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Old 17th August 2015, 10:54   #1
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Thumbs down Steering wheel locks up while driving!

All,

There is this serious issue that we are facing with our Hyundai i10 (Magna 2011).

This problem has occurred thrice (randomly):

1. 2 years before, while me & my brother were returning from a visit to a nearby village, I was driving. While negotiating a right hand turn, the car steering wheel just locked up! IT JAMMED.
I couldn't move it at all, (i.e. it was not loss of "power assist", it was a total lock).

Fortunately, I could slow down & stop before going off-road, thanks to sane speeds & habit of keeping good margin while taking the turn!

2. About a year before, while driving on straight road patch, the steering locked again. I slowed down & gave a strong jerk to the steering, still no change.
I stopped the car. Shut it off & started it again. Car behaved like nothing was wrong. (spooky).

3. Last week, just before service my brother was on slight rough patch of road, about to enter a left hand turn. The steering locked up again!
This time, with force & 2 attempts my brother could 'break' the lock & drive it away safely/luckily!

We have taken the car to service after every single incident.
But, since the occurrence is random, it's difficult to recreate it!
The Hyundai senior techs say that there is no error code recorded. No problem with the EPS motor, or the steering column assembly.

We have only been fortunate enough to be in a scarcely populated roads/areas while the steering locked, the last 3 times.
After Hyundai checked & serviced steering column, (after 2nd time steering locked), I was not expecting this problem again.. (although, there was no reason to be sure, that the cause of the problem was addressed)
I really want to take care of this problem now & be sure of what is causing this!

I read about similar problem with BMW E36 cars on bimmerforums!!
They typically have been "drilling out steering lock" & "removing some spring from the steering column" as a kind of 'eliminate the source solution'.

Has anybody come across such problem?
Some more info about our i10:
It's a very lightly used car. 7000kms in 7 years!
So, it's diligently (but only) serviced once a year (at Hyundai dealership). It is taken for 'light service' just before monsoons every year.
No other troubles with the car yet. Runs fine, decent in terms of efficiency too.
Help/inputs would be really appreciated.

Concerned,

Ace.

Last edited by driverace : 17th August 2015 at 10:57.
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Old 17th August 2015, 15:05   #2
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!


Duplicating / simulating this issue is very difficult. Only solution is to change the lock assembly. Either get it done through warranty or good will replacement from the dealer or pay for it. Our life is more precious & important than few bucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
The Hyundai senior techs say that there is no error code recorded. No problem with the EPS motor, or the steering column assembly.
Educate them the issue is with the lock assembly malfunction which will not be recorded in any ECU (EPS or Engine ECU)
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Old 17th August 2015, 15:21   #3
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Was by any chance the key had returned to the on position or the accessories position ? It might be un-related but GM had a issue with Cobalt model in the US where the key would come back to the accessories position or the on position while the car was being driven . GM even issued a recall for many vehicles to resolve this issue.

I know you talking about a Hyundai here, but since the service guys say there is no issues with the steering column here so as suggested by Mr Boss the steering lock could be the suspect.
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Old 17th August 2015, 16:16   #4
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Have they checked the steering column? Including the locks? Other possibilities are having a defective rack or one of the ball joints in suspension.

Why don't you try an external workshop and do a thorough check of all steering and front suspension related components.
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Old 17th August 2015, 19:35   #5
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post

Duplicating / simulating this issue is very difficult. Only solution is to change the lock assembly...
Yes, that's what the bimmerforums indicate too.
I have asked my brother to take the car to Hyundai service, & as for lock assembly checkup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
Was by any chance the key had returned to the on position or the accessories position ? ..
No, the key was in Ignition position only. No change in that.
The car is also running (no stalling noticed).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Have they checked the steering column? Including the locks? Other possibilities are having a defective rack or one of the ball joints in suspension.
Why don't you try an external workshop and do a thorough check of all steering and front suspension related components.
Yes, the steering column was checked (greased, opened & checked last service). The rack/pinion was also checked & found okay.
What could be possible suspension problem you are hinting at, that can cause steering lock?
Please let me know, so I can ask them to check that too.

Now, we will check if Hyundai can change the assembly of lock or have any diagnosis raised in their internal "technical issues record".
If they are still unable to do anything, will take it to external mechanic.

Will keep this thread posted.

Thanks for the prompt inputs guys,

Hopeful,

Ace.

Last edited by driverace : 17th August 2015 at 19:37.
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Old 17th August 2015, 19:48   #6
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
driverace
Ace, not that you have to go through this again. But can you set up a camera to show the problem to the SA's.

Unfortunately the problem described is so hard to replicate unless any of the above mentioned parts failed.

