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2002 GT - Key Won't Turn

5898 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  652plus2
We have a 2002 GT 4.6L Manual with 65,000 miles. The Mustang was parked inside for most of the summer and not driven. We were going to start the car today and my dad put the battery charger on it and the battery didn't seem to take much charge. We then put the key in it and the key does not turn/rotate at all. We also tried a second key and it will not rotate either. The key cylinder does not move - it actually acts like we are using the wrong vehicle's key. We had the doors closed, put it in neutral, stepped in the clutch, and are sure the steering wheel is free and not binding against the lock. We also tried to turn the key at different tilt settings all the way from top to bottom, and no change. We sprayed WD-40 in the ignition key hole and worked the key in and out a lot, it didn't make any difference. No dash lights come on, the theft light is not on or blinking, but then again, we were never able to get the key to rotate into the on/start position. Nor were we able to get any codes on our reader from the OBD II port for the same reason.

We looked in the Ford Shop Manuals that we have and found that there is a Passive Anti-Theft device (PAT), but we know nothing about it, or how to bypass it possibly to get the car started. We also do not know where that component is located.

We are wondering if anyone has an idea where to start looking to track this down. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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I have two different keys and some times choose the wrong one for ignition. It doesn't turn at all. You said you tried to turn the wheel while Turing the key so the only other thing I can think of is put jumper cables on the battery. My anti theft flashes all the time until the car is started.

35th Anni. Laser Red 3.8 coupe
ET: 1/8-9.892 @71.57 ET: 1/4-15.452 @88.06
4.6L 5 speed 60' 2.195 ET: 14.205 @99.44 MPH
If the battery is completely 100% dead it is possible that is the problem. If you had no issues prior to parking the car in the garage then Id say its battery. If you had same issue prior to parking it then I would say the switch is bad.
Assuming you don't own any other Fords, thus eliminating the possibility that you just mixed up the keys, I would be inclined to go with the above posted idea that the lock cylinder has gone bad. It's rare but not impossible. Sometimes one or more of the tumblers fail or get stuck.
+1 on above. The PATS system does not affect the mechanical operation of the cylinder lock.

My vote is either:
  • Break in attempt
  • bad ignition cylinder lock.
  • wrong key
I have had this happen in the past, the steering wheel was actually putting pressure on lock cylinder because the steering was actually turned slightly.while trying to turn keygrab steering wheel and try moving left or right.
Hi everyone

Thanks to everyone for replying back and giving us some good advice. Yes, we have tried both keys and each one reacts the same. Also, the steering wheel isn't bound up, and we have tried the keys turning the wheel both directions. We had the charger hooked up while trying, and didn't make any difference either. Thanks for replying about the PATs system, we did not know if that could lead to something mechanical or not in the key turn. We are still trying to check the key tumbler, but have not had any luck so far to get it to turn.

We are most likely going to try to take some things apart on the steering column and narrow it down a little more. We will let you know what we find out or if we need more guidance.

Thanks again,
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