05-14-2011, 10:47 PM
(2003 Ford Focus Ignition Repair) I'm sure there have been tons of posts and discussions on the Ford Focus ignition issues. But, I have just joined this forum and wanted to post a thread on repairing this issue. The issue began with our 2003 Ford Focus base model 4 door: we just bought the car a couple months ago and it's a very well maintained 210,000 mile, one owner car. The wife used is as a daily driver and began having problems with the ignition not turning. I found that if I tapped on the plastic end of the key while it was in the ignition that the key would turn. After a week or two of doing that EVERY TIME....it started getting harder and harder to turn. I took it to work and after 20 minutes of hitting it with a hammer, I finally got it to turn and got the cylinder out. I diassembled the tumbler housing and discovered the issue was that there is a piece of metal (kind of like a keyway) that would hang up in the cylinder housing, especially on one end of the keyway. I took some very fine emory cloth and a very small file and began filing and sanding down the keyway (for lack of the proper word, I'll use 'keyway'). This took some time because I didn't want to take too much material away. I kept filing and sanding a little at a time, then reassembling the cylinder, installing the key and turning the ignition on and off many times to see where the 'keyway' was hanging up. I finally got the ignition to turn without hanging up, reinstalled the ignition cylinder into the steering column and reassembling the 'clamshell' around the steering column. I have not had any issues with the ignition since. I work for a Lexus dealership north of Seattle and even with that discount, the Ford dealership in my area still wanted 2 hours labor ($200) and $124 for the ignition cylinder. So, if there's anyone that needs help with there ignition, save some money and do what I did. Or contact me via email and I can walk you through the repair or, of you're local, I can come help you. My email is OneSicSRT@aol.com.