How to replace the ignition lock on a 2001 Mazda Tribute or Ford Focus
We used a 2001 Mazda Tribute to illustrate replacing the ignition lock, but the same lock is used on a Ford Focus and the procedure is very similar. Both vehicles are notorious for having ignition locks that fail only after a few years of use. Replacement cylinders that are better designed and last far longer than the originals can be found at carlocksandkeys.com.
Also it should be noted that both vehicles come standard with a transponder security system. A transponder system uses a electronic circuit embedded in the keys key bow or head and communicates with your vehicles computer. So not only do you need a key that will turn the lock, but you also need the electronics to communicate with your cars computer that the correct key is being used. The locks sold at carlocksandkeys.com for the 2001 Mazda Tribute and Ford Focus do not come with transponder keys, but the one key included with the lock can be used to transfer the cuts or duplicate the cuts to a new transponder key. You also have the option of sending your working transponder key to carlocksandkeys.com, and they can rekey the lock to work with your current key. If you are unable to send your working transponder key, than you can have your local locksmith or hardware store duplicate the cuts on your transponder key to a cheap blank and that key can be used to rekey the lock.
2001 Mazda Tribute Ignition Lock Replacement Procedure:
- The ignition lock is connected and
held into place on the steering column using an active retainer pin. To
remove the ignition lock, the active pin must be depressed so the ignition
lock can be pulled out of the column. Also the ignition lock must be in
the ON position otherwise the active retainer pin cannot be depressed. So
in the situation where you lost all your car keys, than the lock must be
either picked by a locksmith or the wafers drilled out so that the lock
can be turned to the on position. To get to the active retainer pin you
must remove the plastic shroud that covers the steering column. The
plastic shroud is held into place by 3 screws underneath the column and
can be seen in the following photo.
- The hole used by the active
retainer pin to hold the ignition lock in place can be seen from the
bottom of the steering column once the plastic shroud is removed. This
hole is shown in the photo below and pointed to by the arrow.
- Insert your key into the lock and
turn the lock to the on position. The retainer pin can only be depressed
when the lock is in the ON position. I used a punch to insert into the
retaining pin hole and depressed the retaining pin. Once the pin is
depressed you can remove the ignition lock. If you have lost your key or
your lock is broken and can't be turned with a key, than contact your
local locksmith. A locksmith can pick the lock to the ON position or drill
out the lock wafers and turn the lock to the ON position without a key.
- Here is a picture of the lock
removed. To install the new lock simply reverse the above procedure.
- The only tools used to remove this
lock was a phillips screw driver and punch.