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yakev724's Avatar DIY: Sticking Steering Column Lock Fix
yakev724
02-01-2011
Below are instructions to disassemble your steering column and grease the steering column lock mechanism to prevent sticking on startup/shutdown as is a common problem with these mechanisms. For cars in the US, 06 MY E90s are affected; locking columns are replaced with non-locking columns at no...
  #22  
By yakev724 on 06-03-2011, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchuong58 View Post
*** I'm new to the forum, I got the same steering lock problem in My E90.
Thanks for the Your DIY! some information I saw in the E90 electrical system...
The steering unlock procedure:
1. The CAS2 senses the detection of a valid remote control_ID trasmitter. 2. The CAS2 Enables the unlock function.
3. The ELV performs the unlocking the steering procedure.
4. After the unlock procedure is done,the unlocking status is sensed by the Hall sensor, Hall sensor status reports to the CAS2 as a feedback.
5. The CAS2 switching off ELV module power.
The steering locking procedure:
1. Lock request to CAS2.
2. ELV module switched on.
3. Locking the steering by the ELV.
4. Locking Hall sensor feedbacks from ELV to CAS2.
5. CAS2 switching off ELV control module power.

Is it possible if we disable the Lock and unlock function by coding and remove the lock, we may need to fake or delete the Hall sensor status reported function to the CAS2? Since I do not have the tool I don't know.
Thanks for the info. Going to the dealer once I have some extra time to try and sort this out.
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  #23  
By marcenick on 06-07-2011, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakev724 View Post
Update 1

From having the mechanism apart, it's pretty clear that it can be disabled very easily--by either physically leaving the lock in the open position or by disconnecting the lock circuit from it's cable. Neither of these are a solution, as the car will recognize that the mechanism hasn't gone to completion and will show the lock error.

In the near future, I will try to see if I can have my car coded in the same way as if the column was replaced with one without a locking mechanism (as BMW did in their SIB). Before coding, lock will obviously need to be in the open position so column isn't permanently locked. This will likely work, but to be 100% sure it will never lock, I'll then reopen the column and remove the lock itself for the last time. I'll update the thread if I get this to work, it would be a nice permanent solution.

Update 2

Bentley manual shows that the lock is wired directly to the Car Access System (CAS).

2 Lines in the CAS TRC Code seem responsible for the lock--makes sense that there would be one signal for full engaging and one for full disengaging:

ELV_AUT_FCT
aktiv
ELV_RESET_FCT
aktiv

Coding cable is in the mail!
there is another ELV parameter:

ELV_CCM_NEU
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  #24  
By bchuong58 on 06-07-2011, 08:31 PM
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ELV_CCG_NEU ; Not sure what does it mean? New ELV code checking module. Checking for newer model for no ELV!?

********************************************
After I removed, cleaned and reinstalled the ELV. I still got the Lock Icon appearing when I open the door but no problem to start the Engine, once I insert the FOB into the slot, I heard a tiny "zzz" sound from the unlock opeartion, it is silky smooth. Long term wise wait and see...
Cleaned and lubricated the sandy debris under the Latch, smoothed out the uneven Aluminum surface on the Driver with worm which caused the lock to be sticky when moving.
See image:
Attached Images
 
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  #25  
By ska///235i on 06-07-2011, 09:58 PM
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awesome diagram.....so all you did was lube the thing?

were you able to start your car before the fix?
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  #26  
By bchuong58 on 06-08-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
awesome diagram.....so all you did was lube the thing?

were you able to start your car before the fix?
Before the fix, it won't start at the first try, I had to get out of the car,
closed the door, opened the door, got in the car closed the door, Key FOB
in, wiggled the steering wheel and start and a few retries of this ritual to
start.
The car acted funny depended where I parked, I heard a weird sound like
"thump" and the lock was escaped from some grasping force on some
occasions. I took it to the dealer, Stealer recommended to replace a new
steering column and also the steering Column Switch cluster was bad
because there was a fault in reading the steering angle.
All I did for the sticky ELV was cleaned it with Solvent especially the slots
on the steering column which the Latch was sitting on and Lubricated the
moving Nylon/Metal parts with Silicone Grease and Silicone Spray. These
components need to be maintained like all other moving parts.
For the Steering angle problem, I cleaned the IN LINE IR Camera window.
Oh Well it is another DIY..
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  #27  
By RentonTDI on 09-05-2011, 05:47 PM
yakev724, thanks for this post.
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  #28  
By yakev724 on 09-12-2011, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RentonTDI View Post
yakev724, thanks for this post.
Glad I could help

Sometimes I wish BMW would spend a bit of their 'record sales' money on addressing obvious problems among early production cars as opposed to marketing newer ones. Oh well, maybe someone can figure out how to code this out eventually...
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  #29  
By Barrique_Red on 12-26-2011, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for this great DIY and explanation thread!!

