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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
84,250 miles
Total Complaints:
43 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace ignition lock cylinder (30 reports)
  2. jam the key into the ignition (4 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. spray wd-40 in key slot, and tap key in with a hammer (2 reports)
  5. leave the key in the ignition and used a second set of keys (1 reports)
  6. pay a large price to have ignition taken appart and repaired (1 reports)
2000 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2000 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Jan 082013

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


This issue seems fairly common with this make and year. A recall would be nice or some goodwill service. I was left stranded without a way to get home when this problem occurred and there was no way of telling that it was going bad. I drove it to work without a single problem and when I went to start it to go home it was completely useless.

- Alyssa S., Ames, IA, US

problem #42

Dec 062010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Well it just happened out of now where and was just hoping someone could let me know what to do. Thanks!

- potroast61589cr, Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #41

Nov 012008

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Same as others; found that the key wouldn't fit into the ignition. Discovered others were using graphite powder to lubricate the key slot. Using the powder I was able to insert the key but found that removing and reinserting was getting more difficult. Now I've permanently left the key in the ignition key slot and use a second key fob to lock and unlock the door. I was told by the dealer that it was going to cost me $500 to fix, so I never took it in.

- fgalvez, Rowland Heights, CA, US

problem #40

Jul 202005

Focus SE 4 Door

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles


Got out of the car to run in to put my ball gear on, came out to start the car and the key wouldn't go in. Tow company came and got the lovely little mobile and tried too, to put the key in the ignition. I've heard of others with the same issue, unfortunately you don't know when it's going to happen to you. VERY VERY annoying as then you have to fork over a few hundred dollars to have the ignition taken apart and repaired, NOT FUN especially as a single parent. Hope this doesn't happen to you. Have to say I will never ever buy the first year a vehicle is out as you never know what they have done to it and not going to take the responsibility for it.

- lnb, Town, NB, Canada

problem #39

Dec 042010

Focus SE 2.0L Zetec

  • Manual transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Ran into my local Blockbuster; came out & my key wouldn't go all the way into the ignition. After struggling with it for a while, came home, took a load off--then went back with a can of Liquid Wrench & a hammer. Used the spray first, then tapped on the key with the hammer a few times (lightly). After struggling a bit more, the key suddenly slipped in all the way. But then it wouldn't turn. Sigh. Struggled a bit more with it, then pushed in hard while turning the key, and presto!, it turned over. Luckily this didn't turn out to be any worse of a problem. I feel for all the folks who had to have their cars towed and ignitions replaced. Thanks to everyone for writing. I came to this site before heading back out to my car. The advice came in handy!

- Don S., Smithville, PA, US

problem #38

Nov 252010

Focus Gas

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

This was quite inconvenient considering it occurred at the grocery store, Thanksgiving day, as a friend was purchasing her fresh turkey prior to serving dinner. Threw the entire schedule waaaay off kilter and was generally a pain. I know parts wear and fail. But you usually get some kind of warning prior to complete failure. This just quit!! One second it worked the next the key would absolutely NOT go into the ignition!!! I'm not a locksmith but how common is it for a lock to completely fail without warning? Not something I've experience much in my lifetime...didn't break the key off in the lock, key wasn't majorly worn, lock wasn't frozen...the lock simply wouldn't accept the key. To top it off I bought a new ignition, installed it and it the new key would not come OUT of the lock!!! You're KILLIN' ME SMALLS!!!

- jimbosos, Lompoc, CA, US

problem #37

Aug 122009


  • Manual transmission
  • 68,351 miles


for a few weeks i had noticed that i needed to jiggle the key to fit it into the ignition once in awhile. one day, the jiggling was to no effect and no matter what i tried, the key would not go into the ignition. had to have it towed and replaced. should be recalled.

- Jessica D., Victoria, BC, Canada

problem #36

Dec 202009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,458 miles

I happened up on this site while searching for any info that I could find on this problem. I had never heard of this before, but I see on here, that this is a way to common problem. This car, a 2000 Focus, is my daughter. It was given to her, about six months ago, by my parents. They'd never had any trouble with it.

