Question about 1990 Chevrolet Corvette

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1999 Chevy corvette says to service column lock

What does service column lock mean? It comes on right away each time.

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  • blackbty Mar 16, 2009

    I have my 2000 vett in the shop and they are wanting to do this and that,but i did not try to replace the battery or mess with the stearing wheel?? i should pull the car back out and try these things before they touch it right??

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    THIS IS AN ISSUE: SEE ATTAQ What is the symptom of failure?
    A Your steering wheel will not unlock and the DIC will display an error message "Service Steering Column Lock". Your owner's manual will instruct you to have your vehicle towed to the nearest GM dealer for repair.

    Q What exactly causes this failure?
    A When you insert your key into the ignition and turn it to the ON position, the BCM (Body Control Module) sends a command to your Column Lock Motor to "unlock" and then checks a status line to ensure that the steering column is unlocked. If it gets the wrong status, it will display an error message as mentioned above. It can be caused by ECL (Electronic Column Lock) mechanism failure and occasionally by low battery voltage, which sometimes confuses the BCM.

    Q Can anything be done to unlock the steering column once it has locked up?
    A Sometimes; turn the ignition OFF and REMOVE the key. Shock your lock motor actuator assembly by jerking the steering wheel against the stops. Re-insert your key and try again. Also, if your battery voltage is low, charge your battery or replace it.

    Q If my battery is discharged and I jump it to get the engine started, the alternator is now charging shouldn't the column unlock?
    A NO; The whole unlock sequence occurs before you ever turn your key to start your engine. If the battery is too low, you will probably have trouble with your column lock. Several folks have replaced their battery and the column lock problem has never occurred since.

    Q Does this problem affect both A4’s and MN6 vehicles?
    A Yes; however if you have 2001 or newer A4 car, the ECL lock plate has been replaced.

    Q What years are affected?
    A Pre-2001 A4 cars and all MN6 or MN12(Z06) cars.

    Q Is there any solution for this problem?
    A Yes; have the recall done if you have an A4 car or install a Column Lock Bypass (CLB) on MN6 & MN12 cars BEFORE the problem occurs. Once it fails, you may not be able to fix it without GM repair.

    Q Where can I purchase a CLB?
    A They are available from several of our forum vendors such as:
    Thunder Racing and Corvettes of Houston

    Q How much does a CLB cost?
    A Typically about $49.95.

    Q Is a CLB difficult to install?
    A No; very simple (less than an hour) by following instructions. See this link for help:

    Q Can I build my own?
    A Yes; if you have soldering skills and $20 in parts, you can build your own in about 1 hour. See this link for info:

    Q Are there other alternatives?
    A Yes; there is a GM "Harness K" GM part no. 89023816 (was 88952427), which GM installs as part of its recall; it costs ~ $85.50.


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I had this happen and disconnected the battery for 30 mins and Ta Dah... it's unlocked and haven't had a problem since. Good luck.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009

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The steering column is locked. I followed the directions in the manual but it remains locked and the next step, according to the manual is to tow it to the dealer. It is a 2000 Corvette

I had the same problem on mine ..... apparently their is a recall on the column lock mechanism, that needs to be replaced by the dealer. I had to have mine towed to the dealer for those repairs. The ended up charging me for another part that works with the column lock for 400.00. Please beware.. here is some more info on the Corvette column lock.
Hope this info helps...






General Motors has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 1997-2004 model year Chevrolet Corvette vehicles. When you remove the ignition key, the electronic column lock (ECL) system prevents turning of the steering wheel. When the vehicle is started, it unlocks the steering. Two conditions can prevent steering while the vehicle is moving:

1. The vehicle is designed so that if the column fails to unlock when the vehicle is started, the fuel supply will be shut off if the driver tries to move the vehicle. If voltage at the powertrain control module is low or interrupted, however, the fuel shut off may not occur and the vehicle can be accelerated while the steering is locked.
2. During quick cranks, the ECL lock pin may not withdraw fully and, in vehicles where there is abnormally low clearance to the lock plate, there may be contact between the pin and lock plate. This can cause a noise or ratcheting when the steering wheel is turned or, if there is insufficient clearance, the steering wheel cannot be turned.

If one of these conditions occurs, a crash could occur without warning.

Dealers are to remove the column lock plate on U.S. and Canadian vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission and U.S. vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. After the service correction, the steering column will no longer lock when the key is removed.

On Canadian and export vehicles equipped with a manual transmission, and export vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, Dealers are to 1) reprogram the PCM, and 2) verify there is adequate lock plate clearance and, if necessary, replace the lock plate. After the service correction, the steering column will continue to lock when the key is removed.

Refer to the Product Safety Bulletin #04006C for further information.

Owner mailing is scheduled to begin February 15, 2006.

Parts required to complete this recall are to be obtained from General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO). Please refer to your "involved vehicles listing" before ordering parts. Normal orders should be placed on a DRO – Daily Replenishment Order. In an emergency situation, parts should be ordered on a CSO – Customer Special Order.

The Parts list follows:

Part Number Description Quantity/Vehicle
89023816 Harness Kit, Strg Whl Theft Dtrnt Lk Shorting (US manuals and all automatics except export vehicles) 1
88952428 Wire Kit, Strg Whl Theft Dtrnt Lk (1998-2000 Canadian and export manuals & export automatics) 1 (If Req'd)
26056108 Nut, Strg Whl 1 (If Req'd)
26094767 Plate, Strg Shf Lk (Canadian manuals) 1 (If Req'd)
88964588 Plate, Strg Shf Lk (Export vehicles) 1 (If Req'd)
05694191 Ring, Strg Shf Lk Plt Ret 1 (If

Jul 27, 2008 | 1999 Chevrolet Corvette

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