Steering gets locked in the system mainly when the power is cut off. Can you ask them to check all wirings including power wiring.

I am just thinking of ways the steering would lock which is not mechanical as well(Mechanical includes lubrication, steering pressure etc).

Even a power steering failure does not lock the steering instead it just feels like 1800 car with lots of power required.

Take it to an independent mechanic if possible to check wiring, r&p, power steering assembly.


Also remember we are not used to power less steering which means the belt may be off for a second and that put the car in not power steering mode and since we are not used to driving without the power steering, it may feel the steering simply locked.

- Check ignition switch and related wiring which may cause the engine to die for few seconds
- Check steering belt which may be slipping due to various reasons.
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Old 17th August 2015, 20:10   #7
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Don't cars have a steering lock which gets activated when the key is removed. Was this inspected for issue ? I remember my 800's steering locked out while parked and i had to twist the wheel and insert the key to unlock the wheel. If such a mechanism is present in the Hyundai then kindly get it inspected for any damage or wear.

Good luck buddy.
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Old 17th August 2015, 21:39   #8
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

The following link discusses similar problem in interesting way which is worth a read.

Reproducing the entire text from article.

http://www.cartalk.com/content/steer...rsx-has-locked

Quote:


The steering wheel on my 2003 Acura RSX has locked on me while driving three times now. I took it in to the dealership, and they could not find anything wrong and thus were unable to fix it. I have to quickly stop the car and turn off the ignition, and then when I restart the car, the steering wheel unlocks. The last time, I almost hit a tree. Help before I kill myself or, even worse, someone else. -- Wyatt

TOM: Geez, Wyatt. I'm stunned. It's absolutely unconscionable of the Acura dealer to send you away without fixing this, or -- at the very least -- replacing the parts that are most likely to cause this kind of problem.

RAY: You can't drive this car, Wyatt. To get the dealership's attention, it sounds like you're going to have to engage the services of a lawyer. It's going to cost you a few bucks, but which is more important -- your money or your life?

TOM: I'm thinking ... I'm thinking.

RAY: Have the car towed back to the dealer, and have the lawyer send a certified letter to the general manager of the dealership, with a cc to American Honda (which owns Acura). The letter should say: "My client cannot drive this vehicle in its current condition because it is likely that his death and/or the deaths of other innocent drivers will result. Since this car is under warranty, we insist that you keep it until it is fixed, and provide alternative transportation for my client until an Acura factory representative certifies that the repairs have been successfully completed."

TOM: Then ask for the names of anyone with an ownership stake in the dealership and a list of other properties they own, so that the transfer of ownership to your heirs will go more smoothly in the event of your death. That should at least get their attention.

RAY: The most likely problem is in the ignition and cylinder lock assembly -- that's the thing you put your key into. When you remove the key, there's a pin that's allowed to slide into one of several holes in the steering column. It's an anti-theft measure. I'd have to guess that the pin is being allowed to slide in and lock the wheel at other times -- like when you're changing lanes on the highway!

TOM: That could be caused by a bad ignition lock; it could be the shift interlock mechanism in the transmission, which allows the wheel to lock when you're in Park; or it could be a problem with the steering column. If they can't figure it out, they should replace all of those things, because lives are at stake.

RAY: I'm betting against the rack and pinion, because the wheel reliably unlocks when you turn off the ignition and then turn it back on. But it is a distant possibility, too.

TOM: Another thing for the dealer to consider is whether the car has ever been stolen or repossessed. If someone once tried to pop the ignition and start this car without the key, that might be how the ignition lock got damaged.

RAY: But -- we're serious, Wyatt. You absolutely can't drive this car until you're certain it's fixed. In the meantime, report this problem to NHTSA's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. They keep track of safety-related complaints and have the power to issue recalls in case other RSX owners start reporting this problem, too. Let us know what happens.
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Old 17th August 2015, 21:55   #9
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
IT JAMMED.
I couldn't move it at all, (i.e. it was not loss of "power assist", it was a total lock).
Tough. You cant use the car, nor can you sell it with a clean conscience.

First point to be thoroughly checked would be the steering lock assembly. Keep yours, and a new one side by side on a table and minutely inspect.

I have seen some weird problems with steering dampers, but your description leads me to believe that the damper is not your problem.

