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Discovery 4 - Steering Column Locked

Discussion in 'Land Rover Discovery' started by GarethK, Feb 25, 2019.

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  1. GarethK

    GarethK New Member

    Feb 25, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Had a bit of a hassle at the week-end with my Discovery 4 2013 HSE TDV6. Sharing here with the fix to avoid people getting ripped by Main Dealer or paying a small fortune for recovery...

    First happened in the forecourt of a filling station on Sunday morning. Fill up, pay and try to re-start the car and I get a dash message 'Steering Column Locked' then the lights go out and that's it. Try pressing and holding the Start button - and still the same. Borrowed a spanner from the filling station staff & removed the battery +ve terminal clamp in case it was ECU confusion, waited a couple of minutes, re-connected and then it started OK.

    So, undaunted I carried on and parked up in a forestry car park & returning to the car after a few hours - pressed the Start button and got the same message 'Steering Column Locked'. Tried the battery disconnect trick a number of times but to no avail this time - and that was that. Dead.

    Car abandoned overnight but today I headed out with the local recovery truck guy as a worst case solution. I had also checked and found a couple of forum threads that were useful to try first.

    So, before getting the winch hooked up I plugged in a diagnostic computer to the ODB2 connector and found the only fault in the Body section - the steering lock fault I was seeing. Cleared this, but still the same.

    Next, I popped off the lower driver footwell trim panel (2 clips at the top and lift) and then unscrewed the 3 Torx screws that hold the lower half of the steering column cover to the top half. A wiggle and a pull and it comes off downwards - watch the cables for the column position joystick and the immobiliser sensor. That exposes the silver aluminium block that's bolted to the underside of the column - this is the electrically powered lock servo mechanism. Gave that a sharp tap with a small hammer while pressing the Start button (and foot on the brake) - and I hear the servo mechanism 'squeak' as it unlocks the column and it starts up as normal.

    The fault - the electric steering lock mechanism was sticky (stuck) - and with this not retracing the lock bolt you are going nowhere.

    Tapping with the hammer frees it off to get you going, but now it's a new lock assembly to avoid a repeat performance. Parts needed - a complete new electric lock servo unit plus two new shear-off bolts. A bit of a scutter getting out the old bolts but easy enough.

    Disco has only done ~62k easy miles - so probably something that will happen to others at some point and so something to look out for.
    Discoslow likes this.
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