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      02-01-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
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Russian Federation

Drives: 11 Q5
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NYC

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DIY: Sticking Steering Column Lock Fix

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 charge under warranty (Service Bulletin SI B32 07 06). Outside the US, the range of affected cars is much wider.

I have read that aftermarket batteries can lead to these problems as such a battery provides a lesser voltage to the mechanism, leading it to stick (or not go to completion), leading to an error and not allowing you to start the car. My car has an aftermarket interstate battery (purchased it this way), which will be replaced with an OEM one in the near future, if you are due for a new battery, hold off on this procedure until you replace it--and of course post results below!

This is my first DIY, so be gentle I was largely motivated to do this DIY as I just found out how embarrassing it is to offer a girl a ride in my car and not have it start for a minute because of this stupid lock Anyway, onto my experience (with the car, of course ):

Step 1 - Tools Used

Nothing special, you need a standard ratchet, E10 external torx socket for the column bolts, and I highly suggest a T10 torx ratchet as it is ideal for the pinch bolt. I used a craftsman 5/16" all-purpose (incl. torx) ratchet. I used a dremel and flathead to remove the security bolts from the lock cover, didn't find another way to do this unless you want to order a bit/bit set online.

(will be updated in near future, didn't take a pic of these)

Step 2 - Set up good lighting to the steering column area

Step 3 - Move seat back all the way

Step 4 - Disconnect negative battery terminal in trunk

Step 5 - Remove steering wheel airbag - Feel for a pin towards the rear of the steering wheel and push it towards the center of the wheel, this will release one side of the airbag at a time. Refer here for help

Step 6 - Disconnect airbag and MF/paddle harness, remove steering wheel by removing center bolt

Step 7 - Remove lower steering column shroud

Use a small flathead to gently push out the bottom half of the shroud, near the edge. It should pop out with a little force. Next, repeat for the other side. Once both sides are popped, release the column adjustment lever and raise and extend the column. Bottom part of shroud should easily come out.

Last edited by yakev724; 02-01-2011 at 01:28 AM..