Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

96 Ford 150 Ignition Key won't turn

My old Ford has developed a brake fluid leak somewhere - to the extent that the pedal can go to the floor! I won’t drive it like that - but now I can’t start it because the ignition key seems stuck in a locked position. I wondering if there is a safety switch that won’t allow the key to turn unless the foot brake is pressed? If not, what’s going on with the key suddenly being locked?

There is a brake pedal interlock solenoid. Check first to see how the truck is parked and if the steering wheel is stressed back against it’s stop, pull over on the steering wheel to give it some slack and maybe the ignition lock will free up. Then check the stop light switch at the brake pedal ( under the dash ) for proper plug-in or placement. If you’ve been fighting with the pedal you might have pulled some wires or yanked the switch somehow.

My memory is really fuzzy and unreliable on this; but, I think that I had a car that I couldn’t turn the ignition key on when the car’s battery got low. On your truck, check the battery voltage, and, if low, put a jumper battery or charger on it. If it helps, good; if not, nothing lost.

Ken -

Thank you. This info will get me started. The truck is at a very remote location, and servicing by a professional is out of the question.

Since you mention a solenoid switch, I’ll also mention that the main solenoid on the starter has also gone bad, but I’ve been starting it the old fashioned way - by shorting across its terminals with a screw driver. I wonder if the failure of that solenoid could also be involved with the ignition key being in locked position?

Thanks for your comment.

TJ Stevenson