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Thread: Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360)

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  1. Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360) 
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    Hello, This morning I used the car starting at 08.45 did a journey starting and stopping the engine 3 times got home about 11. All went fine. Garaged the car, went to start the car at 2 pm, MMI lit up but no ignition lights or anything in the display, no starter. Now this happened earlier this year just before my wife travelled in the car from France to the UK. The evening before she had been opening and closing the doors and tailgate many times as she loaded the car up and the battery voltage had dropped to 11.6v and it was not enough to set up the start system including the Steering Column Lock Actuator. Once fault codes were deleted it started and ran fine until today but when I checked the battery voltage it was 12.49v which should not have caused that error. Is this a known fault, if the part needs changing I suspect it could be very expensive. With fault codes deleted the car started as usual.
     
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  2. Re: Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360) 
    #2
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    This morning the steering lock actuator will not respond to the key again and the ignition will not turn on. It has been suggested that I may need a new steering column, I cannot imagine how expensive that may be to buy but also complicated and expensive to fit. Is it possible to permanently disable the actuator electronically? Any other suggestions?
     
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  3. Re: Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360) 
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    Hello,
    After a bit of research I find that this is a very common problem and that Audi who have produced so many cars with this fault should heve been more helpful towards their customers. I have very stretched finances and have recently had to deal with a number of expensive issues with this car and having the steering column changed by Audi is just not possible at the moment. I have owned Audi's since 1979, I think that this will be my last it is a very nice car, but a financial disaster. I read somewhere, but I cannot find it anymore, that it is possible to delete the steering lock which is maybe unnecessary anyway given the immobiliser system, and with it disabled the steering lock actuator problem is no longer an issue. Could someone in the know please confirm that and hopefully advise how it can be accomplished, Thanks, Michael
     
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  4. Re: Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360) 
    #4
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    Can someone please tell me what should be charged to change the steering column and recode. I have been advised now that it must be done at an Audi garage, my VW garage say that they are not able to do the coding although they can fit the column. I noticed elsewhere that Crasher though that the cost of the column should be less than £700 but I have been quoted £945 for the column and £1000 labour and they don't rule out other extra costs, so total is likely to be over 2K.
     
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  5. Re: Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360) 
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    OK well I think I have resolved this issue now and if you have the same problem it may be of help. It seems that a number of Audi and some VW vehicles have an inherent start authorisation problem possibly between 2004 and 2007, not sure of the years. Depending upon whether you have a manual or auto box the symptoms differ. If you have an auto box you may have an issue getting the key out of the ignition if you have a manual box you may have a problem getting the key recognised and allowing you to start the car as I had. The first time it happened to me the key turned to the start position but the steering wheel stayed locked and although the MMI lit up all of the other warning lights stayed off and the car would not start. A part of the steering column is a box of electronics which senses the key and directs a small electric motor to throw the dog which unlocks the steering at the same time sensors and actuators allow the ignition to turn on and start the car. It seems that with time these components degrade and the electric motor gets weak and is more likely to fail. With me the first time the voltage was 11.6v. As time progresses it gets worse and unless you have the benefit of a VAG com computer with you at all times you will not start the car, so to ensure your car is reliable those components have to be changed. The Audi answer is to have the steering column removed and replaced but then all of the vehicle codes have to be changed and they have to be done at an Audi garage, because they are the only ones to have access to the Audi computers in Germany. My local VW garage is unable to do that. I contacted Audi garages in France who refused to do even quote for the work unless I took the car in (each garage 70km away) and had them check the codes which is, of course, charged and only then quote or do the work. A garage in the UK did quote me but again said I would have to have a charged appointment for them to confirm the problem. After that I was quoted £945 for the new steering column plus at least £1000 labour, so in the end well over £2000. After some research I found Welcome to SpeedoSolutions A company near Chicago, they take your original electronic box and replace all of the tired parts keeping all of the original coding in the eeprom. They send detailed advice about how to remove the steering column and then the box from the column, and then you send the box and a key to the states and in a turnaround of about 4 working days they return it to you. This is what I have done and I cannot praise the company and the proprietor Tom Bendyk enough, he was always quick to respond to requests for advice. I removed it, sent it away, got it back and fitted it and it is all working a treat. So if you get fault code 0288 Steering Column Lock Actuator (N360), bear this in mind. Oh yes the cost, Tom charges $400 then you have to pay for shipment there and back and I got stung by French customs for VAT and handling but even after all that my total cost was £522 plus about 3 hours work. Hope this is of help to some of you.
    Regards, Michael
     
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