Beyond this I have nothing. But this is so unusual, and thus so interesting that we'dd like to be kept abreast of developments.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 17th August 2015, 23:06   #10
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
Y
What could be possible suspension problem you are hinting at, that can cause steering lock?
Not hinting at anything, just take each moving part that is linked to steering of the car and inspect carefully, each and every part has to be carefully inspected for free operation. Any notchiness is a probable cause. Links, joints, shafts, even the strut bearings everything needs to be inspected.
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Old 17th August 2015, 23:37   #11
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
defective rack or one of the ball joints in suspension.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Links, joints, shafts, even the strut bearings everything needs to be inspected.
When he stops the car, turn off the ignition and turn on again the problem is solved / disappeared. In this case I don't think any of the suspension parts or the rack to be a culprit. It's clear something is wrong with the lock assembly
Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Steering gets locked in the system mainly when the power is cut off
Is this vehicle equipped with Start/Stop button? Otherwise any power failure will not / should not engage the steering lock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
can you set up a camera to show the problem to the SA's.
Valid point to show the phenomena. But if I were you (or the thread starter) I won't wait for this failure to happen again. Replace anything and everything ASAP since this is a safety critical failure.
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Old 17th August 2015, 23:52   #12
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
All,

There is this serious issue that we are facing with our Hyundai i10 (Magna 2011).
Some more info about our i10:
It's a very lightly used car. 7000kms in 7 years!
That's not coinciding.
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Old 18th August 2015, 09:26   #13
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

OK there are 2 possible things that are going on
  1. EPS failure will be similar to having a dead battery or failed electrical motor…which means car can still be steered but steering will be extremely heavy
  2. Steering column lock, I think most of us are familiar with how it feels. With the key out of the ignition, there is still some slop…which means you can turn the steering L&R about 1 degree till you feel like you are hitting a dead stop.
Which scenario do you experience? If the column lock is defective, then the lock needs to be replaced.

Have the dealer do it…if you have to pay for it then so be it. You can fight for it later

This is a critical safety issue and do not diddle around with it
Quote:
Is this vehicle equipped with Start/Stop button? Otherwise any power failure will not / should not engage the steering lock
No connection between the 2

Last edited by Mpower : 18th August 2015 at 09:31.
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Old 18th August 2015, 09:29   #14
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Guys,

Thanks a lot for the prompt help & inputs!
The car will be taken to Hyundai today.
Car is with my parents & currently my brother is there (he will be taking the car to Hyundai & follow up).

Few clarifications:
1. The car steering definitely "locked". both times.
I could feel the same 'restriction' as is felt when the steering is locked. Same is confirmed by my brother.
The second time this happened, We stopped the car & gave real strong jerks to the steering. That confirms, it isn't 'loss of power assist'.

2. No other modifications done to the car, it does not have any start/stop button.
Only thing after-market it has - Autocop central lock. (that only locks the doors, with audible beeps)

3. Running car does not stall, even for a few seconds (while the steering locks up). If I accelerate, with locked steering, the car will zoom ahead.

4. I am sorry for the typo regarding age of the car.
The car is 5 years old. (It's a 2010 model).

born_free, thanks for another source with same problem.
I will read more on that thread.

Also, will post the update on this thread.

Thanks a lot, guys!

Ace.

EDIT 1:

I have driven a jeep (without power steering).
So I have an idea of how heavy the steering can be without the power assist.
This problem is not of loss of power. I can confirm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
OK there are 2 possible things that are going on

EPS failure will be similar to having a dead battery or failed electrical motor…which means car can still be steered but steering will be extremely heavy

Steering column lock, I think most of us are familiar with how it feels. With the key out of the ignition, there is still some slop…which means you can turn the steering L&R about 1 degree till you feel like you are hitting a dead stop.

..

Have the dealer do it…if you have to pay for it then so be it. You can fight for it later
..
Yes, I reconfirm, It is the steering column lock. the "1" degree movement of steering before we hit dead stop (on L & R side).

Definitely, I do NOT mind paying for a part, if it's clear that the said part is failing & causing the lock up.

In the past, the SA tried suggesting we change the EPS motor.
I explained to him again, that it's not loss of power-assist, it is "locking".
Then the SA retracted his suggestion.

The car won't be driven unless this issue is sorted, with a sure diagnosis.

Thanks for the concern & help,

EDIT 2:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
Yes, it's the same car.

Ace.

Last edited by driverace : 18th August 2015 at 09:59. Reason: EDITs to answer posts made shortly after mine.
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Old 18th August 2015, 09:35   #15
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Default Re: Steering wheel locks up while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
No connection between the 2
Cars equipped with Start / Stop button will have Electrically operated steering lock and any malfunction in electrical system may lead to this failure. I'm not sure which non-connectivity are you speaking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
The car is 4 years old. (It's a 2011 model).
Is this car different from the one in below thread?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...m-flavour.html (H- i10 my pleasure (Vanilla icecream flavour))
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