Servicing the Ford Fiesta, Part 2

The new Ford Fiesta uses the new high-security side-milled lock system that Ford plans to phase in on all of their vehicles worldwide.  It also has a transponder system that is essentially the same as other Ford products.  It features an easily removable door and ignition lock, but both of these locks have some features that are just plain odd.  I had the Fiesta in this photo for three days and had a lot of fun with it, but I sincerely hope that the lock system becomes a little more “locksmith-friendly” before it starts turning up on every Ford.

The Fiesta will be available in three different features and trim levels.  The base models, like the one in photo one have a door lock only on the driver’s door and an ignition lock, but no trunk or glove compartment lock.  The mid-range Fiesta does not have a door lock but still has an ignition lock.  The top of the line Fiesta had not been released by the time I’m writing this, but it will have no door lock and no ignition lock, and will feature push-button starting.  I have been assured that the top of the line Fiesta will have an override lock somewhere on the exterior of the vehicle, so it can be unlocked if the battery dies or if there is an electronic problem.  The trouble is that no one seems to know where that lock will be.

Part 1 of our Ford Fiesta Servicing Guide appeared in the January 2011 issue of Locksmith Ledger, pages 42-49, and covered car opening and removal and disassembly of the door lock.

Removing the Ignition Lock

The ignition lock on the Fiesta is mounted in the steering column in a more or less traditional manner (Photo 44).  It uses an active retainer and it must be turned to the #1 position (Accessory) in order to be removed.  In order to gain access to the retainer, you will need to remove the plastic steering column shroud.

On the left hand side of the column is a very large tilt control lever.  As you work the shroud off the column, it will be necessary to use this to change the position of the column so you can get to all of the fasteners easily. (Photo 45)

On the underside of the column there is just one screw, indicated by the arrow that secures the lower portion of the shroud. (Photo 46)  It will help to tilt the column as far up as possible to remove this screw.

There are two more screws securing the upper portion of the shroud, but they are located behind the steering wheel, and the wheel will have to be turned in order to loosen both screws.  Fortunately, the steering wheel on the Fiesta does not appear to lock.  I was able to turn the wheel from lock to lock with the key out of the ignition. (Photo 47)

The wheel must be turned in the opposite direction to remove the screw on the other side of the steering column.  After these two screws have been removed the top portion of the shroud can be lifted up, shown in photo 48.

It is not necessary to remove the upper portion of the shroud, but you will have to pull it up in order to release the lower portion of the shroud. (Photo 49)

With the upper portion of the shroud out of the way, you can see the two lugs on the lower portion that the screws went through (Photo 50).  These lugs fit over two posts on the switch assembly and pulling the lower portion away from the dash will release the lower portion of the shroud.

Flip the tilt control lever down and carefully work the lower portion of the shroud over the face of the ignition lock and then remove the bottom of the shroud. (Photo 51)

Once the lower portion of the shroud is free, put it in a safe place while you finish the job (Photo 52).

With the shroud out of the way, photo 53 shows the transceiver ring that surrounds the face of the lock.  This device is the heart of the transponder system, which is standard equipment on the Fiesta.  Because of a lip on the face of the lock, it will be necessary to remove the transceiver ring before you remove the lock.

Using a small screwdriver, carefully pry the tabs up that hold the transceiver ring onto the lock housing.  Be cautious as you do this, especially in very cold weather.  The transceiver ring contains an antenna that communicates with the transponder in the key.  This antenna is composed of a coil of very fine copper wire and if it becomes damaged, the transponder system will not function, and the car will not start. (Photo 54)

After the tabs have been released, the transceiver ring can be pulled over the front of the lock.  Don’t try to remove it completely; just let it hang out of the way as you remove the lock. (Photo 55)

The poke-hole for the active retainer is the very large square opening on the top of the lock housing (Photo 56).  You will have to hold the upper portion of the steering column shroud up and out of the way as you insert a tool to remove the lock.  Insert the key and rotate it to the position that is marked with a “one” on the face of the lock, and then depress the retainer with a small tool such as a screwdriver or ice pick.  The retainer is very easy to hit, even though it is not visible, and the lock will literally jump out of the housing about a quarter of an inch when you push down on the retainer.

