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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Guys and Gals. It's been awhile since I've been on here but I really haven't had much to say but something interesting came up with my Column Lock problem and I thought I would share it with all of you. As stated I have a 2000 6sp manual and it currently has around 111,000 on it. It is my daily (nice weather) driver and I drive a lot for work so the mileage really goes up in a hurry. Last year at around 95,000 miles I finally experienced the PULL KEY WAIT 10SEC/SERVICE COLUMN LOCK problem. My issues were just like everyone elses so I will spare the details on that. I tried a column lock bypass kit and that only worked for a short time so I removed it and told myself I was going to find the root cause of the problem. To the best of my knowledge my particular car has NONE of the Service Bulletins for this issue complied with. I have heard of many who have had the GM bulletins done still having the issue come back in one way or another. Either they get the full locking problem returning or they get pesky messages on the DIC that they have to constantly reset. In my opinion; the GM service bulletins are only a half measure cure for what the REAL problem is. If you search the internet you will hear a lot about battery health and this is true. You need a battery with at least a 120RC (reserve capacity) in order to assure that the BCM sees a correct voltage while cranking the starter motor. So, I changed my battery and installed a Deka brand (American made) battery with like a 140RC so I'm good there. My problems went away for about a week but then returned. I began studying the wiring diagrams in the GM service manual and suspected the Column Lock Relay to be the culprit so I changed it. Voila!! Problem fixed! After replacing the Column Lock Relay I decided to tear apart the old relay. The contacts were badly arced and burned. There it is folks.......You can have a brand new fully charged battery and it will mask the problem for awhile but if you have a relay with burned contacts in the circuit then that will affect the voltage value that the BCM sees when you turn the key to "run" before cranking. If the BCM only sees maybe 5volts because the contacts are burned then it will let the car start but it will lock the column because it doesn't like the voltage value that it is seeing through the Column Lock Relay. I should also mention that GM does not publish the voltage value that the BCM is monitoring for correct operation of the Column Lock System in the GM service manual. They only mention it as a minimum voltage value or something to that effect. When you search through all of the forum talk on the internet about this problem no one mentions anything about changing the Column Lock Relay but this proved to be the solution for me.
UPDATE: Yesterday I got the PULL KEY WAIT 10 SECONDS/SERVICE COLUMN LOCK MESSAGE again with a full locking of the steering wheel with engine running. Happened right after a wash and wax in the driveway. I tried several restarts but it wouldn't go away. So I rotated the key RUN/OFF/RUN/OFF/RUN/OFF several times without starting the engine to massage the Column Lock Relay and I got it to go away. Naturally I need a new Column Lock Relay but I can't believe it because I just changed it last summer so I decide to look into the system a little further. In the schematic it shows two grounds: G201 and G202. G201 is located at the bottom of the left "A" pillar by the drivers left leg and G202 is at the bottom of the right "A" pillar by the passengers right leg. I pulled the plastic trim and accessed each one. The grounds are attached to the frame with a self tapping screw and GM didn't even remove the paint before attaching at the factory. Although I didn't note any corrosion on either grounding point I still see this as a poor way to attach a ground when you are dealing with such a voltage sensitive system as this so I cleaned the paint off with my trusty Dremel tool and reattached the grounds. During the re-attachment I decided to do a little playing around...... I attached the G202 (right side) ground while leaving the G201 (left side) unattached and started the vehicle to see if it would affect the Column Lock system and it did not. The system operated normally. So I did the reverse. I attached the G201 (left) and lifted the G202 (right) and started the vehicle. Upon shutdown the column locked and then displayed the PULL KEY WAIT 10 SECONDS/SERVICE COLUMN LOCK. In that order....It seems as though the right hand G202 ground is the critical ground in this voltage sensitive system and if you have Column Lock problems then I would suggest you clean this ground to remove the paint so there is a metal/metal contact. So, now I have a new (1 year old) battery, a new Column Lock Relay, and clean grounds with NO COLUMN LOCK PROBLEMS! But, we will see..........In my opinion, these are the three critical things in this system. 1) The battery 2) The Column Lock Relay 3) The grounds. Particularly G202. Sorry for the long post. Hope this helps someone out there who is pulling their hair out about this problem.
 

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relay?

Where is the column lock relay located? I have a 2000 hard top that just started having the problem. No recalls performed. New battery installed and a couple weeks later the CL failed to unlock again.

Very bothersome!!!

Thanks!
 

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@ reddvette- That's a great write up. The C5 is known for some weird things and a lot of them are "moody" problems, and while your fix might do it, there is a module sold by Compliance Parts (and probably others, also) that will definitely do the trick. I bought the LMC5 module from Compliance Parts without needing it, but being it's so easy to install, I just kept in the trunk of my '03 with some small hand tools JUST IN CASE the column locked at an inopportune time.

