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Help with ignition barrel


Jade Bernice
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I have a 2001 Ford Focus. Recently just put it through the MOT with £395 of repairs only for the garage to ring and say they have a problem getting the key to turn. I've not really had a problem with the key before except sometimes it sticks on a first try, so I think it's no big deal. However, it takes me 40 mins to be able to start it.
They finish off testing it for the MOT and I drive it straight home without stopping it just in case. Sure enough, I now can't get the key to turn.
The garage suggests a place to get a new key cut as it looks faded. They look at the key and says it's too faded to get the number so nothing they can do. They give me a name and number of someone who they say could 'build the barrel up'? I've contacted the guy today who says no they can't do that. They could make a new key, but this would probably be more expensive than the car is worth. In conversation I mention I've considered just replacing the barrel. They then said it's possible, but the new barrel would have to be programmed to the car? They would come out and do this, but again expensive.
I've seen videos where the barrel has looked o be replaced so now, I'm just not sure what to do. I could probably get the old barrel out myself but would a new barrel work? Weather it's with the need for having a separate key for ignition then all the other locks or being able to adjust the new barrel to my old key. Or a way to find out the number for my key? I don't care. I just want to be able to get my car started and back on the road after paying £400 for the MOT. So any advice please.

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Barrel doesnt have to be programmed to car.  The immobiliser chip in the plastic part of the key needs to be programmed to car. Perhaps replace barrel and key and move chip from old key to new key.   You can sometimes on eBay get keys cut from photos.  This is because the person can recognise the key code from looking at the picture of the key.  You could try sending one of those the pic and asking if they can do it.  With regard to replacing barrel, you need to be able to turn the key to a certain position I believe to withdraw the barrel, so getting the barrel out might be a problem.

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As per what as isetta has already said, The ignition barrel is a purely mechanical device and does not require any kind of coding or programming. On your model if I remember correctly there is a plastic ring behind the trim, that is fitted around the ignition switch, this is the receiver loop aerial for the immobiliser. It is detachable and is just moved over on to a new ignition barrel.

Again as isetta has said if you post some good high quality photos of the key blade (assuming this is the tibbe key) then many of us here can read the key number from the photo.

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12 hours ago, Jade Bernice said:

The garage suggests a place to get a new key cut as it looks faded. They look at the key and says it's too faded to get the number so nothing they can do. They give me a name and number of someone who they say could 'build the barrel up'? I've contacted the guy today who says no they can't do that. 

Barrels can be built for these.  I made one for a Mk6 Fiesta which I believe is exactly the same Tibbe style as the Mk1 Focus.  You will still need a new key cut though...as your worn key is unlikely to fit a new barrel effectively.

If you don't have the key code (number), you can disassemble the old barrel carefully.  There are 4 plates inside that match the key, each of those plates has a number stamped into it.  Those plates together make up the code.

Do you have remote central locking or just a 'solid' key with no buttons?

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39 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Barrels can be built for these.  I made one for a Mk6 Fiesta which I believe is exactly the same Tibbe style as the Mk1 Focus.  You will still need a new key cut though...as your worn key is unlikely to fit a new barrel effectively.

If you don't have the key code (number), you can disassemble the old barrel carefully.  There are 4 plates inside that match the key, each of those plates has a number stamped into it.  Those plates together make up the code.

Do you have remote central locking or just a 'solid' key with no buttons?

 

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Hi There, Try spraying some thin oil or silicon spray into key slot only a little bit.

(NOT WD40 as its a water repellant and turns sticky) Then wiggle key and steering wheel

to get it to turn fully.Most times old barrel worn with key or fluff gets into barrel from keys in

pocket or purse. 

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2 hours ago, Henryge said:

Hi There, Try spraying some thin oil or silicon spray into key slot only a little bit.

(NOT WD40 as its a water repellant and turns sticky) Then wiggle key and steering wheel

to get it to turn fully.Most times old barrel worn with key or fluff gets into barrel from keys in

pocket or purse. 

+1 on this.  You didn't say if the key turns at all before jamming or just doesn't move, and  what did you do for 40 minutes to get it going at the garage?  I had a key that would turn in the ignition on a non Ford car a few years ago, VW wanted £800 to supply and fit a new barrel so I declined and sprayed lubricating oil into the key hole and it cured it.  It took a bit of wiggling and swearing the first few times but has been fine for the past 4 or 5 years since.

