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Old 06-18-2006, 11:19 PM   #1
C5kelly
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Angry Steering Column Lock Problem - Special Policy #05081

I realize that much has already been written here and elsewhere regarding the C5 Steering Column Lock problem. However, I still have a problem and have not been able to find any recent posts discussing the current situation.

I acquired a used 1998 Corvette (6 speed manual trans) just a few months ago. The previous owner had the original #4006 recall done in 2004. But, as we all know, that did nothing to solve the problem, it only causes the fuel pump to shut off when the steering column fails to unlock. I have learned that since that original recall, there have been three revisions to the recommended recall procedure (#4006A, 4006B, and 4006C), but none of these amended actions were performed on my car.

On February 8, 2006 Chevrolet announced Special Policy #05081 which, although it is not a "recall" per se, states that GM has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 1997-2004 model year Corvettes. This time around the corrective action is to also disable the steering column lock for the manual transmission cars by way of a special harness and relay kit. I presume that this is equivalent to the CLB kits that have been available on the aftermarket for quite some time. This time though, GM will perform the repair "at no charge to the customer until 2/29/08 regardless of ownership".

Two weeks ago, after sitting in my garage for two days, my car developed the dreaded steering column locked problem. Repeated attempts to shake the steering wheel, remove fuse #25, disconnect the battery, etc did not help. I was preparing to have the car towed to the dealer when I found a suggestion on "www.97vette.com" that finally did help me unlock the steering wheel. I cleared all the DIC codes as instructed, and then for good measure, I also disconnected the battery for a few minutes. After that the wheel unlocked and I immediately drove the car to the dealer to have Special Policy #05081 performed.

The dealer installed the kit, but unfortunately, the very next day the problem reoccurred. This time the column didn't actually lock up, but the dreaded "Remove Key - Wait 10 Sec" message appeared and the fuel pump shut off and killed the engine. After several attempts, the message eventually cleared and I was able to drive the car back to the dealer. This time they said that the relay installed in the kit the day before was defective and so they reinstalled a new kit. They assured me that they checked and rechecked the system and that all was well now. I drove the car from the dealer to a restaurant for dinner. Two hours later the same "Remove Key - Wait 10 Sec" message again appeared and the fuel pump shut off the engine. I was stranded again for a few minutes and then later the conditioned cleared and I was able to drive home.

I'm going back to the dealer tomorrow and raise some hell. This is rediculous!

Questions:
-Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

-Can anyone tell me exactly what condition does "Remove Key - Wait 10 Sec" really indicate? (The owner's manual mentions it but doesn't describe what it really indicates. I can't seem to find it described anywhere in the voluminous service manual either.)

-If the dealer can't (or won't) fix this problem for me, what options do I have? Will an aftermarket CLB kit solve this problem AFTER the dealer has already performed the #4006C recall and Special Policy #05081?
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C5kelly
I realize that much has already been written here and elsewhere regarding the C5 Steering Column Lock problem. However, I still have a problem and have not been able to find any recent posts discussing the current situation.

I acquired a used 1998 Corvette (6 speed manual trans) just a few months ago.

<SNIP>

Questions:
-Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

-Can anyone tell me exactly what condition does "Remove Key - Wait 10 Sec" really indicate? (The owner's manual mentions it but doesn't describe what it really indicates. I can't seem to find it described anywhere in the voluminous service manual either.)

-If the dealer can't (or won't) fix this problem for me, what options do I have? Will an aftermarket CLB kit solve this problem AFTER the dealer has already performed the #4006C recall and Special Policy #05081?
I thought from left field.

You may have a seperate problem.

With the age of the vehicle and possibly the key(s), check the contacts on the key(s) for wear.

Hold the key flat, horizintal to the ground and look across it to see how much metal is above the the black insulating material it is sitting in. Both sides. If in doubt, find a new key to compare to.

I had a similar situation, worn contacts, on my 90 ZR1 that, as related to me by the qualified mechanic, caused the wait (no display) before starting.

A new lock and keys fixed the problem. A new lock because the internal contacts had 'probably' lost some material also, and could fail later. YMMV.

When all else fails, check something else related. Who knows. You may get lucky.

JAT (Just a thought), ...BluGold
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
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It might be your VATS...Vehicle Anti Theft System. As stated above check your key and clean the pellet with alcohol. Try your spare key and see if the same thing happens.

Honestly though I think your problem is the result of the first recall performed on your car. I would really try and get the dealership to remove the fuel cut off program from your computer and put it back to completely stock.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:01 PM   #4
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Kelly,
Sorry to hear about your troubles, I hope I can provide a little insight.

First I agree with Blu and WWk, it could be a completely unrelated anti theft issue. That not withstanding a little info about your recalls. There WAS a batch a relays sent out that was defective for this recall as well as for the last of the 04006 recalls. GM has an issue with getting these high current relays for some reason. Second I would take a wait and see attitude with this issue right now. Heres why.

The first failure after the 05081 was related to the bad relay. The second failure was likely caused by the dealer not really making sure everything was Ok before delivery to you. I come this conclusion because you sate that the "key" message only happened once since the good relay was installed. This is normal, it has to due with the 50/50 chance that occurs with the install of the relay. This chance involves the relay and the ECL not being "synchronised". If they arent in sync after the repair the key message pops up and you have to turno off ignition and remove key for AT LEAST 10 seconds. then put key back in and restart car....all should be well, if it only happened once since the good relay was put in you just were dealing with the synchronisation process...its not a fault.

