6th Dec 2006, 12:25

The next time it happens, see if you left or right signal lights work while the problem is occurring. If the engine cuts out and your signal lights don't work at the same time, it probably is the ignition switch. Note that I'm not referring to the the ignition lock cylinder that you put the key into... I'm referring to the switch that the key lock turns on the ignition when you turn the key.

I had that *exact* problem on an old Honda.

In my case, the car would start fine, but as I drove, the keychain attached to my car key would swing just enough to make the worn switch cut out the ignition.

This would happen at any speed at any time except when I wasn't moving.

When you look at these switches (I replaced it myself) you can understand why they fail... basically there is a metal piece that comes out of the ignition lock cylinder that goes into the switch. The area that it goes into on the switch is plastic and will wear out sooner or later. Once worn out, it does strange things like turning off if you giggle or apply pressure the key in a certain way.

Hope this helps.

5th Apr 2007, 16:02

Five documented instances of the same problem within 20000km...I would lemon law the car, except if you're talking about kilometers, you're not in the US.

See if there is a lemon law in your country. No car should die randomly. I have a $300 Chevy Celebrity with a blown head gasket that no one wants to buy from me. But I do know that I can fill the radiator with water, top off the oil, and drive anywhere I want and it won't die on me. Why would I ever spend $15-20K on a new car that just randomly shuts itself off? I gave away my $300 laptop after it started crashing and bought an older laptop for $100. Maybe old technology is better, yes, no?

7th Dec 2007, 16:25

Two things come to mind... If it's not the ignition module then it could be a bad ignition switch. Had that happen to me on an old Honda where after 15+ years of service it started to do that very thing... the engine would cut out while in motion. While in motion, the key would move a little and cause the ignition to cut in and out. Replacing the switch fixed it for me.

28th Jun 2009, 21:52

This happened to our Ford Focus and we returned it under lemon law. This car was a danger to drive.

24th Oct 2009, 21:59

"Sounds like your typical FORD.

(Found On Road Dead)

Next time, buy a pre '90 Toyota."

With Toyota battling hundreds of rollover lawsuits, poor reliability and millions of major safety recalls I don't really think I'd look at one. Besides, there are virtually NO pre-90's Toyotas still running anyway.

25th Oct 2009, 17:56


Ford can't make electrical systems, they can't make charging systems, they can't make steering columns that don't catch on fire, they can't make ignition cylinders that don't get jammed, they can't build an axle that doesn't kill tire tread, and you're saying that you would not look at a Toyota?? Buddy, give your head a shake. You'd be better off driving a Yugo than a Ford.

25th Oct 2009, 19:10

"Besides, there are virtually NO pre-90's Toyotas still running anyway."

Look around, I see pre-90's Toyota's EVERYWHERE.

27th Oct 2009, 14:45

There may be a few pre-90's Toyotas in Japan, but I was referring to the U.S., not Japan. There are virtually none here (at least not outside of junk yards). Ford surpassed Toyota in overall reliability years ago, and the Fusion has outranked the poorly built Camry in reliability by two full levels for the past three years. The 2007 Camry was so bad that Consumer Reports revoked it's "recommended" status. I think that says a lot more about import reliability than one very rare import that miraculously survived (probably by being pampered) for 200,000 miles or so. The Focus is currently rated as a "Best Buy", and is a far better value than either the over-rated Civic or the unreliable Corolla.

22nd Dec 2009, 18:34

Good luck finding a pre '90 Toyota in the midwest. Most of them were rusted out long before the 90's ever even began, let alone the 2000's.







5th Aug 2010, 22:28

The Ford Focus set a record for recalls. The Focus was a huge lemon. Also, wasn't it Ford that built SUVs that flipped over? Didn't they build cars with gas tanks that exploded, and tires that blew up? I don't see many pre 1990 cars of any make on the road. They didn't earn the name Fix Or Recall Daily for nothing.

4th Mar 2011, 18:21

"The real problem lies in not taking proper action to remedy the issue, whatever that may be."

Yeah, Toyota screwed up, but Ford screwed up first. I guess it's okay that it took almost 25 years for them to get their products on par or better than some Toyotas or Hondas. Of course that's perfectly forgivable. It's okay that it took SIX years to fix the Focus and all its glitches and recalls. I guess that's quick proper action.

I suppose it's best to deny any evidence that shows many of Toyota's sudden acceleration issues may have been driver error.

4th Mar 2011, 19:12

I thought it was the '95 Contour that set a record for recalls. In general Ford has a hard time getting their cars right in the first year of production. Subsequent years tend to be better until a major redesign starts the cycle over. We have 2000 Contour, last year of production and an '03 Windstar, next to last year of production. Both vehicles do well even though neither one is perfect. I consider a Focus to replace the Contour, just not an early one.