My car shuts off when I turn the steering wheel

Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LEXUS ES 300
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 222,000 MILES
Does anybody know why my car would be shutting off when I turn the steering wheel? It will be riding fine, but after a while if I turn the wheel to turn it will shut off, but it cranks right back up.
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Friday, February 24th, 2017 AT 7:27 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Almost has to be a short around either the steering shaft inside the car or outside under the hood. If it is a repeatable item it should not be that hard to find. But there is a lot of wiring in that car. Does it do it regardless of which direction you turn? If you hold the wheel in the same spot after it shuts off does it restart, or do you need to move the wheel?
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Saturday, February 25th, 2017 AT 4:24 AM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Oh my gosh sounds like a pro. Yes sir it shuts off either direction, and it will start back up, but I have to turn the wheel back straight to do so.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Okay if it does it both ways that makes it a bit harder. If it only acted up one direction you would look for a wire that only moved when you turned that way. That you have to center it back up for it to start sounds like it is more than likely an actual connector and not a loose wire. Either direction stresses the connector. When turned straight the connector relaxes and power can flow.
If you put the transmission in reverse, stand on the brake and give it some gas does it shut down? How about in drive? Another thing you can do is gently pull on the wiring harness connections and see if you can trigger the problem. Have someone slowly turn the wheel back/forth as you watch the wiring. Stuff that doesn't move is not the problem.

If you have access to a factory level scan tool you could watch the engine control system voltages as you turned the wheel.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 10:45 AM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for the information. Yes, when turned straight it starts acting right. And it reverses and shifts gears just fine and no sir when pushing the gas it does not shut off and sometimes if I have had the wheel turned and if I pull right off it does shut off, but I crank the car right back up and starts right up. I had two people look at it so far Mr. Steve one said it was the transmission and sell it to him than I had the transmission checked and they said it was solid the guy probably just wanted the car. The next one was stating things that you are so, but I wanted clarification on it. Thank you for helping me and giving me areas to look.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Transmission wouldn't cause that. It's something in the wiring but finding it will be the trick. I would start by picking one area, with the engine running tug on the harness in the areas around the steering. The reason it's tough to find is that there are hundreds of wires and you may have 1 or 2 causing this. The only good thing is you know it has to be somewhere near the steering parts.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 1:06 PM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Thanks you was right it was the wiring as you stated
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 1:53 PM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
So Ms. Steve it only does it when I turn left what does that mean again.
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
I meant Mr I am so sorry for that typo sir
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If it only does it turning left, look at wiring that moves only while turning left. Turn the wheel slowly left and when the engine stops, look close at any connectors that flexes or get pulled. Then start slowly moving those harnesses until you find the one that shuts down the engine. Good luck with it.
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 12:14 AM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Mr. Steve does it sound like it could be the ignition switch?
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 8:54 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
It could be the harness to it, but without proving it I would keep looking. Easy add-on test. Grab a section of harness, hold it tight and have someone turn the wheel. If the wires can't move they shouldn't shut off the engine.
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 10:14 AM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Thank you for walking me through it seem like everyone wants to buy it from me and not help me. In going to take it to the dealership at the end the week thank you so much for helping and answering my questions. The harness is under the hood right?
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
I found it under the steering cover
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 1:04 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Wiring can be a bear to sort out because modern vehicles have so much of it. Shorts and intermittent faults are hated items.

The harness that is likely causing your problem starts under the hood.
Here's hoping you get it sorted out.

Good Luck and you are welcome.
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Monday, February 27th, 2017 AT 2:43 PM
Tiny
TORSHELL93
  • MEMBER
Hey Steve Im back lol. Question with the engine if the motor mounts need to be replaced will that cut the car off. He said my engine is tilting and causing it to shut off iS that true?
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If the mount is letting the engine shift that far it could pull on the wiring and shut it down. It's not real common but it does happen. Easy for you to verify, Watch what the engine does if you have someone hold the brake down with the car in drive and step on the gas, then switch to reverse and repeat, the engine shouldn't move much more than an inch or so either way.
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Just checking to see if you got the problem solved? If you did what was the issue? Broken mount chaffing the wiring?
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Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 AT 4:42 PM

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