Eternity Key will not EVER break. If it does - then bring it back for a new one free of charge. I asked him how often this occurs with people breaking their keys. He said that he cuts between 10 - 15 keys every week for people who have broken their keys.

We paid the $99 (plus tax) for the Eternity Key and felt comfortable that no other parts were necessary. We just need to make sure that before we shut off the engine, our hands are off the steering wheel, and there is no torque on the steering wheel at all.

We'll see how this works. I can already see that the new Eternity Key is significantly better quality than the original Lexus Key.
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Old 05-11-14, 09:10 AM

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