Jul 20 2007
These are not words you really want to hear. Because they usually mean money. I own a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3, and recently the ignition lock started acting finicky. Last night it decided it had enough and just wasn’t going to allow me to turn it at all. The good news is I was at a shopping center two blocks from home, getting my wife dinner, so it was only a few minutes to get home, but I decided to leave the car overnight, since I didn’t have the energy to deal with it just then.
When I called the locksmith this morning, the first words out of the dispatcher’s mouth were, “That’s a common problem, I’m surprised they haven’t done a recall on that yet”. I realize not being able to start the car isn’t a life threatening situation, but the fact that this is happening often enough for the locksmith to not only be aware of it but actually anticipate it really burns me up. I love my little Focus, and it’s been a great car over all, but the fact that I’m about to spend money on a known problem does not make me want to buy another Ford next time I’m looking for a car.
I think my next step is to go have a short talk with the local Ford dealer. Now I’m curious to see if there are any other ‘known problems’ with the car that I’m driving around. It’s got nearly 100,000 miles on it already, and if I hadn’t just done major work on the car, I might be looking to replace it. And this event puts getting another Ford a lot less likely.
Update: $260 to replace the locking mechanism on the steering column, plus the knowledge that the Focus locking mechanism is probably going to have to be replaced again in 2-3 years. Yay.
Update 2: The locksmith has 6 different locks that are supposed to work with my car. So of course, the lock barrell in my car is none of those. And the one it uses is over $100 more and may not be available until tomorrow. The good news is, the locksmith (Economy Lock and Key) is sticking with the original estimate and giving me the lock for what he originally quoted me. That’s good customer service.
Update 3: Read the comment on this post by locksmith Kim Stagg. This is a known problem that is facing a class action lawsuit here in California. Mine is one of the locks that had to be drilled out and for whatever reason a Strattec barrel won’t fit into the lock. Thanks for the information Kim.