I need to tow (front-wheel dolly) my 2014 Odyssey Elite about 50 miles. Which means that it needs to be in neutral, and the steering wheel needs to be unlocked.

Unfortunately, the normal condition for this leaves the electrical system enabled and in 'accessory mode,' which means the battery will be drained by the time I arrive.

I can put the shift lever into neutral with the bypass switch under the little plastic cover next to it, but that doesn't affect the steering lock. I haven't figured out how to unlock the steering wheel without the battery drain. I strongly suspect the wheel is locked by a solenoid whose normal position is 'locked,' so removing power will lock it, but that's just a guess.

So ideally I'm looking for a way to put the vehicle in neutral with the key in the ignition, which will get everything into the state I need it to be -- and then disable the 'accessory mode' that goes along with it so the battery won't drain.

The Honda dealership was unable to help.

There must be a way professional towers do this..


  • I'm sorry, I'm a little confused. If you are going to be putting the front wheels off the ground on a tow behind dolly (and the rear wheel will be on the ground), why do you need it in neutral? Or have the steering unlocked? Your van is front wheel drive and the steering wheel should not turn while it's tied down to the dolly. Oct 22, 2016 at 17:48
  • I've had the same thought about not needing/wanting the steering to turn, but that's what the tow dolly manufacturer said to do. It's a front-wheel drive vehicle, so why would the turning rear wheels affect the transmission?
    – RoUS
    Oct 22, 2016 at 18:07
  • I posted two comments for both the scenarios that you could be describing. I should have stated that, my bad. The first one is for if the front wheels are in the air, the second one is for if the front wheels are on the ground. Which scenario are you asking about? Oct 22, 2016 at 18:08
  • I conflated things, I'm afraid. The important thing was the steering being unlocked, which was only accomplishable by not being in Park. So take the 'neutral' requirement out of the picture.
    – RoUS
    Oct 22, 2016 at 18:10
  • I was unclear, also. Front wheels are on the dolly, the rear ones are on the ground.
    – RoUS
    Oct 22, 2016 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


Install a battery disconnect switch.

The steering wheel should be able to move if the key is in regardless of if it has power or not. I've only once seen a mid-90's Kia with a ridiculous restriction like that. (How do you jump a car when you can't push it out of its parking spot!)

You should be able to test this fairly easily by putting the key to accessory, popping the hood, disconnect the black wire from your battery, and try to turn the wheel. It will be hard to turn because you won't have any power steering, but it should turn.

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