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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have noticed that the key is very hot after I remove it from the ignition when i have driven for even a few minutes.

My dear focus is about 6 years old and has only 40,000 mi on it. I have noticed heat on the key over the last few weeks, but today it was very hot, i mean hot to the touch, not burning hot.

Is something fried in my ignition column?
 

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There's really nothing on that side of the column that would get warm. The ignition switch is on the other side. If you ever had to do an ignition cylinder replacement you would know what I mean. There is only the ring for the PATS system near the key. Could it be just weather related ? I know my scangauge will go on and off just from ambient temps in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could it be just weather related?.


I suppose it could be weather related, but the key is definitely getting extra heat from being in the ignition while driving. The key seems way too hot to be from the weather.

Also, the scratch landing for the key hole is also hot, the same heat as the key.

I don't believe it should be getting heat from anywhere being up in the steering column.
 

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Do you have a second key to try. If so see if the 2nd key gets "hot" also
 

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Just gonna direct you to this: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=263131

You will have different electronic modules that the guy in that thread, but the operations are basically the same. That is, the Body Control Module reads the resistance of the key when it's in the ignition cylinder. This tells the BCD if the key is present in the ignition or not. IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is, the Body Control Module reads the resistance of the key when it's in the ignition cylinder. This tells the BCD if the key is present in the ignition or not. IIRC.
This makes sense, since current is actually trying to go through the key. Hmm, interesting.

I'm still investigating when this is actually occuring. Yesterday I drove it around and no heat was found. So, [dunno]
 

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I don't know about that. When I did my cylinder replacement, I eliminated the tumblers. I can take my key out any time the car is running. So, it doesn't matter if the key is there or not once the car is started. The key is only a place to hold the chip for the PATS system. In my car it is anyway. I did a Google search on hot keys. Some Honda references came up along with a few other makes. But nothing for a Ford. The Honda problem mentioned a selonoid in the column that gets warm and transfers heat to the key. As I posted before, there is nothing near the key to transfer heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just to follow up...

Throughout the entire winter I never had a hot key. I believe it is the weather.

This does make me hope that the steering column is not getting too hot when the sun is shining hot.
 

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Our cars do get hot in the summer. I use an Ultragauge and it always shuts itself down in the warm weather. It's directly related to the ambient temperature. It never shuts down in the winter.
 
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