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  1. #1
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    Default Steering Column Lock Motor Burned Out?

    Got one for the gang to ponder. I took my 2000 C5 auto trans Vette to the local Chevy dealer for an oil change and to replace my belts. The service writer called and said my battery was bad (Optima Red Top that is 18 months old). I went up and got the battery and took it to the place I bought it from. They said the battery was good and just need a little charging. They charged it for about fifteen minutes and gave it back to me. I took the battery back to the Chevy shop. Next day, they call and told me the steering column lock motor was burned out. They told me that the cause was low voltage from the "bad" battery. The mechanic said that low voltage can fuse the wires inside the motor. Is this true? I know that low voltage can cause some Gremlins in C5s, but I have never heard it causing a steering column lock motor burning out!!!! Thoughts?

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

  2. #2
    BigJimZ16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftyvette View Post
    Got one for the gang to ponder. I took my 2000 C5 auto trans Vette to the local Chevy dealer for an oil change and to replace my belts. The service writer called and said my battery was bad (Optima Red Top that is 18 months old). I went up and got the battery and took it to the place I bought it from. They said the battery was good and just need a little charging. They charged it for about fifteen minutes and gave it back to me. I took the battery back to the Chevy shop. Next day, they call and told me the steering column lock motor was burned out. They told me that the cause was low voltage from the "bad" battery. The mechanic said that low voltage can fuse the wires inside the motor. Is this true? I know that low voltage can cause some Gremlins in C5s, but I have never heard it causing a steering column lock motor burning out!!!! Thoughts?
    Back out of the dealership, and drive fast, very fast, to another dealer who might have a competent service department!!
    The only thing that you accomplish when you make something idiotproof, is breed a better grade of idiot,
    Z06/Z16 #1689

  3. #3
    Member mrm1149's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJimZ16 View Post
    Back out of the dealership, and drive fast, very fast, to another dealer who might have a competent service department!!
    I agree, that diagnosis doesn't make much common sense to me.

  4. #4
    Moderator Toms01's Avatar
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    C4C5Specialist.....where are you? I think Paul needs to see this one.

    2001 Magnetic Red
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  5. #5
    Technical Advisor c4c5specialist's Avatar
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    Nope, but someday.

    Default

    HI there,

    I did comment on the CM, but yes, I would completely get the car out of there.

    The low battery voltage would NEVER cause shorting of the column lock motor. It will create bad information TO the body control module but that is it.

    Im not a big fan of the Red top because of the lower reserve capacity, but as long as its testing good, you should not have an issue.

    The key is that the battery is installed correctly and terminals torqued to 11 ft lbs.

    Our first column lock seminar conducted was at the CAC Cruisefest and the videos are online, take a look.

    Allthebest, c4c5
    GM World Class Certified Technician.
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  6. #6
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    Default

    Definitely look for a different service facility.

    I agree with Paul both about the SCL and the Optima Red Top.

    The Optima Battery was a reasonably good product before the brand was purchased by Johnson Controls. But even then, as Paul suggests, it lacked reserve capacity. The problem with Red Tops since the brand changed hands is quality control. In short, the Optima brand is well-marketed but the product itself is not as good.

    I think the best battery in the market is the Odyssey. Its reviewed here on the CAC at
    Corvette Action Center | Tech | The Solution to my Corvette Battery Problems: The Odyssey Battery

  7. #7
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    Thanks to everyone that has replied. Before I could stop the work they had the dash taken apart and the actuator changed out! I guess they wanted to get me committed before I figured something was wrong. Does anyone have suggestions concerning how to file a complaint with the dealership?

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

  8. #8
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    I think I'd first as for the old parts back to determine of the SCL was faulty or not.
    Hib Halverson

  9. #9
    Moderator bill81vette's Avatar
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    I would also check with your state dmv..if the work was not authorized by YOU they may not proceed with any repair without your ok 1st...
    if you ok'ed it then you maybe on the hook for the repair....
    Bill and Gail...save the wave
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  10. #10
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    I did ok the work on a Friday. They said they were not going to do the job until Monday. I went up on Sunday and looked at the car in the lot (yes, they left the Vette outside!) the dash was all apart. I did get the old part and intend to take it to another dealership for testing.

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

  11. #11
    Member mrm1149's Avatar
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    And the outcome of this travesty is what??

  12. #12
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    The service manager has been out with family medical issues. He is suppose to be back next week. I plan on meeting with him at that time. Stay tuned!

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

  13. #13
    BigJimZ16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftyvette View Post
    The service manager has been out with family medical issues. He is suppose to be back next week. I plan on meeting with him at that time. Stay tuned!

    ...ya, family medical issues... his wife probably bitch-slapped him for being stupid!
    The only thing that you accomplish when you make something idiotproof, is breed a better grade of idiot,
    Z06/Z16 #1689

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure that is necessary! As far as I know at this time my issue is with the service writer and the mechanic. The service manager often is not in the loop unless a customer asks questions. This service manager has a very good reputation from when he was a service writer. Now that he has been moved into the front offices he may not be as much hands-on as he was in the past. I will reserve judgement until I talk with him.

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

  15. #15
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    Default Update

    I talked with the service manager today. He agreed that the low voltage could not permantly damage the column lock motor. He told me that it must just be a coincidence that the column lock went bad while they were doing an oil change and stated that there was nothing he could do. I guess the only thing I can do is be more careful who I trust with my Vette and never again set foot in that dealership. Additionally, when people ask my recommendation concerning Chevy dealers in the area I can direct them to a different dealership. Lesson (expensive lesson) learned !!

    2000 Torch Red Coupe

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