2002 Chevrolet Corvette Long Term Road Test


2002 Corvette Z06: 'Service Steering Column Lock'

May 07, 2010

vette z06 steering wheel.jpg

After my softball game last night, I was standing around the Z06 with our right fielder when he mentioned he'd never been in a Vette before. I told him to get in and he plummeted into the squishy driver seat with a declaration of "it's so low." As a former M3 owner, I don't think he was impressed. As he climbed out, though, he must've used the steering wheel as leverage to get out and activated the steering column lock.

When I started the car, the gage cluster read-out ominously said something to the affect of "Pull Key; Wait 10 Seconds." I was going to ignore it (probably not the best idea), but when I went to move the wheel I found it was locked. This engaged a new read-out saying "Service Steering Column Lock." Uh-oh. So I pulled the key, waited 10 Mississippis and tried again. No luck, still locked. I tried it two more times, waiting longer each time. No luck.

At this point, good buddy and catcher SubyTrojan entered the scene. "Vette's broken," I declared through the window. We chatted for a few moments about possible causes, solutions and just abandoning the Z06 at Cheviot Hills to become a bird sanctuary. Then I said, "OK, let's just try this all over again." I got out of the Vette, locked the door, waited a few seconds, unlocked the door, got in and fired it up. Low and behold, the steering column lock was disengaged. No service (or tow truck) required.

To double check, I locked the steering column again this morning, but it unlocked once I started the engine. Go figure. Though I have to wonder how common this issue is when the trip computer has both a specific warning and solution for it. Hmm.

Oh well, I guess this just proves once again that if you want to fix something -- anything really -- just unplug it and re-plug it back in.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 46,562

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