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Q: Starting problem, takes a minute to start now

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My 2009 Ford escape is becoming really difficult to start even though the starter and motor are just fine! The key started needing a little more force than usual around 40,000 miles (at 47,000 now) and now I really need to push hard on the key into the ignition for the engine to turn over. How can I solve this without it costing me an arm and a leg? Or is something broken in there?

This issue on Ford Escapes is usually related to the ignition switch. After multiple turns of the key over time the ignition switch mounting becomes compromised. There is a mounting bracket inside the steering column which enables the ignition switch to be firmly secured to the steering column. When this mounting bracket starts to wear it can cause the ignition switch to move out of its correct position when the key is turned to the run position preventing the vehicle from starting. This is a likely reason why the extra force or push is required to start the vehicle, as this pushes the ignition switch to its correct position for starting. The repair typically involves replacing both the mounting bracket and the ignition switch itself in order to regain full functionality. Unfortunately, Ford has yet to release a recall on this issue and will tell most owners they will fix the issue for a price. On the other hand, your issue may just be related to something broken inside the ignition lock cylinder causing the no start condition. If this is the case the repair cost would be decreased significantly. The cost of the repair is largely determined by which parts are actually faulty. I would recommend having your local Ford dealership or a certified mechanic, such as YourMechanic, diagnose why your ignition key does not turn to find the root cause of your issue. Once the faulty parts are identified a correct repair can be performed. If price is a very large factor try getting quotes on parts and labor rates from multiple sources before making your repair decision.

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