Ford Focus Ignition Problems – Ignition Won’t Turn

2001-2006 Ford Focus ignition problems are common. But Ford hasn’t issued a recall the problem typically takes years to manifest. The issue is the sidebar.  Usually you’ll see that the Ford Focus ignition won’t turn or the key is stuck in the ignition and won’t come out.  That means it’s time for a replacement. And here’s why.

Initially your key matches up perfectly with the wafers in your ignition.  This allows for the sidebar to depress fully, which then lets the ignition turn to the Accessory and On positions.  However, after several years of use the wafers in the original Ford Focus ignition begin to wear down. Additionally your key wears down slowly.  This is where the problem occurs.

The small ‘nugget’ wafers in the earlier Ford Focus Ignitions don’t fall into place or rise into place, mixed the the worn key that doesn’t have the same resistance and all the sudden you have to jiggle your key to get the side bar to fall into place and allow the ignition to turn.

Eventually this means the ignition must be replaced.  However, in the short term you can take a plastic handled screwdriver and hit the back of your key while GENTLY turning to the on position to get the car to turn on. I have seen this trick work for months, but you will  have to replace it as the ignition problem gets worse.

A Ford Dealership will generally charge between $250 and $400 to replace these ignitions and code them to your current key (if your current key is in usable condition).  Factor in the cost of towing your car to the dealership and you’re talking about serious money.

The Austin Key Guy can do an entire ignition replacement including service call and coding to your current key for as low as $145. If you need a new key or would like a spare key we can include one with the service for as little as $35 including programming

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