Join Date: Jun 2018
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Repeated Steering Defective Workshop
I have read just about every post on this topic. My US 2004 v6 has been plagued with this error code for past year, otherwise is in top shape, only 70k miles.
I use my registered Vag-com cable to scan vehicle, and in 05-Access/Start I get N360 Actuator Defective. I have replaced the actuator twice now using EBay steering columns, removing and placing the original circuit board inside used actuators, then Vag-com adapts it (I have the immob code).
Both replacement parts worked, but only lasted 2-3 months max.
This time around, the same fault code appears only in 05-Access/Start but not in 25-Immobilizer.
Today I had the mechanic check the 3-wire plug leading to Actuator and for wire damage; they are OK.
Vehicle is super-clean, no water damage or (evident) corrosion under the dash or when lifting carpet.
Not wanting to 'throw parts at car,' this leaves me with two options (seeking forum advice, please): new column at $900 or replace immob at $500...or both.
EBay columns (last one came from '10 Touareg) cost $300 plus 100 shipping plus labor. I will not buy a 3rd, since problem appears to be either: the vehicle's original actuator circuit board itself (entire new column), or the immob.
Since the car is in such good shape otherwise, I am ready to keep investing in it, also it is not startable so not even sellable... I need to buy new parts this time, after having already invested $1k in salvaged parts and labor.
**Which new part do I "gamble on?" Buy the new column or buy a new immob, and keep my fingers crossed??
About 60% of all posts I have read were resolved by replacing column, 30% immob, and 10% wiring (Phaetons).
What is different this time is that clearing code with VCDS does not help. It did work once one week ago, but now won't start--period.
Also, before I had to hold the key turned to the right in the ignition to get a VCDS scan, yet this time the scan works just by pushing in key. No other fault codes except Rain Sensor intermittent signal. Battery has been disconnected and checked, produces 12.5 and 14 volts. Steering wheel is NOT locked, no dash gauges, no lights, but evthg else works.
The mechanic was able to 'hammer' actuator out of its closed position to start it and bring it 'home' and today he got it to open once (audible 'swoosh'), clearing the fault code repeatedly. Problem in past seemed to be provoked by parking at a tight angle and not leaving wheel straight.