Author Topic: Steering lock when car cuts out  (Read 4508 times)

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Offline Burnz0

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Steering lock when car cuts out
« on: February 08, 2017, 12:15:53 PM »
So I recently had a problem with my fuel pump that was fixed, but I noticed something that could be perceived as incredibly dangerous with my car (unless there is something I am missing).

I have a Mazda 3 2010 2.2L Diesel car. Whilst my fuel pump was faulty the symptoms were the engine completely cutting out and losing all power to the car (it wasn't getting the fuel). When this happened, the car didn't start afterwards sometimes for a long time. Whilst in this state, the steering lock is CONSTANTLY on and the car cannot be turned. If this happened to me on the third lane, I can only imagine I would be as good as dead.

I did a few tests, for example I tried pressing in the clutch when the car is off (and not started) to see if the wheel would turn but it doesn't. Does this mean that if my repaired fuel pump died again I would roll forward until my car comes to a stop? Since the engine cuts off, I would be unable to turn onto the hard shoulder, and therefore stuck in the 3rd lane on the motorway. Or is there something about my car I'm missing?

I believe its an anti-theft mechanism, which does make sense but it seem pretty dangerous considering there are quite a few fuel related problems that result in the car losing power and engine cut. If anyone can shed some light on this, whether I'm missing a steering override button or something? It would be appreciated.

Offline Willpower

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 01:34:27 PM »
If the key is still in the ignition and turned to the start position, then the steering lock should not operate.

Did you try to restart the car by turning the key before you noticed that the steering lock was on ? If you turned the key to the off position at any time, then the lock will operate.
   
In your feared scenario of being in the third lane and the engine cutting out, then your steering will remain active  AS LONG AS YOU DON'T TURN THE KEY   in an effort to try and restart the car.

Switch on your hazard warning lights and use the forward momentum of the car to change lanes. The steering will of course be very heavy as it will have lost the input of the powered steering, but with some effort, you should still be able to steer the car to a saver position.
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Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 02:08:54 PM »
If the key is still in the ignition and turned to the start position, then the steering lock should not operate.

Did you try to restart the car by turning the key before you noticed that the steering lock was on ? If you turned the key to the off position at any time, then the lock will operate.
   
In your feared scenario of being in the third lane and the engine cutting out, then your steering will remain active  AS LONG AS YOU DON'T TURN THE KEY   in an effort to try and restart the car.

Switch on your hazard warning lights and use the forward momentum of the car to change lanes. The steering will of course be very heavy as it will have lost the input of the powered steering, but with some effort, you should still be able to steer the car to a saver position.

Thanks for the reply Will, you actually pointed out something that I missed. My car is wireless key (but not wireless entry). I unlock the car using the button on the keyfob, then start the engine by using "push button". On the keyfob itself there is a latch I can pull that releases a small key. This key is for the doors, but I can't see a key slot anywhere near or around my Dashboard.

When stationary (if the car is off) I do have an option to "press" the button without the car starting. Hypothetically, if my car stalls or dies, would I be right in assuming I don't touch the button and it would allow me to turn? Is that how it works? Appreciate the reply.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 02:12:33 PM by Burnz0 »

Offline Willpower

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 02:37:35 PM »
Now you have stepped outside of my knowledge range. As your car is keyless then I do not know an appropriate answer to give you.

Perhaps some one with a similar year/model will come forward with a better answer for you.

Sorry :)
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Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 02:41:32 PM »
Now you have stepped outside of my knowledge range. As your car is keyless then I do not know an appropriate answer to give you.

Perhaps some one with a similar year/model will come forward with a better answer for you.

Sorry :)

No problems, thanks for trying. Also thanks for moving my incorrectly posted topic before. I will just wait to see if anyone knows. :)

Offline mart_haj1986

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 02:46:22 PM »
I have keyless, but tbh mines never cut-out, I'd imagine there is some fail-safe built in though.. at least I'd hope... Scary thought though..
Martin H - Nuneaton, Warwickshire UK

Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 02:50:05 PM »
I have keyless, but tbh mines never cut-out, I'd imagine there is some fail-safe built in though.. at least I'd hope... Scary thought though..

Yeah I know. Like I mentioned, I tried turning the wheel when the car was stationary and it wouldn't move. I put the power on (engine not started) and it still wouldn't move! :(

Offline mart_haj1986

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 03:03:44 PM »
The keyless should go in 3 modes when you press the button, ACC (pretty much just the radio) - Something else (forgot the name, but gives you aircon, windows etc) then ignition.
It's only a guess but I would say that maybe the car would go in to the 2nd mode, which I feel may unlock the steering?
Martin H - Nuneaton, Warwickshire UK

Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 03:09:54 PM »
The keyless should go in 3 modes when you press the button, ACC (pretty much just the radio) - Something else (forgot the name, but gives you aircon, windows etc) then ignition.
It's only a guess but I would say that maybe the car would go in to the 2nd mode, which I feel may unlock the steering?

I'm tempted to purposely stall my car rolling down a hill, and just see what happens. I don't know if when the fuel pump died it cut-out altogether though, when a car is stalled there are still lights on the dash. I'm pretty sure I could turn the wheel when its stalled, I just don't have power steering. Like you said its a scary thought, and I'm lacking a bit of knowledge on it.

