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I am interested in hearing how many other people on this forum have had problems with the ignition key switch failing to turn. I just had the problem this weekend. After towing, purchasing a new tumbler and having it installed the cost was $380. This should NOT be happening at 45000 miles on a 2003 model car. I searched on the internet and found many similar complaints. Some people have replaced their key switches 3 times in 45000 miles.
Let me tell you all...this is serious. Your car is dead in the water at that point. The steering column locks up, the parking brake locks up. (Though there is a trick to pop it into neutral for towing.)

I think if this is a common problem Ford should recall their defective key switches.

Locksmiths will NOT touch this problem because your keys have built in chips. And the only way to get the defective keyswitch out of the car when it fails is to drill it out.
 

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well it can happen to anyone at anytime, tumblers are just a thin piece of metal and really easy to break.

but damn 380 dollars =\, take 10 minutes to get the cylinder out and put new tumblers in, as well as the other few parts
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I purchased the tumbler assembly thinking I could change it out myself. That alone was $89. Replacing the tumblers...piece of cake if you have a micrometer to measure your key with, which I did. The issue was. You can not get the old tumbler out without depressing a button on the side of the tumbler with the key in the lock and turning the assembly to the on position.

I could not turn the assembly.
 

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Did you get the new IC from the dealer ?
It should came with some instructions on how to rebuild the key.

Anyway, the issue has been resolved with the new style IC used in 2005+ Foci, which fit older Foci.
 

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Focused Focus
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PM me..............
 

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PM me..............
 

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I really dont know why this info hasent been stickied.
 

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I think this has happened to more than a few of us, myself included. From what
I hear the 1st and 2nd pin fuse together and cause the cylinder to lock up.
Heavy key rings cause the problem. I replaced mine and have no problems
with it locking up. Ford addressed this problem and now the replacement
cylinder is off the newer 05+ Foci.
 

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Focused Focus
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Heavy key rings dont affect this as a problem. Dirt, lint, dust etc. is what causes this problem. Trust me, i build 10-12 of these a week at least. The problem all has to do with the tumbler design being a single sided, very small tumbler. Dirt and grit cause them to get in a bind and your screwed. The new ones went back to the old Ford design of a much larger, double sided design. The newer Explorers and Mountianeers have the same design and do the same thing.
 

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I still have the old IC and havent had the problem of it locking up on me but im kind of worried about it. What if I wanted to change it out to the new one before it locks up? Do I still have to drill out the old IC? I know theres the thread that tells how to do it but its a little more involved then I am wanting to do.
 

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No, its best to go ahead and change it out. PM me with your vin# and other info. I can hook you up on the new style cylinder. I build 10-12 of these a week for this problem. If you wait till you have to drill it out, you wont be happy, lol.
 

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Midas said:
I still have the old IC and havent had the problem of it locking up on me but im kind of worried about it. What if I wanted to change it out to the new one before it locks up? Do I still have to drill out the old IC? I know theres the thread that tells how to do it but its a little more involved then I am wanting to do.
No drilling if your IC still works. There's a thread on how to change out the IC when you don't need to drill, and it's a piece of cake. You need a star driver to remove the bottom of the steering column cover, and it took me longer to run out and buy one than it took me to change the IC...
 

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Hey Mark! How ya doing buddy!
 

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b16sir1991 said:
No, its best to go ahead and change it out. PM me with your vin# and other info. I can hook you up on the new style cylinder. I build 10-12 of these a week for this problem. If you wait till you have to drill it out, you wont be happy, lol.
How much is the new part? Just wanna make sure. I really dont want to have to drill it out if I ever encounter the problem so as long as its easy to change out and doesnt cost an arm and a leg I will def do it.
 

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Any of you that need a new one, built to your car with a spare door key or a pats key, PM me.
 
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