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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Went to start my trusty 2001 focus se this morning and the engine fired when the key was in position 1, (not in position 2 like it should), and did not sound happy about it. Anyone had an issue with this or an idea what could be causing it? I'm hesitant to try and fire it up again without knowing what's up......
 

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That sounds like an ignition switch problem to me, or a stuck starter solenoid. If it's the latter, you'll be lucky if you don't fry your battery. Since you were able to cut it off, I'm more assured of the first problem being the problem. The ignition switch is not the same part as the lock cylinder where you put your key, however, your year of Focus is known to have bad ignition lock cylinders. Look at where the keyhole goes through the metal plate- if it's off center, then you need a new lock cylinder. If the keyhole is centered, then you're ok- it's been changed already.
 

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I'm not sure about the Focus, but on some cars if you have a "5 pound" keyring with every key you own, a flashlight, a few pictures ... the weight can damage and abnormally wear out the ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I took a cab to work today planning to get it towed to the shop when I got home, but of course, now it seems fine. Powered up normally when in the "run" position and started fine in the "start" position. Key hole doesn't seem to jiggle like it's loose in the column so now I'm not sure what to think. We had our first frost light night - any chance some condensation in the works could have caused this?
 

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Very doubtful that frost would cause this but stranger things have happened.
Was you actually going for the start or just putting ignition on maybe your hands were cold and you overturned the key slightly [joke] but seriously it is possible time will tell I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

So the next morning, frost again, car again starts in accessory position. It seemed to be running fine (not continually turning over or anything) so I just drove it to the shop. Turns out some soder from when I had the remote start installed ~6 yrs ago (at a Ford dealership I might add) was poking through the tape and making contact with the starter wire. Of course it took an hour to figure that out and I had to pay for diagnostic time but in the end, it's kind of reassuring that nothing was actually broken. This morning - no problems.
 
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