hello as many have indicated the ignition on (2000) focus is bogus and
locked up on me yesterday out of no where. i am trying to find the
cheapest way to replace...how much can i get the part for? and how
difficult is it to replace urself? am willing to try, any advice wld be
greatly appreciated. thx email is email@example.com
By "ignition", do you mean the ignition lock? If so, you need a dealer or
qualified locksmith. There is no way for a home mechanic to do it as you
need special equipment to make the new lock match your existing key. The
lock is not expensive but there is labour and tow costs, so expect to pay
maybe $200-$300 in total. The good news is that the replacement locks seem
much better than the original ones.
A locksmith can match the key cylinder of the new lock to match
the existing keys for $25 (my locksmith charged me $15). There
is nothing unusual about the Focus's lock cylinder, no special
equipment is required to re-key it.
Getting the old lock cylinder out is easy, if the key still
works... if you can't turn the key, it may be somewhat difficult
to remove the lock cylinder.
If my Focus ever develops the slightest hint of trouble with the
lock cylinder, I will immediately purchase a replacement cylinder
and take it to my local locksmith for re-keying, hopefully before
the original lock cylinder fails completely.
This is URL which shows how to replace a Fouled Focus Ignition lock
( This was told to me by a tow truck driver and it worked for me, the locks
fail due to 'faulty tumbler design' - what else is new with the Focus)).
A trick to un-jam a frozen lock so you can get the key to turn the lock is:
put the key in the lock and try thumping it with the heel of your hand. When
it goes crunch, wiggle the key and at the same time push the key a little
back and forth. Once the key turns do not remove the key, until the lock is
removed. If you can get the key to turn the lock then the lock will NOT have
to be drilled (its really easy to remove the lock tumbler when the tumbler
is turned). Care is required in drilling a lock on these cars as any mistake
and the whole steering column has to be replaced.
Hope this helps.
My son called while the wife and I were in Las Vegas saying the key wouldn't
turn. He has a 2002 ZX3. I had him try the usual things like pull on the
steering wheel to one side or the other while trying to turn the key. Make
sure your foot is on the brake... I had him call the Ford dealership to have
it towed. $500 bucks later and 4 days, his car was ready. They changed the
ignition and the battery out. They make these cars nowadays where you can't
work on 'em anymore. One false move and bam bam, you toast the electronics.
There is a technical article on how to do it at:
I would add a word of caution: My local dealer wasn't carefull enough.
When drilling out the old lock, the drill jammed. Since you are drilling
into a slot, it is VERY easy for that to happen! Use a small drill first
with a variable-speed drill (slow). The enlarge the hole carefully on the
second pass. The lock cylinder engages a cast aluminum part that has a cam
on it to engage the steering wheel lock and a shaft that turns the actual
switch. When the drill jammed it snapped off this part. It was evident
that there was also a LOT of pressure on the part when it snapped because
the fracture was also scraped smooth at the same instant. Presented with
the evidence, Cutter Ford of Aiea, Hawaii replaced the whole steering column
for $89.05 with no argument.
I am an engineer and I have the background to be able to analyze the
problem and present my case. The service manager really didn't know why the
part broke. He just assumed that it must have been "weakened" somehow. The
steering wheel lock mechanism does not place pressure directly on this part:
the cam only engages the steering wheel lock which takes the pressure. (I
reached in the hole and engaged it by finger and verified this.) The part
is of quite adequate strength for "normal" wear and tear, but a jammed drill
bit is by no means "normal". In other words, I can see NO conceivable way
that the steering column would ever have to be replaced unless the bit jams
when drilling out the old lock. When it does have to be replaced, it is due
to careless workmanship on the part of the service technician. Perhaps the
instructions simply tell them to "drill it out carefully", but the manual
should clearly point out the specific danger. As I stated above, it is VERY
easy for the bit to jam, and I would not be too harsh in criticizing the
tech. But YOU shouldn't have to pay for a new steering column.
It may be helpful to print out the article and this posting and keep it
in your glove compartment. ;>) That way at least YOU could warn them to be
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