Just like everyone else, she went into the store and when she got back in, her key wouldn't go into the ignition. I had to take her spare key to her, at midnight! Well, that didn't work and we wound up leaving the car overnight. The next day, we had a wrecker go get it and bring it home. She was pulled in, facing the store, so he had to slide it sideways to hook on to it. WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS!

I can't believe that FORD is turning a blindeye to this! It IS a safety concern if you wind up stranded on a dark parking lot late at night! If anyone knows, or hears of, a class action suit going on about this, let me know, please! It's no wonder so many people go for foreign vehicles!

- wirenut94, North Little Rock, AR, US

problem #35

Feb 012010

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I read several peoples complaints of the same issue, and I wanted to add my complaint. Our Ford Focus is nothing but a piece of junk, and this is just another issue to add to the already loooooong one. I wish this car would spontaneously combust, so I could collect the insurance money for it, since no one in their right mind would ever buy this car from us.

This problem is that the key doesn't fit into the ignition. I have sprayed WD-40 into the key slot and then tapped the key with a hammer to get it in.

- machismovirus, Lancaster, PA, US

problem #34

Feb 082007

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

So i went to the store with my little cousin and come out and my key will not go in the ignition!! not only do i have to pay to fix my car i have to pay for a tow truck to! i call a locksmith and found a company who says this is a very common problem in ford focus! when they came out they drilled a hole in my ignition and cut the lock bar out of it. my keys will come out of the ignition while i am driving but i will never have that problem again and only cost me 65 dollars. much cheaper then replacing my ignition!

- Amanda A., Davisburg, MI, US

problem #33

Feb 272009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,714 miles


I was stranded with my child who requires medication and I couldn't get home to get it to her. I phoned our local Ford dealer and spoke with the Service manager who informed me that I need to have car towed to him, it would take 3-4 hours labor plus 140 for a new ignition cylinder totaling $425. plus tax.

He said it happens, they do wear out but nothing on recall from Ford!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How could it be that there are sooooooooo many issues with this and no recall or replacement by Ford defects. This just sucks in plain English. They ought to be ashamed of themselves! I will NEVER by Ford again. You try to buy "American" only to get screwed the good ol' American way!

- j.m.nj, Long Valley, NJ, US

problem #32

Jun 242008

Focus ZX3 2.0L 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Ok I bought the ford focus because it was supposed to be a reliable car. So far I have had nothing but problems with it. the other day I was at the GYM and the key would not fit in the ignition. I called the ford dealership and they told me it was a very common problem with 2000-2004 focuses, and it would be about 400 dollars to replace it. I asked them why there was never a recall and he said "because it was not a safety issue." well i can think a few ways this is a safety issue, I like to go Snowboarding and getting stuck on a mountain in freezing cold temp. I thing that could be a safety issue. I looked online and people recommend seeing a locksmith because they will charge less, take less time, and replace it with a better part. I will never, ever, buy a ford again it was 100 degrees and i was stuck in a parking lot for an hour, and because i couldn't put in the key i couldn't move the steering wheel, so i couldn't get the car towed, the parking lot was full. I had to come back at midnight to get the damn thing towed. As soon as i get this thing fixed i am selling it.

- pjg1989, Albuquerque, NM, US

problem #31

May 052008

Focus LS 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

This is the 3rd occurrence ime it happens...

The first time I paid $60 the first time to have it "fixed".

The second time I had the part "replaced" $275.00

This time... I haven't attempted to get it fixed yet.

Ford should do a recall. This is ridiculous.

- laruedae, Long Beach, CA, US

problem #30

May 262008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I just got through spending $964.00 to get new brakes, shocks, oil change, and anything else the car needed. Drove the car for two days, went back to speak to the mechanic for 15 minutes. When I left, the key would not go into the ignition. Mind you it was a holiday, so they weren't working a full day. They had 3 people try to get the key into the ignition before they finally called a locksmith. The locksmith told them to use a hammer because the key is worn and that this happens all the time with Ford 2000 Focus's. What a huge inconvenience!! I had to leave my car there again and find a way home.