Offline misar

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 09:52:50 PM »
Nobody would design a car to do what you claim for obvious reasons. As mentioned already the steering is very stiff when the engine is off due to no power assistance. If your car really applies the lock with the vehicle moving there is a fault.

I have the same model (petrol). It is not entirely clear what you have been doing in the tests you mention but this extract from the manual may explain your observations when stationary:

The steering wheel is locked if a door is opened/closed/locked after the power is turned off using the push button start while the vehicle is stopped. This is an automatic safety device to protect the vehicle against theft.  The steering wheel can be unlocked by pressing the push button start while the advanced key is being carried or the auxiliary key is inserted into the key slot.
If the electronic steering lock warning light is flashing and the beep sound is heard, this indicates that the steering wheel is not unlocked. To unlock the steering wheel, jiggle the steering wheel
from side to side while pressing the push button start.

On another point you mention, there is a covered slot adjacent to the steering column to insert the manual key. This enables the engine to run w/o the wireless fob. Read the manual. You use the start/stop button as usual.



Edit : paragraphs adjusted to aid readability
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 12:46:33 AM by Willpower »

Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 10:45:23 AM »
On another point you mention, there is a covered slot adjacent to the steering column to insert the manual key. This enables the engine to run w/o the wireless fob. Read the manual. You use the start/stop button as usual.

That line of text doesn't exist in my manual, as you mentioned they are different cars though. Just to confirm, there is no a key slot meaning its completely wireless.

The steering wheel can be unlocked by pressing the push button start while the advanced key is being carried or the auxiliary key is inserted into the key slot.

So here is something interesting, I have a dashcam and went through the footage. So what happened was, car stopped functioning and I let it roll round the corner to a safe spot. The recovery got my car started, but shortly after it died the same way again on a busy small roundabout. This time in panic (because of the location) I immediately pressed the button and tried to jiggle the wheel to unlock it.

Unlike what you described for your car, what this actually did was LOCK the wheel (but this actually makes sense). It locked as if I had turned the key in a manually keyed car, as Will mentioned it would of locked the wheel. What I should of done is left the button alone like I did the first time, and rolled round the corner as it seemed to be in the "stalled" state.

So I guess for anyone who has the same car that I do, and was wondering the same thing that is how it works when your car dies.  ^-^

Offline misar

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 03:21:40 PM »
On another point you mention, there is a covered slot adjacent to the steering column to insert the manual key. This enables the engine to run w/o the wireless fob. Read the manual. You use the start/stop button as usual.

That line of text doesn't exist in my manual, as you mentioned they are different cars though. Just to confirm, there is no a key slot meaning its completely wireless.
^-^

The line of text was my advice, not a quote from the manual. If you have a 2010 Mazda 3 Sport with Advanced Keyless Entry there is an auxiliary key in the key fob. The manual shows how to remove and use that key if there is a problem with the fob (eg flat battery) or the wireless system, complete with a picture showing the location of the covered key slot on the steering column.

Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2017, 04:07:01 PM »
On another point you mention, there is a covered slot adjacent to the steering column to insert the manual key. This enables the engine to run w/o the wireless fob. Read the manual. You use the start/stop button as usual.

That line of text doesn't exist in my manual, as you mentioned they are different cars though. Just to confirm, there is no a key slot meaning its completely wireless.
^-^

The line of text was my advice, not a quote from the manual. If you have a 2010 Mazda 3 Sport with Advanced Keyless Entry there is an auxiliary key in the key fob. The manual shows how to remove and use that key if there is a problem with the fob (eg flat battery) or the wireless system, complete with a picture showing the location of the covered key slot on the steering column.

I probably should of mentioned that this was my manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/454998/Mazda-3.html

I don't actually have the physical document to hand as I bought the car second hand. It's not the exact car, but it was the closest I could find. I guess the sentence "Read the manual" made me misinterpret, thanks for the advice though. ;)

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 08:01:22 PM »

I probably should of mentioned that this was my manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/454998/Mazda-3.html

I don't actually have the physical document to hand as I bought the car second hand. It's not the exact car, but it was the closest I could find. I guess the sentence "Read the manual" made me misinterpret, thanks for the advice though. ;)

Page 3-15 of that manual is identical to the instructions I described. It applies to my car and yours should be the same if you have the Advanced Keyless Entry (i.e. no need to remove the key fob from your pocket to unlock/lock, start and run the car).


Offline Burnz0

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 09:52:21 PM »

I probably should of mentioned that this was my manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/454998/Mazda-3.html

I don't actually have the physical document to hand as I bought the car second hand. It's not the exact car, but it was the closest I could find. I guess the sentence "Read the manual" made me misinterpret, thanks for the advice though. ;)

Page 3-15 of that manual is identical to the instructions I described. It applies to my car and yours should be the same if you have the Advanced Keyless Entry (i.e. no need to remove the key fob from your pocket to unlock/lock, start and run the car).

It sure does. As for the topic title, the solution is NOT to press the key when the car stalls. Just roll to a safe location, the steering wheel shouldn't be locked.

Misar is completely 100% correct about the wireless key, but its not relevant to the solution (incase anyone reads this, and gets confused).

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Re: Steering lock when car cuts out
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 09:52:21 PM »