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    Thread: Steering Fault - Workshop" message - here's the cause and the solution. [TOC done]

    1. Member
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      03-11-2010 07:36 AM #26
      There are other (simpler ?) methods for splicing wires.
      If there are not too many of them, you can cut the wire, get a piece of heat shrink tube around the wire, solder the wire and warm the heat shrink around the solder in order to insulate it.
      Another trick that does work even though it sounds strange, is to connect the wire in a secure way (use the method / connector you want) and wrap the splice / connector with a special self-fusing rubber tape made by Scotch: Scotch 23 (type "scotch 23 tape" on Google to find the datasheet).
      The thing is magic as it will seal (and insulate) over anything permanently.
      P.

    2. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      03-11-2010 08:49 AM #27
      Running through some tests last night, it seems like it's definitely a short somewhere. When turning off the car, if I pull the key out immediately while the steering wheel is retracting, I get the message. However, if I wait until the wheel is fully retracted before pulling out the key, then no message appears. I just printed out instruction for removing the fuse panel and the footwell cover, and will work on it this weekend.
      -Julian

    3. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-11-2010 02:59 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by perfrej »
      ...From what I can see, those are aviation splicing thingies. There is no substitute for those....

      Those are actually Volkswagen specification wire connectors, not aviation specification parts. They are listed in the Volkswagen parts catalog (ETKA) as 'airbag wire splices'. I did all of the work shown in the photos above at my neighborhood VW dealer (Volkswagen Richmond Hill, near Toronto, Canada), using only VW specification parts and supplies provided by the dealer.
      Every VW dealer has a special toolkit (it has a VAG number) that includes a heat gun and a selection of these self-sealing wire splices.
      Quote, originally posted by Zaphh »
      There are other (simpler ?) methods for splicing wires. ...you can ... solder the wire and warm the heat shrink around the solder in order to insulate it...

      SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and Volkswagen both strictly forbid soldering as a method of joining wires anywhere in the vehicle, either during new vehicle construction or during repairs. Soldered connections are vulnerable to breakage due to the vibrations and g loads encountered during vehicle operations. The solder connection itself won't break, instead, the wire will break at the point where the solder ends.
      Only crimp connections provide the reliability required. Only crimp connections that have an oxygen barrier provided by an integral shrink with a special coating on the inside of the shrink provide the corrosion resistance required. Shrink-tubing that is not integral to the crimp connection is not acceptable.
      Michael

    4. 03-11-2010 03:55 PM #29
      As a point of reference - if, for some reason, one cannot obtain the VW connectors, most marine supply stores will carry similar fittings (Ancor [no 'H'] is one brand in the US) - the metal portions are tinned to avoid corrosion and the 'plastic' portions are marine grade heat shrink (3:1 ratio shrink vs. 2:1 for standard radio shack type stuff) and lined with a heat-flowable sealing adhesive. They aren't rock-bottom inexpensive, but are well worth the additional expense for their performance. I'm sure they would be substantially less expensive than any FAA certified aviation product.

    5. Member
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      03-11-2010 04:18 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and Volkswagen both strictly forbid soldering as a method of joining wires anywhere in the vehicle, either during new vehicle construction or during repairs. Soldered connections are vulnerable to breakage due to the vibrations and g loads encountered during vehicle operations. The solder connection itself won't break, instead, the wire will break at the point where the solder ends.

      Very good point that I will remember. Thanks for your comment.
      Quote »
      Only crimp connections provide the reliability required. Only crimp connections that have an oxygen barrier provided by an integral shrink with a special coating on the inside of the shrink provide the corrosion resistance required. Shrink-tubing that is not integral to the crimp connection is not acceptable.
      Michael

      As for corrosion, Scotch 23 tape is wonderful. It is used (among other uses) to splice cables that run in the ground to contain a robotic mower. It is one of the rare reliable methods to get splices that don't corrode.
      P.

    6. 03-11-2010 04:31 PM #31
      We are still talking about non-critical, internal wires here aren't we??? Or has this moved on to a discussion about critical wires for the braking system that are routed on the outside of the vehicle and come into daily contact with moisture, salt and escape-velocity g loadings????

    7. Member
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      03-11-2010 05:37 PM #32
      Corrosion is very often a problem in contacts. If a splice can survive in a hostile environment (like damp soil), then it will probably survive in the cosy environment of Phaeton internal wires.

    8. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-11-2010 09:31 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by Zaphh »
      Corrosion is very often a problem in contacts. If a splice can survive in a hostile environment (like damp soil), then it will probably survive in the cosy environment of Phaeton internal wires.

      Not necessarily. Wires buried in damp soil are not subject to any movement, vibration, or g loading (unless they are buried in, for example, Chile or Haiti).
      Wires installed in a moving vehicle are subject to all of the above three stresses.
      Michael

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      03-12-2010 01:09 AM #34
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      Not necessarily. Wires buried in damp soil are not subject to any movement, vibration, or g loading (unless they are buried in, for example, Chile or Haiti).
      Wires installed in a moving vehicle are subject to all of the above three stresses.
      Michael

      You are right on mechanical constraints. I was talking corrosion. Soil is a very corrosive environment.

