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Column Lock Failure

TODD L GRIFFITH

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,120
Location
Middleboro, MA
Corvette
99' MR Coupe, 04' Silverado 03' ZO6 Sold
The column lock finally failed on my 2003 ZO6. Sounds like I've been expecting it. ;) The BCM relays are good, it had a column lock motor failure. I removed the column lock motor, gears and most important, the pin. I ordered the column lock bypass from http://www.corvettesofhouston.com/product_info.php?products_id=54
Corvettes of Houston. The motor and pin are in an aluminum vault around the steering column and the metal is approx. 3/16" thick. I was impressed with the strength and anti theft deterrent design of the column lock itself. The motor is a very small 12V DC motor similar to what you would find in a toy car. No kidding. The motor's polarity is changed via signal relays and diodes in the PCM to move the motor forward, or in reverse and to operate the steering lock pin mechanism. There is a strong spring behind the pin that pushes the pin out and locks the steering wheel when the key is removed. The motor's worm gear setup upon inserting the key, drives a gear that moves a shaft up and down that allows the pin to be driven back in against the tension of the spring. If your steering wheel is turned, and the column lock pin is engaged locking the wheel, there is alot of tension on the pin and it takes alot more motor load to unlock the wheel. This is what others have seen when they receive a pull key and wait ten seconds message. Eventually this burns the motor out over time. Seeing it is a little toy motor, who's a thunk it happenin to anyone? I'm glad I was in my driveway when it happened. It could have happened to me anywhere, so i feel sorry for the stranded ones that never had a chance when their's failed.
 
S

sothpaw

Guest
Sounds like it would be a good tip not to park with your wheels turned?

Thanks for posting. How many miles on your 2003? I have always doubted that the motor will fail on cars that have not been driven much (not many starts).
 

TODD L GRIFFITH

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,120
Location
Middleboro, MA
Corvette
99' MR Coupe, 04' Silverado 03' ZO6 Sold
I have always doubted that the motor will fail on cars that have not been driven much (not many starts).
The car has almost 60K on it, but mostly highway miles, so it is hard to say that it isn't attributed to number of starts, but you maybe correct in that being the case. The motor is a cheap piece of junk. If you saw it, you would be surprised that your life is depending on this little motor to keep the pin extracted while driving.
 
S

sothpaw

Guest
The car has almost 60K on it, but mostly highway miles, so it is hard to say that it isn't attributed to number of starts, but you maybe correct in that being the case. The motor is a cheap piece of junk. If you saw it, you would be surprised that your life is depending on this little motor to keep the pin extracted while driving.

That's not a pleasant thought to be sure! But I think wrecks have been exceedingly rare due to column lock failure while driving.
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
HI there,
Ok, lets first be absolutely clear about the FUNCTION of the system.
Without the electrical power being put to the motor, the spring will not override and push the pin out.
The gear cuts and the way the motor is set sees to that, as a MECHANICAL safety, NOT an electrical safety.
That is why the BCM removes electricity to the circuit when the key is in the ignition.
The largest problem, is the feedback circuitry and the clearance on the lockpin.
And there has not been ONE documented engagement of the lock while driving, per the NHSTA investigation data that is on the website.
So, with that in mind, lets please keep in mind WHY the problems are occuring.
Allthebest, c4c5
 
S

ScatRat

Guest
HI there,
Ok, lets first be absolutely clear about the FUNCTION of the system.
Without the electrical power being put to the motor, the spring will not override and push the pin out.
The gear cuts and the way the motor is set sees to that, as a MECHANICAL safety, NOT an electrical safety.
That is why the BCM removes electricity to the circuit when the key is in the ignition.
The largest problem, is the feedback circuitry and the clearance on the lockpin.
And there has not been ONE documented engagement of the lock while driving, per the NHSTA investigation data that is on the website.
So, with that in mind, lets please keep in mind WHY the problems are occuring.
Allthebest, c4c5


Also, I've conferred with three Chevy Service Specialists at different dealerships in our area about this issue and the recall. All three have stated the problem wouldn't occur while driving. It's failure mode is with the car parked and the lock not disengaging once the key is inserted and starting or trying to start the car. They are not aware of ANY instances of this occuring while driving. Once the problem does occur, it's time to have the car towed to a dealership and have the work done under the recall (shouldn't happen once the recall work is performed). I haven't had the recall work done. I'm just waiting for the failure to occur.
 

jims427400

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
763
Location
Temperance Michigan
Corvette
67 427 tripower,68 427 tripower,04 Z16, 62 340hp
I've read several threads on this topic and just wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. My 04 Z06 is out of warrenty (only 2500 miles) so if I have column lock in the future, will the recall still repair at n/c and how long do recalls stay active..
 

TODD L GRIFFITH

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,120
Location
Middleboro, MA
Corvette
99' MR Coupe, 04' Silverado 03' ZO6 Sold
Here is an update what I know so far. I replaced a cracked windshield about 6 months ago and the new windshield leaks. Ofcourse, it leaks right into the passenger footwell where the BCM and fuse box is located of all places. This has caused some havoc with the relays, so even though the column lock is removed, the fuel shuts off whenever you move forward or in reverse. You need a working column lock for the column lock bypass to work, so my BCM needs to be repaired and reflashed. My tuner is going to have to bring his laptop and reload my tune after it is erased, so I can have my drivability back.
 

Z16#670

New member
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
2
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
Corvette
2004 LMB Z16
HI there,
Depending on the date of your manufacture, you might not even have a column lock.
Allthebest, c4c5
Can you pin down the last date of manufacture for the column lock. Mine was born on 02/11/2004. Is this something I will be experiencing?
Thanks in advance
 
T

The Wanderer

Guest
Here is an update what I know so far. I replaced a cracked windshield about 6 months ago and the new windshield leaks. Ofcourse, it leaks right into the passenger footwell where the BCM and fuse box is located of all places. This has caused some havoc with the relays, so even though the column lock is removed, the fuel shuts off whenever you move forward or in reverse. You need a working column lock for the column lock bypass to work, so my BCM needs to be repaired and reflashed. My tuner is going to have to bring his laptop and reload my tune after it is erased, so I can have my drivability back.

Couldn't you tell you had a leak? I replaced my windshield last week ... and I don't want this to happen to me.

Thanks
 

froggy47

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Messages
1,000
Location
CA
Corvette
Black 1996 LT4 Coupe/ 2004 Z06/Z16
Can you pin down the last date of manufacture for the column lock. Mine was born on 02/11/2004. Is this something I will be experiencing?
Thanks in advance

Mine was mfg about the same time # 768 I think. I'd like to know also. I do hear a mechanical whirrr every time I put the key in coming from the column.

:)
 

TODD L GRIFFITH

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,120
Location
Middleboro, MA
Corvette
99' MR Coupe, 04' Silverado 03' ZO6 Sold
Couldn't you tell you had a leak? I replaced my windshield last week ... and I don't want this to happen to me.

Thanks
It wasn't that easy to detect at first. It started out very suddle. As the weather started to get warmer, I could see condensation along the base of the windshield and that is when I noticed it back in April. The windshield didn't leak for the first few months after the replacement. No, you don't ant this happening to you for sure.
 
T

The Wanderer

Guest
Thanks Todd ... I suspected that was the problem. I was hoping you didn't think I was making a smart a$$ comment to your post.

Your response is very important for all of us that have changed their windshields.

Thanks again.
 

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