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Tue Apr 09 2024

BMW and MINI ELV Delete

BMW and MINI ELV Delete

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues motor vehicle safety standards to protect drivers and passengers.

This includes requiring most vehicles to have an electromechanical steering wheel lock (ELV) to prevent theft and accidental rollaway. While this system is designed as a preventative safeguard, it can malfunction over time.

If you try to start your BMW and find that it won't go anywhere, take a look at your dashboard. If your steering lock isn't working properly, you might see the following message: "BMW and MINI ELV Delete ELV Steering Lock A0AA CAS system malfunction."

While this message can be a cause for concern, there are ways to correct the issue so you can get back on the road safely. Today, we're sharing what an ELV failure means and how we can help.

What Is a Steering Lock?

When the NHTSA sets a rule, it becomes known as a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

In 2009, the agency released FMVSS No. 114: Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention. This law specifies the system requirements that most vehicles must have to lower the risk of collisions related to theft or accidental rollaway.

According to this law, all cars, trucks, and multi-passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less must include a key-locking system that prevents engine starting. The purpose of this system is to keep the engine or motor from activating when the key is removed and also prevent the vehicle from moving forward when not in use.

Originally, the requirement was two-fold. Vehicles were required to have mechanical door locks and a lock on their mechanical steering column. While the former helps prevent theft, the steering lock blocks the steering column in a slightly off-center position.

This forces the car into a curve if it inadvertently becomes engaged when not in use. In turn, this helps prevent the car from rolling straight down a hill.

Recent Changes and Revisions

When FMVSS No. 114 was first released, the requirements were timely and appropriate. However, over time, vehicle manufacturers have changed and advanced their design methods. This affects the way they comply with such mandates.

The greatest difference is that most companies now install keyless entry systems instead of relying on physical keys alone. With this type of system, drivers can open their vehicles with a remote control and start the engine with the push of a button.

How does it work? In short, the vehicle detects the presence of the key through a wireless transmitter. Depending on your make and model, you may be able to start your ignition by simply leaving your key in your pocket!

Now that mechanical locking systems are increasingly becoming obsolete, most manufacturers rely on steering locks to prevent thefts and rollaways.

These locks block the steering column when the vehicle is turned off. As soon as drivers start the ignition, an electronic mechanism unlocks the column to allow for normal use.

BMW Models Affected

When BMW began to integrate the ELV function into its design process, this change affected the following models:

  • E81
  • E82
  • E87
  • E90
  • E91
  • E92
  • E93
  • E60
  • E61
  • E63
  • E64
  • Mini R55
  • Mini R56

If you own any of these models, you could be susceptible to an ELV steering lock failure.

BMW and MINI ELV Delete ELV Steering Lock A0AA CAS System Malfunction (ELV Malfunction)

When you start your BMW engine, you expect everything to rev up as usual. It can be concerning to find that instead of the engine roaring, you hear nothing and see a warning message.

The full message that might appear on your dashboard will warn you that your Electronic steering wheel lock system (ELV) is inhibiting your engine from starting. Then, it will recommend that you move or reposition your steering wheel slightly to disengage this safety feature and start normally.

In addition to seeing this message, you may also notice a bright yellow or orange light on your instrument cluster. This light will include an image of a steering wheel, with a small image of a lock on top of it.

There are a few scenarios that can cause this warning to appear. Let's take a look at some of the most common ones.

Steering Wheel Torque

One of the top reasons why ELV systems fail is that the steering column is being held against the steering lock due to excess torque from the steering gear. If this is the case, you may see a standard yellow "check control" warning on your instrument cluster, but there won't be any fault codes stored.

To solve this problem, most drivers can simply relieve the extra torque from the steering wheel. Then, try to start your car again. No repairs should be required.

If you're unsure how to perform these steps, check your owner's manual for a more detailed overview.

Car Access System Fault

Another reason you might see this warning light is that there's a communication fault between your Car Access System (CAS) and your ELV system.

If this happens, there are a few different fault codes that your vehicle may display during inspection. These include:

  • AOAA CAS System Malfunction
  • A115 ELV Steering
  • AA116 CAS Critical Status ELV Steering Lock
  • A119 Power Supply Electronic Steering Lock in the CAS

These warning lights will be displayed in either yellow or red light. If the CAS is compromised for any reason, some of the most common problems you might encounter include:

  • The vehicle won't crank
  • The vehicle won't accept the key
  • The vehicle starts and then stalls
  • You see a yellow ELV steering lock on the dash

All of these codes and issues can be traced back to one of two problems.

First, your vehicle might have a faulty steering lock. While the lock is designed to disable when you switch your engine off, it could malfunction and fail to work. This means that your ELV system is essentially engaged all the time, which will prevent your engine from restarting.

If this happens, you might see a warning that reads, "Steering lock" or "Leave engine on."

