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So I have successfully removed my bricked steering module from the locked column in a morning! My method is recorded below for anyone to use in future.



Before handling the airbags unit disconnect the negative terminal of the battery in the boot floor.



Remove airbag unit from beneath steering column by removing 2 no. bolts under neath and behind it, and sliding it towards driver position. The wiring for this must be carefully removed as it doesn’t have much spare.



Locate lock module beneath steering column within the square folded steel surround and remove the electrical connection.



The module is secured by two shear bolts and locating pins on the face furthest away from the driver, and 4 tabs on the module casting that allow the unit to slide in to the surround. Two normal bolts secure the module either side of the steering column.



Others on this forum have used angle grinders on the shear head bolts - I chose to opt for using a micro-hacksaw (£12) and some cutting oil, as my working space was restricted by the car’s position and I didn’t think a wheel spinning at several thousand RPM and creating red hot sparks was a good choice in the circumstances. I won’t lie it was a fiddly and frustrating job, but was possible without risk to my face or the rest of the car. You will have to use a mirror and a good work light to see the shear head bolt heads.



If the column is unlocked, you will be able to remove the module by taking the tops of the shear bolts, unbolting the unit and sliding towards the driving position before dropping it out.



If the column is locked, the pin engaging the column will not allow the module to be slid towards the driver. So once the shear bolt heads have been removed, you will need to but the 4 tabs on the sides of the module. This is easily done with a micro-hacksaw’s blade inserted between module and surround as the module casting is pretty soft. The module will then just drop straight out.



I have bought this replacement module P/N: 23203935 to fit as recommended by @modo. It costs ~£140 from uk suppliers and ~£90 shipped direct from the US via Ebay.



I’m expecting this to just plug straight in. As @wolfer11 noted, I will remove the security tabs from the module before fitting to avoid any cutting in future if the column is locked when the next module decides to die.



Thank you to fellow users for your help, I hope we now have a clear DIY fix for this. I will update this if necessary.



I took the removed module apart and with my non-existent electrical skills confirmed that the 12v motor was still working. So at present I’m assuming the fault lies on the PCB. I’m not sure if this is what @modo, @Russ and @black_amp have found?

126044
 

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Thanks for the pictures @1608Chris that will make life much easier, I'm sure i know how it's supposed to work, essentially it's self contained, it gets messages from the body dontrol module over the CAN 2 wire data connection, one message say's 'lock' the other 'unlock' it sends back 2 messages one says 'locked' the other 'unlocked '
I'm still not sure how the mechanism senses locked or unlocked just an open loop stall current on the motor will work, if the mechanism just jammed you coud get the position when it jams while unlocking you could get an unlocked maessage and a drivable car with a locked steering, there must be another method of sensing unlocked.
 

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@black_amp I think it's as complicated (or not) as you're imagining - the only two contacts off the PCB are the positive and negative motor pins. I think with the spring in the mechanism, GM are banking on it failing 'safe'. As you can see from my photo, there's nothing beneath the column to sense the position of the locking pin. As my motor has not failed, I can only imagine the logic on the board has.
 

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@black_amp I think it's as complicated (or not) as you're imagining - the only two contacts off the PCB are the positive and negative motor pins. I think with the spring in the mechanism, GM are banking on it failing 'safe'. As you can see from my photo, there's nothing beneath the column to sense the position of the locking pin. As my motor has not failed, I can only imagine the logic on the board has.
Thanks for explaining the cutting of the tabs, if so I can fit mine securely in the column. Currently I just held it below the correct position using a cable tie - as I didn't want to risk it getting stuck if failing in lock position. But like you point out, cutting the tabs in advance avoids that risk.

Have you opened your lock module? I wonder if you apply 12v directly to your motor to drop it into 'unlocked' position, then reconnect to car if it will start? See my video above of this - I just used a basic variable adaptor - but even an old 5v router transformer should do the trick (just cut the head off the end).
 

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Happy days! I finally received my new US module (after it cleared customs :rolleyes: ) and I can confirm that after trimming the tabs off the sides only, it pops straight in. The car started, reset all error codes and is good as new, but with a new improved locking sound. SUCCESS!

Plus now if it ever happened again I can get it out in minutes with a 10mm spanner without removing the airbag. I hope this helps others sort this crappy fault out without spending hundreds of quid at Vauxhall.
 

