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Saturday, March 29, 2008

broken ignition on stering column

Question: I have a 1996 Mercury Sable - broken ignition on steering column. What would average repair cost be? Answer: If the key is broken off in the lock cylinder, the replacement shouldn't take 15 minutes. See below for procedure. The cost should be around $75.00 parts included. If the key won't go in the lock cylinder, then it will have to be drilled out and might take a couple hours, cost could be as high as $180.00 Functional Lock Cylinder To Remove: 1. Disconnect the battery ground cable. 2. Remove the upper and lower steering column covers. 3. Turn the ignition lock to the accessory position. 4. Insert a 0.125 (3.17mm) wire pin or small drift punch in the hole at the top of the cylinder housing and depress the retaining pin while pulling out the lock cylinder. To Install: 1. Turn the new lock cylinder to the accessory position and while pressing the retaining pin in, insert the lock cylinder into the housing. 2. Turn the key to the OFF position to release the retaining pin. 3. Try the lock cylinder operation in all positions. 4. Reinstall the steering column covers. 5. Reconnect the battery ground cable.


  1. Hope you can get me out of the weeds!I went to start my pick-up and thought at first I had a weak battery. I could hear the fuel pump come on, but when I turned the key, all I got was a click. After a bit of fussing and trying, it felt like somthing broke in the lock cylinder.The key would return to the off/lock position, but all the juice remained on.finally I turned it a little extra hard, and the startyer all I had to do was figure how to shut it off after i got home.( pulled the coil wire...ouch!)I figured to replace the lock cylinder or switch.New cylinder first, but everything felt the same...then the switch came next...same result.The only way to get the acuator rod to return, is manually, and it still wont engage far enough to start the engine.Inside the column, where the lock cylinder goes , i can see a retaining ring. What is in there that might be broke, and how can I access it? Should I be able to force the connecting rod to the switch far enough forward to engage the starter?I'm learning as I go, but a little hint would help.

    Thanks in advance,
    Brian C

    ignition control module

  2. I could not get the key to turn in my 2004 Elantra. I had to repeatedly pump the brake and turn the wheel to get the car started. I tried WD40 on the key, graphite on the lock, nothing worked. A friend suggested replacing the key. I was skeptical, but found an unused 6 1/2 year-old key given to me by the dealer. It worked like magic: like starting a new car, and cheaper than replacing the ignition!