    10. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      03-12-2010 09:15 AM #35
      Fascinating discussion on corrosion.
      Michael, do you know how to disconnect the actuation release cable for the fuse panel cover from the footwell cover? Do I just pull it out or are there clips? I'm trying to get that piece out, but it's not moving, and the repair manual doesn't specify how to remove it, just that it needs to be disconnected.
      -Julian

    11. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-12-2010 04:00 PM #36
      Hi Julian:
      The distal ends of the release cables connect to a latch with two captive pucks. The pucks can be released by rotating them 90 degrees within the latch.
      The photo server seems to be down right now, but I believe that there are photos of this assembly on the post "Steering Fault - Workshop" message - here's the cause and the solution.
      Michael

    12. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      03-12-2010 07:06 PM #37
      Thanks Michael. I'll try this weekend and see if the wires are pinched.
      -Julian

    13. 03-12-2010 07:41 PM #38
      With regard to the issue of corrosion - as someone who has owned several Citroen DS models over the years (yeah, I know, not the same thing) I have to tell you that wires and connectors seem to be able to corrode anywhere in a vehicle - inside, outside, under the hood, in the trunk - I do think that it is likely that the wire insulation has improved substantially since the stuff that Citroen was using in the 1960s and 1970s - but with those cars, you could find corrosion on the copper two or three feet up the wire from the connector end - the wiring fell apart faster than the bottoms of the recycled steel doors. One reason I know about the marine products - rewiring a Citroen DS.

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      03-13-2010 03:50 AM #39
      How true !
      The last time I drove my DS, I saw some smoke coming out of the dash board, just behind the steering wheel. Removed the cover (held by a couple of screws), and the smoke comes from the wiring loom that goes to the dashboard... Didn't take care of it yet, but quite annoying... I'll need to get it to my Citroen dealer (who is a DS/SM/... specialist, so I'm really lucky).
      P.

    15. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      03-16-2010 01:41 PM #40
      Michael,
      I must be slow, as I still can't figure out how to detach those two cables.
      Another question for you, as the pictures don't really show where that connector goes; does it go under the fuse-panel (if so, is that really all I need to remove), or does it go somewhere further down the steering shaft?
      Thanks again for your input.
      -Julian

    16. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-17-2010 10:08 AM #41
      Hi Julian:
      I found some photos in my collection that might help you out. The first photo (below) shows one of the cables that attaches to the fuse box cover release handle fully assembled (that is the one on the right), and one of the cables partially disassembled (the one on the left).
      All that remains to be done with the cable on the left is to slide the cylinder assembly out via the slot that is visible.
      Note that it is a tricky job to disassemble these cables. It's not difficult, it's just tricky. The black collar assembly around the end of the cables is a friction fit (a snap-fit) into the circular assembly on the release handle. You just gently push it up and out to get it to the partially disassembled state. It is handy to have a metal pick (as shown) to push it up and out, otherwise, you'll bust your fingernail if you try to do it by hand.
      Needless to say, make sure all the plastic parts are warm (room temperature) before taking them apart. Don't try to do the work outside if the vehicle is cold-soaked.
      Michael

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-07-2012 at 05:12 AM.

    17. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-17-2010 10:09 AM #42
      The photo below shows the next step in the process, with both of the release cables freed from the handle.
      Michael

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-07-2012 at 05:13 AM.

    18. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-17-2010 10:13 AM #43
      Below is a wider angle photo that shows you what the whole assembly looks like after you have removed the fasteners that retain this footwell top cover, but before you begin to disconnect the two cables that are illustrated above.
      Michael

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-07-2012 at 05:13 AM.

    19. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      03-17-2010 11:01 AM #44
      Thanks Michael. Now I can see how to remove it; I wasn't sure how it was connected, but since it's just a snap-in, it should be easy to snap it out. The weather is warmer here in NY these days, so it shouldn't be so bad; if it is, I'll just do it right after I get home when the interior of the car is warmer.
      -Julian

    20. Semi-n00b fprien's Avatar
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      06-02-2010 09:57 PM #45
      Hi Julian.
      I have exactly the same problem. I have to let the Steering Wheel retract fully to avoid the "Steering Fault" message.
      Did the electrical harness thing solve the problem?

      Rgds, Frank Prien

    21. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      06-03-2010 09:00 AM #46
      Frank,

      Two wires were almost cut through. However I couldn't figure out how to use the new wire connectors, so I did it the old-fashioned way with electrical tape. Works fine now.

      -Julian
      -Julian

    22. Semi-n00b fprien's Avatar
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      06-03-2010 04:05 PM #47
      Thanks Julian, what a releaf. As Michael has told us, then the "Steering Fault" problems are apearently most often related this electrical wirering. I will start to look into it.

      If I against the now favorable ods ends up with huge bill for a new streering column, then I will your all now.

      Rgds, Frank

    23. Semi-n00b
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      09-01-2010 04:20 PM #48
      Just wanted to thank you guys for the info posted here and everywhere in this forum. This is the place to come for help.

      Had the ¨Steering Defective Workshop¨ message light up over the weekend while running an errand. Impossible to start it so I Left the car overnight. After consulting the forum, I went back retracted the steering and it started up as usual. At least I was able to get it serviced without having to tow it.
      It turned out to be as you guys called it; a couple of wires that got crimped.
      Thanks again!

    24. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-16-2010 08:18 PM #49
      Archival Note: Related discussion - Steering Default Workshop.... Battery change...

      Michael

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      02-02-2011 09:01 AM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
      The photo below shows the next step in the process, with both of the release cables freed from the handle.
      Michael
      I can't seem to find the exact cables that are causing this issue.
      This being my only ride it's my only way to work and the photos seem to be missing from this part of the thread.

      HELP!!.......

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