2003 E350 Super Duty Van, Turn Signals and Blower Inoperative

This 2003 E350 Van came in with the complaint that sometimes the turn signals and blower motor do not work. The customer also stated that the brake and abs lights would come on along with a buzzer. I questioned the driver and found out it happens mainly in the mornings and more so when it is cold outside. I actually fixed this last winter but I forgot to post it. In a nut shell it is a sticking/worn ignition switch. I have seen it a thousand times if I have seen it once. It took several times of turning the key and very slowly and lightly releasing it to get the switch to stick. I did this of course with the turn signals switched on and the blower on high so that I could see and hear the evidence. When I got it to hang up and the turn signals and the blower were no longer working even though the engine was running I was 100 percent sure the ignition switch was the problem.

I removed the tilt adjustment handle by unscrewing it and then I removed the screws holding the steering column covers together.

With the cover removed I simply unbolted the ignition switch from the column.

I unplugged the connector and  installed the new switch.

Since the cover was already removed I wanted to show how to change the lock cylinder if needed. Sometimes in older Ford vehicles I have had to replace both the lock cylinder and the ignition switch to fix this complaint. Turn the key on and depress the pin as shown in the next picture.

If only the lock cylinder has to be changed there is an access hole in the bottom of the lower steering column cover as shown below and the cover does not have to be removed.

Just a picture of the housing with the lock cylinder removed.

The next two pictures are of something I have never seen before on a vehicle and I consider it an extreme danger to the driver in the event of an front end accident. I noticed this black rubber cap sticking on a bar at the underside of the steering column.

I was curious so I pulled the cap off to see what was under it. A hollow tube with a very sharp angled cut on the end. Basically a skewer for an unsuspecting driver. I know some engineer had a reason for putting this in place, maybe it is designed to tilt up into the column and reduce frontal compartment collapse, But it looks like it will do more harm than good to me. If any one has an answer please let me know.

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