Before I get to my question, a bit of background: I drive a 2000 Ford Focus SE. About a month ago, the ignition switch jammed up on me. I could insert my key, but no amount of steering wheel jiggling/gear shifting/brake pressing/brute force could get the thing to turn. End result: $90 for a new switch, and a big fat waste one day of my time drilling the lock and installing the new part. From what I understand, the dealership would have charged me upwards of $300 to do the same thing.
Yesterday, I had a bit of a scare when the switch jammed up yet again, but fortunately, I was able to coax the key into turning with a little bit of elbow grease. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to be able to prevent this from happening again. My research indicates that this is a fairly common problem with this model, caused by a defect in the revolutionary (read: stupid) “sliding-bar-and-tumbler” design for the Focus’ lock.
My question is this: would it be possible for anyone – myself, the dealer, or a locksmith – to remove the tumblers from the lock altogether, thereby preventing the thing from being able to lock up? I understand that doing this, if it’s possible, would allow anyone on Earth to start my car with their own key (or a popsicle stick for that matter), but I’d rather take that risk than have to deal with being unable to start my own car. Besides, I doubt if car thieves go about inserting random keys into ignitions “just in case”. So, does anyone know if this is possible? Thanks in advance for your responses.