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2005 C6 Corvette: "Service Column Lock"

Jordicv

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Barcelona (Spain)
Corvette
2005 C6 Bright Red
Hello, my name is Jordi and I write from Barcelona (Spain). In 2012 I purchased a 2005 Corvette C6, automatic transmission (34.000 miles). The car runs great until 2014, where appeared a malfunction when starting the car, with the message "Service Column Lock". I read on the internet that is a generic problem in these models 2005 C6, caused by a module at the steering column, causing the inhibition of engine starting.
It seems that the cause of the problem is a module composed of a low quality plastic, ignoring at current date if GM has replaced this part of better manufacturing material. I add an entry to an owner of the same model that explains the problem: The lock is mostly made of poor quality plastic and the actual pin that engages the locking ring is moved in and out via a worm screw that passes thru a block that trips a microswitch. The plastic worm screw binds in the plastic block, the drive motor current starts to rise and the computer detects the overcurrent and stops the process and issues a "Service Column Lock" DTC.
Anyway, I read it that there is a “bypass” module that inhibits the signal sent by the defective part and allows starting the engine without problems.
But I have my doubts and questions: This so-called "bypass" module is a definitive solution to the problem? It can cause undesirable effects on the electronics of the car or even affect active safety? Is there another solution of this problem by GM for 2005 C6 Corvettes ?
Thank you very much,
JORDI
Mail to: jordicabva@gmail.com
 

Toms007

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,489
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
First off a big CAC Welcome is in order. :w We are glad that you have found us. We have a lot of very knowledgeable People here to help you with your problems. With that said, I have been a C5 guy and recently moved to the C6 and this is the first I've heard of "Service Column Lock" issue with the C6. The C5 problem is widely known and there are lots of "fixes".

I am going to contact one of our experts and see if he will check in here and chime in. There may be others that know something about this and they might give you some insight as well.
 

catbert

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Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
3,488
Location
Tobacco Road, NC
The very first thing to check, before doing anything else, is your battery. If the battery is partially discharged, or not putting out the specified voltage the column lock will do crazy things. Paul, our resident GM certified world class mechanic (thecorvettemechanic.com) has preached battery output as a primary problem for years. Start there before replacing anything or adding any bypass.
 

Jordicv

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Barcelona (Spain)
Corvette
2005 C6 Bright Red
Thanks for the replies. The battery is perfect and full loaded. I detected that the problem is compounded when the car is standing in the sun, so it seems the heat has something to do...
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
Hi there,

2005 is a stand alone year in the US, BUT this system is out there on other years for export versions.

This being said, you may need the actuator itself. The key with this is actually the sound of how it moves in and out. If the motor sounds like it is binding or moving through slowly, I would definately consider replacing it.

As for the rest, a bypass can in some cases cause problems with the column lock control module and a failure of that module, so be cautious.

Allthebest, Paul
 

Jordicv

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Barcelona (Spain)
Corvette
2005 C6 Bright Red
Thanks for your expert answer, Paul.
I have to say a few things about my C6: This is the European model, but I think this affects only limited details (flashing lights and few things more), while the engine and electronic are supposedly identical to the American model.
After the failure of the steering column five days ago, I completely disconnected the battery cables for about 20 seconds, and since then the car has started daily without problems. I supposed it must spend more time and attempts to start de car before replayed failure again.
 

hd_ryder1964

New member
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
2
Location
Greer, SC
Corvette
2005 C6 Convertable
Corvette's of Houston has the Fix!

I had the same problem with my 2005 C6. I replaced the mechanism once to the tune of $800 only to have it fail on me again. There is a new bypass made by Corvette's of Houston that's a plug and play. There's some great video's online on how to install the bypass, the only trick is you have to get your steering column to unlock during the installation process.
I would recommend the bypass to anyone with a manual transmission 2005 C6. For $90 it's cheap insurance and has worked perfectly for me!

Cheers,
Randy

:beer
 

Jordicv

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Barcelona (Spain)
Corvette
2005 C6 Bright Red
I had the same problem with my 2005 C6. I replaced the mechanism once to the tune of $800 only to have it fail on me again. There is a new bypass made by Corvette's of Houston that's a plug and play. There's some great video's online on how to install the bypass, the only trick is you have to get your steering column to unlock during the installation process.
I would recommend the bypass to anyone with a manual transmission 2005 C6. For $90 it's cheap insurance and has worked perfectly for me!

Cheers,
Randy

:beer

thanks for your answer, Randy :beer
 

kpic

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
2,292
Location
Columbus, NC/NE Georgia
Corvette
1997 boosted silver coupe
Here is another kit: products

"Perhaps most importantly, the LMC5 can be installed even if the SERVICE COLUMN LOCK, orPULL KEY, WAIT 10 SECONDSmessages
are displayed, the fuel shuts off at 2 MPH, or the steering wheel is currently locked! If the steering wheel locks, simply follow the unlock procedure available with the separate LMC5 Unlocker."
 

Docrings

New member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
1
Location
United States
Corvette
2005 C6 Z-51
I, too, installed a SCL bypass on my 2005 C6, only to have the "Service Column Lock" come back in a year. After replacing the bypass with no help (suspect a damaged module), I replaced the SCL and the module both, which worked for one day reliably. It was like a brand new car with no DIC warnings and the reassuring sounds of the SCL unlocking before starting. All was right with the world.

Now, ONE DAY after a successful SCL & module replacement, the car won't start again, and getting the "Service Column Lock" again on the DIC. Soooooo frustrating!

I don't know if the new SCL has failed in one day (manufacturing defect?), or if the new module failed. Ugh.

The car is 11 years old (Autumn 2004 purchase), and only 15,000 miles. This was not Chevrolet's brightest engineering move...as the C5 SCL fiasco and recall should have been on their radar.

(New battery, full volts and CCA, BTW)

I do agree that the bypass kits can cause damage to the SCL modules under the dash.
 
L

loragen

Guest
Can I just remove it?

I have a 2005 M6 Z51 and I've been following this and other threads on the steering column lock. Mine hasn't given me a problem yet, but I do occasionally get a "Service Column Lock" DIC message, that later goes away. Please forgive the possibly redundant question, but why can't I just remove the lock unit (per prior forum instructions) and not replace it? Does it just set a fault code or does it lock out ignition or worse? And would a bypass of the type mentioned above prevent the inevitable fault code and/or possible no-start condition? Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,489
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Well, I'd like to welcome the last two posters, loragen and docrings to CAC. :w Hopefully, We can get Paul to jump back in here and help answer your questions.
 

C6NL

Active member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Netherlands
Corvette
2005 Precision Red
I have a 2005 M6 Z51 and I've been following this and other threads on the steering column lock. Mine hasn't given me a problem yet, but I do occasionally get a "Service Column Lock" DIC message, that later goes away. Please forgive the possibly redundant question, but why can't I just remove the lock unit (per prior forum instructions) and not replace it? Does it just set a fault code or does it lock out ignition or worse? And would a bypass of the type mentioned above prevent the inevitable fault code and/or possible no-start condition? Thanks.

I have been using the COLUMN LOCK ELIMINATOR for three years now in my 2005 after being stranded in Belgium on a sunny afternoon. It works as advertised, no more column lock, but that doesn't bother me, what is more important after installing the COLUMN LOCK ELIMINATOR I have not had the dreaded "Service Column Lock" DIC message.

You can only install the COLUMN LOCK ELIMINATOR when your column lock still works, once it stops working that is no longer an option. Installing a new column lock is very costly and will only delay the problem, which has been there since the C5.

So install it before it's to late, it's only $90, a new column lock including labour will set you back a lot more.

Fred
 

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