I believe I understand what is failing (parts become sticky) and why (dirt/wear/age). But I have a question as to why the warning light would be Yellow, then Red. What is the Yellow warning light trying to indicate? It seems to me that either the lock mechanism works, or it does not work. Why would there be a need for two level of warning lights (Yellow, then Red)?

In our case, we have a 2006 325xi and the Yellow warning light has been on since about one week ago. However, we HAVE NOT HAD any issue starting the vehicle, nor any issues with the steering wheel remaining locked. Nothing noticeably different other than the Yellow warning light.

I have heard mention of a service bulletin, but cannot find one specifically for this issue. Do you know the number of the SB specific to this issue?

I am betting (as the second owner of the vehicle) that the battery is original to the car. Has anyone made a link between the battery being low and this problem?

thanks,
mikey.
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  #30  
By ska///235i on 12-27-2011, 09:59 PM
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ok, listen to me......yellow is a sign of the column failing at anytime. Solid red is when you cant start the car and it needs to be towed away.
this happen to me and just like you i ignored the yellow warning when i still had my warranty...then warranty expired and the red signal came around 6 months later. I ended up paying $900 out of pocket to get it fixed

i would of DIY but my car was dead at work. it could be the battery getting old, but the column is going to fail eventually



Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrique_Red View Post
Thanks for this great DIY and explanation thread!!

I believe I understand what is failing (parts become sticky) and why (dirt/wear/age). But I have a question as to why the warning light would be Yellow, then Red. What is the Yellow warning light trying to indicate? It seems to me that either the lock mechanism works, or it does not work. Why would there be a need for two level of warning lights (Yellow, then Red)?

In our case, we have a 2006 325xi and the Yellow warning light has been on since about one week ago. However, we HAVE NOT HAD any issue starting the vehicle, nor any issues with the steering wheel remaining locked. Nothing noticeably different other than the Yellow warning light.

I have heard mention of a service bulletin, but cannot find one specifically for this issue. Do you know the number of the SB specific to this issue?

I am betting (as the second owner of the vehicle) that the battery is original to the car. Has anyone made a link between the battery being low and this problem?

thanks,
mikey.
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  #31  
By Barrique_Red on 12-29-2011, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
ok, listen to me......yellow is a sign of the column failing at anytime. Solid red is when you cant start the car and it needs to be towed away.
this happen to me and just like you i ignored the yellow warning when i still had my warranty...then warranty expired and the red signal came around 6 months later. I ended up paying $900 out of pocket to get it fixed

i would of DIY but my car was dead at work. it could be the battery getting old, but the column is going to fail eventually

Thanks for the reply. My vehicle is out of warranty for two years now and I had no chance to replace anything under warranty as I purchased the vehicle used just after the wty period expired.

At the beginning of his DIY post, yakev said:
Quote:
if you are due for a new battery, hold off on this procedure until you replace it--and of course post results below!
- so, that is what I am going to do. My battery's negative terminal is stamped with 3405, so my battery is now over 6 years old. I am certainly willing to replace the battery before trying this DIY. I will reply here once I complete the battery replacement.
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  #32  
By yakev724 on 12-29-2011, 02:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure aging batteries hold a smaller charge and a drop in voltage will likely translate to less power in the lock mechanism and subsequent sticking.

I need a new battery too. Don't forget to have it properly registered once its replaced. This can be done by a dealership (some charge for 1/2hr. labor for the process) or by a local coder with avg. experience (see coding section).

As for coding the lock out, nothing I've tried has worked. I think that the updated steering columns still have an electrical connector going into the ELV board, but the board is different and just sends a signal to the CAS module as if the mechanism worked. I've had a few opportunities to see this first hand but never occurred to me that I should check. Maybe I should just hook up a voltmeter into the 4 wires and see what they're transmitting. Maybe the signal can be replicated pretty easily and the lock mechanism just pulled.
Last edited by yakev724; 12-29-2011 at 02:54 PM.
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  #33  
By r4mejor on 12-31-2011, 10:52 PM
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Last week I jumped into my car after work and pressed the start button. The car would not start and the yellow steering wheel lock symbol popped up. Tried all the forum tricks (getting in and out of the car, moving the steering wheel, new battery) but nothing worked. Had the car towed home and this morning after all my special torx and 5 point torx tool came in the mail I ran through this DIY. I think BMW intentionally tried to make the lock mechanism as cheesy and overly complicated as possible.

