Question about Ford Econoline

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E-350 steering lock

Drove an E-150 or E-350 (Ford Econovan of some kind) a few hours from home, parked and turned off engine. When I returned to the car just about ten minutes later, the key would go in and out easily, but the key would not turn, and the steering wheel appeared to have a steering lock engaged - it would swivel perhaps an inch and a half in each direction and hit something solid that stopped it runing further. The front wheels were straight. The car was definiteily in Park. I tried turning the key really hard whilst I pulled the steering wheel really hard in one direction and then the other. A guy more familiar with cars tried a bunch of tricks, and then another guy tried a bunch of tricks. Myself and two other people later, and we're stumped. The car simply refuses to release whatever lock it has on the steering + key. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Try looking under the hood. You may need to get a manual or research how to remove the steering to fix the problem. Sounds like a pin came loose of is worn. Also you did not mention the year.

Posted on Nov 22, 2013

Testimonial: "Thanks for your comment! I did have a car (Toyota Echo 2003) where a pin in the keyhole did come loose or get sufficiently worn that I ended up with exactly these symptoms - key won't turn, steering won't unlock. With that car, a mechanic friend removed the keyhole assembly, opened it up, was able to get the faulty pin out, and the car was usable again. So you made a good suggestion for the symptoms."

  • Jonathan Field
    Jonathan Field Nov 24, 2013

    Thanks for taking the time to help out! I did have a car (Toyota Echo 2003) where a pin in the keyhole did come loose or get sufficiently worn that I ended up with exactly these symptoms - key won't turn, steering won't unlock. With that car, a mechanic friend removed the keyhole assembly, opened it up, was able to get the faulty pin out, and the car was usable again. So you made a good suggestion for the symptoms. With this Econovan (borrowed from a friend, and since returned, so I'm not sure what year), the problem turned out to be ridiculously simple : I was using the wrong key. It was a key that slipped right into the ignition as if it was supposed to be there, but it was the wrong key. How I ended up with another key that slipped in the ignition but wasn't the right key, is another story, but hopefully I can save someone else the hassle and time loss I went through - not I, nor the half dozen other people I spoke with for advice, ever thought of asking whether we had the right key in the ignition! Yeah, stupid mistake on my part. Thanks again for stopping to help!



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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: A4 steering lock does not engage and car won't turn over

The steering locks don't necessarily engage when the key is removed, I always turn the wheel before exiting to engage it. There are several positions that will allow the pin to lock in but if between these, it may seem that it isn't locked.

Posted on Aug 23, 2008

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SOURCE: 2000 Toyota Camry LE Cannot turn key in ignition to start car

It sounds like your ignition lock cylinder has a problem. These can be replaced and keyed to match you present key by a locksmith. Call a locksmith for a estimate.

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SOURCE: 2002 Saturn SL1 steering wheel locks

Try spraying WD40 into key hole,then try again.

Posted on Jul 01, 2009

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SOURCE: Steering wheel won't lock - neither will the doors

sounds as if the locking mechanism is wearing out or not making the proper connection to the steering wheel

Posted on Sep 19, 2009

Testimonial: "The first one to even remotely identify the problem! Thanks"

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SOURCE: car steering wheel locked; car won't start

If this is a floor shifter or center console shifter there is actually a lock release next to the shifter. Look next to the shifter handle and you should see a small square plug in the console remove the plug and you will see a little white button in it this is the shifter release push it and you can move the shifter.

Posted on Sep 20, 2009

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