pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,790 miles
Total Complaints:
64 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (23 reports)
  2. replace ignition (13 reports)
  3. hammer to key while turning it (10 reports)
  4. drill out and replace lock cylinder (8 reports)
  5. buy a new keylock (2 reports)
  6. 3-n-1 oil on key and a tap worked! (1 reports)
2004 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Feb 222011


  • Manual transmission
  • 46,000 miles


What the crap!! The problem is the OEM Supplied ignition cylinder made by HUF. Ford has known about this issue forever and refuses to issue a recall. When the dealer replaces the ignition, they usually install the same stupid faulty ignition causing you to revisit this pain in the butt over and over again. They call it repeat business. Mechanics don't have the tools or parts to solve this quickly or correctly, and they try to fool you with silly ad ons like extra keys you don't need and re-programming, telling you it has something to do with your onboard security system. It's BS

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #43

Mar 082011

Focus SE 2.3L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,918 miles

The ignition had been difficult for about 2 weeks in turning over. I would have to jiggle the key a few times but after five minutes it would start. I tried powdered graphite as was suggested. But finally, one day at home for lunch it wouldn't turn no matter what I tried. I called Quirk Ford in Quincy, MA and they said to have it towed to them. I asked if this was an ongoing problem with the Focus and they had no idea. I felt this was a Ford defect as the car has low mileage and this should not be happening. It cost me $446.92 which I could not afford but needed the car. Quirk Ford said there was nothing they could do about but did offer a 10% goodwill off of parts and labor. They suggested I take it up Ford Consumer Service 1-800-392-3673. Before I called Ford Consumer Service, I checked on-line to see if I was the only one with this problem.

Much to my surprise, there are a lot of us. When I spoke with Virgil? he knew nothing of this problem and said there were no recalls but he would note my problem on my record should a recall occur I would be notified. It was a kind of "so sad, too bad" type of thing. Said there weren't enough complaints for Ford to do (care) anything about. I would like to see this problem exposed.

- , Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #42

Dec 242010

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I guess this happen frequently. I had problems with this car since day 1. I will be selling this car and never buy a Ford again.

- , Manteca, CA, USA

problem #41

Mar 082011

Focus SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,838 miles


I thought I would never have to replace this ignition again. Went to Sacramento in February with this Focus. Car was wonderful on the trip. Came home and 2 weeks after we got home, replaced the 2 year old ford battery. Now I am looking at replacing the ignition again. Will call a local locksmith from the yellow pages. Want to get ride of this car, but what else is out there?

I'll never listen to the advisers at Ford and will not buy another one.

Update from Jun 26, 2012: I bought another car, not from Ford. I "sold" this focus, with 130,000 miles on it and she gave it to her grandson. This cute little problem now lives in Palm Springs!

- , Rancho Bernardo, CA, USA

problem #40

Jan 102011

Focus 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

The problem that I have is: When I put the key in the ignition the steering wheel is locked. The key will not turn! This has happened about three or four times in the past two years. I was able to rock the car back in forth those other three or four times and the steering would unlock and the car would start. I really don't know if that solved the problem or not because the car is having the same problem and all the rocking back in forth has been unsuccessful! It looks like that a couple of other people have had the same problem. What was your solution to fix this problem. Thanks EdY

- , Vista, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 182010

Focus LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 81,000 miles

This is my 18 yr. old dtrs. car and we have loved it since we bought it 2 yrs. ago used. Perfect car in every way until Sat. and the key started sticking w/out warning. We were able to jiggle it 3 different occasions and took out on our 350 mile trip not sure what was wrong w/ it. Halfway on our trip for Christmas w/ one of my other dtrs w/ us, ( I have 4), we stopped to go potty and when we came back out it was completely frozen and could not be budged. Since it was a Sat. no Ford parts/service places were open period, couldn't get a rental since it was a Sat. and we waited 30' for a tow truck. We then, all 6 of us, had to pile into my husband's 1996 B2300 Mazda truck w/ over 170,000 miles on it & only seats 5 legally and drive for another 3 hours that way. I did have it towed to the nearest Ford dealer and found out today they want to charge me $631.75 for a new ignition and key!!!!! Ridiculous! This is so unfair it's not even funny. Something has got to be done by Ford to fix this problem. I am soooo sick over all of this and now have to drive 3 hours one way again to go pick it up and bring it home myself b/c I can't afford to have it fixed this close to Christmas.

