Two annoying problems with my Lexus

I have a 2003 Lexus GS 300 with 125k. Two problems. First, the back doors don’t lock or unlock electronically (well, very rarely one will unlock). The only way to lock/unlock them is to manually reach around. It started with the driver’s side back door almost two years ago, and in the past 7-8 months the other one started doing the same thing.

Also, the steering wheel automatically moves out of position when the key is removed, and automatically back into position when the car is started. A nice feature, but the steering wheel screams when it moves up and down. It’s loud and embarrassing.

Any ideas on fixes for these two issues? Will this be an expensive fix not worth bothering with on this old car?

When you manually lock the doors, is it harder to move the button than it should be? These problems can be caused if the lock rods are rubbing against something, or they can be caused by frayed wires, or other problems with power delivery.

The steering wheel probably needs lubrication somewhere - either that or something has fallen into the tilt mechanism and has jammed between two moving parts. Lubing the right area might fix it, or you might have to disassemble down to the area and give it a good scrubbing.

Without knowing more, it’s hard to say if it will be expensive or cheap. It depends on the actual cause.

As to whether it’s worth it or not, only you can decide that. It’s a cool car, but it’s not an uncommon type of car, so if you’re not attached to it, or you’re not a moron like I am who collects older cars just because they’re neat and not because they’re collectible, it might not be worth fixing if you have to spend much money.

On the other hand, if the wheel screaming embarrasses you, it might be worth fixing - it’s cheaper than buying a new Lexus, eh?

I’d say these are both simple lubrication issues. In the case of the door locks, perhaps also an electrical switch cleaning issue.

For the door locks, I fixed a Tacoma with the same issue a few years back. The lock slider on the latching mechanism (inside the door, easier to do if removed) wasn’t working properly, and it would slide part way, then fall back. The grease had thickened some over time (probably dirt), so it didn’t move properly. The fix was to remove it, clean it well, and lubricate it. Dealer wanted to replace the latch mechanism. My method cost a few hundred less. Took about an hour per door (did both just to be sure).

Look in your manual–you may be able to disable the automatic steering wheel movement. I have this feature on my 2006 Chrysler, but I don’t need it so I’ve turned it off. Just extra wear on the adjustment mechanism for no good reason.

Thanks. I took the cover of the steering column off and lubricated the mechanism and that seems to have fixed that problem. Not sure I am confident in my abilities to get at the lock mechanism but may give it a shot. Thanks for your input!