Re: Can't unlock my steering wheel!

Same problem with my 2000 ZX3--key inserts but won't turn. Dealer is quoting $344 (plus towing, of course) to replace ignition cylinder.

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Some locksmiths can do the work and seem to have lower prices than dealers, I have mine scheduled for tomorrow for under $250 US. I'll repost if they wind up not being able to do it.
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Some locksmiths can do the work and seem to have lower prices than dealers, I have mine scheduled for tomorrow for under $250 US. I'll repost if they wind up not being able to do it.
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The dealers in the SF area were quoting $340 US and up; a locksmith just did it for $185 US, cheaper than his first estimate. He'd done 5 already . . . if you're in the US, you can file a formal complaint at the NTSB at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/complaintsearch.cfm . Hopefully if enough of us do so Ford will do the same thing they just did this week with the fuel pumps, reimburse the cost of repairs.
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Arsenio, I could almost right a book on this huge lemon that was produced by FORD. I have had many of the same problems that you and others have, and I'm posting today about my locked ignition that will not turn at all! In fact, over time, it's been getting worse. I am an aircraft technician by trade and put a lot of miles on this car driving a paper route. Just b/c I drive a lot, should not mean that its my fault for such a faulty-ridden vehicle with poor design from engineers that are too young to understand what JOB ONE meant and many years ago. Things have certainly changed since I was born in 1971 when cars were made. They were made even better when my dad was born. However. I'm offering my advice on the lock situation. I use Haynes manuals religiously!!! I guess mechanical work comes naturally for me, but I do not under any circumstances want to work on cars! This focus has broken interior plastic parts that wont stay on, sticky O/D button on shifter in cold weather, and fuel pump went bad, i have bent rims from who knows what.. (paper route and bad roads in OHIO), changed tie rods, ALL wheel bearings... i could go on and on. If you're mechanically iclined, you can take the lock cylinder out. However, it's a half-hour job to take steering wheel, air bag and associated linkage and wires off. Not to mention, the lock had to be DRILLED out with twist drill and pulled hard! Darn thing.. DARN car is not worth buying again. i was ripped off anyway.. 2000 focus USED with 68,000 miles for 10.5K-- dealer is charging me 86.00 for cylnder kit. comes with instructions for setting tumbler and new key is with it. -- good luck!
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I keep reading about all of those BAD foci. Maybe I just got a good one

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Weird point number one. The normal mode of failure is not progressive, it is sudden lockup.

Wierd point number two. What's a highly qualified guy like you doing with a paper route? Sounds like you aren't much of a mechanic.

If you were much of a mechanic you would know that the Focus won dozens of design awards from professional engineeringing and comsumer publications, especially in Europe where it was designed.

Haynes manuals are junk, not taken at all seriously by serious mechanics, amateur or professional.

A car has thousands of parts. You basing your judgement about "engineering" on a few plastic parts and a sticking button? Most "mechanics" are wiser than that.

What the hell are you doing to that poor thing? Dirt track racing?

I would buy my 2000 Focus again in a heartbeat.

Why the hell is there a key with it? The new lock is programmed for your old key, not for a new one.
On balance, I judge you are a lying troll. Probably the same one who has been posting on the subject of ignition locks for the past while. Beat it, loser.
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Dave, you seem like the most inconsiderate human being I've seen on this site. You can eat all of your rude comments. There are also alot of Foci owners like myself who have written NHSTA with complaints on this car and so well deserved! You need to take up cross-stitching with the ladies.. You're taking this subject way too serious with way too much time on your hands. It's only a car, not rocket science.. And don't get your underwear in a twist. It's only talk. I'm doing research on this car and your opinions are worth my time. You need to clean up the attitude tho.
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My comments were not rude. They merely pointed out all the silly inconsistencies in your rambling, erratic and suspiciously polemic post. Legitimate complainers (and there are some in this newsgroup, including myself at times) do not need to dress up their comments with manipulative trivia.
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Dave Gower wrote:

