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The key will not turn. The steering is locked, the key does…

Customer Question
The key will not...

The key will not turn

Mechanic's Assistant: Can you turn the steering wheel at all? And what about the key? Is it worn or damaged?

The steering is locked, the key does not turn. the key looks fine it is not worn or damaged

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model/year of your Ford?

03 escape

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Escape yourself? What have you tried so far?

I am trying. so far just a drop of oil on the key

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

That is all

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
2/6/2018
Ford Mechanic: Michael, Ford Senior Master Technician replied 5 months ago
Michael
Michael, Ford Senior Master Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 670
Experience: Ford Senior Master Tech w/22 yrs exp.
Verified

Hello, my name is Michael. I will be assisting you today. If you have your VIN available please send it to me.

Is your Escape currently parked on an incline? Are the wheels straight or are they turned at all?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
parked on level ground , and the wheels are straight
Ford Mechanic: Michael, Ford Senior Master Technician replied 5 months ago

There are only two possibilities that can prevent the key from turning aside from a damaged key. You've visually inspected the key and ruled that out as a possibility.

  1. Even though the wheels are straight the steering wheel locking mechanism has the ignition key linkage under stress. If you move the wheel left and right with enough force you should feel some play in the steering wheel lock. Try to turn the key when doing this.
  2. If that didn't work the tumblers in your lock cylinder are sticking or seized in place. When you install the key into the cylinder the tumblers freely move into position and based on the key cut allow the cylinder to turn.

The question is how can you free up the tumblers. It's possible you can, but chances are they are stuck and the cylinder will need to be replaced. You've tried oil on the key, any auto parts store will sell graphite spray for lubricating lock cylinders. Try to spray some in the hole where the key is inserted. After a few minutes put the key in and out of the cylinder 15 - 20 times. This will put pressure on the tumblers to move and help work the lubricant into the cylinder. If that doesn't work, insert the key fully. While gently trying to turn the key tap the back of the key like you are trying to force the key further into the cylinder. This may work, if it does it's probably temporary. I'd get a new cylinder installed as soon as possible. If it doesn't work you will need a new lock cylinder installed before it will start again.

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Ford Mechanic: Michael, Ford Senior Master Technician replied 5 months ago

If I can be of any further assistance do not hesitate to ask. If not, please rate my service. If for any reason you feel you cannot rate my service five stars please let me know.

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