Second, your ELV lock could be to blame. This simply means that the locking mechanism is still engaged and preventing your vehicle from starting. You may need to move the steering wheel slightly to disengage this feature and allow your vehicle to start normally.

Most of the time, an ELV failure is attributed to a CAS Module failure. This failure can occur due to these two reasons:

  • Ignition is not possible
  • Keys are not recognized

If this occurs, moving your steering wheel won't do the trick. Instead, you need a more advanced solution, such as an ELV removal.

How Does ELV Removal Service Work?

You've tried turning your car on and off. You've wiggled your steering wheel. Still, your BMW engine refuses to start and you continue to see those warning lights.

Instead of attempting to solve the problem yourself, it's best to let an expert take the reins. If you contact your dealership, they will likely suggest purchasing an all-new steering column.

While this might solve the problem, it can also cost thousands of dollars. If you're looking for a more economical and effective option, let our team help.

We offer a quick and easy ELV delete service that can correct the problem, restore operation to your vehicle, and help you get back on the road safely. In short, we will successfully delete the ELV function in your vehicle by adjusting the CAS. This allows it to remain functional without the extra step of the ELV input.

This service is designed for all applicable BMW and Mini models, including the BMW E-Series and the Mini R55 and R56.

Let's take a look at how this service works.

Step 1: Remove the Parts

We'll take care of everything from our shop, but there are two parts we'll need from you to get started. These include:

  • Your vehicle's original CAS
  • Your vehicle's original digital motor electronics (DME)
  • Your vehicle's original key

You can refer to the owner's manual to learn how to properly remove the CAS and ELV. Once you have all of the required parts, you can ship them to us overnight using the provided shipping label.

Not sure if your vehicle is equipped with the ELV function? You're welcome to contact us and we can verify for you!

Step 2: Testing and Repairs

We recommend starting with our comprehensive testing service. With this step, we'll carefully test your CAS to determine the root cause of the issue you're experiencing. We test all of our CAS units in actual vehicles to get an accurate view of how they operate under real-life conditions.

Once we complete our diagnostic tests, we'll send you a full report of our findings.

If we don't find any fault with the CAS, we'll return it to you. Return shipping is included in your purchase price, so you don't need to pay anything extra for this service.

However, if we find that the module is faulty, we'll reach out to you and recommend the appropriate repair or replacement. If you decide to move ahead with the repair, we'll deduct the cost of the testing from your final repair/replacement fee.

As soon as we get the green light, our team of qualified and experienced repair technicians will get to work. We will repair the CAS unless it's extensively damaged and we are unable to do so.

Our ELV delete service includes the following steps:

First, we'll clear all codes and counters from your original CAS. Then, we'll remove the ELV lock function. We will not return the ELV to you.

In some situations, you may need a new CAS unit altogether, instead of a repair on your existing one. If this is the case, we will offer our mail-in replacement service.

The preliminary mailing and testing steps will remain the same with this option. The only difference is that instead of correcting your current CAS, we will transfer all of your original CAS data to a new, refurbished CAS instead.

Step 3: Re-install

Once we're finished, we'll ship your parts directly back to you. We can complete most of our repairs and clones in just three days, though this timeline depends on the availability of needed parts and the extent of any damage done to the unit.

The newly updated CAS will operate as a Plug n' Drive model, meaning you don't have to worry about any additional programming. You can even use your old, original key!

All you have to do is install the CAS back into your vehicle and start your car. It will function as usual, only without the ELV headache you're used to experiencing.

Our changes don't affect the CAS' ability to be updated. You can even program your ELV software back into the CAS if required.

Step 4: Drive and Enjoy

Once you re-install the CAS, you should notice that your car starts up without a problem. The ELV failure icon shouldn't display.

We warranty all of our work for six months. If you experience any related issues during that timeframe, you can reach back out to us and we'll take another look.

Fast ELV Repairs You Can Trust

You have places to go and people to see. You can't afford for your BMW to sit idly in the garage while you arrange alternate transportation.

If you try to crank up your engine and see "BMW and MINI ELV Delete ELV Steering Lock A0AA CAS system malfunction (ELV Malfunction)", let us know.

We offer expert testing, repair, and replacement services that can help you address the issue and get back behind the wheel in no time.

To learn more about how our services work, contact us today!

Mail in automotive electronic repair services 

The ECU Pro offers an affordable mail-in repair service for automotive electronics. To have your unit repaired, simply remove the part and mail it to us. Our professional team will either test, repair, or clone your unit. 

Our team has over 30 years experience in automotive electronic repairs. We specialize in German vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes and Mini. Our main focus is engine control unit repairs ( ECU, PCM or DME). Our state of the art facility has over 30 test vehicles to ensure that all parts are tested in actual vehicles before being returned to our clients.

    Most of the services we provide is plug and play and doesn't require any additional coding. 

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