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Discussion Starter #1
My 2014 Ford Focus SE Sedan does not have a steering column lock. Is that normal? (If that has been discussed in an existing thread somewhere esle I could not find it.)
 

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It's normal. Odd, but normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I thought carmakers originally installed the locks as a theft deterrent because they were required to by law. I wonder whether that law got repealed?

The locks probably are not as big a help to deter theft with FWD as with RWD, anyway. Thieves can just hoist the front and tow with dollies. I'm mostly interested in it to keep the wheels turned if the parking brake failed and the car rolled down my driveway, since there's no curb to turn the wheels toward. Otherwise I don't miss it. No need to crank the wheel to get the lock to allow the key to turn, and one less thing to break or wear out.
 

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If I recall correctly, because the steering is electronically assisted (and not hydraulic like most cars), there is no need for a lock. Basically the electric motor keeps the wheels from turning when the car is off.

Agreed on one less thing to break. I had a 2000 Nissan that almost snapped the key off in the ignition trying to get the column aligned just right so I could turn it over.
 

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I thought carmakers originally installed the locks as a theft deterrent because they were required to by law. I wonder whether that law got repealed?
The US FMVSS requirement says you can have a steering lock or an engine immobilizer (or both).

For those with a column ignition, the owner's manual says this about the Integrated keyhead transmitters (IKTs) in the key:

Your IKTs are programmed to your vehicle; using a non-programmed key will not permit your vehicle to start. If you lose one or both of your IKTs, replacements are available through your authorized dealer.

Same thing with the Intelligent Key on push button start.

Your IA keys are programmed to your vehicle. You cannot enter or start your vehicle with an unprogrammed key. If you lose one or both of your IA keys, replacements are available from your authorized dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If I recall correctly, because the steering is electronically assisted (and not hydraulic like most cars), there is no need for a lock. Basically the electric motor keeps the wheels from turning when the car is off. ...
I know that the steering can be turned when I unlock the car and get in, even before putting the key in the switch. I'll have to leave the driver's window down and lock the car to see if it's different that way. Maybe the steering gets unlocked when I unlock the door.

The US FMVSS requirement says you can have a steering lock or an engine immobilizer (or both).

For those with a column ignition, the owner's manual says this about the Integrated keyhead transmitters (IKTs) in the key:

Your IKTs are programmed to your vehicle; using a non-programmed key will not permit your vehicle to start. If you lose one or both of your IKTs, replacements are available through your authorized dealer. ...
I guess I could have searched a bit myself to find that answer. Thanks for saving me the effort. (+1) Was that something you were already familiar with, or did you track that down after I asked?

Now I'm curious how much of a deterrent either method (mechanical lock or electronic key) is to thieves. I'm hoping that just having a manual transmission gets me some protection. That, and that so many other cars seem to be a lot more popular around here. (Seems like every 10th house or so has a new Nissan Leaf in the driveway but I rarely see another Focus.)
 

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I'm hoping that just having a manual transmission gets me some protection.
So far I have read TWICE in the news about a carjacking gone totally wrong due to the fool hijacking the car had no idea how to drive a manual tranny vehicle.
One of the two hijackings the owner was forced at gunpoint into the trunk.. But the hijacker attracted a bunch ot people with all the racket he was making not able to get the car to move.
The second one the owner ran away. and the cops caught the perp since he could not drive the car very well.

.......
I use a "T" shaped lock on the steering wheel when it is in the garage, mainly because I already owned it. Never have seen another one even close to the design. It locks the top of the wheel and hangs out over the dash so the wheel cannot be turned.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Urban myth?

So far I have read TWICE in the news about a carjacking gone totally wrong due to the fool hijacking the car had no idea how to drive a manual tranny vehicle. ...
That made me laugh because those are probably the exact same TWO incidents that I had heard about -- over a span of at least a few years.

Then I started to wonder if a news story about a theft or carjacking would even mention whether it had succeeded despite the vehicle having a manual transmission. Only those few of us who still drive them would care. No telling how many times that has occurred over the same number of years. We may be falling for an urban myth that our manual transmissions give us any protection against carjackers and thieves.

The news story I liked better was about a carjacker in DC who picked a wrong car. It was not because of the type of transmission that the car had, which I don't recall even being mentioned. The problem was that the fool hijacking the car pointed his gun at the also-armed plainclothes federal agent driving the car, who then shot and killed him.

... But the hijacker attracted a bunch of people with all the racket he was making not able to get the car to move. ...
Same thing in the story I mentioned, except the noise was different.

I hesitate to mention this, but that same thing could happen to someone trying to steal a Mk3 Focus with a DCT. (Is there not a single thread in the Mk3 area that does not stray into that topic eventually?) I mean, with the grinding racket, not the gunshots and falling on the ground noises.

We won't have to rely on the bad guys not being able to drive our manual transmissions if they're afraid to steal any Mk3 Focus because of the DCT's bad reputation. When even Ford dealers won't take them maybe thieves won't either. I'm hoping that won't increase demand for stolen 5-speed Focuses and encourage thieves to learn how to drive them.

I'd also hope that if bad guys are going to go to the trouble to hack IKTs it will be for other cars that they can get rid of easier, since I don't want to have to bother with using an external steering lock. Of course, someone who can't spot a Fed in the middle of DC probably doesn't follow the recommendations of Consumer Reports and MSN Autos on which "Used Cars to Avoid."
 
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