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Not surprised he had issues of getting someone to 'build a barrel', I did exactly that for my bonnet lock so I could still use the original key. It's not complicated, but, it is very very time consuming! (though my own labour for my own car comes pretty cheap LOL)

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On 12/1/2022 at 11:17 AM, TomsFocus said:

Barrels can be built for these.  I made one for a Mk6 Fiesta which I believe is exactly the same Tibbe style as the Mk1 Focus.  You will still need a new key cut though...as your worn key is unlikely to fit a new barrel effectively.

If you don't have the key code (number), you can disassemble the old barrel carefully.  There are 4 plates inside that match the key, each of those plates has a number stamped into it.  Those plates together make up the code.

Do you have remote central locking or just a 'solid' key with no buttons?

Just been using a solid key, the central locking doesn't work so no issues there.

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On 12/1/2022 at 12:02 PM, Henryge said:

Hi There, Try spraying some thin oil or silicon spray into key slot only a little bit.

(NOT WD40 as its a water repellant and turns sticky) Then wiggle key and steering wheel

to get it to turn fully.Most times old barrel worn with key or fluff gets into barrel from keys in

pocket or purse. 

I'll try this. I did spray some lube onto the key itself but wasn't sure about trying it into the barrel. Thanks.

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On 12/1/2022 at 2:36 PM, south_bound said:

+1 on this.  You didn't say if the key turns at all before jamming or just doesn't move, and  what did you do for 40 minutes to get it going at the garage?  I had a key that would turn in the ignition on a non Ford car a few years ago, VW wanted £800 to supply and fit a new barrel so I declined and sprayed lubricating oil into the key hole and it cured it.  It took a bit of wiggling and swearing the first few times but has been fine for the past 4 or 5 years since.

Just kept trying it again and again until it finally turned. 

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On 12/1/2022 at 12:19 AM, unofix said:

As per what as isetta has already said, The ignition barrel is a purely mechanical device and does not require any kind of coding or programming. On your model if I remember correctly there is a plastic ring behind the trim, that is fitted around the ignition switch, this is the receiver loop aerial for the immobiliser. It is detachable and is just moved over on to a new ignition barrel.

Again as isetta has said if you post some good high quality photos of the key blade (assuming this is the tibbe key) then many of us here can read the key number from the photo.

I'll have a look, I don't think there is an immobiliser on it. 

 

IMG_20221130_210231_950.jpg

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22 hours ago, unofix said:

I guess Jade didn't like any of the advice that was offered. Came back and read the replies 3 hours ago but didn't pass comment.

This is the first chance I've had to get back on here. If it was showing I'd been back on yesterday I may have gone to read the replies and got distracted. I was just so shattered last night. 

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16 minutes ago, Jade Bernice said:

I'll have a look, I don't think there is an immobiliser on it. 

 

IMG_20221130_210231_950.jpg

Wow, I think that's the worst one I've seen, not surprised they couldn't get the code from that.  No remote locking won't have helped.

I would expect the car to have an immobiliser but Mk1's are a bit early for my experience.

I think the cheapest thing to do would be buy a new barrel and key set, costs about a tenner on eBay, then just use a different key for ignition and doors.

If you do have an immobiliser, that will need to be programmed at the cost of around £50.

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That is a very,very,very,very worn key !!

If you can post a photo of the key looking down on the edge it would help.

From what I see from the photo you posted the code is 343112 but need more photos to be able to confirm.

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The Focus MK1/MK1.5 does definitely have the PATS immobilizer system as standard.

On a Focus MK1/MK1.5 without remote central locking the PATS transponder is integrated into a glass tube that is installed in an insert at the back of the key. This generation PATS system should have a blue colored insert.

s-l1600.jpg

The insert can easily be removed using the tip of a sharp knife. This way the PATS transponder can easily be transferred to a new/different key. 

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5 hours ago, JW1982 said:

The Focus MK1/MK1.5 does definitely have the PATS immobilizer system as standard.

On a Focus MK1/MK1.5 without remote central locking the PATS transponder is integrated into a glass tube that is installed in an insert at the back of the key. This generation PATS system should have a blue colored insert.

s-l1600.jpg

The insert can easily be removed using the tip of a sharp knife. This way the PATS transponder can easily be transferred to a new/different key. 

Yes, it has. 

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On 12/2/2022 at 6:09 PM, unofix said:

That is a very,very,very,very worn key !!

If you can post a photo of the key looking down on the edge it would help.

From what I see from the photo you posted the code is 343112 but need more photos to be able to confirm.

Sorry about the late reply. Work has been hectic. Here is a couple of photos of the edge but they are not great I'm afraid. 

 

IMG_20221203_151922_301.jpg

IMG_20221203_151903_915.jpg

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