2004 Ford Escape Ignition Key Stuck and Won't Come Out - Solved



The key is stuck. It doesn’t turn all the way back to the off position and the steering wheel will not lock. The shifter will still move when I turn the key and press the brakes. The car drives fine. Just can’t take the key out of the ignition. This escape has the shifter on the steering column.

Solved: There is a tiny switch (like the one in the pic) that tells the car when the shifter is in the park position. It snaps into position in a little plastic slot. It had popped out of its slot and could not be actuated. It has 3 wires attached to it. I snapped it back into its slot and it works fine now.

Including a pic of it in its proper position. Hard to see it but that’s how it looks when it is correct. Pic was taken with my phone stuck down behind it because I could not see it. So this view is as if you were inside the steering column looking back toward the driver seat.

It is located in the steering column near the top. The top cover on the steering column pops off and you can see it without taking the steering column loose, and with some skill and luck it can be snapped back into its slot. Also before inserting the switch, move the shifter down to another position so the little arm will not be in the way.


@Jon Brotherton
Congratulations! Good Work!

This could help others with a similar problem.

I like these questions that come with answers. They solve themselves!
It reminds me of a Cheers episode I saw on TV some years back…

From my poor memory:
Norm was at the watering hole and was wiggling around and mentioned that he had a problem with his under-pants riding up on him. I believe it was Cliff who suggested he go to the men’s room and straighten out the situation. Norm declined, saying something about his shorts being “self-correcting.” :wink:

P.S. Anybody remember it? Any video clip available?


Thank you for the information. I hope it helps out somebody later on.


Yes, when trying to find a solution, all I saw were stories of how much money they had to spend getting it fixed. It seems mysterious but it’s not.


What was fixed? What’s worn out or broken that caused the switch to come loose in the first place?


It is hard to tell from the pic but from the best I can tell nothing was worn or broken. Possibly wasn’t snapped all the way from the factory and finally came out far enough to be a problem. Or someone worked on it before me possibly and made it come unsnapped. Hard to say. It might pop out again and I will know the little ears won’t hold it in anymore for whatever reason. It’s still working for now…

I think my pics of this were removed. :confused:


I was in NY this past weekend visiting relatives. Gas was the same price as what I pay in NH (which is unusual). Especially since NY has a 20 cent higher gas tax then we do. Up to about a year ago NY gas was always at least 20 cents higher. This is at the same chain (Speedway).


Jon can you please put the photo of exactly where this is. I’m having the same issue. No ring around the park and key stuck in.


My key is stuck. If I could see the pictures I would be able to fix my problem but I can’t see any.