Question about 2003 Ford Explorer

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My Ford Ingition switch would not turn?

My ford ingition switch would not turn this morning. I wiggled it and still nothing. Then I remembered there was a switch on the steering collum. I looked under the dash and did not see what I thought I would see there. As I was under there I was wiggling the key, moved some wires thinking it could be eletronic and BAM the ignition switch turned on. Right now it is working. What was it that I did to make this work again?

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  • Damon Dec 01, 2012

    I did forget to mention, I wiggle the steering wheel, it was not completely locked, I stepped on the brake and checked the gear shifter. All that was fine. Put key into ignition and it would not turn at all. When I went under the dash I held key trying to turn it on so I could find the linkage. I saw nothing moving and thats when I thought maybe it was electronic. So I moved some wires and the ignition key turned.

  • Damon Dec 01, 2012

    Yes I have had a problem with the brake switch before.

  • Damon Dec 01, 2012

    It came loose and brake lights were on all the time. Got it tighten back up and problem was solved. I will check it out again and see if something has changed.Thanks for reminding me about that.



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There is an Interlock system that connects the Brake pedal switch, trans shifter, and Ignition key. The Brake pedal switch gets a lot of abuse because the Drivers' feet often hit it under the dash.

When you get a malfunction such as this, look and see if the Brake lights work when you push the pedal. The Ignition switch casing is often adjustable with slide slots on the housing to "time" the unit.

There are variations in the steering column on whether a rod or cable is used to link the Ignition switch to the bottom of the column. Quite possibly the brake switch on the top of the Brake pedal lever is cracked or not firmly in its holder. The signal from the Brake switch releases the Ignition key allowing it to turn.

You may have stretched the shift linkage in forcing the parts to move when they were not released. But check your wires for chaffing and if you have "tilt" and the vehicle fails to work, try a different "tilt" position.

I hope my solution helps and please rate my info.

Posted on Dec 01, 2012

  • fordexpert Dec 01, 2012

    You are welcome. Please rate my info.



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SOURCE: 1997 Ford Taurus ignition switch was jammed and

the ignition switch is located under the dash at the bottom of the steering column.suspect a fault in the linkage connecting tumbler to switch.

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SOURCE: gear shift lever was replaced

does it have a shift lock if so its normally dissengaged by pressing the brake pedal there should also be a release button on the shift lever or located under the consul there should be an acess hole if the switch on the brake pedal is faulty it will not allow u to shift out of park the shift lever can be the cause of the key not comming out if park possition is not selected properly

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SOURCE: ignition key fault

Inside where the key goes give a couple of squirts of three in one oil or similar. It may help.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

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