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@1608Chris by releasing the lock the steering will be good but the damn car will still look for the lock servo motor to run to a stall on both lock and unlock.

I have some electronic ability and will take a look at my existing one when it is off and try plugging in my spare sourced from the Ebay link earlier in this thread. If it works, it is not going to be bolted back on but just allowed to operate freely under the dash.

It should be doable to simulate the operation of the motor with resistors soldered in place of it but simulating the stall may take a bit more thought. A link I noticed when Googling seemed to focus on the connection between the PCB and connector pins as they are only crimped in to the board, not soldered so that may be a good place to start when diagnosing a failure.
Looking at the board though I cannot see any load sensing components so how the stall is sensed is presently unknown.
 

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Twin Amperas
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One of our Ampera's was throwing up the steering column lock errors daily for a while (but would still start ok).
I ordered a module from the same US source on ebay; different part number 23484342, intending to fit myself but it came due for a service at Bellingers so let them fit it.
Works fine since, although I recently ran a diagnostic and was surprised to find there are two errors logged regarding the module not having the VIN and security codes coded into it...seems to make no difference to operation though so I think DIY fit should be fine if you can get past the security bolts...
Bit disappointing having paid the specialists to fit it they didn't actually code it...!! (Although still generally happy with the service there and would recommend them above other dealers...)
 

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Nathan, thanks for your comments - that seems like another piece of the jigsaw sorted. I’ve just come in from trying the tips from Modo - ie. non-drive start and then off with door open. I can hear what i presume is the relay actioning but there’s nothing from the motor.

As i say, the steering lock is on/engaged which I suspect means I can’t replace the module (presuming I remove the shear bolts) even if i wanted to?
 

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Twin Amperas
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No problem Chris, hope it helps a bit...might be worth you investing in a scanner which can go beyond OBD and interrogate all the modules including the steering lock...most are costly but this one is available around £55 on amazon...would be with you by Saturday...if you select the free lifetime make as Vauxhall I can confirm all versions of the Ampera are covered...

Autel AP200 Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Code Reader with Full Systems Diagnoses, AutoVIN, Oil/EPB/BMS/SAS/TPMS/DPF Resets IMMO Service for Family DIYers (DIY Version of MK808)
 

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Nathan, thanks for your comments - that seems like another piece of the jigsaw sorted. I’ve just come in from trying the tips from Modo - ie. non-drive start and then off with door open. I can hear what i presume is the relay actioning but there’s nothing from the motor.

As i say, the steering lock is on/engaged which I suspect means I can’t replace the module (presuming I remove the shear bolts) even if i wanted to?
Shame, have you tried jiggling the steering wheel (whilst switching on/off with door open) in case it is pulling to one side and holding the locking pin tight?

But yes, unfortunately if its failed in locked position, removing shear bolts will loosen it up but the lock mechanism still holds it to the column.
 

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Shame, have you tried jiggling the steering wheel (whilst switching on/off with door open) in case it is pulling to one side and holding the locking pin tight?

But yes, unfortunately if its failed in locked position, removing shear bolts will loosen it up but the lock mechanism still holds it to the column.
? I'm going to test it to death at the weekend, but at this rate I'm going to need a mobile crane to get the vehicle on to a flatbed... Failing that I may just sue GM.
 

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Failing that I may just sue GM.
It is very poor of GM to even expect such a design of servo to work reliably as can be seen when Googling for Cruze steering lock failures. There are other US cars with this lock but oddly the US Volt was never fitted with it.
It is surprising to read above about the module operating even when not keyed which clearly suggests that it was poorly implemented innto the software.

As said before I will remove mine and fit the new one to allow me to study the operation of it and hopefully simulate it.
 

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? I'm going to test it to death at the weekend, but at this rate I'm going to need a mobile crane to get the vehicle on to a flatbed... Failing that I may just sue GM.
Also make sure your 12v battery is well above 12v - I have a volt meter in my car and although my battery is about 1 year old Bosch S5 it seems to be dropping below 12v when car is off sometimes (I have a dashcam battery pack charging which is likely to blame). The steering lock seems to sound far weaker below 12v. You'd need a car 12v battery charger as the DC-DC onboard charger seems to run only when the car 'starts' which it won't with steering lock issue.
 

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Also make sure your 12v battery is well above 12v - I have a volt meter in my car and although my battery is about 1 year old Bosch S5 it seems to be dropping below 12v when car is off sometimes (I have a dashcam battery pack charging which is likely to blame). The steering lock seems to sound far weaker below 12v. You'd need a car 12v battery charger as the DC-DC onboard charger seems to run only when the car 'starts' which it won't with steering lock issue.
Thanks for the tip. As part of my troubleshooting I replaced the battery as it was still on the original GM unit and was reading at 11.34V. New one is up at 13.1V when on. I don't doubt this may have been the route cause combined with the cold weather.
 

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Any battery that drops below 12v at any time is very suspect and liable to cause other problems, sometimes terminal.
Even if it is only a year old, it will require replacing if dropping below 12v when unloaded.
 

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Any battery that drops below 12v at any time is very suspect and liable to cause other problems, sometimes terminal.
Even if it is only a year old, it will require replacing if dropping below 12v when unloaded.
I'm keeping a close eye on it. So far seems to only drop <12v when my dashcam battery pack is charging and car is off (5a draw). Otherwise it's hovering above 12v. Supposedly has a 5 year warranty - though I doubt claiming on it is easy.
 

