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I have a 2010 Ford Escape with 95,000 miles.

I have a problem with the car that when I put the key in and turn, the car doesn't crank. The lights come on when the key is turned, but there's no sound and the lights do not flicker.

I understand this problem to be the ignition switch. I had a garage tell me that it was months ago.

So today I went to have it fixed at a different place and the mechanic told me that it was not the switch, but the switch and lock cylinder.

Does this make sense? I don't have any issues turning the key, but to start the car I basically have to push the key in and turn.

I called a locksmith to get a price on the cylinder and he tells me it's not the cylinder, but something electrical like the starter.

I'm trying to avoid paying any more than needed, but I can't seem to get a straight answer.

  • When you say "no sound", you mean there is no clicking sound upon cranking? – Zaid Aug 11 '15 at 21:29
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    Correct. Turn the key and nothing. Push it in hard, turn, and the car starts without issue. – jlatimer11 Aug 12 '15 at 1:13
  • In that case the issue relates to the ignition switch not closing the circuit properly unless you push it in – Zaid Aug 12 '15 at 1:39
  • After reading these problems and answers and replacing my stater it ended up be a 10 min. fix replaced ignition switch. Thanks for info – C J Feb 13 '17 at 1:19
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The absence of a clicking sound indicates that the starter relay isn't energizing the starter circuit.

Here are two possible culprits:

  1. Starter relay.

    It could well be that the solenoid inside relay is sticking, preventing the switch on the starter side from closing and turning the engine over. This would explain why you do not hear the starter relay click (complete silence).

  2. Bad ignition switch.

    If the ignition switch isn't completing the circuit to the starter relay, the car won't start.


I recommend testing the starter relay first since it is the easiest to test.

  • I got a little more information from the mechanic. Apparently the pins inside the cylinder are worn as well. – jlatimer11 Aug 12 '15 at 1:17
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    @jlatimer11 : If the pins are worn I would expect you to find it difficult to turn the key/barrel. – Zaid Aug 12 '15 at 1:34
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It actually ended up being a pin inside the Steering Column Flange (the assembly that the lock cylinder and ignition switch mount to).

Replacing that fixed the problem.

For anyone who sees this, the Ford part number is 9L8Z-3511-A

  • Sometimes the key will actually wear down, a sign would be the silver shavings when you pull the key out. Either way it's a good idea to change both if possible.(speaking from experience!) – bhyeti Feb 13 '17 at 1:37

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