The message means numerous things, I would wait a couple of drive/key cycles before you go back though, your problems should be over
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:56 AM   #5
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Question

Thanks very much to all who replied to my post. I returned the car to the dealership for a third time and here is what happened.

The service tech was unable to verify the problem, but called GM and a "TAC Case" (whatever that is) was opened. The TAC Consultant told the service tech to check the manufacture date on the steering lock actuator. If it was manufactured prior to Jan 3, 2003 (it was) then replace it. He also advised to remove the relay that installed per the Special Policy 0581.

This made very little sense to me because the original steering lock was disabled via the special policy; and so why would replacing it make any difference? Also, how could removing the bypass relay possibly work? Doesn't the relay produce a signal that fools the BCM into thinking that the steering column unlocked successfully? Without that signal wouldn't the BCM think the column was still locked?

The tech had already left the premises for the day, but I asked the customer service guy to show me the parts that were removed during this most recent "repair". I was shown a lock actuator and a harness. There was no old relay. When I asked why not, he couldn't explain. My best guess is that the bypass relay was not really removed.

The bottom line is that after driving the car for five days now after this last repair action, the problem has not yet reocurred. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this finally did fix it.

Can anyone explain how changing the (disabled) lock actuator could truly make any difference?
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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It may the the steering column lock assembly, which I believe is suppose to send signals to the BCM to tell it that the steering column lock is disengaged. If the signal isn't received the BCM will turn the fuel off because it thinks there is an unsafe condition. (trying to drive with the steering wheel locked)
I've had the recall done, a steering column lock assembly replaced, and the steering column lock bypass installed (from Corvettes of Houston). I used their 12-volt adapter and pulled fuses 25 & 29 for over one minute.
I've got a 1997 C5 A4 with 21K on it.
The steering column lock kit was installed April 2006, the lock assembly was installed in May 2006, the steering column lock bypass kit was installed in June 2006.
Unfortunately, I have started getting the "Steering Column Lock" and "Pull key, wait 10 seconds" messages along with the fuel shutoff again.
Maybe I got one of the bad high-voltage relays. I'll call the service manager tomorrow.
Anyone got any other ideas?
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:23 PM   #7
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Until GM comes up with a new program for the computer to undo the fuel cut off, I think you (and many others) are screwed. Those that never had any of the recalls and just used the CLB have been much more fortunate.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:30 PM   #8
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Same problem

Thank God,I hate to say that but I'm having the same problem your having,my car is in the shop right now for the third time because of this.Same problem the column is unlocked but (service column lock)comes up and shuts off fuel.My service tech was out today so could'nt found out nothing but I'll give you a shout soon as I do.THANKS!
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:29 PM   #9
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Has anyone ever heard of the "Pull key, wait 10 seconds", "Steering Column Lock" messages and the fuel shutoff happening with the car hot?
Mine seems to do it when it's been sitting on a hot asphalt parking lot, with temperatures around 100 degrees fahrenheit.
The Chevrolet technician was wondering if it could have something to do with "stacking" the GM steering motor kit and the Corvettes of Houston steering column lock bypass kit and "something" is changing values due to the heat which affects the voltage or relay and causes the fuel shutoff.
He's going to remove the GM kit and leave the column lock bypass kit and we're going to give it a try.
Anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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I installed the bypass on my 99 in 2001, after having lockup three times. Fortunately I was able to unlock it by knocking the crap out the column. All three times were after sitting in the the sun for hours. Just last week it locked up again. I thought this is impossible. I pull the steering wheel cover and guess what!!! My bypass is gone. The dealer decided to do the recall back in 04 when I had a headlight door worked on. They pulled the bypass and never told me! After getting towed in the fix was to put on a "GM" bypass. Now it is just like it was. It does not lock at all. I just wish I had my bypass back. and I am out $165 for the wrecker bill.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:05 PM   #11
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Steering Lock Up

After paying cash for a brand new '98 coup, the steering column locked up 6 times during the first three months of ownership...long before GM admitted a problem. Long story short, I crashed and totaled the car the day after it was worked on for the last time. After retaining an attorney, I was given a 2000 convertible. Problem solved.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:57 AM   #12
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First time lock for me

Last week, my 98 exhibited the "steering column lock" problem for the first time since I bought it in April. Luckily it was sitting in my basement garage, so I wasn't stranded somewhere. I went to the GM garage and scheduled it for two open recall repairs next Thursday...the column lock recall and the seatbelt recall...

I went back home and tried my other ignition key and didn't receive the message.

Question...should I have the steering column lock recall performed or should I leave it alone and just buy one of the bypass kits that I've read about, and if I should buy the bypass kit, where can I get one and how much $$ is a fair price to pay?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:17 AM   #13
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After consulting Spiderpat...I decided to go with the CLB kit...bought it from COH (Corvettes of Houston) for $52.95 (incl s/h)...should have it by Thursday or Friday...will cancel my recall appointment...

They also have a website... just google corvettes of houston

Thanks Pat!

Scott
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:23 AM   #14
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Your more than welcome, but the credit should really go to DC as this is where I had came across the info provided to you. So a big thanks to the great and wonderful DC members
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:46 AM   #15
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Pat,

You're ABSOLUTELY right!!!

A HUGE THANKS!!! to the entire DC crew for being my #1 source of info on my car! Y'all are GREAT!

Scott
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