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.