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I have a Ford focus 2002 and the wheel is locked and the car won't start.I am assuming based on my research that it is the ignition cylinder that is out and that it the problem. my question is how would I go about this repair because I don't have money to pay a mechanic and this repair is not part of my warranty says ford auto. I can't get the key to start the ignition it just won't turn over .

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jamey Wozniak, Owner and CEO at Joe's Hitch, Trailer & Truck Accessories I would suggest you invest in an owners manual - Chilton's or such.  As a car ages you will need to do the maintenance.  You can purchase a new cyklinder at the dealer or other autoparts stores.  There may be special tools that will be required so check it out before jumping in.  Its not a difficult job.  Don't hesitate to use forums and the web to get step-by-step process.  I don't have your exact manual but web sites like offer a DIY printout on their site.  Safe Driving - Lauren Fix, The Car Coach

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Many times the steering wheel is left turned to the left or the right when the car is parked. This puts pressure on the lock cylinder and in order to turn the key the steering wheel needs to turn a little bit to the left or right while trying to turn the key. It's not always easy to do this, but you should be able to jiggle the steering back and forth and turn the key to start the vehicle. If this doesn't work then it may be possible that the cylinder needs to be replaced. At this point you'll need to take it in for service.

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Before you start messing around with the cylinder lock, did you try the jiggle method? Sometimes if the steering wheel locks hard, you have to give it a hard jiggle while your turning the key at the same time to get it to let go If there is really something wrong with the ignition cylinder, I highly advise you not try to fix it yourself. This is a difficult job, and one that the mechanics in the back grumble about when a problem like this comes in. It's not an easy job and if it is not done correctly, the problem just grew 3 fold. Best of luck!

Patty Streeter,  at Read answers from our Expert Women! -Patty

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