After everything was back in place and reconnected the battery, I inserted the key and could hear the lock release....success!!! Thanks for saving me $1200 as i'm out of warranty.

Now for peace of mind, I would LOVE to remove/disable the lock and reprogram the car to ignore the Steering Wheel Lock all together. I read the posts above, but has anyone successfully completed this??? As for now I will say a little payer before I start the car. Thanks again for the great DIY.
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  #34  
By ska///235i on 01-01-2012, 12:17 AM
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just FYI for others.... when i had my column replaced, my mechanic didnt have to remove the steering wheel so it might save you some extra steps
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  #35  
By Barrique_Red on 01-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ska325xi View Post
just FYI for others.... when i had my column replaced, my mechanic didn't have to remove the steering wheel so it might save you some extra steps
That is a good tip. It means that Step 7 on this DIY changes to some other method of removing the shroud(s) around the column. Will keep an eye out for a method to remove them without removing the wheel.

mikey.
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  #36  
By yakev724 on 01-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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I'm not sure the column can be removed without removing the steering wheel first. If I remember correctly, the steering wheel center bolt (which holds it in) goes directly into the end of the column.

Here's a photo of the steering wheel end of the column. I guess you can remove it with the steering wheel...

Name:  sc.png
Views: 4586
Size:  423.3 KB

As for a permanent solution, still working, though not as motivated as mine hasn't been stuck since I did the DIY.
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  #37  
By gmros on 01-02-2012, 10:09 AM
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hi, i have an e90 and the same problem (red icon). my car allways starts but i wanna solve the problem. I tried to code it and i found in the CAS
ELV_AUT_FCT
nicht_aktiv

ELV_RESET_FCT
nicht_aktiv

i didn't find ELV_TESTER anywhere. I changed those parameters to aktiv and nothing happened, so I changed them back. Can anyone help me to find ELV_TESTER parameter or help me out in any way????
thank you guys
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  #38  
By gmros on 01-03-2012, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakev724 View Post
I'm not sure the column can be removed without removing the steering wheel first. If I remember correctly, the steering wheel center bolt (which holds it in) goes directly into the end of the column.

Here's a photo of the steering wheel end of the column. I guess you can remove it with the steering wheel...

Attachment 625759

As for a permanent solution, still working, though not as motivated as mine hasn't been stuck since I did the DIY.
did you code anything? do you still get the red icon or it went away after the diy?
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  #39  
By gmros on 01-03-2012, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4mejor View Post
Last week I jumped into my car after work and pressed the start button. The car would not start and the yellow steering wheel lock symbol popped up. Tried all the forum tricks (getting in and out of the car, moving the steering wheel, new battery) but nothing worked. Had the car towed home and this morning after all my special torx and 5 point torx tool came in the mail I ran through this DIY. I think BMW intentionally tried to make the lock mechanism as cheesy and overly complicated as possible.

After everything was back in place and reconnected the battery, I inserted the key and could hear the lock release....success!!! Thanks for saving me $1200 as i'm out of warranty.

Now for peace of mind, I would LOVE to remove/disable the lock and reprogram the car to ignore the Steering Wheel Lock all together. I read the posts above, but has anyone successfully completed this??? As for now I will say a little payer before I start the car. Thanks again for the great DIY.
do you still get the red icon?
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  #40  
By yakev724 on 01-03-2012, 11:57 AM
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I never got the red icon, only yellow when it stuck and didn't start.

Read the thread, no sticking since then.

No progress on coding besides deactivating the 2 values in the CAS with no effect.
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  #41  
By r4mejor on 01-03-2012, 10:35 PM
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Not sure what part of the Thread you want me to read?....I just wanted to thank yakev724 for the great DIY that definitely helped me out.

FYI - I also never had the "red" warning light, just a "yellow" one that would not let the car start. Now the lock releases and I no longer have a "yellow" warning light.
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  #42  
By yakev724 on 01-04-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4mejor View Post
Not sure what part of the Thread you want me to read?....
Wasn't directed towards you, glad I could help
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  #43  
By tch330i on 01-10-2012, 01:34 AM
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Bummer Man!

I went through the descriptive tutorial and was surprised to see the locking mechanism was not that "sticky." I cleaned and re-lubed as directed, placed the column back in, plugged in all the wire connectors and hooked up the battery. Still got red lock and car will not start, however, the wheel is not locked ???

I am wondering if the problem is the electronic board running the locking mechanism. Anybody know how to test the board or have any other suggestions?
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