Ford Custom Door Lock is Damaged-What next?

Firstly, if you been broken into and tools stolen, then we’re sorry to hear this. It’s a real problem for any Ford Custom owner at the moment, and tools go missing in seconds. That aside, if you notice your Ford Custom door lock is damaged, you really need to get it sorted out.

Ford Custom Door Lock Damage

Ford Custom door lock

The lock should look like this. The key-way runs vertically.

Ford Custom Door Lock

Whereas in these two photos, you can clearly see how the lock has been twisted.

Ford Custom Door Lock

Once you look around, it’s shocking how many owners are buying these vans with locks already damaged. Thieves have got so good at breaking in there’s not alot of obvious damage to the Ford Custom door lock.

How come it’s twisted so easily?

When you look at the design of the standard Ford lock, it’s no wonder that they are so easy to twist open.

Ford Custom door lock

The plunger is used to keep the door lock in the correct orientation. However, thieves worked out within weeks of the release that the Ford Custom door lock was easy to break.

The other lock in the photo is a high security lock and the plunger is made from steel and screwed in place to stop the the lock being twisted.

Do I need to change my Ford Custom door lock?

Yes. If your lock has been attacked, you’re vulnerable from another easy break-in and your key will probably won’t work anymore in the lock.

Imagine in the winter when the battery goes flat on the van, you’ll need a door lock that works, otherwise you’ll be locked out of the van! If the battery is flat on the van, then it won’t open off the key!

You must sort it out to prevent these problems ruining your day.

Changing the Ford Custom Door Lock

Before these locks are attacked, they are very simple to change.

1.    Remove the door card.

2.  Remove the ‘C’ Clip that keeps the door lock in place

3.  Turn the lock 90 degrees so the lock plunger can be pressed in.

4.  Once the plunger is pressed in, twist the lock in the opposite direction and pull it out of the door.

It can be quite fiddly to push the plunger in!

Changing the Ford door lock when it’s damaged

This can be tricky.

The problem you have is the the back of the lock has been damaged. On top of this, the lock body may be mis-shapen and this causes two problem

1     The lock cannot be turned to the correct position, so that the plunger can be pressed in. The key may turn in the door, but because the Ford Custom door lock is damaged.

It’s like the lock turns in fresh air!

2   The plunger is broken, as well as the lock body, which means it cannot be pushed in.

3   The lock body it stuck and won’t come out of the van.

When this happens, there’s no simple answer. It’s simply a case of trying to force the lock to turn. It will help if you can remove any part of the lock that’s broken.

Ford Custom Door Lock


Or it may be a case of chopping the face of the lock off to remove and replace the door latch. This is when it gets an expensive repair.

Should I get a high security lock?

Yes. The standard Ford Custom door lock is a joke, whereas the replacement locks are now good quality and don’t require the lock to be modified. This may be important if it’s a hire van.

If your door lock is twisted, sort it out before it becomes a major problem for you.




New Ford Transit vulnerable to theft

You won’t like reading this, because it should lead you to only one conclusion. If you have a new Ford Transit, you’re in danger of it being stolen, and without keys.

For the last few years, the older Mk7 Transit vans have been disappearing in the night, stolen by gangs that have easy pickings.

Normally the vans are stripped of the engine and gearbox then burnt out to destroy evidence. This has been happening in Lincolnshire as well as all over the UK.

The same technique is used on new Ford Transit van. It’s quick, simple and happening right now. How are they doing it? Simple.

New Ford Transit Stolen Step 1.

We all know how soft the door locks are for the new shape Ford Transit and Custom vans. We’ve written at length about this problem, amazed that the new and improved version of the Ford Custom still uses the identical lock. With a small screwdriver it can be forced unlocked and then the driver’s door can be opened.

New Ford Transit

Now if you’re seeing red that I’m publishing this information on-line, thinking I’m spilling the beans, you’re about 5 years behind. This has become such a bad problem that Ford introduced a Software update to address it. This was instead of improving the door lock in any way. By ignoring the pathetic door lock design, they have consigned owners to having their new Ford transit stolen.

Once the cab door is open, then out come the power tools.

Overcoming the Steering lock New Ford Transit

The average Auto locksmith dreads drilling out any type of lock. It’s a messy, tricky job that can lead to all sorts of problems. However, if a gang want your New Ford Transit stolen, they come with the tools they need. Unfortunately for you, these ignition locks may as well be made of Cheese.

So Ford have made this even easier because when they steal the new shape ford transit, they can be twice as quick as they only have the ignition lock to deal with, as seen here with this 2017 new Ford Transit.

