I have a 1999 Acura RL and my tilt and telescoping steering wheel will not
adjust. The sensor assembly test ok as does the switch. The telescope
motor turns but the steering wheel doesn't move and the tilt motor doesn't
On the Honda Estore the motors are not available separately so it appears I
need to replace the entire column. I usually do my own basic maintenance
(ie oil, brakes, hoses, plugs, etc.) so how hard is it to replace a steering
column? Is this one of those repairs better left to a trained mechanic?
The motors are not available separately. My next step is to take the motors
off and see if there is anything obvious that can be fixed or if I can get
the part from a junkyard. It will be a lot easier to swap out the motors
than the entire column. Although I will probably still have to buy the
entire column from a junkyard too.
I'll post what I find.
This PDF is from the '02-'03 RSX, but it may give you some idea what you're
in for. Steering column removal doesn't look too hard, actually.
Thanks for the pdf. Looking at my column, I had 3 concerns. First was the
steering joint and if the pdf is like mine it is appears simple. Second, is
the clock spring and I still am not sure how the wheel comes apart from it
but I will figure it out as I go. Third, the ignition switch and how it
connects to the column. In the pdf it appears the ignition switch is part
of the column which I know it isn't but it is definitely mounted different
I disconnected the battery and removed the fuses for about an hour thinking
that would reset anything and no dice.
I took off the motor that controls the tilt and learned that it contains a
plastic gear that is stripped. I purchased a steering column from a salvage
yard last Friday and worked to swap it out on Saturday.
Unfortunately I got stuck when I couldn't remove the bolts connecting my
ignition to the column. The bolt is the type where the head breaks off when
you install it so you can't back it out. Any ideas on how to remove them?
I tried vice grips but they don't turn the bolt.
Since I needed transportation I reinstalled my original column.
Interesting! Just like a power antenna. Have to file that one away for
A drill. Center-punch the heads, then drill the heads off. They will be
removable after that.
You will need to purchase new shear bolts if you want the ignition lock to
be non-removable again. If you don't care, just any old Home Depot bolts
That's it! It's the steering column lock.
Long ago, when the earth was young and car thieves were less sophisticated,
it was thought that a car would be less thief-friendly if it could not be
steered if the thief didn't have a key. This was supposed to prevent hot-
wiring, the preferred method of car theft at that time. And to prevent the
thief from being able to simply remove the lock, the bolts were made so
their heads sheared off on installation.
It was the steering column lock that resulted in ignition keys migrating
from the dash to the sttering column (circa 1968), with safety being a
secondary consideration. The only exception to that rule is SAAB, so far as
I know. I don't know how SAAB achieves a steering lock with their key being
in the center console.
Having taken it apart the first time and putting it back together makes it
much faster the second time. Would have been faster if not for stripping
the threads on one of the bolt holes used to remove the steering wheel.
Ignition connecting bolts were 8mm(1.25) x 12mm. I had some at work that
were 16mm long or I wouldn't have to had to spend the $1 on 2 bolts.
I took pictures as I went so I could document how to do the work but it
really wasn't that difficult so I'm not sure if I will take the next step of
writing anything up. The drawing you provided definitely helped my
confidence in knowing I could get the job done. Thanks, Tegger.
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