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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2004 Ford Focus put key into ignition and it won't turn

2004 Ford Focus
'04 Focus with 28,000 miles. Problem: put key into ignition and it won't turn, steering wheel NOT locked. called local Ford dealer, said recurring problem on Focus, needs new ignition. Too expensive for me, so Ford dealer mechanic said to 'hit' the key into the ignition. It worked but now have to carry rubber mallet in car to hit key to turn ignition to start car. What's going on? Is this a recall issue? Why should a 4 1/2 yr old car with LOW mileage have this problem? I am not happy with this Focus. There have been other problems that were partially resolved. I still get very poor gas mileage but that's another problem for another time. What about this ignition problem?
Yes this was a common problem and they did redesign the new cylinder to prevent this from going bad again. And no Ford never did issue a recall on this problem. So yes unfortunately you will have to replace the lock cylinder to prevent carrying a hammer around. And the hammer trick will not last forever. So yes I see why you are upset about the car but no company ever issues recalls every time they have a common problem they all have them. I wish you luck Steve PS there are programs that dealers are provided with the option of helping the customer out one time after the warranty has ran out. If you have a good relationship with the dealer and if you are NICE then they may help you. But they do not HAVE to.


  1. Not an uncommon problem on this model. Check with some local locksmiths. The cylinder is easy to remove yourself & a good locksmith will have a compatible replacement that doesn't have the locking piece in it. They should also re-key the new cylinder to fit your existing key. Cost should be about 80-100 dollars

  2. Key will go in and out fine but will not turn.

    SAME problem, I have a 2001 Ford Focus very low miles bought brand new by me.

    I was about 35 miles from home stopped in for a pizza and was stuck in the parking for 5 hours with everyone trying to get my key to turn!!! My car is still there,I am home researching what to do,after reading several forums I see this should have been a Ford focus RECALL!!!

    Now I have to get back to my car and try the hammer thing,I have read over 20 forums and all said to use the hammer trick.
    I also called a locksmith as many have said and guess what,before I could get the words out of my mouth, he said "let me guess you have a Ford Focus about a 2000 to 2003"? I said "your hired"!
    He said he always carries about 3 of those types of ignitions with him as he replaces them a lot,by the way I live in a small town pop 9,000 and this locksmith knew!
    So it's a $110 fix in my town and as soon as its fixed I am trading it in for something that IS NOT a Ford!!!

  3. when is ford going to own up to the problem and put out a recall?

  4. I have a 2004 Focus with 35,000 miles doing the same thing but hammer not working anymore. Any other home fixes out there? This seems to be a big problem shame on Ford for not putting this on recall, I am now 1 of many that will never buy a Ford product again.I hope the class action suit out in Calif is won big time so it will cost the Ford company ALOT more than if they just owned up to their defect and put out a recall. Boo! on Ford

  5. I have a 2004 focus with over 120,000 miles, it has served me well. I have been pleased with my car. I have had a few problems with it until now. I am having the same problem as all of you. I put the key in the ignition it doesn't turn. I had the AAA tow guy come out he could not help me. He couldn't even tow it to a repair shop. I a dealership all he could tell me is to get it here and they will take a look at it. The BIG QUESTION IS/WAS NOW. I see now this is a problem with Ford Focus or should I say the Ford company. I am having a locksmith come out it to fix it. Thanks to all of your comment. It will cost me $160.00. Has any one complain to Ford and if so what happen?

  6. While this is a common issue with 2000-04 Focus models, FoMoCo is not obligated to issue a recall on this.

    Recalls are issued by auto manufacturers when it identifies a "safety" concern. If you ever see other recall notices, take note of the seriousness in safety-related issues, such as brake cables. An ignition's lock cylinder unfortunately doesn't fall into that category since it's not "safety-related". This goes for all auto manufacturers and not just FoMoCo.