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I drive a 1999 Mercury Marquis. On occasion I have had difficulty when the steering column locked up. The car would not start, the front wheels were not aligned straight in the parking position, and at times I have been in great difficulty trying to get the car started and on my way again. How can I disconnect this stupid unnecessary feature on this automobile? Thank you for your help.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at AskPatty.com With the engine running the power steering pump is applying pressure to the power steering system, if you have pressure on the steering wheel when you shut off the engine it can cause the steering to lock unusually hard into position because of the sudden loss of power steering pressure caused by the engine being turned off. So what we are suggesting is for you to make sure you have your hand completly off of the steering wheel prior to turning off the ignition. We have seen this problem many times and this habit usually corrects the problem. if this problem continues and you are following this procedure you will need to have an inpection done by an ASE certifed technian that specializes in steering and suspension or a Master technician to find the cause and recommended repair. The lock cannot be removed it must be repaired. Find an ASE certified steering and suspension technician or Master technicain locally here: http://www.ase.com/bluesealsearch/locator.php If you always release the steering wheel before you turn it off, this should cause it to not it not lock into this tight position which makes it so hard to start. There is no way to remove this feature on your vehicle.

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