You may find yourself with the steering wheel locked for no apparent reason as you prepare to take the wheel of your Ford Focus. This typically happens, and in most cases it is not very serious. However, be sure to follow the steps we will examine with you in in an attempt to find the remedy as simply and quickly as possible.
Before answering the question, we will first remind you how the starter mechanism works.
How the steering wheel of my Ford Focus works
First, the starter switch is made up of two components.
- The cylinder of the lock in which you insert the key to turn it
- The electronic switch behind it. It gives the electrical impulse to start your Ford Focus’s engine as soon as you turn the key.
When should it be changed?
Three cases may justify the need to change the switch on your Ford Focus:
- The switch on your steering wheel was damaged or forced, most often because someone tried to steal your car.
- The switch suddenly failed and no longer works at all.
- The switch on your Ford Focus reveals signs of weakness, there is a small delay between the time the engine starts or you have to press the key very hard.
Check properly your steering wheel with your Ford Focus’s manual to see if the switch is made of one piece or if the two elements (lock cylinder and switch) are different. Indeed, it is possible to exchange only the out-of-service element, which is more economical. You will have to spend about a hundred euros if you use a garage, between 20 and 50 € if you change it yourself.
Now to the facts:
How do I unlock the steering wheel of my Ford Focus?
On a car, locking the steering wheel when stationary is a basic safety feature against theft. The steering wheel can only be unlocked by inserting the matching key into the vehicle.
Insert the key into the switch. Your steering wheel has most likely been locked since the last time you removed the key from the switch.
To unlock the steering wheel, simply turn the key to the right and you can start the engine of your Ford Focus. Try without forcing, in mechanics, it is hardly ever good to force so act smoothly on the steering wheel and the key until you find the unlocking point.
Maneuver the steering wheel, if your key is locked, turn the steering wheel in the direction it wants to move and your key will then simply turn. Be careful, you must be more or less synchronized when you turn the steering wheel and the key of your Ford Focus.
Do not shake the steering wheel too hard. If you force too hard, you may ruin the switch pinions, which will completely block the steering wheel on your Ford Focus. If this still doesn’t work, try to remove the key slightly. The plan is to find a position that would allow it to turn. Try one or two millimetres less depressed.
If you can start, your key is worn out. It would therefore be wise to change it quickly.
It is also possible that your switch may be gripped. In the event of a blockage, it may necessitate a little specific anti-seize agent. Send one or two splashes into the slot of your Ford Focus’s switch and then try to insert the key again. Play it gently to use product all over it.
Also, simply check that your key is not damaged or blunt; if the teeth are no longer as they were originally, they will no longer be able to move the pinions of the cylinder on your Ford Focus’s steering wheel.
If the problem originates from your key, remember to take your duplicate in order to make another duplicate and thus have two keys that are in working order for your Ford Focus.
As you have read earlier, the main causes for a steering wheel lock are a damaged key or a jammed cylinder. In automotive mechanics, the majority of breakdowns or malfunctions are due to units that are poorly or not taken care of. Keep them in good condition by simply cleaning them regularly and also by taking care of them to maximize their life span.If you have any additional questions about the Ford Focus, do not hesitate to consult our Ford Focus category.