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I took a colleague up to Nottingham this morning to view a recycling facility. When I returned to the car it would not start and the dreaded "Service Steering Column Lock" message was displayed on the driver's information panel. When I switched the car off (by releasing the brake and pressing the start button), the message displayed was "turn steering wheel and re-start" - I did this several times and the car eventually started and got me home. Subsequent attempts to start the car at home brought up the same message and symptoms. Being an ardent reader of this forum, my first attack was to start the car with the one of the two lower 10 amp fuses (in the fuse box next to the drivers door) removed - I think it was the lowest of the two that did the trick but for good measure I repeated the process with both! I then stopped the car, replaced each fuse and the message (together with the refusal to start) has, for the time being, disappeared.
Now all seems to be well but is this event a symptom of a more serious problem that is likely to stop me again in the near future?
Is it time to order a new steering column lock?
 

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How old is the battery? Its chilly now and a lead acid battery is affected by cold, if its already a bit weak then the cold may be the last straw when starting and trying to unlock the steering column.
 

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Have you read through the 300+ pages of our 'Steering column lock fault' thread about 10 threads below this one :unsure:

To save you the bother! I'd suggest if your handy then well worth removing the security bolts holding the module in place under the steering column. It's an arkward job, but instructions are towards the end of that thread.
Also order a replacement steering lock module from eBay in the US, or a UK dealer if you want it quickly (details also in that thread). This way if the module deteriorates further you have the solution to hand in advance.
 

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First thing is to check the 12V battery; if that's definitely ok and less than about 4 years old, then you may need to look at the other options...
 

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... even with a new 12V battery, and the latest module, you can still expect to get this message. Hits me maybe once every couple of months o naverage? I just ignore it, and try to get the steering wheel even straighter next time I park. Even though I thought it was perfectly straight to begin with...
 

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Hi All, I’ve permanently had the steering column lock message come for months on end and it’s never stopped me using the car.
Yesterday however, I went to drive it and a loud whirring mechanical noise came from the steering wheel and the message “turn steering wheel and restart” appeared, I have never seen this one before!

maybe because it’s been sitting idle recently, but I’ve tried to take it out at least once every week to give it a run.

Tried pulling the fuse, and using my OBD reader to clear codes but no luck. Battery is about 18 months old and shows 12 volts on my reader.
I always park the car and steering wheel straight and never pull on when getting in.

Obviously more difficult than normal to get it to a garage, could be a flat bed jobby. Anything else I could try?
Don’t really fancy attacking it with the bolt cutters!

Thanks
 

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You could try disconnecting the 12v battery just in case but i think once it's bricked it needs the dealer tools to clear the fault code you can't do it with the normal tools
 

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Thanks @black_amp just tried it and no luck. I can turn the wheel left and right when it’s on and off. It makes the whirring noise every time on start up, it must be the mechanism trying to engage?
 

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Sounds like the mechanism is broken, the only other thought I had was to get another lock and plug that in without mechanically installing it. That migh fool the computers into letting you drive it as you will need a replacement anyway might be worth a try.
 

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Would someone please post a link to a UK and US sourced part please?
I’ve tried using part numbers mentioned on other threads without luck.
 

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This is the one I bought New OEM Cadillac ATS CTS SRX Steering Column Module 2014 GM P/N: 23203935 | eBay - from the US (took a few weeks to arrive).
If you search this site GPS - Discounted Genuine GM packed parts and spares for Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet - for the same part number (23203935) that should be a UK part.

Indeed as @black_amp suggests if you plug in a working unit that should solve the problem if your unit has failed in the unlocked position. If you do this - DO NOT reconnect your faulty unit as it could end up failing in the locked position (currently it sounds as if it's unlocked if your wheel is able to turn).

Finally I was able to get my failed unit to unlock by repeatedly powering the car on and off (I usually did this by powering on in the ACC mode i.e. without enabling drive - by holding the power button down WITHOUT pressing the break pedal, once it unlocked I could press the power button again with foot on the break pedal to enable drive).
 

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Big thanks @modo for this.

The eBay link is saying they don’t ship to the UK so I’ve asked the seller directly if they will do so.

I’ll call the UK seller directly tomorrow just to make sure the part is right. When you search the part number it tells you a price without telling you what the product is.

Going forward I have disconnected the negative terminal on the rear 12v battery as I’m worried about it losing charge due to lack of use. Is this sensible?

Since trying to sort this out, I’ve dropped the F2 fuse inside the dashboard and had to order replacements from Halfords and shut the boot whilst rebooting the car by disconnecting the 12v 🤦🏻‍♂️
You can see why the talk about removing bolts and angle grinders doesn’t appeal to me 😂

if I get the replacement part @modo is it just a case of pulling out the serial port type connector and plugging into new module? Is this relatively easy to get to?
 

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Strange - when I click buy it now - it gives me total price under the eBay global shipping program including import taxes so not sure why it won't for you? Your not using a proxy by any chance?

I think all these cars top up the 12v battery when charging the traction battery (though I'm not 100% certain about this on MY2012 cars), but disconnecting the battery will preserve it's charge - but is liable to cause the boot issue! Hope you managed to solve that (under bonnet terminals, or manual boot release).

Once you get the replacement, assuming your unit failed in the 'unlock' position (which it must have if you can turn your wheel) then swapping the connectors will get your car running again. I do think it would still be a good idea to get the failed unit out and the new one in. That does involve getting those horribly inaccessible security bolts off though.
 

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Just worked it out, it’s because I was trying to make an offer, if you click on “Buy it Now” it lets me click through.

My Ampera is a MY12. I read earlier that I could charge for 15 mins a day to keep the 12V battery healthy.

Got to be careful not to charge too much because the vehicle still has 25 miles of range left and the manual says to store with 1/2 charge or less for long periods.
 

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You could always run preheat (from keyfob) to drain the battery down a bit... Don't suppose you can borrow a 12v car battery charger? Truth is, I've left my car for a couple of weeks without issue so it will likely be fine.
 

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I fitted one of these from the US and they work perfectly.

If it has given up in the unlocked position then removal will require the bolt heads to be disked off with a grinder.
I used a 4" one and protected the floor from the sparks which look bad in the confined space but are harmless.

It will be a different problem if the lock is in the locked position as you have to slide it to remove it after removing the bolts.

When I plugged in the new one before fitting it, it does know which position it is in although after studying the old one when dissassembled I can't see how.
A "locked" error message came up on the display that I have never seen before although cleared after I pressed lock then unlock again as the lock went to unlock.

The job only took an hour or so but the biggest hassle is the security bolts as they cannot be removed any other way. I cut through the shaft of the bolts on each side as removing the head completely was not easy.
 

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Can the new one be plugged in and the car moved without any shearing of bolts though @Russ? The car is parked close to a wall and opening the door is difficult
 

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If the steering wheel will move you should be alright as the new one will report a correct action with it having no idea if it is fitted or not, it just pushes a pin up and down.
 
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