PICKUP TRUCK AND EXPECTS IT TO BE A CAR AND STAY TOGETHER.THE BROCKEN TRIM AND BENT WHEELS WELL PICTURE THIS, HIM AND HIS CAR RIGHT BEFORE THE BIG PAPER ROUTE. 1] CANT SEE OUT BACK WINDOWS PAPERS TO HI [INTERIOR TRIM WHY IS IT BROKE?] 2]I DIDNT SEE THAT POTTHOLE-DITCH I WAS THROWING PAPER OVER ANOTHER MOVING CAR AT TIME [BENT RIMS AND WORN WHEEL BEARINGS?]
I REALLY LIKE THE COMMENT ABOUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE 71 WHEN CARS WHERE MADE. HES RIGHT THEY ARE MADE BETTER.LETS APPLY THIS THINKING TO AIRCRAFT SINCE HE IS IN THAT FIELD AND I WAS WHEN I WAS IN THE NAVY I WAS A AMH-AMS-AD 2ND CLASS PETTY OFFICER ON P-3 ORION ANTI SUB AIRCRAFT.WHERE PLANES MADE BETTER IN 71? DUDE I WORK FOR FORD MOTOR COMPANY AND FIRST OFF IF I NEW THE CAR WAS USED FOR A PAPER ROUTE YOUR WARRANTY WOULD HAVE WENT OUT THE WINDOW SECOND IS YOU ARE SO MECHANICALLY INCLINED PLEASE DONT EMBARRASE THE TECHNICIANS IN THE FIELD LIKE ME WITH A POST LIKE THAT.ALL YOUR POST SIAD IS HOW BAD YOU ABUSE YOUR CAR AND EXPECT SIMPATHY FOR IT! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF ANY OF YOU GUYS NEED HELP WITH TECHNICAL DATA AND TSBS OR RECALLS LET ME NOW!
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    Dave is one of the more reasoned, articulate and consistent posters here.
    His reply was not rude, merely making observations on your post.
--
Tim. (very happy with my European Focus)

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Dave Gower wrote:

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We operate approximately 25 Ford Focus hatchbacks, along with approximately 35 Ford Escorts, Ranger Pickups, Toyota wagons and Suzuki wagons. The Ford Focus ignitions are a "nightmare." Ford is well aware of the Focus ignition problems but has failed to acknowledge the problem thus far. We have replaced 16 faulty ignitions that lock up the steering wheel and the key will not turn. The problem appears to be in the 2003 model primarily. In some of these vehicles Ford has replaced the ignition 2 and three times, the same problem continues to exist. After much conversation, they are now saying that they have a "fix" for the problem. I will believe it when I see it. We and our dealer are bearing the brunt of the cost, thus far Ford is not even reimbursing the dealer. When you talk to Ford, they reply with "we didn't know of this problem!" Anything to evade the cost of a "recall." Meanwhile, it is costing our company a small fortune in repairs, towing, down time, and customer complaints.
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Hmmm. This is weird. Not the problem, but this post. First, the problem has been mentioned on this newsgroup (it happened to me), but certainly not anywhere near that frequently. Second, until this post I understood it to be a problem of 2000 and 2001 models, not 2003. As to your comment that Ford doesn't want to fix the problem, well it's certainly covered under the vehicle warrantee. So why are you having to pay for it? Has the warrantee expired on your vehicles so quickly?
Furthermore, it would generate more confidence among readers here if you posted under your real name and gave the name and location of your company.
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Arsenio Oloroso Jr. wrote:

This was a common problem with ignition locks on early Focus models. A locksmith will usually do the repair much more cheaply than will a Ford dealer. Google "Focus ignition lock problem" http://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-your-stuck-Ford-ignition/
Sometimes a hard tap on the end of the key will get you started. The tricky part of the repair is working around the air bag.
--
Don

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are much more pliable.
  Click to see the full signature.
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