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Urgh, so have pulled and cleaned every mini-fuse I can lay my hands on in all the boxes. Still no change in lock status and not a whisper of activity from the module itself. I'm going to start a dialog with VX in Wimbledon about what exactly they propose to assist with given we've many years of warranty left... Wish me luck!
 

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Sorry to hear your predicament @1608Chris I hope it wakes up for you. Mine seemed dead at times too - but randomly sprang back into life. Battery being above 12v seemed to help. Interestingly I took my Bosch S5 back to Eurocarparts today for testing, but the guy at the desk simply brought out another one and swapped it for me. Unfortunately the 'new' one showed slightly under 12v on connection so I don't know if I'm any better with this one.

In other more significant news my module arrived from the USA - (apparently checking the tracking every hour for 2 weeks has the equivalent effect of watching a kettle boil)... However I can confirm it does work 'plug and play' - no error codes on the dash (haven't checked with OBD yet). I'm not taking any chances and will fit this new module so as not to lock the steering wheel - holding it loosely in place with a cable tie. Perhaps Chris can get one of these (almost certainly worth paying extra to get one from the UK from AutoVaux etc) - it will allow the car to start and drive, though obviously you'd then be hoping swapping the connector back into the old one will shock it into life (and allow you the usefulness of steering) - it might just work. If your anywhere near Manchester you'd be welcome to try with my module.
 

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@Russ
Looking at @wolfer11 's diagram it shows a data conection and a thermal fuse in the motor circuit, which is easy to do with a simple sense resistor and a voltage comparator so they are not using any kind of mechancical limit switch they are running the motor into the end of the travel an sensing the over load current spike both in and out. looking at the photos there's lots of SMT IC's so easy to do with what's on the board. The connections are power + and - and 2 wire data.
There will be a lock and unlock data message between the body control module and the steering lock so the failure mode may be that the motor fails and it can no longer sense the current so it doesn't send the message.
If that's the case you should be able to replace the motor with a suitable resistor.
 

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@Russ
A quick question also while we're asking if that's OK? From your strip down of the lock module, do you think it would be possible to unlock the column by manually winding the gears or using another tool - ie. can you open the unit up whilst it's in place with the shear bolts removed or does the locking seal it to the column? I really need to get the steering working if I'm to even get the thing off the drive.?
 

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@1608Chris I would say it's impossible :( . See this video on my stripped down module https://photos.app.goo.gl/BiAXPT2AQZAUC4Zf7 -even to get this far in (where you could attach 12v power as I have done to test mine), you need to remove about 5x hex bolts from the steering column facing side. To get to the gearing you need to take out the bolts you can see in the vid (which are quite deep inside - below the PCB). That said @wolfer11 seemed to have an idea to get the module off even in the locked position, as indeed a dealer must somehow be able to do.
 

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It would be really good if someone could post some pictures of removing the steering lock, I think it's going to be one of my christmas jobs to get the security bolts out and replaced with something I can remove when needed.

Thanks in anticipation
 

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Here is a photo I hope helps somewhat. I've tried to give some orientation info but ultimately you'll need a good torch and do a bit of uncomfortable twisting to get a good view of the thing. It's the access (merely cm's from the brake pedal) that makes it difficult. If you have a bolt remover tool it's worth trying to use that rather than grind the bolts out fully. Or as suggested, perhaps cut a groove with a Dremel (I tried that, but the screwdriver wrench wasn't able to apply enough torque to remove the bolt without slipping).

The main issue is you cannot see the heads of the security bolts - only the side of them. The photo is about as good a view of the things as you can physically see. You'll probably want to remove the airbag too (look this up in the manual - but essentially it's two bolts either side IIRC.
I disconnected the 12v battery before attempting to remove it. There's a tricky yellow connector connecting the airbag cable but once you work out where the release clip is, it comes apart easily without force. IF YOU DO REMOVE THE AIRBAG PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHERE THE SUPPORT CABLE CLIP IS ATTACHED - it took me 15min to work out where this reattached as I un-clipped it without looking carefully).

Also remember to ensure the module is unlocked before starting the procedure (just unplug the module after starting the car, then switch the car off - the module will remain unlocked). Though this isn't essential if yours is working.

I wouldn't bother replacing the security bolts if you get them out - the two other bolts are more than up to the job. Seems rather over-engineered to me. Note also the regular bolts are quite a big higher up the unit than the security bolts, which are at the lower edge. The regular bolts are also centrally positioned on the sides, vs the security bolts which are at either end of the lower front edge.

Good luck!

125636
 

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@black_amp
It's going to be one of my festive jobs too so I'll post whatever info I can when it works. My steering column is locked, but from looking back through @wolfer11's comments I can see that he believe's it's still possible to resolve albeit with a sh*t ton more ball-ache. There's a number of lugs I'm going to have to remove first by cutting/drilling - I'll have a bit more patience for it once on holiday. Replacement module on order from USA as per modo and Russ part num. Cheers!??
 

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@1608Chris it is a real bitch that your car is immobolised because of such a stupid failure and even more so that the lock cannot be removed when enabled!
With shear bolts fitted, who on earth thought that the lock should be impossible to remove when locked. The car isn't solid gold for goodness sake. Stupid over design where its not needed and under designed where it needed it!
 
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