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Old 09-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
FocusFianceSD
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Question Botched locking cylinder repair- help needed sourcing part

Hi all,
My fiance's 03 Focus had the key get stuck in the on position... long story short, something got damaged during the repair. It's the metal cylinder that lives between the ignition switch and locking cylinder. I need someone/everyone's help in tracking down a replacement asap.

A family friend said the parts desk at the local dealer couldn't get the part, only the whole steering column for ~$500 and local salvage yards didn't have anything either...

I'm going to keep mining the forum archives for possible solutions, but wanted to throw this out there...


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Old 09-16-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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update: we located a steering column further afield. The part that got twisted is not supposed to be removable. There is something between it and the locking cylinder that keeps it in place. A trusted family friend will be doing the swap in his spare time.

Moral of the story: If you call roadside assistance to help with a stuck key, make sure they Hears and Understands you. All we wanted was the engine to turn off (the key stuff could be handled by the locksmith).

and here's a general question in the hopes of getting some sort of reply:
is it too unreasonable to expect a roadside assistance guy to know how to stop an engine without needing to turn the key to off?
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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You'd think they'd know, but in this day and age....

FYI: In the future, you should familiarize yourself with the location of means to turn the engine off.

1) Fords only: there is a fuel cutoff switch located in the vehicle somewhere. The owner's manual will tell you where. This switch will activate cutting the fuel off in the event of an accident or a very hard bump- like if you go off road at 40 mph. In the Focus, it's inside the passenger kick panel. In my wife's Windstar it's in the emergency jack compartment at the rear of the van. Unplug this switch, and the fuel will be cut off.

2) All vehicles: locate the ECU or PCM fuse. This is the fuse to the computer. It will typically be a very low amp fuse 5-10 amps. Pull this fuse, and the engine will shut off.

3) Neither method will kill power from the battery. In the event a key is stuck in the On position, after the engine is cut off from one of the 2 methods mentioned above, you should remove the negative battery terminal after turning off all things electric that you can turn off inside the car- wipers, lights, unplug chargers, radio, etc.

Yes, you could've disconnected the negative battery terminal earlier and the engine would shut off. However, while the engine is running, the load in amps going through the negative terminal will be high enough to possibly hurt you when you disconnect it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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SHOULDN'T be 'unreasonable", but I'm afraid MOST aren't mechanics per se, and can only sell you a battery or give you a jump start - change tires if you have a spare - maybe tow it out of a snow bank or small ditch....

The only "safe' way i can think of off hand, that they SHOULD be able to think of, is to pull fuses 'till it quits (even if they can't find the correct one, that should do it).

You wouldn't want to do the "obvious" and just pull the battery negative terminal, since in theory that MAY cause electrical/electronic damage (alternators don't always survive such treatment for example).

"Ham handed" treatment of any machine MAY solve the immediate issue, but it tends to cost in the long run - and as you mentioned, "hears & understands' could prevent the damage yet can be hard to accomplish!
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:22 PM   #5
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Shucks Whynot, ya beat me to the "post" key with more detail!
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