Exclusive & Easy Guide On: Ford Ignition Lock Cylinder Removal Without Key In 2023

You can do a Ford ignition lock cylinder removal without key without having to be an expert. Here, we’ll want to show you how. The process is not easy, though. But it’s still worth trying by yourself.

It takes more time than it would typically do with a key, but it’s totally doable. There are actually several methods to remove the cylinder without a key you can try.

Below, we’ll explore all these methods you can use to remove the cylinder. So take a look below to check them up!


How to Remove Ignition Lock cylinder On a Ford Vehicle Without a key

Using a screwdriver is perhaps the most well-known way to remove the ignition lock cylinder on your Ford vehicle without using a key.

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It is pretty simple and does not take much time. Here’s how to do it:

01. What You Will Need

Below, you’ll find all the tools you will need throughout this process:

  • A screwdriver—the easiest way to pull out the cylinder is by using a screwdriver. You’ll stick it inside the ignition and then turn it to the ACC position.
  • A hammer—since it’s pretty hard to stick the screwdriver inside the ignition, get a hammer to make the job easier.

02. Disconnect The Battery

First and foremost, disconnect the vehicle’s battery. Keep in mind that you’ll be dealing with electrical components.

Getting electrocuted while working on your car is not out of the question. To prevent this, unplug your car’s battery.

03. Screw the Ignition

For the Ford ignition lock cylinder removal without key, get yourself a nice screwdriver.

Then, stick it inside the ignition. Now that the screwdriver is inside, grab the hammer and start hitting the end of the screwdriver.

Keep hitting on it until you get it all the way in. Alternatively, keep hammering until you can use the screwdriver as your key.

So, once you can turn the screwdriver, make sure to turn it to the “ACC” position.

Keep in mind that you will destroy the inside of the ignition. But it doesn’t matter since you’ll have to replace it anyway.

04. Remove the Cylinder

Now, you’ll have to figure out where your cylinder is located.

This way, you’ll know whether you need to remove the kick panel or the covers from the steering wheel.

If the cylinder is on the steering wheel, you should find a tab underneath.

That tab is holding the ignition lock together. Typically, the cylinder will fall right out when you push it down.

So, go ahead and grab your screwdriver and press it down. You should now feel the screwdriver going inside the cylinder. Next up, pull out the cylinder.

If you can’t find that little tab, you will have to take out the steering wheel cover since it is inside.

To do this, unscrew the screws underneath the steering wheel. But before removing the cover, make sure there’s nothing else holding the cover together.

Now the area is exposed. Next up, remove the cover on top of the cylinder.

Simply unscrew the screws underneath the ignition lock. And now you should see the little metal tab.

There you go, that’s all it takes to remove the ignition lock cylinder.

If you got stuck somewhere, here’s an in-depth video that goes through all the steps we covered above:

How to Replace a Lock Cylinder Using a Drill

Another common way to get the cylinder out is to use a drill.

This method might not sound like a great idea since you could damage other parts.

As long as you’re careful enough, you won’t blow anything else.

1. What You Will Need

To remove the cylinder using a drill, here all the tools you will need:

  • A drill—to remove the cylinder, you’ll need to use a drill
  • A drill bit—for the first pass, go with a smaller bit. But as you drill more and more, you’ll need a bigger one. So, get a bunch of different sizes for this project.
  • A paper clip—there’s a little hole somewhere on the cylinder, which you need to push down. To do this, use a paperclip or anything small enough to get inside.
  • A set of pliers—when drilling, your drill bit might get stuck inside, so we suggest getting a set of pliers just in case.
  • A bucket—metal shavings are quite annoying to deal with. Place a bucket underneath, and it’ll catch most of them as they are falling down.

2. Unplug The Battery

Like we said before, before attempting to remove the cylinder, please disconnect the battery.

Working with electrical components can be dangerous, so it’s best to disconnect the power source before dealing with them.

3. Drill The Old One Out

Here you will have to drill the ignition lock cylinder. Watch out. Drilling might damage other parts of your vehicle.

That said, start drilling into the cylinder. But as you’re doing it, don’t go all the way. Instead, keep it straight and slow.

As you’re drilling, the “cap” should come right off. If it does not come out after a while, use a screwdriver and get it in there.

Once you’ve removed that, keep drilling. At some point, you might get stuck when drilling.

To get around that, wiggle it a little bit, and you should be good to go.

Also, we suggest placing a bucket underneath the steering wheel so it can catch all the metal shavings as you’re drilling.

4. Pull It Out

You should now see the tumblers inside the cylinder. If you can’t see them, keep drilling and get rid of all the metal shavings inside.