At this point, the lock will pull out of the housing easily so you can service it.  (Photo 57)

Disassembling the Ignition Lock

The ignition lock, like the door lock, has a couple of odd features.  Both the active retainer and the transmission interlock lever must be removed from the housing before the plug can be removed from the lock.  In addition, the lock plug comes out of the rear of the housing, so when you assemble it, you will need to have a key with no head so that the plug can be inserted back into the housing. (Photo 58)

The opposite end of the active retainer that holds the lock into the steering column also holds the plug in place inside the lock housing.  Removing this retainer is the first step in disassembling the lock. (Photo 59)

The plastic cap that holds the retainer and spring in place snaps onto several tabs on the lock housing (Photo 60).  To remove the cap, gently pry the tabs free of the lock, making sure that you do not allow the parts to fly apart.

Remove the retainer, spring, and cap as a single unit and put them all in a safe place.  I keep a couple of old-fashioned 35mm film canisters around for holding small parts like these while I’m working on a lock.  That way, if I get interrupted, I won’t have to wonder what I did with any parts when I return. (Photo 61)

Next, we need to remove the transmission interlock lever (Photo 62).  This lever prevents the key from being turned to the “off” position until the car is in “park.”  It is held in place by a metal snap-on cap.

A little careful prying with an offset scribe will release the metal cap.  Before you replace this part, you will need to re-bend the tab so that it will once again grip the lock tightly. (Photo 63)

When you lift the cap off, make sure that you do not lose the spring that is below the cap (Photo 64).  Put the cap and the spring in a safe place before you remove the lever itself.

With the cap and the spring out of the picture, the interlock lever will lift straight up and out of its slot. (Photo 65)  This part needed to be removed because it would catch on the face of the lock plug as it was being removed otherwise.

Photo 66 shows a special assembly / disassembly tool that comes with a replacement lock, but you can easily make one yourself.  This is simply a headless key blade that has been cut to a number five depth – the deepest depth in the system – down its entire length.  Another option would be to copy the existing key for the lock onto a headless key blade.  The purpose of this tool is to make sure that none of the wafers fall out of the lock as we remove the plug from the housing.

Slide the key blade into the plug, and then slide the plug out of the housing.  As you remove the plug, watch out for the two inserts that will fall out if you let them. (Photo 67) Also note that there is a hardened steel plate at the front of the plug that will come out along with the plug.

Photo 68 shows the two inserts; the plastic insert operates the key minder switch and the metal one operates the transmission interlock lever.  The two parts are different shapes and each will only fit into its own socket in one orientation, so you cannot get them mixed up.

Photo 69 shows the inserts and the hardened steel plate.  Make sure that you do not lose any of these because the lock simply will not work without all three.

With a properly cut key in the lock, we can see in Photo 70 that this lock only has eight out of ten of the wafers.  The ignition lock uses cuts 1 – 8, while the door lock uses all ten cuts.  Notice that there is a slot milled next to the number one and number two wafers.  This slot is there to prevent a brute-force attack.  If someone attempted to force-rotate the ignition lock, or to pull the plug out with a dent-puller, the plug would just snap in two between these slots.  Reassembling he lock is the reverse of the disassembly.

Please note that the ignition lock that I used in these photos was a new replacement lock and I did not put any grease in it so you could see the parts better.  When you service one of these locks, make sure that you use plenty of the supplied grease.  This will also help hold the inserts in place as you reassemble the lock.  The ignition lock uses the same tumblers as the door lock that is shown in photo 41.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta replacement ignition and door locks, key blanks and fobs are available from STRATTEC through standard locksmith distribution channels. The door and ignition lock repair kits contain sufficient number of wafer tumbler to combinate to any factory key code.


The STRATTEC part numbers for the 2011 Ford Fiesta are:

  • 7020057, Full Repair Kit, Door
  • 7020058, Full Repair Kit, Ignition
  • 4212475, Side Mill KV (Backup) Key
  • 5912976 Side Mill Fork/Blade
  • 5913139, Ford Logo 3 Button 80 Bit Transmitter
  • 5915237, Ford Logo Side Mill Plain RFID
  • 5919918, Ford Logo PEPS FOB

For more information regarding on the locks, fobs and key blanks, contact STRATTEC at their web site: