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Discussion Starter #1
2008 Ford Focus. I know someone else with this year Focus and they have the same issue, but apparently Ford only recalled earlier years...

I turn the key all the way forward. Nothing happens. I push the key in more or further, then the starter engages.

What exactly do I need to replace? The tumbler?
 

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Vince your Moderator
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Well let's see, I know 2 other people who have the EXACT same year Focus, 2008. I'm being told second hand on one of them that the window sills are folding in on one, and that the carpet is coming out. I said the same thing is happening with mine. I was also told they had ignition switch issues. Again, same thing I'm having. I asked the guy at my work if he is having ignition switch issues and he described the situation he's having. 3 Focuses, all the same problem. Ford recalled 2000-2004 or thereabouts for ignition switch issues. Did they fix the problem on later years? No, they just keep making it the same way year after year. I know this is "sacrilege" to come on here and say this but I have no other way to put it, I am NOT impressed with this vehicle. It is the most poorly custructed vehicle I have ever owned.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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It was a business decision not to recall the switch.

It is something that many of us have had to just deal with.
 

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""""Did they fix the problem on later years? """"

YES Ford did fix the problem
The OLD cylinder had an offset keyway
The NEW cylinder has a keyway that is centered
So when one gets a repair kit from Ford the keyway is centered as well as any cars from 2005 and onwards

BTW I never heard of a recall, probably in the earlier years that problem may have been taken care via the warranty route or a freebie by a caring dealer

My wife's Dodge Neon started to have ignition cylinder troubles and I drove it straight to the dealer, while I could
 

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C2H5OH
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http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=309714

Please take a look at the link posted above. From your limited description it sounds like it may not be the key tumbler but either the starter switch located on the left side of the steering column or the linkage mechanism located through the center of the steering column that connects the key tumbler on the right to the starter switch on the left.

My daughters car had the same problem that started intermittently. Turn the key and it was ok, at times you had to turn the key back and forth to get the starter to engage. Slowly it got worse until one day she could not get it to start at all. Her starter, starter solenoid, starter switch, neutral safety switch, starter relay and key tumbler were OK. It was the linkage in (around) the steering column that was bad. You do not need to remove the steering wheel air bag or column to repair/replace it.

The link gives all you will need to repair it. I have had at least two others on this forum list what I feel is the same problem on '07 and '08 models and neither got back to me to let me know if I was right.

Check it out and let us know what you end up finding wrong.
 

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I am still wondering what you found wrong with your ignition system? Did the information below from a previous post help you??

Just wanted to pass this along. I spent the last two days trouble shooting/repairing my daughters car. It was taking multiple times to turn the key to get the starter to energize. At first it happened once in a while. Over time the problem became more frequent. She let it go too long and finally called Dad when the ignition failed to energize the starter at all.

The Focus is a 2008 SE bought new with 77,000 miles on it now. I believe this is the first year for the newer body style. She has a sales route with frequent stops and starts her car 30 to 40 times daily so her starting system gets much more cycle time than a normal car.

First, the starter was removed and checked out OK. The starter relay was switched and OK. The neutral safety switch (is a multi function switch) is located on the side of the trans at the shift linkage lever was not touched except to pull the plug, clean and replace.

The starter switch is located on the left side of the steering column directly behind the turn signal switch, it was replaced $43, still no start with the key. (I learned after to remove the starter switch but keep the wires plugged into it. Turn the key to run, insert a screw driver into the starter switch turn it all the way and the car would start.)

The key tumbler felt Ok but it was removed and taken to a locksmith who verified it was OK. However he informed me that a local repair shop had just had the same problem last week and the shop came to them. The locksmith worked on a new cylinder for the shop but that did not fix their problem either.

Since the repair shop was just down the road as I stopped to talk to them. They told me last week they did everything I did on a Ford Escape and finally had to replace the lock housing assembly that wraps around the steering column just behind the turn signal assembly. The lock housing assembly holds the key cylinder on the right and the starter switch on the left and also helps the steering wheel to lock when removing the key.

For just under $150 I ordered the lock housing assembly (part # 9L8Z-3511-A) from the Ford dealer. It comes with the starter switch installed (now I have three of them)but you must use your old keys and lock cylinder. The replacement lock housing assembly can be installed without removing the steering wheel. Here is how....

Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
Remove the steering columns, top and bottom cover and the drivers knee panel under the dash.
Unplug the starter switch on the left side of the column.
Remove the security ring from around the key tumbler by unsnapping it from the housing. Electrical is done.

Three small bolts hold the lock housing onto the turn signal assembly. One bolt is on top, one on the bottom left and one on the right/front. You must use your key to unlock the steering column and turn the wheel to the right to allow access the right/front bolt. Remove all three.