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OtleyBrock
Vauxhall Ampera 2014-20, waiting on e-Niro
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Adding a "me too". I suffered the immobilised car issue over 2 years ago, resolved then by the F2 fuse "fix". Since then been fine until a couple of weeks ago, when got the "service steering lock" message on a start up, though didn't interfere with using the car and disappeared quickly. Combined with some DAB radio issues I thought this was telling me it's time I replaced the battery (original, on 64 reg Ampera). So I did that 2 days ago (Yuasa 9000 AGM battery). Yesterday, once only, on starting up got the message again :-( , again without stopping me going. Stopped and started several more times since. Have read lots on here, pulled cleaned and tidied F2 fuse just because why not and now I wait to see what happens next...
As an aside, I don't think I hear any locking/unlocking sound when the car is stopped/started. And because of the layout of our drive it is almost always (for the 5+ years I've had it) left with steering lock on. I only found out about the need for straight ahead as I read through these posts!
 

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Adding a "me too". I suffered the immobilised car issue over 2 years ago, resolved then by the F2 fuse "fix". Since then been fine until a couple of weeks ago, when got the "service steering lock" message on a start up, though didn't interfere with using the car and disappeared quickly. Combined with some DAB radio issues I thought this was telling me it's time I replaced the battery (original, on 64 reg Ampera). So I did that 2 days ago (Yuasa 9000 AGM battery). Yesterday, once only, on starting up got the message again :-( , again without stopping me going. Stopped and started several more times since. Have read lots on here, pulled cleaned and tidied F2 fuse just because why not and now I wait to see what happens next...
As an aside, I don't think I hear any locking/unlocking sound when the car is stopped/started. And because of the layout of our drive it is almost always (for the 5+ years I've had it) left with steering lock on. I only found out about the need for straight ahead as I read through these posts!
Hi Mark,
Funny you should say that, as ever since my fix above I've had no DAB on the radio. I thought that was due to the battery being off for a long time. It's not worth taking into Vauxhall, but does kind of niggle at me. Did you gain any understanding as to why your DAB problems were occurring? On other grumbling Ampera matters, I've just today had to buy 4 new tyres to replace the original cracked Michelin rubbish...tsk.
 

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OtleyBrock
Vauxhall Ampera 2014-20, waiting on e-Niro
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Hi Mark,
Funny you should say that, as ever since my fix above I've had no DAB on the radio. I thought that was due to the battery being off for a long time. It's not worth taking into Vauxhall, but does kind of niggle at me. Did you gain any understanding as to why your DAB problems were occurring? On other grumbling Ampera matters, I've just today had to buy 4 new tyres to replace the original cracked Michelin rubbish...tsk.
Hi Chris,
My DAB problems were a combination of the car telling me that there was no DAB service and it throwing away all the DAB pre-sets. I noticed them separately so can't sequnce them. At one point (possibly after a charge) DAB returned and redid the pre-sets, then it all went again. Since the new battery (only 3 days) no problem.
Re the tyres, my experience (documented elsewhere here) has definitely discouraged me from wanting Michelins in the future.
 

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On other grumbling Ampera matters, I've just today had to buy 4 new tyres to replace the original cracked Michelin rubbish...tsk.
You're complaining because you had to replace tyres that were atleast 5 yes old?

My rear Michelin tyres were potentially original, they were at the least 40,000 miles old, possibly 100,000 miles old when I replaced then, still legal tread.
 

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You're complaining because you had to replace tyres that were atleast 5 yes old?

My rear Michelin tyres were potentially original, they were at the least 40,000 miles old, possibly 100,000 miles old when I replaced then, still legal tread.
Yes, mine have done less than 20,000miles. So the cracking is mostly just age.
 

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I replaced mine after the MOT noted that the rubber was delaminating from the carcase. Very poor but apparently par for the course with those tyres.
 

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I replaced mine a couple of years back with Goodyears as they were cracking. They had done @25,000 I think.

There is a big thread here somewhere on these with an offer to replace from Michelin which came to nothing.
Found it Tires falling apart

I considered the replacement a safety measure just like changing the battery every 3 or so years as insurance against weird problems.
 

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I had parked up at Manchester Airport when I got the fault! Worrying as there was a plane to catch, but I wasn't happy leaving the car with the fault on full display!

Pulling the F2 fuse fixed it for me too. And it's taken a while to remember to not put my foot on the brake when turning her off. However, there haven't been any faults since!
 
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