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Apparently, fords have ignition lock cylinder issues. Major ones. That's what got me stranded at the fight4food Thursday night.

Friday morning I rented a car and dropped my keys at the body shop where I'd JUST gotten my car back the previous day. I told them to look at it, because it was too weird a coincidence that one day my car is in a shop, the next day my car won't move. They called back and said that not only was it not their fault (since they drove it all that week they had it, and I drove it out of their lot and to class before the lock cylinder went out), but they also couldn't fix it, since they're a body shop and this is a mechanical thing. So I called a mechanic, who said the lock assembly would probably have to be replaced... $86 for a part, $100 for labor, $15 to have the assembly fit my existing key, $40-$120 for a locksmith to dig out the existing part since the key assembly can't be taken out unless the key can make it to the ON position (and mine can't).

So then I got on the phone to call dealers. $250 flat, no hidden random possible locksmith charges. They also diagnosed my problem REALLY quickly, which is why I'm really pissed off at Ford right now... every conversation with a dealer I called went something like this:

Me: My key won't turn in the lock. I have a ford focus.
Dealer: Did you try moving the steering wheel and shifter?
Me: YES! Me and like five other people, two of which work for autocraft.
Dealer: Ignition lock cylinder! $250. We always keep these stocked, there are nine on the shelf right now. Wouldn't recommend changing it yourself since it has to be matched to your key.
Me: So this is a common issue?
Dealer: Yeah, we're kinda surprised there hasn't been a recall on these things, especially focuses.
Me: You mean Foci?
Dealer: I mean Visa or Mastercard.

So I had the car towed to the dealership. Insurance covers my tow, so I've got that going for me. The guy with the tow truck showed up, tried to turn the key, and then smiled at me and said, "I sure do see a lot of these!"

You know? I have deep love for my car but this shit it just... grrrr! I've found all sorts of people bitching about this on the internet... guess it's time to join the possible-class-action-lawsuit bandwagon. Oh, I also get to listen to shit from my coworkers for the next * weeks... "I've got advice for you! Don't by Ford! Hahahaha!" people suck.

In the meantime, here's my advice for anyone with a ford. If you notice that it's getting harder and harder to get your key to go in your ignition... you have to wiggle it or something... take it to the dealer before it strands you. If you get to your car one night and you are stranded, don't bother with diagnosing and fixing it like I did. Get yourself a car you can use for a couple days (enterprise picks you up!). Call a tow truck. Have them take it to a dealer. Put down mad cash.

Now I know.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
I bought a car in mid-2003 and I had it about two or three months when my key broke off into the ignition. The good news was that if I put in the remainder of the key, it would still run. But I later found out that pretty much anything small enough to fit into the ignition (other keys, for instance) would turn on the car. Then I rear-ended someone and I had to repair the car much like you did.

Luckily my uncle knows a bit about body work so it just cost me several evenings working with him and of course the cost of the parts that needed replacing.

Anyway, while repairing the body of the car we also took out the key assembly and got the broken off key out of there. Putting the assembly back in was the hard part because we lost an important part (without our knowledge) which, luckily, we found after several attempts.

Then after it was repaired it didn't pass an air-quality test (which was months overdue because the car wasn't drivable until then) so I had to take it to an actual car shop to get that working.

Anyway, I can sympathize, and I'm sure a lot of othere people can too.
Apr. 16th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
Ford have had quality control issues for years because any tiny corner they can cut will literally save them millions. Think about it this way, a broken ignition system will never cause you to crash at 70mph, therefore it's not important enough to require high engineering quality. That's how Ford operates.
Apr. 16th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
That's how a lot of car companies operate.
Apr. 16th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC)
one could argue that all issues are safety issues though. a guy on one of the ford forums posted because he got stranded and has serious medical issues... he's on oxygen and requires certain medications that he can't keep stocked in his car all the time. luckily someone was able to come to his rescue, but having an unreliable car does put him at risk.
Apr. 16th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC)
and this is why ford is evil.
we have a 2000 ford taurus at home. what a hunk of crap.
Apr. 16th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
another reason for me to say 'yay chevy!'

One of my first cousins works at ford though, so that's all his family drives. X.x;

We've driven like, just chevys for ten years (had a probe and a ferraro before then) and the worst things that have happened apart from wrecks was our '94 blazer's alternator going out. I mean, that was pretty suck, but at least we were able to just turn off the AC and still be able to drive home. Actually, I think the truck did that once too.

Okay, new solution-- go buy a foreign hybrid that's half gas half electric. ^_^
Apr. 16th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
What?! What the heck are "ignition lock cylinder issues"?! I also have a Ford Focus and haven't had any of the same problems that you described...
Apr. 16th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
well, be forewarned, it's a common problem. mine has about 60,000 miles on it. don't use heavy keychains on your ignition key, I've heard that makes it worse.
Apr. 16th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
Hmm, well, I don't have anything on my key chaing 'cept for the key and the door-lock thingy. But when I get into my car for auditions in a few minutes, I'll pay extra close attention. Thanks for the warning. Peace.
Apr. 16th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC)
Dealer: Yeah, we're kinda surprised there hasn't been a recall on these things, especially focuses.
Me: You mean Foci?

Did you really say that? :-)
Apr. 17th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)
I've got advice for you!

Don't buy

blank tapes from the dollar store. Really, they suck.
Apr. 17th, 2005 11:53 am (UTC)

but yeah it sucks to hear spacefem having a rough time with the car thing. hope things work out :-(
Apr. 17th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
Not to rub salt in your wounds but there is a reason for the F O R D acronym, I've heard for years.

F - Found
O - On
R - Road
D - Dead
Apr. 17th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
the one everyone's throwing at me here is "Fix Or Repair Daily", but same thing :)
Apr. 17th, 2005 05:09 am (UTC)
I also have heard the above-mentioned F.O.R.D. acromyn since I was a little kid. I never knew if it was true, but I would never risk buying a Ford either.

When reading your earlier posts about the car not working, I was going to advise that you go straight to the dealer. We have learned that the hard way over the years. They know about all of the 'problems' and recalls that no one bothers to tell you about. Plus they work on these cars every day, they know them inside and out (cutting your labor costs).

Btw, I had Fight Club flashbacks when you were talking about things that *should* be recalled, but aren't.

I'm glad they figured it out and hopefully you won't have to worry about it anymore!
Apr. 19th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
If you are a looking for a reliable car you should track down consumer reports for their relability ratings. If you like small cars, a Honda Civic Hybrid might be your best bet.

If you have time on your hands you should read the book "The End of Detriot." This text talks about how Honda and Toyota beat Detriot by hiring better engineers, using quality control processes, and spending a ton of money on R&D.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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