@ 2000 Midnight C5- Check this out. All the info is HERE and the guys at Compliance Parts are the best. Good luck. :thumbsup3:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ Sting6 There has been a recent development with my Column Lock issue. 2000MidnightC5 listen closely because you say you are just running into this problem. While the above write up is filled with great and truthful technical information it seems that although the real problem that causes the Column Lock problem is from directly within the BCM. I don't know if I previously mentioned it but at one time I had an LMC5 bypass module installed but did not like the fact that I would have to deal with the "Pull Key" message everytime I wanted to drive the vehicle so I took it out and told myself I am going to learn everything I can about this system and I am going to fix it right and not have a band aid fix. That's when I changed the battery and the Column Lock Relay cleaned the grounds etc. And the problem went away. I fixed it right? Wrong.....About a week ago the car stranded me (luckily) in my garage. I got the "Service Column Lock" message and this time no matter what I would do it would not clear. I still had the LMC5 over on the bench so what I did was re-install it and in order to unlock my column motor I simply dropped the knee bolster, located the plug for the column lock motor and shot it with 12 volts from the main battery using some long test leads and some backprobe pins. Now, when I shut the car off if I re start it just a short time after shutting it off it will not give me the "Pull Key" message. However, if the cars sits for like 20mins or so then it gives the "Pull Key" message when you turn the key to run. I wanted to find out why so using my digital voltmeter I back probed the green wire for the signal wire and then clipped on to the ground. This is all with the LMC5 installed. At this point I read 1.03 volts (or almost nothing) I then turned the key to run and I got the "Pull Key" message. Now, I remove the key and guess what? The LMC5 restores the voltage back to the (defective) BCM. In my case it was now giving a reading of 11.8 volts. So..........I sat there.......And sat there....And sat there and stared at my DVM reading 11.8 volts and after about 15 or 20 mins. guess what? The voltage dropped off down to 1.03 volts. All by itself.......Just sitting idle. So, with 1.03 volts you get the "Pull Key" message and with 11.8 volts you get no message. 2000MidnightC5 I recommend you get an LMC5 from Compliance Parts and save yourself a lot of headache. The truth is, NONE OF THE GM SERVICE BULLETINS FIX THIS PROBLEM COMPLETELY! THE SERVICE BULLETINS WILL EVENTUALLY FAIL BECAUSE THE PROBLEM ORIGINATES FROM INSIDE THE BCM! There were a few technical questions that I had so I called Richard at Compliance Parts (phone number on their website) and he spent a great deal of time on the phone with me talking about this issue and the technical side of things. The dude is super cool to talk to. He told me that my suspicions were correct. There are relays inside the BCM that get old and fail. He mentioned there are sometimes other common components in there that fail as well but the main thing is the relays. He said if I ever want to I can send him my BCM and for $150 he will fix my BCM so long as the problem with the BCM is only related to the column lock circuit. I'm thinking this winter I may just do that. If anyone has any questions feel free to PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@ 2000MidnightC5 Just to clarify......Once you have the LMC5 installed you will very likely get the "Pull Key Wait Ten Sec" message everytime you go to start the car in which case you will have to pull the key out and let the LMC5 reset everything. Then you will be able to start the car with no messages on the DIC. I also forgot to mention after you drop the knee bolster down the plug for the Column Lock Motor is located underneath the steering column. It is square and black in color. It has the following wire colors running through it. Orange, Purple, Green, Black
 

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The LMC5 Module is what I have .. no more REMOVE KEY MESSAGES ....
Remember, the LMC5 Module :

•Can be installed in ANY 1997-2004 C5
•Completely eliminates the need to do any difficult, time-consuming column lock system diagnostics or testing
•Requires NO removal of the driver's knee bolster
•Requires NO modification or removal of ANY recall modification or any other column lock replacement device
•Contains NO relays or other moving parts to break down
•Connects ONLY to the BCM, and can't harm the BCM with ANY external voltages, shorts or other damaging signals
•Requires minimal skill to install
•Can be installed in minutes, often even on the side of the road
•Requires NO fuel shut-off speed reprogramming
•Will sync to the BCM every time your Corvette is started or the key is removed
•Will fix the column lock problem even after you get the SERVICE COLUMN LOCK, or PULL KEY, WAIT 10 SECONDS messages
•Will work if your steering column is locked or unlocked (if it locks, use the LMC5 Unlocker, available separately)
•Can be kept in your glove box as inexpensive insurance against future problems
•Is protected from physical damage by encapsulation in a rugged epoxy compound
•Will maintain sync with the BCM, even with the battery too low to start the car - so no fuel shut off problems caused by a low battery
•Is designed to withstand automotive voltage surges, spikes and other fault conditions
•Is the only steering column lock repair module that your Vette will EVER need
•Is covered by a transferable one year limited warranty
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
fishslayer you do not get the PULL KEY message because your BCM has not failed internally yet. Some BCM's never fail but most do. If you have an LMC5 installed then it will save your life when you eventually do get the PULL KEY message.
 

