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1996 Ford Ranger wont turn off

I have a 1996 Ford Ranger which was manufactured in 08/95. The key will crank the trunk fine, but it when put into the off position nothing happens. It continues to run as normal. You can even take the key out, but the truck runs like normal. Could this be bad ignition switch? The key seems to be doing its job because I can see the plastic pin(? I am not sure what its called) move back and forth down steering column when the key is turned. Any help would be appreciated.

You probably need a new ignition switch.

Tilt wheel? If the workings of that are all worn out…the steering wheel will be loose and the ingnition switch mechanisms (rod, etc) will jam up…very common…may need to rebuild (bearings mostly) the column or buy a junker.

The lock/tumbler/key mechanism is separate from the ignition switch. The tumbler activates a rod which activates the ignition switch located on the steering column. Bad switch or misadjusted would be a good guess, unless it is a diesel which could then be the fuel shut off solenoid.

When the column gets loose, the rod gets bent…the switch usually becomes hard to turn and will stick…or the lock cylinder will be difficult to operate and allow the rod to stick…speaking from a position of being a ford mechanic back in the day of this vehicle…also try it out with the tilt wheel centered.

It is a tilt wheel. I When I change the switch/column, do I need to remove the steering wheel or just the plastic covering?

Since it pushes but doesn’t pull you’ll need to replace one or more of the linkage pieces in the column.
From the ignition lock cylinder down to the ignition switch is a two piece linkage allowing the column to tilt yet still push & pull.
The two pieces are plastic, one of them is broken.
To gain acces to them is a pretty major disassembly of the column. Get a repair manual or have someone do it who’s familiar already.

thanks, I will try it out.