Ford Focus ZX3 Ignition problems

I have a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3. Occasionally, when I try to start my car the ignition will not do anything. I will put my key in the ignition and try to turn my key, however it is as if I have locked my steering
wheel. Ive tried pulling the steering wheel as far as I can in both directions as I try to start my car. This has happend 4 times in the past 2 months. Two of the times I could not start my car for 20 minutes. The other two took me 1-5 minutes to start my car. I have also tried using my spare key, which has not resulted in anything. My car is a manual, Im not sure if that matters. The clutch is always in when Im trying to start my car. Ive also tried jiggling the steering wheel back and forth as I try to start my car. What is wrong with my car? What should I do? Thanks! Erin
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Your ignition lock is failing, a common problem on 2000 -2003 Ford Focus. Your best bet would be to take the car to a locksmith as soon as you can and have him replace the lock cylinder. It a lot cheaper through a lock smith and you get a better quality lock. If it completely fails then you will have to have the lock cylinder drilled - its expensive and problematic because if it is drilled incorrectly the steering column has to be replaced. Go to this URL for more information. http://www.motorage.com/motorage/data/articlestandard/motorage/472002/38913/article.pdf
I have a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3. Occasionally, when I try to start my car the ignition will not do anything. I will put my key in the ignition and try to turn my key, however it is as if I have locked my steering wheel. I've tried pulling the steering wheel as far as I can in both directions as I try to start my car. This has happend 4 times in the past 2 months. Two of the times I could not start my car for 20 minutes. The other two took me 1-5 minutes to start my car. I have also tried using my spare key, which has not resulted in anything. My car is a manual, I'm not sure if that matters. The clutch is always in when I'm trying to start my car. I've also tried jiggling the steering wheel back and forth as I try to start my car. What is wrong with my car? What should I do? Thanks! Erin
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finderinhere wrote:

Been there done that. Tha crap lock cinder is starting to fail, more precisely the pins in the lock cinder are starting ware out.
In the mean time incert the key in the lock strike the key a couple of times that should set the pins so you can turn the key.
I am on my second ignition lock which has also failed. I just leave a key in the ignition all the time and carry a second key to unlock the car.
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finderinhere wrote:

Been there, done that, vomited on the FORD T-Shirt.
Your lock cylinder is failing or has failed. The pins are made of cheap brass and wear out quickly. It has nothing to do with whether it is auto or manual. Your key is coded so you pretty much have to go to a Ford dealer to have one replaced. Fortunately, the newer lock cylinders are more robust. Cost me about $300CDN when I had my 2000 done 3-4 months ago. Don't expect to go after Ford for this since they have never had a recall on this since it is not "safety" related.
Just so you know you are not alone: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/ford_focus_ignition.html
Ron
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Defective lock cylinders are a known defect on early Focus cars. It happened to me. You can try spraying lock lubricant into it, but you probably need a replacement lock, which has to be done by a dealer or locksmith since the lock must be set for the key.
If you get a replacement lock, it's a good idea to spray lubricant in once or twice a year (use lock lubricant only, regular oil will attract dirt).
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