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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Steering Wheel Turns w/Car Off

So tonight as I was doing the key dance trying to read my Engine Light Code (to no avail), I noticed that even when I had the car off I was able to turn the steering wheel. Is this normal?

It didnt matter if I had the key in or out or even the alarm on. I was still able to turn the steering wheel and thus the front tires. Shouldn't this be locked?

thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 06:02 AM
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The steering does not lock.......or, mine doesn't lock either.

I don't remember any vehicle with a dash mounted ignition switch having a locking steering column.

Rob


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 06:46 AM
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The good thing about not locking is that you can flat tow a Commander,( 4 wheel drive version) without a key in the ignition. You do not have to worry about someone breaking a window and stealing the Jeep off the back of your Motorhome.

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Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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ok. thanks. Funny how I didnt notice this till now. Was worried I broke something while trying the Key Dance.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 03:39 PM
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Did you turn your steering wheel all the way from full left to full right, stop to stop?

In 60's, cars didn't lock the steering wheel, so the key was in the dash. When it was law for the steering wheel to lock, all the keys moved to the steering column to lock them. When they went back to dash mounted keys, they put electrical activated locks in the steering column.

All my Chrysler vehicle since the late 90's, they changed the steering wheel lock so that it didn't lock unless you turned the wheel more than 1/2 a turn one way or the other. I guess it gave the same effect because you can't steel a vehicle if you can only move the steering wheel a half turn, but it cut down on the steering wheel tension from the tires resisting and pulling the wheel back, jaming up the lock mechanism and breaking the ignition lock and switch (happened on my '91 Mini-Van).

I'll have to check my Commander again, I've could have sworn the steering wheel locked, because my driveway is a steep hill, I always turn the steering wheel when I park on it. When I have the steering wheel turned, usually a full turn if NOT all the way left to the stops, it locks all the way. I'll check again and make sure I'm NOT confusing it with other Chrysler vehicles I own.


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Last edited by Mongo; 09-01-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:57 PM
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Sorry guys, I just checked and yes indeed the steering wheel does NOT lock.

I must have confused it with my 2002 and '99 Chrysler vehicles that will lock the steering wheel, but only after you turn it more than a half turn of the wheel.

I guess the immobilizer features of the computer modules that start the vehicle are secure enough now, that a locking steering wheel is NOT necessary.

I'm NOT totally familiar with how it works, but to say, you can't hot wire the newer Chrysler vehicles, there is no way to start the vehicle without the key short of using a computer to hack into it and fool the modules that the proper key is being use, a lot harder than it sounds. Even then its a matter of having the right code out of several million and the vehicle rejecting you if you don't get the right one in the 3 tries.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 08:37 PM
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Well I am glad that we got that figured out. The owners manual has a specific procedure for the recreational towing of a Commander behind a motorhome and it list removing the key. If the wheels could not track you would wear out the front tires when turning.

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Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
I'm NOT totally familiar with how it works, but to say, you can't hot wire the newer Chrysler vehicles, there is no way to start the vehicle without the key short of using a computer to hack into it and fool the modules that the proper key is being use, a lot harder than it sounds. Even then its a matter of having the right code out of several million and the vehicle rejecting you if you don't get the right one in the 3 tries.
Not quite true...demonstrated on the UK version of Top Gear on the episode where they drive three muscle cars across the US, they quite easily fool the challenger into starting without the key in the ignition, proceed to drive it into the middle of the street, and park it there without the original driver with keys still in his pocket sitting in the diner next door being any the wiser.

I have NOT been able to pull this off on a jeep with the same fob style key myself despite trying...though in the clip, doesn't appear to be a key turn that actually starts the vehicle, but push button. Could also be he's in a 2007 challenger and i'm in an 08...who knows...could just be video tomfoolery for entertainment sake but it made for good tv.

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Last edited by chriscavell; 09-01-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscavell View Post
Not quite true...demonstrated on the UK version of Top Gear on the episode where they drive three muscle cars across the US, they quite easily fool the challenger into starting without the key in the ignition, proceed to drive it into the middle of the street, and park it there without the original driver with keys still in his pocket sitting in the diner next door being any the wiser.

I have NOT been able to pull this off on a jeep with the same fob style key myself despite trying...though in the clip, doesn't appear to be a key turn that actually starts the vehicle, but push button. Could also be he's in a 2007 challenger and i'm in an 08...who knows...could just be video tomfoolery for entertainment sake but it made for good tv.
Here's a video of the diner incident you are talking about. It is quite clear how they did it. You probably just don't remember all the facts. Starts at about 3 minutes.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscavell View Post
Not quite true...demonstrated on the UK version of Top Gear on the episode where they drive three muscle cars across the US, they quite easily fool the challenger into starting without the key in the ignition, proceed to drive it into the middle of the street, and park it there without the original driver with keys still in his pocket sitting in the diner next door being any the wiser.

I have NOT been able to pull this off on a jeep with the same fob style key myself despite trying...though in the clip, doesn't appear to be a key turn that actually starts the vehicle, but push button. Could also be he's in a 2007 challenger and i'm in an 08...who knows...could just be video tomfoolery for entertainment sake but it made for good tv.
Like they said in the program that jeep5253 posted, you can only get a hundred feet or so, before you get out of range of the FOB, and the engine shuts down and can't be restarted.

Believe me, I have ranted quite a bit about Chrysler's key system, mostly the unethical way the jack up the price massively, like a 3200% profit margin, and make it a very inconvenient and expensive service item only at the Dealership after 2009 MY. But, even I acknowledge that they designed it well enough they took into account that push button ignition, someone might try to drive off without the keyfob actually in the vehicle.

The new ignitions keys, FOBIK?, have an RFID chip in them, each chip has an unique identifier and your SKEEM module is programmed to recognize that unique RFID chips for your vehicle only. Even the vehicles where you still have to stick the FOBIK into the ignition and turn it (i.e. non-push button) there is an antenna in the ignition module interacting with the chip over radio waves (or more accurately RF energy that energizes the chip to respond to the interrogator, that is why a FOBIK with a dead battery will start your vehicle). The vehicles with the Push-Button Ignition just have bigger antennas and a stronger signal to work with the RFID chip from farther away.


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