- Cathy F., Cambridge, MA, US

problem #29

Dec 122007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

One night I left work, got into my car, and attempted to put my key in the ignition when it would not go in. The car was working perfectly when I had arrived at work that night.

I called my mom out to help. I attempted for about 10 minutes to get the key in. When my mom get there she also tried.

We came back to her house, looked up this site and tried some of the suggestions, after pounding the key in with a hammer it wouldn't turn in the ignition! Had to have the car towed the next day to the dealership

The mechanics drilled into the ignition cylinder, removed it, keyed a new cylinder to my keys, and installed the cylinder. All of this work on my car came to a grand total of $367.92.

I asked the mechanic if he had seen anything like this before. He admitted that he had seen it quite a few times. I asked why this hasn't been recalled. He didn't have an answer, just said their work would be guaranteed for a year... wow... that's REAL comforting...NOT

I've had more probs than this w/this car... I'm buyin foreign next time!

- Amy J., Waterloo, IA, US

problem #28

May 162007

(reported on)

Focus ZX3 2.0

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Got the car all packed up on Thursday for an extended Mothers Day weekend trip, get in the car and key only goes in halfway. I asked myself what Hank Hill would do and grabbed a can of WD-40. That didn't work, so I have to have a locksmith fix it. Interestingly, he said he said he fixes 2-3 Focus ignitions a week, and he's in a small town. Makes me wonder how many of these the average big city locksmith sees each week. Yes, this does suck but the car is paid for, has high mileage and it rarely ever has problems. Plus it happened in the comfort and convenience (albeit hot as Hell) of my own driveway. The ZX3 won the 2000 North American car of the year award, and my friend who worked for Ford at the time told me the sedan was a totally different car and was NOT included in the award. Since I RARELY have problems with my ZX3, I can keep a "Cup half full" attitude. I feel for those of you with the sedan, and Ford motor company owes you more than just an upgraded replacement ignition and an apology. Ford knows they can no longer depend on their pick-em up trucks to provide them with their bread and butter, so they had better start doing some damage control if they plan to keep from folding.

- Melanie B., Houston, TX, US

problem #27

Aug 152002

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Trying to drive somewhere and your key all of a sudden not willing or able to go into the ignition is a HUGE problem. You start to question your sanity when you had just been able to put your key in the ignition and start your car just a few hours previously. are not crazy the focus just has something ELSE wrong with it. Just add it to the ever growing list....

- edie, Antioch, TN, US

problem #26

Nov 222007

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

My wife came to our marriage with a 2000 Ford Focus. It has been a wonderful, little car up until a couple months ago. Just recently, I went to start the car and the key wouldn't fit into the ignition. After jamming it into the ignition, I couldn't get it to turn forward. I had the car towed to the dealership where it cost me $380 to get the ignition replaced and new keys made. The dealership employee I spoke with said that this is a common problem, but even though he thinks this should be a recall it isn't.

- maswegan, Altoona, IA, US

problem #25

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Focus TAM 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Key ignition cylinder had to be replaced after the key kept getting stuck in the ignition. It happened around May 2007 and the dealership said that I needed to replace the cylinder because it was a problem that many ford focus' 2000 had. It should be a recall. The same kind of thing happened to me in May of 2004. I had to get a locksmith to come and get my key out and fix the ignition switch or something there. That cost me 200 dollars. The locksmith even said he saw this same problem on at least 10 other Ford Focus'.

- Emily D., Denver, CO, US

problem #24

Sep 172007

(reported on)

Focus ZX3 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

After I quit my job I went outside to leave and my key wouldn't fit into the ignition, I have only had this car for 2 months (I bought it used) and this happened once before but after wiggling the key for a little while it went into the ignition, as with this time. After finally getting the key into the ignition the key wouldn't turn, it was as if the wrong key was in the car. I had to get the car towed and ordered a new ignition, I am now waiting for it to get fixed.

- courtneyg, Colchester, CT, US

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