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Redd, I was getting the "Pull Key "Message and the 2 mph fuel cut-off, intermittently , maybe once or twice a week. ... installed the module from Compliance Parts... message stopped appearing and no more 2 mph cut off ...I ve had nothing but trouble with BCM.. The electronics in these cars are crap
 

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Column lock physically disabled

Redd,

Thanks for the PM and all of the helpful info. I ended up doing the following last weekend:


1) Checked all fuses related to column lock

2) Replaced column lock relay with new relay. This did not immediately clear the Service Column Lock message and did not unlock the column.

3) Used a fine tooth hacksaw blade in a blade handle to cut the hardened steel locking pin off of the column lock. This took about 30 minutes. In the process, I had to disconnect the battery negative to keep the horn from honking. It seems that when I reconnected the negative it reset the BCM, BCM recognized the new relay voltage and cleared the Service Column lock message. Or the physical disturbance to the locking pin loosened some sticking or other failure in the lock motor.

Important note: My car has never been exposed to any of the recalls so to my knowledge it should not shut down the fuel at 2 mph if I get the message again. If it does, I've got AAA and a trip to re-program the BCM in my future.

Bottom line: It should not strand me again if the column lock fails because it is physically disabled by cutting off the locking pin. I LOVE driving this car!!!
 

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Just curious , why not just have the recall done ?
I did and haven't had any issues and it was free.

I also wonder if it had anything to due to the faulty ign. switch issues.
Just a random thought......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@ 2000midnightC5. That is certainly one way to work around the problem by cutting the pin. The fact that you have no recalls installed means that the fuel will not shut off at 2mph because that is one of the things that the dealer does when incorporating one of the recalls. Obviously a safety feature so the car cannot be driven with a locked column. As an alternative to all of that work cutting the pin you could have just dropped the knee bolster, located the (black) plug for the lock motor and hit the purple and orange wire with jumper cords from your battery to unlock it. Then you could have just left the motor unplugged so it will never lock again. The fact that the system is behaving for you right now is probably due to the fact that you disconnected the battery which resets the BCM. And, you changed the (external) Column Lock Relay which "freshens" everything up for awhile. If you continue to get the PULL KEY or SERVICE COLUMN LOCK message in the future then you can take your BCM out and send it to Richard at Compliance Parts and he will fix it for you. You shouldn't need to get it "re programmed" to your RPO codes when you re install it right back into the same vehicle but you will probably need to re-sync it to the PCM upon re installation. This is done by turning the key to run for 11min and off for 30sec for three cycles (takes over half an hour) and this re sets the "hand shake" codes between the BCM and PCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@ fishslayer Yeah, I have heard of intermittent situations like that where you install the bypass and everything behaves perfectly. In my case (with bypass installed) I get PULL KEY nearly everytime I get in to start it so I have to extract the key and let the LMC5 restore the voltage back to the BCM. Very annoying because I have to make sure all of my fans/radio are off when I shut down because I know I am going to do On/Off/On the next time I start up. I'm thinking about sending my BCM to Richard at Compliance Parts to have it fixed during the off season. This way I won't get any messages anymore but I will leave the bypass installed for the life of the car. Your right though.......Sucky electronics in these C5's
 

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Why no recall?

Vettex2,

I did not have the recall done because the problem first showed up a month ago at 97K miles. Then in my research I read numerous variations of horror stories regarding dealer recall service for this issue.

Added to that, I don't let any hands but mine or someone I personally know and trust wrench on this car. Just my personal preference to help minimize the potential for expensive mistakes by technicians who are not capable of caring for this car as much as I do.

If you haven't done so, I recommend reading about this issue on a few forums. You will find the same horror stories I did.

Best of luck to you!
 

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I'm pretty a n a l that way too.
It helped to have a one of my racing crew members working at the dealership where the recall was done.I know this is rare.
 

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c5 column lock

why cant you just unplug the column lock when the column is unlocked ?? would it not stay unlocked?? (my computer has been tuned to keep fuel pump on & pass key, vats etc.)
 

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Column lock physically disabled

Redd,

Thanks for the PM and all of the helpful info. I ended up doing the following last weekend:


1) Checked all fuses related to column lock

2) Replaced column lock relay with new relay. This did not immediately clear the Service Column Lock message and did not unlock the column.

3) Used a fine tooth hacksaw blade in a blade handle to cut the hardened steel locking pin off of the column lock. This took about 30 minutes. In the process, I had to disconnect the battery negative to keep the horn from honking. It seems that when I reconnected the negative it reset the BCM, BCM recognized the new relay voltage and cleared the Service Column lock message. Or the physical disturbance to the locking pin loosened some sticking or other failure in the lock motor.

Important note: My car has never been exposed to any of the recalls so to my knowledge it should not shut down the fuel at 2 mph if I get the message again. If it does, I've got AAA and a trip to re-program the BCM in my future.

Bottom line: It should not strand me again if the column lock fails because it is physically disabled by cutting off the locking pin. I LOVE driving this car!!!
My steering column just locked this evening. No error messages on the DIC. I want to cut the locking pin like you did. What do you have to remove to get at the pin with the back saw balde? Thanks.
 
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