- , Sulphur Springs, TX, USA

problem #38

Dec 242010

Focus ZX3 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles


This was absolutely ridiculous! Such an inconvenience on Christmas Eve none the less. It took me over two hours to get any type of turn with the key. The worst part about it is I know a hammer isn't always going to work and I am going to have to pay out of my own pocket to replace this stupid obviously faulty part. Who has money to be wasting especially in this economy. I can honestly say I will NEVER buy a Ford again! Worst cars EVER. Ford needs to stop denying that there is any type of problem and issue a recall because it is obviously faulty and dangerous for the consumer to be stranded in possibly a bad area because they can't get their car to start.

- , Riverside, CA, US

problem #37

Nov 082010

Focus Z3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

This has been going on for 2 years. This is a 2004, with 35,000 miles on it. I already ruined one key, now today after not happening for months, it was so locked up it took my mechanic 20 minutes to "ROCK" it out. I am disabled in my hands, so once its locked I cannot do anything about it. I am tired of FORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this car has cost me major money. The Auto repair that replaced my Transmission at 24,000, gave me the number of a guy that comes to your home. He replaces the ENTIRE ignition, so you DO NOT have to get the keys re-chipped. Cost is 190.00, which is better then the 500.00 the dealer wanted, however the FORD service guy told me that INDEED replacing the entire ignition DOES NOT require re-keying the car, and 190$ is a great price. How I hate FORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Escondido, CA, USA

problem #36

Sep 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles

I tried to go get lunch during my break at work and was unable to start my car. The key would not turn in the ignition for the life of me. I spent about 10-15 minutes trying to turn the key before I gave up and came back to my desk. I looked the issue up online and saw someone suggest tapping the key while it was in the engine at: http://www.fordproblems.com/Focus/key-wont-turn-in-the-ignition.shtml . I tried this, and after the second attempt, I was able to turn my key again.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 092010


  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I would not be so upset if I knew this was going to be a one time deal but from what I have read on posts this will be a continuous problem and one that ford should do a recall on!

- , Po Box 601, Welaka, USA

problem #34

Sep 102010

Focus SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,758 miles


This key problem happened out side the vets office. I am so glad I had read about the problem on Auto Beef from others so I knew not to panic. I finally got the key to turn and was on my way to the dealer.

- , Rancho Bernardo, CA, USA

problem #33

Aug 312010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

This is the first problem I have ever had with my Ford Focus. There was no warning. I parked the car for several minutes, returned and was unable to turn the key. Several of us tried turning the wheel and pumping the brakes. I had to get a AAA tow and tomorrow I will learn what is required to fix my car. If it is a poorly-designed and constructed ignition, as is reported in many online blogs, Ford should do a recall and/or a goodwill repair.

- , Nantucket, MA, USA

problem #32

Apr 112010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The ignition lock froze up without warning leaving us stranded across town. Thankfully we were in a safe part of town with access to tools so we got the problem resolved temporarily. The ignition can be un frozen by taking apart the steering column and removing all electrical components from the lock. Then put a drip pan under the lock and blow all the metal shavings out of the lock with a liquid lubercant. DO NOT USE WD40. we used a firearm lubercant which will not clump the new shavings and it has worked rather well so far (BreakFree). As a percaution we leave the key in the lock which is risky to do in bad parts of town. To circumvent this we remove the key RFID sensor from the car which prevents the engine from starting at all no matter what the lock is doing. This has started to create problems with the immoblizer in the car and now we are looking at needing that to be reset every so often.

The best place to get this fixed is NOT at the dealership as they will use the same crappy parts that got you into this mess to start. Go to a lock smith and have them use NON ford parts. We are waiting on a aftermarket lock to arrive from http://www.sandiegolockandsafe.com which has considerable experiance on this issue (along with most lock smiths worth their salt). IF this happens to you and you live in california go here: http://www.fazmiclaw.com/ , send them a message and attach yourself to the now pending lawsuit (08-15-2010).

