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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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locked steering wheel

lets me start off with I have no idea where this should really be posted at..
Ok my girls 2004 6i hatchback, 2.3L, tiptronic auto has been recently having the steering wheel lock constantly. You can literally pull straight into a parking spot, shut the car off without messing with the wheel and it lock up. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but its getting to the point where you have to fight the steering wheel to get it to unlock.
This isn’t the normal turn the wheel one way and hold to turn to key to unlock issue. This is really firm and pretty much nearly takes both hands to turn the wheel. When this first started happening it was fairly easy like normal to unlock but as time progresses. The wheel is getting harder and harder to unlock.
Anyone have any ides on what this is and how to go about fixing it?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 08:42 AM
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hmm. so the wheel isn't fully turned when it locks up?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 12:25 PM
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How much fluid is in your power steering reservoir? Check that first. If the power steering pump is dead, it would make the steering extremely heavy, especially at low speeds. Check fluid level first, then report back.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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Ignition switch assembly slides into the collar around the steering column. Between the switch and the column is a bolt that locks the wheel/column into place when the key is removed. Not dissimilar from a dead bolt on a door.

Sounds like that locking assembly has gotten dirty and is sticking, or may even have return spring issues.

When you turn the key in the ignition switch, a space opens for that bolt to be pulled back by a return spring. If is dirty/gritty, or if return spring is not correct or borked, then the bolt will not behave.

The problem will likely continue to get worse.

It's not overly complex to dissassemble & clean if you've done ignition switch work before, but if you haven't ever done anything like that before, or are not mechanically inclined, I suggest taking it to a locksmith and letting them have at it.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiGraySpeed6 View Post
Ignition switch assembly slides into the collar around the steering column. Between the switch and the column is a bolt that locks the wheel/column into place when the key is removed. Not dissimilar from a dead bolt on a door.

Sounds like that locking assembly has gotten dirty and is sticking, or may even have return spring issues.

When you turn the key in the ignition switch, a space opens for that bolt to be pulled back by a return spring. If is dirty/gritty, or if return spring is not correct or borked, then the bolt will not behave.

The problem will likely continue to get worse.

It's not overly complex to dissassemble & clean if you've done ignition switch work before, but if you haven't ever done anything like that before, or are not mechanically inclined, I suggest taking it to a locksmith and letting them have at it.

Thanks, Ill have to give that a look when i get some time to tear into it. That sounds like a more then reasonable issue. I was thinking it was something in the colum more then likely as you can come to a complete stop in the middle of the road, shut the car off, and have the same issue as if you turned the wheel to lock it.

The car steers fine even at low speeds and doesnt have a power steering issue nor leaks fluid, the fluid level is also fine, and it doesnt moan when turning the wheel.
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