Question about 1995 Ford Escort

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My key wont release the steering lock

My steering wont release when i use my ignition key,and now its not releasing at all.do i need a new ignition

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Yes

Posted on May 11, 2010

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The key will not turn in the ignition the steering wheel is not locked.


Is your key worn out? If it is have a new key made. If key is fine spray some lube into ignitio key cylinder. Use a nozzle to get as deep as possible into cylinder cavity. Then let lub sit for a couple of hours. After, insert key and pull up, down and to sides until it releases. If it does not release you will need to pull out cylinder and lub all tabs or just replace cylinder.

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Its a simple fix - you just need to put your right hand underneath the dash, under the ignition switch with the stuck key, and feel around for the stiff transmission-shift-lock cable, and just giggle it about a bit. Try all directions, don't be aggressive with it; and eventually you will be able to turn the key to the LOCK position. Good luck

I took the cover off the steering column by removing 4 screws. (I had to remove the dash by removing 2 screws behind the Hood release and yanking the cover off. This is how you gain access to the two forward most bolts on the steering column cover.) From hear you should see the shift interlock on the top right of the sterring column. Pull the white lever to release the key lock. Turn the key to lock and remove your key.
I would then purchase a new interlock and replace it.

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hi if the problem is that the lock has locked and wont free when you try and turn the ignition on then what you should try is turning the steering wheel from left to right as hard as you can whilst you try turning the key, the problem is usually that the lock is under pressure from the tyres trying to turn the steering wheel so with this pressure on the lock the key just wont turn so you need to try and release this pressure so that the key will turn and unlock the lock.

so hold the steering wheel tight and turn it left using a bit of pressure whilst you keep trying to turn the key dont hold the key in the same possition as this wont free the lock keep turning the key on and off so that it resets and this should then allow the lock to free and you should be able to start your car, if turning the steering wheel left dont work then try right and repeat with the key on and off until the lock is off and the steering is free.

now it is going to be tight so you will need some force to turn the steering wheel as the force from the tyres will be quite alot so you will need to use force to work the steering wheel left and right whilst turning the key.

now if this still dont work then this will either mean you have a problem with the key or the actual ignition barrel has got a fault if this is the case then your going to need to get a new igniton barrel, the part the key goes into before the lock will free itself, all you need to do to remove the barrel is to remove the cover from the steering wheel surround and then you will see how the barrel comes out of its surround but dont do this until you have a new lock in case you forget how you got it apart.

the chances are the lock is just stuck and working the steering wheel left then right as far as you can will free it up if it dont then you can also try jacking the 2 front wheels off the floor like put the car on stands then try turning the steering left and right to unlock the ignition doing it this way releases the pressure from the tyres and should make it easier to unlock the steering.

let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance ok

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The steering wheel lock is a metal prong that protrudes into the steering shaft from within the ignition lock assembly, that is held on by two security screws pointing upward underneath the plastic steering column covers. You can remove the 2 screws and check out the working of the mechanism. It's probably stuck. Most likely, when you put on the new steering wheel, you simply twisted the ignition assembly and it is now causing the steering lock to be wedged on in the lock channel. Try twisting it back the other direction with your hands and I'm pretty sure it will allow the spring loaded locking mechanism to release. This same problem happened to me and took me a while to troubleshoot what was going on in the mechanism and figure it out. If twisting it both directions and checking to see if it releases with the key turned doesn't fix it, just remove the ignition assembly and lubricate the locking mechanism bolt and that will fix it for sure.

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