- , Riverside, CA, US

problem #31

Aug 052010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,500 miles

This problem left me stranded 20 miles from home. I was car pooling with a co-worker so it left her stranded 20 miles from home also. Where the car was parked was another huge problem as access by a tow truck would have been a very expensive dilemma. After thorough research by my boyfriend of this continuous problem with Ford Focus, he found a possible fix of tapping the key in the ignition with a hammer while turning it and the car finally started. Now I have to leave my key in the ignition ALL the time to hope it will continually run.

- , Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #30

Jul 282010

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,244 miles

I am livid!!!!! I was stuck in the parking lot of the dentist office with 3 kids and could not start my car!!!! I bought this car second hand just 6 months ago. Here I was with the children and could not get anywhere! Not to mention it was a hot day. The key would go in the ignition, but it would not turn. No matter how hard I tried, or how hard I jiggled the wheel it would not turn. I ended up having to get my Mother to drive out to get us and left the car on the parking lot. Then after my husband got home he went up (after google) and he used a little oil on the key, a tapped the key with a crow bar (no hammer close by) and sure enough it worked. The question is how long will it work for? When will it happen again? I cannot be worrying that my car is not going to start when I leave the grocery store, or the doctors office, or the bank, whatever! My kids are always with me, and they are 10, 5, and 2! What am I supposed to do with them while my car is deciding it doesn't want to work today??? I was really in love with this car until today! Now it's a huge safety issue for me and my children. Why the hell hasn't Ford stepped up to the plate and fixed this issue? Sorry to say my opinion of Ford and especially my Ford Focus is seriously tainted!

- , Marystown, NL, Canada

problem #29

Jul 022010

Focus ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

My daughter was driving the car, stopped to pick up a prescription and couldn't start the car. The key wouldn't turn and we tried everything. Finally took it to Pep Boys (big mistake), and they replaced the system. I was told it would cost around $400. After they completed this, they informed me that the keys needed to be re-programmed and only a Ford dealer could do that. The reprogramming cost $207 -- what a rip off. We've heard that the fix is likely only temporary, so I'm looking to get rid of this piece of junk and buy a foreign make like I should have in the first place.

- , Littleton, CO, USA

problem #28

Mar 292010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

I got out rather cheap, I did the work myself. the main thing is it happened away from home and I had to get a tow truck to get my car home. I had to go into work that night

and I had to borrow a vehicle from my dad to get to work. I ended up using my dads vehicle all week until I finished the repairs myself. It cost me $40 dollars to have my car towed home and $104 for the part. If I had not been able to do the work myself it would probably have cost up to $500. If you are having trouble turning your key but still can, then I suggest having your tumbler changed out before you can't turn it at all.

- , Belmont, MS, USA

problem #27

Feb 252010

Focus ZTS 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

This as been a very good car but!! I have had trouble turning the ignition for a while and after reading on this web site it seems Ford needs to address this problems considering what Toyota is going thru

- , Brooks, KY, USA

problem #26

Jan 072010

Focus ZX5 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

The car will not shut off because the key wont turn back. weve tried wiggling the key, moving the shifter and still nothing. the ignition locked up for some reason & we've had to disconnect the battery for now.... dont know what to do.

- , Jacksonville, NC, US

problem #25

Nov 172009

Focus ZX3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,592 miles

click to see larger images

key won't turn in the ignition

I've owned 2 Ford vehichles.1 was a 1995 Ford Mustang.Just so happen the f*cking motor blew up on me.Not once but,twice.Thanks to a bit of spare money I was able to purchase the extended warranty.I sold it after the second motor was installed.That was not the case with this SORRY ASS FORD FOCUS ZX3.I'm a single parent and I live paycheck to paycheck.Not to mention that we are in a ression,that the president refuses to and or is blind to admit is not getting better!!!!! I contacted my local Ford dealership and all i got was BULLSHIT and an expensive quote when I told them my ignition switch was locked.

I have read countless complaints lately about Ford vehicles.I purchased the car for the gas mileage and convience of owning a compact vehicle.But i'll never do it again.NOT A F*CKING FORD ANYWAY!!!!!....People take all Ford owners advice.DON'T DO IT.....Educate yourself on the vehicle you purchase,learn about the Lemmon Law.Take the car to a reputable automachanic to have them check the vehicle before you purchase it........

- , S, TX, USA

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