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This afternoon, while leaving for my first day of class, I sat in my 9-3SS in the garage and put the key in its slot. The error message about the steering wheel being locked came up, nothing new. Then it did it again and again countless times for about 2 minutes. I took the time each time to fully remove the key and put it in, carefully, listening for the steering wheel to unlock.

The message kept coming up over and over, I was pissed. Luckily my parents commuted together today so I could drive my father's car. I asked them when they got home to please check it out. Apparently, it worked for each of them first time. My mom and I were arguing about what must have caused this, and said you should be more careful to not push the buttons, I'm like, I've started it at least 300 times before and I tried a dozen times there.

Has this ever happened to anyone else, is there some kind of time limit and had I waited 5 minutes it would have started right up. If anyone could help me with an explanation, that would be great to prove my mom wrong.
 

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We just started having this problem (smicallef427's issue) on our '03 Linear. I thought I was going to be stuck tonight when I couldn't get it to work after repeated attempts to start it. Fortunately it finally started.

Now the dilemma is whether to take it in or not. It's out of warranty and the lease is up next month.

It'll be fun to live dangerously for a few weeks... :cheesy:
 

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I raised this concern once at the dealer. They told me that I was turning the key too fast after placing it in the ignition. They were right about that and it hasn't happened since.
 

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Stories From the City said:
I raised this concern once at the dealer. They told me that I was turning the key too fast after placing it in the ignition. They were right about that and it hasn't happened since.
Sounds like good advice. I bet that'll fix my 'problem'.

Thanks.
 

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When I start, I insert the key, let her do her check and never start until the "checked" sign appears. Meanwhile I press the clutch and brake a couple of times. Habit from previous model. Hope all goes well this morning.
 

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I also had a few times the "could not unlock steering wheel" error. What helped was trying to move the steering wheel a bit. It was mostly allways the fact that the wheels where a little bit turned and it seems as if the pressure from the turned wheels was to much for the electronic lock to unlock the steering wheel. The steering wheel has a very little bit of "space" even when locked. Try to "rattle" a bit on the steering wheel to give the lock a chance to find a spot where there is not too much pressure on the steering wheel and to unlock it.

Just a tip or an extend description: I mostly had the problem when I switched the car off, you hear the lock engange. Ok till know. But when you try to turn the steering wheel it will lock a second time, Then it's totally locked. Problem is that this little movement is still transmitted to the wheels. And when it's locked the wheels still want to go back to their old position (due to the rubber and their softness). So the wheels try to go back, the steering wheel is locked and there is pressure on the lock, sometimes to much for the electronic motor for unlocking it.
Rattling on the steering wheel helps. ;) Maybe you have had something like this: When the pressure is high but not high enough to block the lock and the lock get's free and the steering wheel unlocks - I often had a quite loud "bang" from the unlock and the steering wheel flipped a bit to the left or right depending on the direction the wheels where turned.
 

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When I purchased my 9-3 the dealer told me to put the key in, wait 3 seconds, then turn it. In that time, the blinking security light stops blinking and you can be sure that the system has accepted the key and unlocked. In the times that I've forgotten to do this, the car has still started okay, but I guess it's a "best practice."
 

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holy crap, im using already backing up when the check beeping finally stops...

my wheel got locked once and the car wouldn't start at all, no matter what i did.

so i dropped it out of gear into neutral, took the hand brake off and start pushing the car. once it moved a little bit the wheel seemed to unlock itself and the car finally started...i was not very happy that day.
 

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ScoopSS said:
holy crap, im using already backing up when the check beeping finally stops...

my wheel got locked once and the car wouldn't start at all, no matter what i did.

so i dropped it out of gear into neutral, took the hand brake off and start pushing the car. once it moved a little bit the wheel seemed to unlock itself and the car finally started...i was not very happy that day.
Sounds like the solenoid got stuck. When you pushed the car, it released the pressure on the steering column and freed itself up.
 

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weird, I like others am already going before the system check is done.. crank and go. Never had this problem... guess thats ONE thing that hasnt gone wrong yet though.
 
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