Last, on top of the steering column you will notice an aluminum collar that holds the lock housing assembly in place. On the right side of this collar it is bolted to the steering column by only one anti-theft bolt without a head. (The head of the bolt is gone, designed to break off at the factory when installed for anti-theft reasons so normal tools cannot be used to remove it.) Ours had yellow paint on it. Use a small, very sharp chisel to tap the side of the bolt counter clockwise to loosen it and take it out. DO NOT LOSE IT! You cannot get a replacement.

You should be able to lift up the aluminum collar and remove the old housing assembly.

To use your existing keys you must remove the old tumbles. Put the key into the lock cylinder and turn it one notch only, to the accessory position. On top of the cylinder is a small hole. Put a small torx socket (or nail) in it, push down, pull on the key to remove the tumbler cylinder from the old housing. Put the old tumbler in the new lock housing assembly.

OK, reverse everything and you are done. The hardest part of reassembly was getting the bottom steering column cover back on. I ended cutting a slot on the bottom of it to get it around the steering wheel tilt lever.

I did not find any information on this problem in my internet searches. However, I feel that as these cars age, over time many others will be having the same starting problems caused by the internal moving parts of the linkage within this housing wearing and getting sloppy. The linkage gets loosen up enough that when you turn the key on the right side, the starter switch on the left does not quite make contact to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello,

I did not see your posts until now. I did the old fashioned replaced lock cylinder but it didn't do a bit of good. I figured it must be what the lock cylinder goes into. And your post/message/experience sort of confirms this. I'm just trying to sell this car but can't be selling cars when you can't even start them correctly. Your post makes it easy by providing the part number and how to replace it. Thanks. I will report my findings. Also: the issue is: I put the key in, turn it to START, then push the key in more, then forward more, then and only then does it start.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When you find a car that has zero problems, let me/us know.


... and get your facts straight about what a 'recall' is --> http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Recalls+&+Defects
First off I didn't say "zero" problems. Let's be realistic here. I bought a 2004 F150 and drove it to 120k miles before selling only having to tighten bolts under the steering column every so often. My only problem with that truck. I've owned this car for 20k miles (98k miles on the clock) and have already had to make numerous repairs. If it works for you, that's fine, but I have an issue when a car company that has been around for 100 years isn't able to put an ignition switch in their car that lasts.
 

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Good luck - Before you do the complete disassembly or buy the part, verify it is not the starter switch that is bad. Is is located on the left side of the steering column directly opposite of the key tumbler.

Remove the steering column cover, pop out the starter switch and leave the wires attached. Turn the key to the run position. Insert a flat head screw driver into the starter switch and turn it all the way (like using a key). If it starts as I suspect it will then it is the collar I described in the post that needs to be changed.

For tempory use you can easily drive the car, just don't reassemble the column cover and use the screw driver and key to start the car. For me the repair was not that difficult but the diagnosis took me 5 days and just a lot of luck when the locksmith mentioned a repair shop that had the same issue the week before that put me on the right track.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep, that was it. I didn't bother testing the starter switch. The part cost $155 after tax. It was non-refundable but I was certain that was it. There are plenty of mechanical objects in there to wear out. It took a little over an hour working in the dark holding a flashlight. After putting the key in, it started right up... Only thing I could suggest is it would help to have a 1/4" drive with a swivel joint to get to the screw behind the steering wheel on the part being replaced. Also the bolt with the head missing may be better off being replaced with a bolt with a head on it to make sure you can get it tight all the way (just a normal bolt the correct size). I did not do this. I grinded little marks in the head to make it not so smooth. Also the bottom plastic cover is easier to remove/replace if you turn the steering wheel so it's upside down and you can slide it forward. It's like a little puzzle.

Otherwise it was a pretty straightforward job.


Thanks for your help!!!!! I do appreciate it!
 

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I love it when a plan comes together[cheers]. The headless bolt is supposed to be an anti theft device. I do not know if it would be a standard type thread or not. Now you can keep the car.
 

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push in to start problem

Morning, eventually that won't work either. The problem is not in the key and lock tumblers but in the housing that it fits into (part # 9L8Z-3511-A) for a ford escape or a mercury mariner. I think the ford focus is the same number but double check with parts for compatability. Mine is at the point where even pushing in hard when turning key is only working intermittently. It is possible if you purchased a push button start for the dash. About 29 dollars, you still have to turn your coded key to the run position and then push the button it may bypass the worn mechanism I am waiting on a response from the seller if this will work. There is a solution on this website for installation without wheel removal for this part. Hope this helps
 

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The Cure for pushing in key to start

Went on line after a ton of research and for 29 dollars, I bought a start button for my 2008 mercury mariner premier. Installed above the key on the access panel above the key. Now I turn the key to the on position push the button and it starts right up. Shore beats changing the whole ignition housing. My wife is very happy. Gives it a custom look and works like a charm. Hope this helps. three wires to solder, one ground to attach and make a hole for the push button and a few tywraps to pretty it up.
 
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