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89 Mustang GT Starts Without Key

I noticed something strange the other day that my 89 GT can be started without the key ! Everything works as it should but you do not have to put the key in the ignition lock switch. I did have the ignition switch replaced many years ago when Ford had the recall due to a possible fire… I believe the switch that was replaced is located down under the base of the steering column and activated with a rod from the column key lock… Is it hard to replace this column lock switch ?

I would rather do it myself instead of paying a locksmith to do it…I do have an anti-start security system on it and when you enable it it locks out the ignition. To start it you have to enter a certain 5 number code for it to crank. I had this car since new and only 117k on the clock and runs like new. Where can I obtain a replacement "key lock assembly " ? This is the original key lock on the column…Just worn out I guess . Only thing I replaced on this car was a new clutch due to a bad throw out bearing making noise at 80k and a water pump and serpatine belt at 90k and a noisy fuel pump. Still has the original prone to failure ignition control module.

Even though you want to do it yourself, I think I would just run it by a locksmith. He can pop the lock cylinder out and replace the tumblers or sylinder and match it to your key. Either the tumblers are all worn out or the cylinder itself. I’m thinking if its like most locks, the key and a pick and the thing comes right out. At least run it by one.

The lock cylinder is worn out.

The lock cylinder prevents the operation of the ignition switch on top of the steering column unless the ignition key is inserted.


I wonder how long its been like this ?? I was going out one day and forgot something in the house and had to shut the car off as I needed the house key to get back in the house. I do carry spare car keys on a ring with me and when I went back to start the car I thought I left the key in the ignition.

To my surprise it went from the lock position to on and it started. For now I can keep enabling the no start feature with the anti-theft. I just may take it to a locksmith and let them do it. I remember changing the lock on a 74 Ford pickup and all you had to do was insert the key and a paper clip into a tiny hole and remove the lock. This car does not have that tiny hole to remove the lock with a paper clip and key. I just do not want to get into anything over my head and mess something up where I have to have the car towed to a locksmith. I may take your advise Bing. Thanks. ( Howie )

Thanks Tester…right now I will just use my ignition security lockout…this aftermarket system prevents the car from starting even trying to push start it if you can get the key to the “ON” position as I have the 5 speed manual…I did some research and it seems you have to drill out the original torque screws where the heads break off when installing, and installing new break off torque screws. Just may take it to a locksmith and be done with it. If anyone wants the car that bad they could just tow it…No one knows the security code or the key problem but myself and my brother who sometimes drives the car and lives with me. Just don’t feel like getting into this and messing something up then unable to start it then having it towed.

I don’t know where you got your information from, but that’s not how you replace the lock cylinder.

Disconnect the battery.

If the vehicle has an air bag, wait ten minutes before proceeding.

Remove the two screws that secure the steering column covers and remove the top cover.

Unplug the electrical connector for the key-in-ignition warning chime.

Insert the ignition key and turn the ignition switch to the RUN position.

With a awl or pin depress lock cylinder lock button and remove the lock cylinder.

Take the new lock cylinder and with the key turn it to the RUN position.

Depress the button on the new lock cylinder and insert it into the steering column until the button snaps into the hole.

Turn the lock cylinder to the OFF position.

Install the top steering column cover and reconnect the battery.