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Old 11-25-2013, 05:35 AM   #1
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Ignition Lock Cylinder 2004 Focus

I know this has been talked about before. I had my ignition lock up on me. Couldn't turn key. Repair place replaced lock cylinder at the tune of $300. It worked for two starts then locked up again. Repair place now says that steering column has to be replaced because there is a part in the column that makes the lock cylinder go bad. He wants another $450 to now replace the steering column. This sounds like a bunch of balony to me. What do you all think? I think I got ripped in the first place. Thanks.

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Old 11-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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I tend to agree, I fixed mine using a Dremel and about 15 seconds of work and a good 3 years ago. Still using the old style 'bad' lock cylinder that everyone raves about.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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The first charge is reasonable.
Had this happen to two Ford Focus and one Dodge Neon

I bet you did not take your car down to a Ford Dealership but some other mechanic that did further damage
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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did he have to drill out your old cly? if he did then $300 isnt bad, if not then you need to find a new locksmith. I was stranded when mine locked up, cost $200 for a lock smith to come out and rescue me.

And I deleted your other thread, 2 threads are not needed for your issue.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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First, I suggest not jumping to a conclusion yet. You will get some good answers from your post if you can wait a couple days.

Second, It seems a difficult pill to swollow to hear you need to now change the entire steering column. For example, you do not change the entire engine if you have a bad water pump. With that said I have been following these ignition switch posts for a year now and have never reviewed a response indicating the steering column needed replaced because of an ignition key switch failure.

Over the years I have removed the ignition switch on two Ford products. One on my '95 Thunderbird and one on my daughters '08 Focus. If you have the ability to remove the plastic cover surrounding the steering column yourself then you can change the lock cylinder IF YOU CAN GET IT TO TURN TO THE RUN POSITION. Others on this forum may be able to instruct you on to how to do this.

If you get the key to turn, remove the key cylinder assembly, inspect the hole in the cylinder came out of for scoring or damage. You may be able to insert something into the hole in the housing to try to turn the internals and engage the starter. If all looks good buy another ignotion switch and drive it a couple days before replacing the plastic steering column covers.

Going back to the steering column, I wonder if your mechanic somehow damaged the steering column as they forced the old ingition lock out? ?? If that is the case how do you prove it......................

I can describe how the steering column works on an '08 Focus SE with automatic transmission. Your '04 may be different. On the right side of the column is the ignition key cylinder (not the starter switch) that is mounted in a "lock housing assembly". This lock housing assembly is attached around the steering column, goes under it (inside the plastic steering column cover) to the left side of the column. On the left side of the column the lock housing assembly holds the starter switch. When you turn the key on the right side the lock housing assembly transfers that motion to rotate the starter switch on the left side that sends the signal to the starter relay.

In '08 Ford came out with a redesigned Focus. I do not know what the '04 internal design of the steering column assembly looks like. If the '04 is similiar to the '08 Focus and "if" the lock housing assembly was damaged while removing the first frozen key cylinder then the link below explains how to change only the lock housing assembly on an '08 Focus.


Reading the link you will see the work can be completed without removing the steering column, without removing the steering wheel or messing with the airbags.

Keep us informed, good luck.

Ti Ingot

PS: Who did the first repair? Ford, a mechanic or your neighbor?
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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It was not a Ford garage that I took it to. I had a feeling that the "mechanic" damaged the steering column. I had sort of mentioned that to him and he didn't appreciate it. And you are correct...how do I prove it? Once I get the car back and I know it works fine, that place will then get another talking to. Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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There are Videos on Youtube on how to replace the cylinder yourself. Especially if you can turn the key to the on position.

It doesn't require reprogramming the key either. You use your existing key.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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What's to say the key isn't wore and the problem? (I assume the new cylinder was coded to the old key)

What's to say the new lock cylinder isn't bad?

If the steering wheel locks and unlocks with then key, I highly doubt the column needs replacing.
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