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Discussion Starter #1
Had the Fuel Maintenance Mode warning yesterday so I was looking forward to a longer run today to burn some petrol off. But when I got in I saw the dreaded Service Steering Column Lock error message on the dash.

Now I believe it’s accepted that the motor is just crap and they are doomed to fail eventually, but just for the record;

This is the first fault the car had had since I owned it (18 months now).

Car is MY13 and has done 31k, previously owned by a Vauxhall manager and looked after.

Vauxhall Servicing is complete and up to date.

The car is always parked with wheels in line and not on a camber.

All door buttons work but I have never used them since I have owned the car.

I had prepared for this after following the many posts on here regarding this problem, and had a fuse puller and typed instructions in the glove locker, so pulling the fuse did the trick. I then did a 50 mile trip burning off the petrol with a couple of stops and the error didn’t reappear. Pulled in for £20 petrol and again no problem.

Am I right in thinking that once this fault appears it’s likely to reappear, and that there is a remote possibility that it will brick the car? If so it seems to me that I may as well book the car in for a replacement motor which I believe is an improved one. I have an extended warranty for the car but I doubt it will cover this problem, I think I remember it being said that there won’t be a fault code for this problem if it recovers. I don’t want to wait for it to brick the car and flat bedded in for repair.
 

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Hyundai Kona convert...
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I had this around 18 months and 20 odd thousand miles ago.... It flashed up a couple of times on start up and then a couple of days later, I had the Service Steering Column lock warning and was stuck with the car in the drive.
I had read about the fuse ‘solution’ on the forum, so removing the fuse, cleaning it and replacing it seemed to clear the problem. I don’t know what removing the fuse does, but it seemed to clear the problem then and it hasn’t come back yet. Touch wood, just writing this, I guess I am tempting fate!
I would apply the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ rule and hold fire for now. You’ll likely find your VX dealer thinking you a hypochondriac if you take the car in with ‘no fault found....’
 

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I had it about 6 months ago, did the fuse trick which cleared it, and never had it since. Up to that point I 'nearly' always parked the wheels straight, and never used the door buttons.
Since then I consistently park the wheels straight, but do now and again use a door button if my hands are full, which isn't often.
Still not seen the steering lock fault since.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I had this once, just as I arrived home and powered the car down I noticed the message pop up. Having already read about this on here I started the car again but it wouldn't budge. Pulling the fuse fixed it but it also cleared any error codes. Next time it happened I had the car in the dealership for a service, collected it, put it on charge whilst at work and when I went to come away from the charger the warning flashed up but the car worked normally and the message has not come back, The codes currently stored on the car are P0CD2, P1E00, P0011 and A0014.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pulling the fuse fixed it but it also cleared any error codes.
I thought that might be the case, I wondered if an error code was stored I could get it replaced under warranty, but there may be no proof of the fault now.
Does it trigger the EML?

Could be a pain at MOT time.
Good point, I will wait and see if it occurs again. It didnt trigger the EML
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE
Same problem again today but not when I first drove it, did about 5 miles and parked. Error message there when I got back.
I was able to start the car and it drove normally with the error message still displayed. I was under the impression that most people found the car would not start or drive with the error message.
If it persists over the weekend I will get it booked in for a new motor.
 

