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Old 07-08-2007, 09:57 AM   #1
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Exclamation Steering Wheel Locked While Driving

So, on my way to work, about a block from my house, the steering wheel locked on me while i was driving (making a turn). The steering wheel light cameup and locked while I was driving. So, I pulled over, turn the engine off, switch the key to the off position, then back to on, and turned on the engine and it was fine. I drove off like it didnt happen. It got me concerned thou. I got scared... Anyone experienced something like this? Also, I hear some sounds coming from my wheels when Im driving, like theres something stuck on the wheels.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:21 AM   #2
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Cool Locked....

By "locked" I think you mean "power steering suddenly got real heavy".....
....a locked steering column lock wjhile driving is kind of impossible, the giveaway is the light, indicating a power steering fault.

The electric steering takes lots of power, you may have a loose/bad battery terminal - check 'em.


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Old 07-08-2007, 10:55 AM   #3
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I think I would be visiting the dealer and saying "Fix it".

As far as the battery terminal I would think that you would have other issues at the same time if you lost a pos./neg. connection. Would not you get a CEL or a battery light? The battery connection completes the main power for the cars operation of all the other electrical functions.
How would it be able to cause just one system to fail, and not something else?
The light/ failure could be due to a bad electrical connection in that section of the harness. Or a problem with the steering actuator itself.

Last edited by Easy_E1; 07-08-2007 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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warranty work FTW
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthTL View Post
By "locked" I think you mean "power steering suddenly got real heavy".....
....a locked steering column lock wjhile driving is kind of impossible, the giveaway is the light, indicating a power steering fault.

The electric steering takes lots of power, you may have a loose/bad battery terminal - check 'em.


S
i agree, did you add any electrical equipment recently?? (speakers, amp, etc, or have you disconnected the battery recently??)
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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I would not drive it. Call the dealer and tell them to come get it and fix it.
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillsrotary View Post
i agree, did you add any electrical equipment recently?? (speakers, amp, etc, or have you disconnected the battery recently??)
noo...i havent add anything or touched the battery or anything electrical...
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:50 PM   #8
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Loosing power steering has been a known problem with some people with different solutions on how they fixed it. I myself had power steering issues and it turned out to be the connectors under the air intake box. I would take it to the dealer and have them look into your powers steering, but search the forums here to have an idea what others went through. Personally, I didn't take mine to the dealer... I just cut the wires and spliced them together, only after troubleshooting it to that location. Not sure about the sound you hear coming from the tires, would need more clarification on the type of sound (sound clip would be helpful). But I would defiantly recommended taking it to the dealer and have them check everything!
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:14 PM   #9
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Cool

Try this thread, it's probably the same piece that's broke......

Steering, Breaks....

They wanted to replace the whole steering rack ($2k!)

S
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:40 AM   #10
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I am in very similar situation to Jon316G, but the plug is underneath the engine close to the swaybar. Since, I have force fed the car, the plug is very close to the intercooler hose, which wil get hot. I will have to either wrap up the pipe or cover the plug with heat tape.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthTL View Post
By "locked" I think you mean "power steering suddenly got real heavy".....
....a locked steering column lock wjhile driving is kind of impossible, the giveaway is the light, indicating a power steering fault.

The electric steering takes lots of power, you may have a loose/bad battery terminal - check 'em.


S
Mine LOCKED last nite. I just had my engine replaced and noticed that the AC Compressor bolt was loose, it managed to rattle its way into the steering linkage. Kind of like a branch in a bicycle wheel.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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Sounds like the battery is on its way out the door
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:36 PM   #13
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So I had this issue for the first time earlier. The steering locked while driving.

By locked I mean locked solid, like it locked and wouldn't move for a few seconds. While fighting the wheel there seemed to be a whirring/grinding coming from the steering column. The steering light didn't come on at any time.

I'll try messing with it and updating as I go along.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
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By locked I mean locked solid, like it locked and wouldn't move for a few seconds. While fighting the wheel there seemed to be a whirring/grinding coming from the steering column. The steering light didn't come on at any time.
HOLY CRAP!!!!
This makes me nervous ... please keep us updated Legot
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:09 AM   #15
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Yeah, I have no idea what's wrong with it. It's definitely not the power steering because it still happens when the power steering is disconnected.

I'm happy that its not the EPS since that would be depressingly expensive, but since it's something behind the wheel its a fairly dangerous problem to fix. I'm not going to go anywhere near that airbag. Dropped it off to the dealer tonight and waiting to hear back from them sometime tomorrow.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:00 AM   #16
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WTF?!? All the crap you go on about and you're scared of the air bag?
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:08 AM   #17
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Well technically I'm not allowed to

I should explain. My dad worked with Motorola on the ignition systems for airbags back when they were first refining them so that they could be useful. He's been hit with one or two, and knows that they can really ruin your life if they're deployed when the car isn't having an accident. I also don't want to be responsible if it goes off and has to be replaced!
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Last edited by Legot; 06-26-2015 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:05 AM   #18
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So yeah, the dealership is useless. The only fault that they found in the EPS was from when I unplugged it which immediately lead to the conclusion that I needed an entire new rack even though I told them that it wasn't the power steering.

So here's where it gets weird. The grinding noise that comes up (with the issues turning the wheel) is definitely related to engine RPM. The pitch and volume go up as the RPMs go higher. If I drop down to idle it stops and the steering is fine again, but it usually happens at around 3k. It's not completely consistent, but that's when it happens.

I think the only thing that it could be is the ignition/lock assembly behind the wheel but I have no idea why any part of the steering would be changing with engine speed. When playing with it I got the wheel to lock and when it was forced to move there was a thunk from behind the wheel and the key jumped abit.

The only solution might be replacing the steering column with a used one but I don't have any idea about that because of the key compatibility issues that will probably come up. Help please.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:25 PM   #19
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I swapped out a steering column about 5 years ago, no problem
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:27 PM   #20
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Do you remember what you had to do as far as the ignition barrel goes?
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:58 PM   #21
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Did you read the DIY thread?
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:02 PM   #22
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Which one? I wasn't able to find one that was really good for replacing it other than Riwwp's joint replacement one and this one where they talk about it a little Loose Steering Column - how to fix?

I'm going to go ahead and replace it and maintain my steering lock/ignition switch combo. From what I'm reading it seems like it might be an issue with the turning signals, apparently there's a very rare similar grinding problem in some 04-08 Ford signals which might have translated over to Mazdas.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:20 PM   #23
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Actually, it would make more sense to just replace the clockspring/signal combo. I'll just do that.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:55 PM   #24
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I have a good used clockspring laying around
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:36 PM   #25
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I really appreciate the offer Team, but it looks like the problem is solved!

I can't even explain how it happened but apparently one of the long AC compressor bolts sheered off about halfway up its threads and managed to slide itself into the lower U joint on the steering column. I was never able to see it until it happened in the driveway, but it would slide in and out so that when it wasn't in the way everything looked normal. The grinding sound was engine vibration traveling up the steering column when the bolt was lodged in the joint.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:36 PM
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