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Steering Column Repair/Ignition doesn't know it is on "park"


Hello, I just replaced my ignition cylinder and keys because the old one would sometimes get stuck, not releasing the key.

My question: is there a sensor within the shifter that tells the ignition to release the key?

If I move the shifter down to 1 and quickly move it back into park it does trigger something which allows me to remove the key.
Sometimes I have to do it more than once to get it to release.

Checked to make sure nothing is loose or broken,all seems ok.insde the column, cable is ok,etc.

Subject is 1992 Ford Aerostar, tilt column. Thank you.

Ford Column
Ford Column  

Key release beneath shift tube
Key release beneath sh  
Hello Josey:

There is a 'trigger' on the top of the column (under the shifter tube) that releases the ignition mechanism allowing it to travel far enough to let the key come out.  Most likely, the shift mechanism is slightly loose on your vehicle preventing this lever (trigger) to engage each time you shift to "Park".
First, try to shift to "Park" more firmly and slowly (not fast and hard)
Second, you may need to replace the plastic bushings on the shifter tube or
Third, check the tightness of the bolts at the bottom of the column to ensure the shift tube is firmly attached to the cable bracket.  
I am attaching 2 pictures to help you see what I am referring to.

Steering Column Repair

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Douglas Gan


My specialties are stolen vehicles, steering column and ignition locks repair, airbag service and installation and diagnosis. My work includes both domestic (USA) vehicles and foreign designs.


30 years owning a company that specializes in steering columns, ignition & airbag related problems

GM certified, ASE certified, 4 yrs college, Mech Tech degree
I own multiple auto repair companies and can help you professionally through any of our websites at: ---- we stock many older steering column parts and can rebuild your column if you ship it to us --- we sell airbag replacement information (no parts) -- we perform investigations for many types of vehicle claims
Please feel free to contact us through any of our websites for more information or help

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