The curse of development – electric steering lock repair – Car-Engine

The steering lock has been a relatively simple mechanical structure for decades. It was operated by the owner of the car himself, turning the lock key and unlocking the steering wheel lock. Of course, this could also be the case after many, many kilometers of running and starting, as the contacting metal parts will wear out over time. However, the fault did not cause immediate immobility, the wear and tear of the steering wheel lock could be disengaged by defting the key and resisting the steering wheel.

Location of the controller on the removed steering lock module. Photo: Mihály Dombóvári

This is not the case with electronic devices, whose existence was brought to life by the need or appearance of code-locked keys and keyless start-ups. If the driver of the car does not turn a key, just press a button, or insert the electronic identification-start key (which is more of a beacon) into a nest farther and farther from the steering column, the power of the human hand can no longer work to deactivate the steering lock. So I needed an electronically controlled device. It has a mechanical part that locks the steering column to prevent it from turning, and an electrical part that controls the structure and communicates with the car’s hub. This gives an open-close signal when it has identified the key and found that the key is leaving the car. As keyless entry is primarily a comfort development, it first appeared in premium cars. So we could see quite a few young premium cars on a trailer in the mid-2000s because of such an electric steering lock failure. Of course, technology has evolved, manufacturers have become more experienced in defects, reliability has improved, but wear and tear also threatens this component with inoperability. As Murphy said, “What can go wrong gets worse.” So it is with the electric steering lock…

Reinstalling the box hiding the culprit electronics and the repaired electronic controller

Since it appeared very early in the third generation of the Audi A6, even the current owners of those cars have cursed many times the day when they just pressed the button instead of starting, but the steering wheel remained locked. When we were there, such a car was repaired in the workshop of Zsolt Szöllősi. A specialist in electronics for cars in the VW Group said the car needed to be disassembled thoroughly enough to remove the electric steering lock. On the driver’s side, the bottom of the instrument panel must be completely dismantled, the steering wheel removed in the same way and the steering column released. It is fitted with the rather large part. At the top of the steering wheel lock sits the electronics, which are usually goosebumps for the fault. Theoretically, the whole module should be replaced at once, as parts are not available separately, so this is basically an expensive adventure. The new structure can only be purchased through factory procurement sources, for a gross HUF 400,000. Knowing this, it is already understandable that the owners of Audik, which has now slipped to depths of 1.5-2.0 million forints, around 2005, do not regret it. Psalms, of course, solve the thing and are able to repair faulty electronics. Thus, instead of HUF 400,000, plus installation, HUF 130,000 will be used to repair the error, including installation. This is understandably much cheaper to repair, but still time consuming due to demolition. In addition, the electronics are disassembled for repair, but it still comes out of a quarter for installation with the new part.

You can go back to an already functional and tested unit

Zsolt Szöllősi’s workshop in Budapest helped to prepare our article.


Source: Autó-Motor by www.automotor.hu.

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