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Steering Wheel Lock problem

Discussion in 'Problems, Fixes, Tips...' started by Tiddly Car, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Tiddly Car

    Tiddly Car Copenworld Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    I'm a little concerned about this and wonder if anyone has heard of anything similar.

    This afternoon I parked my car on my parents drive - dead straight on a slight slope. When I came to go home the key wouldn't turn in the ignition and the steering wheel was locked. Not normally a problem but I did the normal wiggle of the wheel but nothing unlocked.

    After about 10mins I called on my Dad to try. He tried the same, tried rolling the car forward, tried wiggling the wheels. Nothing would unlock the wheel.

    We tried reading up about the immobiliser and couldn't find anything about this or any potential issue in the manual. We tried the spare key. Nothing.

    Eventually I called Diahatsu Assist/RAC to come and rescue me. They arrived in 5 mins (the RAC man lives up the road from my parents and had just got home!!) and WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT as I went to demonstrate the problem, the car started immediately.

    What I'm concerned about is why it happened in the first place and whether it will happen again when I am not in such a convenient place.

    I have realised that I lean on the steering wheel when I get out of the car so wonder if this would have caused something, but I still don't understand why the wheel didn't unlock when wiggled?

    Has anyone ever had anything like this or any clues as to what might have caused it?:think:
     
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  2. copenworld

    copenworld Copenworld Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ
    Car(s):
    Copen
    That does seem a bit strange.

    Does your steering wheel normally lock? I must admit I'm not aware of mine actually locking! I had noted this previously, because my other car's steering wheel locks (a Micra), and it can sometimes be a struggle to unlock it. I'd specifically noticed that the Copen was a lot less hassle.

    I'll have a closer look at mine in the morning!
     
  3. Rex

    Rex Copenworld Pioneer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Car(s):
    Copen
    Hi TC,
    I’ve just tried my steering lock. It only engages in one place - about 80º anti-clockwise.
    It seems strange if yours engaged when the wheel is straight.

    Maybe others could comment at what position theirs engages.

    Rex.
     
  4. Tringhenge

    Tringhenge Copenworld Pioneer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Whilst I cannot say for certain that my steering lock does not engage with the wheels straight, I do not ever recal any car locking like that. My memory tells me that the lock engages off centre.

    I'd suggest a call to your dealer to be safe.
     
  5. copenworld

    copenworld Copenworld Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ
    Car(s):
    Copen
    Now this is really weird. I've fiddled with my steering wheel for ages, and it doesn't lock at all. Am I missing out here? Does anyone have a new(ish) Copen that does lock?

    So it seems we have two extremes: one Copen that locks when it shouldn't and another that doesn't lock at all. Perhaps if we mate them, we'll get the perfect car. :eek:

    OK, I admit it, that comment wasn't very helpful. :D
     
  6. Tringhenge

    Tringhenge Copenworld Pioneer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Played around this morning.

    It only locks when there is no key in the ingition. I cannot make it lock in the centre position. Needs a 1/4-1/2 turn to engage.
     
  7. copenworld

    copenworld Copenworld Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ
    Car(s):
    Copen
    Wow, you're right, it does lock!

    The key has to be out, and on mine I have to turn the steering wheel almost one complete turn anticlockwise before it locks. Perhaps my steering wheel is on upside down or something? :eek:
     
  8. Tringhenge

    Tringhenge Copenworld Pioneer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Nope, the steering wheel is ok it's your car that is on upside down ;)
     
  9. copenworld

    copenworld Copenworld Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ
    Car(s):
    Copen
    Ah, yes, you're right. How come I hadn't noticed that before? :p
     
  10. hannah15mini

    hannah15mini Copenworld Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Hi Tiddy Car!

    Have just seen this post and was interested to read...mine has locked before a couple of times too, but after awhile and with wiggling it has unlocked, the longest it locked for was 5mins before I could unlock it?! :think: Ido not know why, I park on my drive with the wheel straight...
     
  11. cokirpen

    cokirpen Copenworld Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Hi all
    I had a similar problem on my 08 1.3 Copen a few months ago. I couldn't get the key to turn in the lock. Tried wiggling the wheel etc for about 5 mins but did not want to apply any force to key for fear of snapping it off. As it happened the dealers were only 200 yds away and a mechanic came back to the car with me. He also found it jammed, sprayed a little wd40 in the lock tried a couple of more times and it worked as normal. Never had a repeat problem.
    G
     
  12. Rex

    Rex Copenworld Pioneer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Car(s):
    Copen
    :) I may have the answer! :)

    Talking to a guy who has come across this before (non Copen), on some older cars. He says its nothing to do with parking on the flat or having your wheels straight; It's how you get in and out of your car!

    Basically don't use much force on the steering wheel to help you get out or get into the car. This may move the shaft far enough away from the steering lock for it to engage in the wrong position. Then there is so much force on the lock, it is hard to disengage. If this happens the best way to disengage it is to use your 'usual' method of getting in and out of the car (i.e. holding the wheel) whilst trying to turn the key (may need a second person).

    Is he right? ;)

    Rex
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
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