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UPDATE
I was under the impression that most people found the car would not start or drive with the error message.
A year or so ago mine went through a phase of bringing up the error message and a couple of times refused to start (maybe 2 out of 10). I keep a couple of tools in the boot now to disconnect the 12v battery for a minute if it happens again. That always fixed it for me (unlike the fuse F2 trick...). Of course since then it has only happened once, which I ignored and it went away.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE
As mentioned before I can drive the car with the Service Steering Column Lock displayed. This morning I noticed that the icon under the DIC was blue and not green even though the car is not running on petrol. Rotating the DIC caused the error message to go away and the icons went back to green. When driving the DIC Message Centre had a message that said (in smaller text) that there was 1 message.
I should have noticed this before but I am partially deaf, but the Steering Lock is not operating at all, no noise when opening the door, so the steering lock is not operational and I'm wondering that the problem may not be the actual motor. Opening the door does trigger the error message though.
As the motor isn't operating I'm wondering if its not getting power for some reason. As my paranoia was expecting the Steering Lock to fail sooner or later I didn't do the basics and check the b***y fuse! I will be able to check that later today and if it isnt that then I will phone Underwoods to book it in.
Looking on the GM-Volt Forums it seems that the Steering Lock isn't a problem in the US............. because they don't have the Steering Lock!! Seems it may be an EU Directive for cars to have these in the EU, just what I read so not certain about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE
Fuses were ok, car still ok to drive.
Phoned Underwoods Colchester (Car purchased there, all warranty work and Servicing done there). Bit of a shock as they tell me they no longer do repairs on the Ampera but can still do servicing. Gave me Vauxhall Customer Support number for nearest dealer who can do the work. Rang the number and I'm told that the call will be recorded (so are mine) and that the record of the call may be kept outside of the UK, press 1 to refuse 2 to accept, is this PSA in France I wonder.
Nearest Vauxhall Ampera Dealer is Bristol Street Motors, 5 miles nearer to me that Underwoods but potentially more traffic problems.
One thing comes to mind, my car is due for its 5th service this year, I took out a service plan for 3 years with Underwoods but for the price I don't think it will cover the HV Battery coolant change which is a requirement. If Underwoods arent doing Ampera repairs then does that mean they don't have an Ampera specialist who would be needed to follow the battery coolant replacement procedures in the 5th Service. As @donald explained its a lengthy process and I would have thought needs someone who knows what they are doing.
I will write to Underwoods this week to get confirmation on this.
Car booked into Bristol Street Motors this Wednesday, they reckon they need it all day so I will be roaming Chingford for the day it seems. I have extended warranty so hopefully it will be covered. Will have a read through the forum now to see what others think of Bristol Street Motors.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Took the car to Bristol Street Motors Chingford this morning regarding the Service Steering Column Lock problem. As mentioned previously I used Underwoods in Colchester for servicing but they no longer repair Amperas although they say they still service them (is this a sign that Vauxhall relaxed Servicing requirements as I'm assuming they are not doing Ampera repairs as they don't have an EV Technician)? If they cant do repairs then I don't see the point in taking the car there for servicing as if they find a fault they wont be able to repair it and I would have to go elsewhere.
I don't have a problem with Underwoods although I would say the staff weren't particularly helpful and they just did the minimum. I did have a problem with their spares department as it took about six months of messing about before I got the boot stops I ordered and touch up paint I ordered and paid for never did turn up and I gave up in the end.
At Bristol Street Motors they put the car on diagnostics which cost £99. Seems daft as the fault is well known but I suppose its possible it could be something other than the actual motor itself so I have to swallow that.
As expected I was told after 2 hours that it needed a new motor. Staff were all very friendly and I did get a coffee, I spoke to other customers who all said they had no problem with Bristol Street Motors. The car is booked in for the new motor to be fitted next week (part on order as expected).
The cost of the diagnostics, repair and new motor was just over £400(!!!). I have an Extended Warranty but I have to pay the first £200 so £200 to pay. I do also have a Vauxhall Service Club card but they would not accept that too (I had hoped to get 25% off the £200). If I hadn't had the Extended Warranty and just used the Service Club discount it would have been about £300.
Chingford is a touch nearer to me than Colchester but its a pain of a trip in the rush hour(s), A127, M25, M11, North Circular 29 miles took 1.5 hours.
I will see how it goes when the repair is done next week, if all is well I will cancel my 3 year Service Plan at Underwoods and take it up with Bristol Street.
I did get a coffee, TV and a video of the underside of the car with health check, technician mentioned the coolant change is due which Underwoods didnt.
Sorry this is a bit lengthy but having an Ampera Service Centre I can trust is important to me and I guess some others so I hope this may help.
BTW a salesman told me that he went on a course and that the Grandland would be available with an electric option within 2 years, another chap said the whole range will have an electric option by then. Obviously wont be Voltec based, I am wondering what PSA will come up with by then.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I'm thinking it might be good for me to get the message again, not brick the car though, so it will be covered by the lifetime warranty before I hit the 100k mark. The only time that it bricked the car I pulled the fuse and that got me mobile again, however, it also cleared the error codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm thinking it might be good for me to get the message again, not brick the car though, so it will be covered by the lifetime warranty before I hit the 100k mark. The only time that it bricked the car I pulled the fuse and that got me mobile again, however, it also cleared the error codes.
I'm wondering if my failure is a different cause, the motor hasn't jammed or anything, it just doesn't operate at all. Error still on display, pulling the fuse first time got rid of it for one trip then it was back, left it on there as it doesn't seem to be causing any problems.
If it comes up again on your car @h8ten I would get it fixed under warranty. It seems likely that they will all fail eventually, mine is fairly low mileage and I was obsessive about parking in line etc but it still failed.
They dont have this steering lock on US Volts by the way, seems to be an EU requirement, shame it cant be permanently removed but that may cause software errors(?)
 
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