Help! Key stuck in the ignition.... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-05-2009
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Help! Key stuck in the ignition....

Alright, so here is my current problem. My truck has been down for a month fixing the blown shock and other assorted goodies, and we finally put it back together last night.

When I tried to start it there was nothing, battery was dead. No biggie, put it on the charger. Took the key out and went back to work. Fast forward a couple hours, battery had about half a charge now, stick the key in and nothing. Take it out. Fast forward another half hour, we decide just to push it out of the 'shop', go to take the key out and it won't release.

So now the key is stuck in the ignition. With the key off the steering won't lock thus not allowing the key to turn that extra bit to release. And the odd thing is with the key off I can shift through the gears with out having my foot on the brake, but with the key on it will not shift out of park with out having the brake pressed.

I am stumped. I've been over all the fuses that it could be and they all appear fine. I've tried it with the battery disconnected, foot on the brake, off the brake, jiggled and wiggled everything I could think of. And I got no where.

The truck is now stored in a secure place, but I wanted to take it out this weekend and can't do that if I can't take the key out.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2009
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I was thinking to myself 'wiggle the steering wheel' appears you have already tried that.

So the ignition still turns?
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Old 02-05-2009
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ya because its usually just the wheel not allowing it to turn back all the way prop something broke inside start taking apart the column
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Old 02-05-2009
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That was my thought too... time to start pulling the column apart...
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Old 02-05-2009
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I dont know how the Ranger is set up but I know two people that have had the same problem. The first one was my dads Saturn. There is a cable that runs from the side of the transmission to the ignition the keeps you from taking it out of park when there is no key in the ignition. We took that think off and then we were able to take the key out. The same thing happened to my friends Cobalt and it was the same kinda issue. Is your truck an auto by chance?
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2009
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This piece is mad as it is the only stock piece left on your truck....
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Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghstrojan08 View Post
I dont know how the Ranger is set up but I know two people that have had the same problem. The first one was my dads Saturn. There is a cable that runs from the side of the transmission to the ignition the keeps you from taking it out of park when there is no key in the ignition. We took that think off and then we were able to take the key out. The same thing happened to my friends Cobalt and it was the same kinda issue. Is your truck an auto by chance?
I think on the ford that is effected by the brake pedal.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
I think on the ford that is effected by the brake pedal.
Really, I think my dads 2000 F-150 doesnt use anything with the break pedal. I can put it in gear without it.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghstrojan08 View Post
Really, I think my dads 2000 F-150 doesnt use anything with the break pedal. I can put it in gear without it.
Its not supposed to, Our 01 f150, to go out of park you have to hit the brake.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2009
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I recommend having a locksmith take a look at it. If the key still turns, this will help you out big time. All you need is a key to turn the ignition and a scratch-awl to remove the plug from the housing. Generally, what you are describing is a timing issue meaning something broke in there and now the key can not get all the way to the off postition. Or maybe the locksmith can give you some ideas to try before spending more cash.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2009
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Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
I think on the ford that is effected by the brake pedal.
It is. Which is what makes this weird. With the key ON the shift lock works, meaning I can't take it out of park without having a foot on the brake. But with the key OFF I can select any gear I want, but the wheel won't lock and I can't remove the key.

I have read a few things saying that there could be a sensor/switch that lets the truck know that it is in Park and that is what releases the key/locks the steering.

I also don't plan on calling a locksmith or taking it to Ford. I built this dang truck from scratch basically, I'm not letting a silly key get the best of me.

So to take the column apart is it really just as simple as the two screws on the bottom of it? Or is there more?
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Old 02-05-2009
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If I remember correctly, it's pretty easy to at least see the guts of the column. I don't remember for sure because I had already pulled the steering wheel by the time I started taking the column apart.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner View Post

I have read a few things saying that there could be a sensor/switch that lets the truck know that it is in Park and that is what releases the key/locks the steering.
I figured that was all gear driven or cable, as the shifter slides up and down in the column i think there are several pieces in the column that move with it.

I wonder how guys when they change to a floor shifter get away with that.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
I figured that was all gear driven or cable, as the shifter slides up and down in the column i think there are several pieces in the column that move with it.

I wonder how guys when they change to a floor shifter get away with that.
Well if that were the case then in theory there should be no difference between Key On and Key Off, since the shifter doesn't move.
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2009
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im sorry man. hahaha.
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2009
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thats funny. mine does that every now and then also. it just comes free after some hard pulling and wiggling.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2009
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roll it to on and take a scrach awl and pop the lock cylinder out. maybe borrow someones lock cylinder and see if its a guts problem in the column or your lock cylinder is messed up. if its the lock cylinder just go buy a new one, there like 20 bux. be done and go romp it.
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2009
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The way ford does it is that with the key in between off and on you can shift out of park without use of the foot brake. They did this incase the cable or whatever they used to make the whole shift lock thing work broke. Found that out when my buddy's step moms crown vic wouldn't come out of park. The ford dealer told her to do that. As to your real problem of getting the switch to fully return to lock. It may just be your ignition switch itself. Not sure how expensive they are but it should be an easy fix.
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2009
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I say take it to the dealership. Wouldn't want to void the warranty!! lol
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2009
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Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
I say take it to the dealership. Wouldn't want to void the warranty!! lol
HAHAHA that's pretty funny.
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2009
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I say take it to the dealership. Wouldn't want to void the warranty!! lol
That ship sailed like 7 years ago... lol
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Old 02-05-2009
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Originally Posted by ranger View Post
This piece is mad as it is the only stock piece left on your truck....
lmao
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2009
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I had this happen when I went to a Seahawks game last year. I parallel parked on a steep hill near the stadium, and my wheels were turned sharp all the way in when I stopped.

Could not get the key disengaged, and had to have friend with me, shove on steering wheel with his leg, while I pulled with my hands and disengaged the key.
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  #24  
Old 02-05-2009
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So I got it. I took the tumbler out, cleaned it off, verified it was working correct put it back in and still nothing. So I grabbed the little bugger with both hands and forced it. Got it.

What it looks like is the problem is actually the key. I tried my spare key, and it works great, normal key, not so much. So I guess the key I've been using for the last seven years is finally worn out. At least I hope that's what it was.

Thanks guys!
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