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Ignition key will not enter the cylinder chamber

I have a 2009 Ford Focus. The ignition key can not enter the steering column cylinders unless the key is jiggled with a far amount of pushing. I took the car to the dealership in the late Fall and they replaced the ignition cylinder. This worked fine until Spring when the outside temperature got above 75 F. I have tried using the extra key and it also will not be permitted to enter the cylinder except with a great amount of key jiggling. This problem only occurs when it is above 75 F since I live in Minnesota it is not a problem for 6 months of the year; but, I am concerned that sometime I won’t be able to get the car started. Help! Thanks.

Have an automotive locksmith change the cylinder before it fails completely…

That’s perplexing. Usually it’s when it’s cold out a ignition switch can give you trouble. You can try to spray some lube in the cylinder to try to free up the tumblers. You might be a candidate for another ignition switch. That’s bizarre.

You don’t want to spray lube into a lock cylinder.

The lube attracts dust causing gumming up of the lock cylinder, and when it gets cold out the lube freezes.

If anything, graphite powder is what’s used to lubricate lock cylinders.


This is a common problem with the Focus. One way to deal with it is to leave one key in the ignition lock and never remove it. Use a second key that you carry with you for locking and unlocking the doors.

Here’s a whole thread on the problem: