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Steering wheel lock eliminator

D

DkBG

Guest
I took my 2000 in to get the steering wheel lock recall parts installed . The" Mr. Goodwrench" that did the job found an aftermarket , little white box installed . He said it eliminated the column lock altogether , leaveing my car less protected against theft . They took it out and put the recall parts in and everything seems fine now . I had never seen that aftermarket part anywhere . If anyone wants it let me know . I sure don't .
 

Rob

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I have heard of these before, although I'm not exactly sure how they function. Personally, I'd throw it away.
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
HI there,
This is called a Steering column lock bypass.
Its made to create a slight feedback signal to the BCM, and therefore, create no codes.
However, there have been issues with inadequate load to the internal relays of the BCM, and thereby, needing a BCM replacement.
Throw it away, just like Rob has stated.
Besttoyou, c4c5:hb
 

Rons98

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
7
Location
Palm Bay, FL, USA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Coupe, 1992 Teal Coupe
Steering lock bypass

The little white box is most likely a steering lock bypass made by c5solutions to resolve a steering lock failure problem prevalent in many C5's up through model year 2000. The C5's steering lock is a motor-driven locking mechanism commanded by the BCM. The BCM causes voltage to be applied to the lock motor for locking and unlocking the steering column. A sensor in the lock provides feedback to the BCM indicating lock/unlock status. When the lock fails, the BCM commands the motor to unlock, but because the motor has failed, it does not unlock and the BCM sees this from the lock status feedback. If this condition cannot be cleared, you get the dreaded "SERVICE STEERING LOCK" message on the DIC. At this point you better to start looking for a good tow truck and driver that won't damage your car as it is towed back to the dealer. Hopefully your car is parked in an area with easy access for the tow truck and isn't in a "bad" part of town!

I recently had to go through this hassle, and since my '98 wasn't in the range of VINs covered by the recall, I had to pick up the tab. I noticed on the repair sheet that it was replaced with a "redesigned" unit, so GM knows about the problem. It's ironic that your C5 evidently wasn't experiencing the problem, yet it was covered under the recall, and my car DID have the problem and wasn't covered. I guess that's just my luck!

The steering column bypass is the aftermarket's response to a design flaw in the C5's steering lock mechanism. It takes the place of the original locking mechanism (left in the unlock position) and provides the appropriate feedback to the BCM as required. I have not heard of any problems with this product. Some people like the bypass, others don't. As I see it, you have two options, neither of which is very good: 1) you can install the bypass and forego the steering lock portion of the anti-theft system (everything else works fine), or 2) you can leave you car stock and hope you don't get stranded one day.

Other than a few glitches (like this one), the C5 is a great car! Save the wave!
 
D

DkBG

Guest
First of all , yes , it is by c-5 solutions . But there is a third option . Have the upgraded parts put in . Mine was covered . I don't see why yours wouldn't be . I'd raise a fuss if I were you . Reading other threads here , you'll learn the squeaky wheel gets the grease . I can see where this box was better than the alternative at the time but the correct fix is available and I really think thats the way to go . You pay for the security devices in a car , so you should be able to use them .
 

Rons98

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Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
7
Location
Palm Bay, FL, USA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Coupe, 1992 Teal Coupe
Steering lock bypass

I hear what you are saying, but using better quality parts might lessen the probability of a failure, but it won't eliminate it. If you are happy with the lock on your car, enjoy it.
 
D

DkBG

Guest
I haven't heard of any problems with the new parts but if you have please let me know about it .
 

Rons98

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
7
Location
Palm Bay, FL, USA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Coupe, 1992 Teal Coupe
I don't know how long the new parts have been available, but the recall notice was issued September 6, 2001, so a few months isn't really enough time to make an assessment on the reliability of the new design. After four or five years we should know if this fixed the problem or not.
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
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May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
Hi there,
In answer to the above questions on this issue, I must state fact here.
C5solutions are a very reputable company, and after having concerns, I have corresponded with the people whom work on this modification. As I have stated, they have been extremely reliable, but under circumstances, he produced issues with the BCM.
Yes, the bypass is a very good unit, however, there are always options to every modification that is performed on c5.
Now, for the recall parts that are on the books, what is not always mentioned, is that there are revised diagnostics, associated with the recall.
Now, adequate load on the BCM is critical to this mod. Otherwise, the internal relay develops deposits on the contacts, causing more problems.
Personally, I would do either mod stated above. There is not one documented failure after the recall has been performed, and all the parts changed.
These parts can be used on all c5 without concern.
Besttoall, c4c5:hb
 
D

DkBG

Guest
Thank you C4C5 thats what I needed to hear . And thanks to Rob and Rons98 . Your thoughts and opinions all matter .
 
V

Vettes Forever!

Guest
What constitutes a complete repair?

In the last few days I've followed this thread with interest, since (1) last December I had the dreaded steering column lockup with my own '98, and (2) over the weekend one of my friends off on a 'vette club "beach caravan" was bitten by the same snake hundreds of miles away, where he had to leave his '97 C5 at the nearest Chevy dealer on a Saturday afternoon. Not a fun weekend! :mad

It seems that this is a problem that either has happened to all owners of early C5's, or WILL happen, the only variable being the seriousness of where/when it happens.

My dealer fixed my car, fortunately the tow and repair was covered on the extended warranty less a deductible.

The work order says they replaced these three items:

Module 9381919
Lock 26050960
Coil Kit 26087359

My question: is this a complete "kit" of all the parts necessary to bring the car up to the latest configuration? :confused

Save the Wave! :L Fred
 

Rons98

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
7
Location
Palm Bay, FL, USA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Coupe, 1992 Teal Coupe
steering lock repair update

Here’s an update on my steering lock adventure. About a month ago, my ’98 suffered the dreaded lockup, but because my VIN was outside of the VIN numbers in the recall, my car wasn’t fixed under the recall. Thanks to DkBG’s suggestion, I did “raise a fuss.” I called my local Chevy dealer and Chevrolet in Detroit to complain about having to pay to repair this obvious defect. I found out yesterday that they are going to reimburse me for all of my out-of-pocket expenses, including the towing bill.

So, Vettes Forever! and anyone else who had to pay to get this problem fixed, complain to Chevrolet! You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!
 
D

DkBG

Guest
To Rons98 - I'm glad to hear they made it right with you .Corvettes are a GM flagship . They're supposed to take care of these customers . To Vettes forever - When they did mine I wanted to see just what they were going to do . They showed me the parts and explained where they went . I can't swear to it now but I believe there was three parts on the counter . So , yes , I think that is the whole kit . C4-C5 ? Cliff
 
V

Vettes Forever!

Guest
Thanks for your replies. My repair was paid by an extended warranty, less the deductible. I doubt at this point that it would be worth going after the deductible since a third party (the insurance company) is involved.

However, I'm passing this information on to my friend who is here in Georgia but whose car is at a Chevy dealer in Florida, WITH a five hundred dollar bill ....

And we need to tell everybody else with an early C5; this is something that can really sour the C5's excellent reputation! Nothing worse than sitting in a car with a locked steering column!
 

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