Avalon disable

I have a 2002 Avalon that I garage at my fathers. He is 89 and has Alzheimer’s. He gave up driving two years ago but forgets that he did (state took license). He has a key to the car and won’t give it up. Is there a convenient (no tools) way to disable the car so he cant start it.

Just disconnect the battery. While this does require tools, it is something that virtually anyone can do with the correct wrench.

Of course, if you want to continue to drive it, that is not very convenient. Perhaps the only practical solution is to have the lock cylinder for the ignition changed.

I empathize with you. While my mother did not drive a car, her descent into Alzheimer’s disease took a toll on everyone. Make sure that Dad’s physician prescribes one of the more effective medications (like Aricept) to slow down the progression of the disease, and try to keep your chin up.

You need to move the car. Your Dad in a frustrated state may try to drive one day and get very frustrated that the car won’t start or he can’t get into it. Some times people in their condition will lash out in violence when something isn’t working the way it should (at least according to them), and may damage the car while lashing out.

I had a similar situation and removed the rotor.

Mike makes a very good point however. In my case moving it was not an option. I did remove the rotor (it was a while back) and that took care of the problem. I also notified the dealer (it was a small town) so they would not fix it.

I would also suggest that for those with adult children, that they take the time now to talk with them. Make sure they know YOU WANT them to do likewise for them if you need it some day. Tell them to ignore what you might say then. I have done so with my kids and I sure hope they will not hesitate to take proper care of me if I need it. After all we will not know we need that kind of care. Of course I totally trust my kids.

Go under the hood and in one of the fuse/relay boxes, locate the fuel pump relay and remove it. The engine won’t start without the relay.


Do you really need to garage your car at your father’s?

Having been through Alzheimer’s with both parents, I can testify that frustration, depression, and even lashing out are normal parts of the disease. Having the car there will only make things worse. If it’s at all possible to keep the car at your place rather than his I strongly recommend that you do. Even if that means leaving it out in the elements. Your dad’s welfare is far, far more important than your car’s.

Thank you,

This one sounds right.

Tried Aricept, bad side effect.

Thanks for worrying about the car. :slight_smile:

Out of sight out of mind?


My 90 y/o mother had the same problem. I found that the fuse and relay center in the engine compartment was easy to access on her car, so I pulled the relay to the starter motor. When she went to drive it , she thought the battery was dead. The relay is small, you don’t need to tools to remove it, your clock and radio presets aren’t lost, no one can fix it by just hooking up the battery cables again, you can blame the car for not starting and avoid a confrontation with your father, and you can keep the relay with you until you go back to get the car. It would take a pretty good person with good mechanical knowledge to figure out what was missing. This worked really well for me.