The only thing we care about here is the lock on the cylinder. That’s what holds the ignition together.

If you can get rid of that, you’ll be able to remove the cylinder. That said, once you can make it out, take a screwdriver and pull it out.

From there, you should see a tiny hole. Inside that hole, there’s a tab, which you need to press.

After pressing it down, the cylinder will come out. So, grab your paperclip, and try to get it inside. Now, the cylinder should fall out.

5. Removal of Ignition Lock     

The final step of learning how to change Ford ignition lock cylinder without a key is to install it, doing the opposite of the removal.

But before you stick the new one in there, clean everything out.

With that out the way, grab the new one and push it in. After that, the unit should lock in place. However, if you can’t push it in, remove anything that’s getting in the way.

How To Code a New Ignition Lock Cylinder

Down below, you’ll find how to key your new ignition lock cylinder. Before getting started, keep in mind that the procedure for your vehicle might be different. Nonetheless, you should know how to set up the new ignition by the end of the article.

1. What You Will Need

To set up the new ignition lock cylinder, get the following tools:

  • Lubricant—consider rubbing a lubricant all over the ignition. This way, you’ll reduce friction and wear over time.
  • A paper clip—to remove the tumblers from the old ignition, use a paper clip.

2. Remove The Old Tumblers

First and foremost, put the new ignition and the old one on a clean surface.

This process is quite simple, but it can get pretty messy with all the tumblers around.

With that out the way, remove the tumblers from the old ignition. To remove them, find the lines across the ignition lock cylinder.

Inside the cylinder, you should see a “circle.” So, grab your clip paper and get it inside to take it out.

3. Set Up The New Cylinder

After removing the first tumbler, you’ll notice it has a number. For example, it could have the number 3 written on it.

So, if the number 3 was on the first slot, you have to put the new tumbler in that exact same slot.

But before you put the tumblers on the new ignition, grab a spring and put it inside the new one.

The springs must go on the rounded part of the new ignition lock cylinder. After that, install the new tumbler.

4. How to Key a Ford Ignition Lock Cylinder

Next up, grab your key and put it inside the ignition. The lock should go down as you put the key inside.

Now, repeat the same process for the tumblers and springs.

Once you’ve set up the rest of the tumblers, put the key inside again to make sure the lock goes down. All the tumblers should move as you put it in.

Finally, get a little bit of lubricant and put it all over the tumblers. And that’s it. You’ve successfully set up the new ignition.

Ford Ignition Lock Cylinder Replacement Cost

Don’t want to remove the cylinder on your own?

Well, here is a little bit of information regarding the cylinder replacement, which you might find useful before taking the vehicle to the dealer:

Cylinder Replacement

The average cost for an ignition lock cylinder replacement is about $300. The labor to remove and install a new one takes about an hour.

Keep in mind that sometimes using the key alone is not enough to remove the cylinder.

So, the dealer might have to employ destructive methods, increasing the final cost.

What’s more, the dealer has to rekey to match the old key, which takes about thirty minutes.

They also have to program the anti-theft system. In total, you should expect to spend about $500-$600.

But keep in mind that prices are subject to change depending on where you live. If you live in a big city, prices might be a little bit higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find useful information about ignition lock cylinders on your Ford vehicle:

Can you change an ignition lock cylinder without a key?

Yes, even if you can’t change the ignition lock cylinder without your key, you could use a screwdriver to get inside.

Using this method or any other will damage the cylinder. So, bear that in mind.

How much does it cost to replace the ignition lock cylinder?

Generally speaking, the cylinder itself costs about $300, while the labor can cost anywhere from $250 all the way up to $320.

What causes a key not to turn in the ignition?

If the steering wheel is locked, put as much weight as you can on it towards the direction that it was locked in.

After that, put the key inside the ignition and then turn the key as you move the steering wheel.

Doing this might take some time, so don’t be afraid of using too much strength.

Does a new ignition switch require a new key?

When replacing the ignition, you’ll have to take program it.

Consider going to a Ford specialist and make sure they have all the tools and software to set up the new keys.


There are many ways to learn how to remove Ford ignition lock cylinder removal without key. I

f one does not work for you, you can always try the other methods.

Most of the time, the screwdriver is more than enough to remove the old cylinder.

But if that does not work out for you, you can always use a drill and drill the old one out.

This method takes more time, and some drivers don’t feel comfortable using a drill on their vehicles.

Finally, keep in mind that any of these methods take a little bit of time.

Some people might be able to get it on their first try, while others might spend more time than they thought.

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