Key Switch Issues


Well-known member
I have an 88 E150 van .
I got in when it was cold and frozen and the chrome thing with ears around the ignition key wouldn't turn.
I sprayed silicone in there and got it to turn with a little force so I could get to work.

now it works but feels a bit stiff. It doesn't want to spring back properly.
I assume I have to pull the steering wheel and that there is probably some trick to getting the ignition switch apart? how do I get in there?

should I order a new ignition switch? is this a common issue?

thanks !


Top Poster
Staff member
Supporter 2021
Supporter 2019
Yes it's a common issue because they wear out, had to replace key lock assembly on my 1994 F150 pickup too. Yes you will need to get a new lock unit. You don't need to remove the steering wheel there is a pin that holds the key lock in the column. Good luck (y) :nod:


Well-known member
I had a similar problem on my 85, in addition to removing the key/lock assembly I also dropped the steering column and lubricated the switch that is operated by a push rod from the key/lock. After a good clean up of both parts and some lube it worked as new with no new parts needed.


Well-known member
I found an online video that shows how to take the switch out which I have not yet.

I think there is a part that locks the steering wheel , it can be removed and then the steering lock wont' work but it isn't a necessary thing so far as I see, then probably no switch needed.