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Megane II – Steering lock module (DF002)

20130122_114149Vehicle: Renault Megane II
Year of manufacture: 2005
Engine: 1.5dCi (K9K)
Symptoms: Message “Steering unlocked”, No noise from steering lock, No dash lights present when card inserted and “Start” button pressed
Fault codes: DF002
Duration: 2 Days 
Customer Brief:

The customer came to see us with this vehicle after it had been to a local franchised main dealer who informed the owner that a new card reader would be needed at a cost of over £108 + vat and less fitting. The customer being, fairly car electronics savvy, didn’t entirely trust/believe this diagnosis so sought us out for a second opinion.

Day 1 – Initial investigation:
Steering lock module (Security bolt removed)

Steering lock module (Security bolt removed)

With problems like this we always have to start from the beginning no matter where the vehicle has previously been seen. This isn’t so we can make more money out of you after already having spent some on the issue but because we simply do not trust other peoples “Diagnostic” skills so rather than tell you that an expensive part is required based on a previously incorrect diagnostics session (only to find we’ve fitted and paid for parts that weren’t actually needed) we’d sooner spend a little of your money and know exactly what is, in our opinion at least, required to rectify the problem (and we have a very good success rate to) - In this case it was doing just this that saved the owner of this vehicle over £280 in unnecessary parts and labour!

Firstly we carried out some basic conformity checks – These checks take about an hour to perform but are a lot more in depth than just plugging in a computer and reading the fault codes. The basic UCH/UPC fuses and functions were checked along with the ignition cards to ensure that the basic security functions of the vehicle were disengaging. Then, after running some Can-Bus frame tests we quickly confirmed that the steering lock module was indeed the fault and would need replacing. The steering lock module was removed and the customer was presented with the option of either replacing the unit with a 100% brand new item from Renault UK at over £280+vat or we could send the unit to an electronics specialist that we regularly use who would be able to refurbish or replace the unit with a known good/re-virginised item for a lot less.

The customer opted for the cheaper option (refurbished item) so the existing unit was removed from the vehicle and sent to our sub-contractor via a recorded next day courier service. Upon receipt of the item our sub-contractor called to let us know that the unit was indeed faulty, beyond repair and that a replacement unit would be sent to us by a similar next day service.

Day 2 – Refitting and Rectifying the fault:

The new/refurbished steering lock modules are what we call “Virgin” units in that they are in a blank state until connected to a vehicle. Once this connection has been made to the vehicles wiring loom and the after ignition circuits are powered up the vehicles Can-Bus network encodes the new unit with a unique identifier which pairs it to that specific vehicle. This stops the lock module being used on any other vehicle, for  vehicle security and safety purposes, unless the identifier is removed (Which can be done by a trained engineer with the correct equipment). A replacement steering lock module was (as above) sourced from a trusted sub-contractor and fitted to the vehicle upon which instantly the vehicles after ignition circuits came back to life – followed shortly after by the vehicles engine after pressing the brake/clutch pedal and the “Start” button.

The vehicles trim was replaced and the vehicles circuits were re-tested a few times to ensure everything was okay - the customer collected the vehicle later extremely happy with not wasting time or money and also received our standard 12 months parts and labour warranty on the service we provided.