New Ford Transit

If you worried about having your new Ford Transit stolen,(and you should be) you need to do something. Like kids in a sweet shop, there are so many vans to choose from, it’s easy pickings. How can you stop it you ask?

Do something. You have the choice of security locks, steering wheel locks, EOBD port protectors, wheel clamps, pedal boxes, to name a few. If you think it’s all a bit over the top, the transit thief will be rubbing his hands. You’ll need to spend money, or become a victim. A simple choice

Most of you will live miles away from us, you’re not our customers due to geography. But somewhere near you will be a van security specialist, and can help you.

It might not happen to you, but why take that chance?

We know this is bad news, but we think you rather know

Ford Custom key repair HOW TO

Why are these keys such bad quality? If you’re reading this, you probably have a Ford Custom Key with buttons that have stopped working, and possibly a wobbly key blade on top. It’s not good, and we see broken Ford Custom keys every week, at our key repair shop in Lincoln.

Ford Custom key

It all depends on how well the keys are looked after. If it’s your own personal van and you’re the only driver, the keys will probably last a long time (well more than 3 years).

However, if your drive a company van, that’s shared with many drivers, there’s a good chance that the keys will be ruined after 3-4 years, they’re just not up to the job. What we have is another example of Inferior Component design.

So, we decided to see what the problem was and, how to fix it, to save the need for a new key.  The good thing is we’ve made an improvement on the original (which, let’s face it, didn’t take much effort).

There are two main problems that we’ll look at.

Problem One Ford Custom key buttons stop working.

This problem could so easily have been prevented, with a little forethought. The battery inside the key is rechargeable, much like the one on the MK7 Transit. It’s supposed to make it tough and hardwearing, a sealed unit, so you can drop it into water etc, and it still works.

The reality is that it’s not the water you need to worry about. Just the drop is enough to kill the buttons dead. A rechargeable battery is held on by two thin legs, nothing else.

Unlike the Freelander key battery, that has a sturdy plastic support frame, (and these still break!) the Ford Custom key buttons stop doing anything, simply because the battery legs break.

No battery power, no worky.

Problem Two Ford Custom key blade is wobbly and loose

This second problem starts off as irritating and then eventually the key blade drops out and gets lost. The design of the flip blade arrangement in most modern car keys is not good enough.

Designers are getting paid good money to ship a far below average product. When you add in the cheap manufacture, you end up with a Ford Custom key blade that just dangles off the end of the key, or won’t flip out when you need it. All this after just 3 years.

Ford Custom Key Buttons that stop working and How To fix them

So, you need a few a pair of Circlip pliers, these are our best friends. If you squeeze the handle, the jaws open and this is what we use of open up most keys.

Ford Custom key

Pop them into the slot where the blade goes and give it a squeeze.

Ford Custom key

The case will crack, then you may be able to pull the two halves apart, or you may need to use the pliers again. So once the case is open, you can see there’s the circuit board inside. Next you need to get the circuit board out of the key

Ford Custom key


When you’re opening and handing the key, you need to take care. The small component shown below is delicate.

Ford Custom key

Just go careful, don’t catch any of the delicate components when you do that. If it is knocked off or damaged, the van will not start after you’ve fixed the key. So just take it slow. As the commander of the American Navy Seal says…”Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.  So, there’s no rush.

The Ford Custom Battery problem

So, you can see there the key battery’s hanging off the board. The leg’s supposed to go into that hole.

Ford Custom key

So, we’re going to replace the battery and re-solder it. Okay, to put a new battery onto the key we need to get the old key battery off first. There are two blobs of solder that attach the key battery legs on the back of the circuit board.

Ford Custom key

We’re going to show you how to get rid of those blobs of solder easily. You need to get rid of them before you can do much

Ford Custom key

Okay, so this is solder mop and we use this to remove solder from the key. So, if you don’t have the equipment to be taking these keys apart and de-soldering the battery you really want to leave it alone. Because if you try and get the battery off without doing all this you might break the key all together.

Ford Custom key

So that’s one that you can see there. The solders all gone. Okay, so that’s clearing out all the old solder from the key and the battery just dropped off.

Ford Custom key

Fitting the new Ford Custom Key battery

So that just shows you that they’re only connected to one side, one leg and not the other. Okay. So, to finish off we just going to get the rest of the solder off that key. On the second leg now. You need an ML2020 battery.

If you don’t want to replace the battery you can just open the key and you re-solder that leg. However, we think if you’re getting this far you might as well just replace the battery

Ford Custom key

Okay. So, here’s replacement battery. These are available on eBay and they’re about nine or ten pounds and we’re going to put this into the new key.

Poke it through the holes and you can see the little legs poking through there. So, I’m just going to solder them up and then we’ll show you what it’s like when it’s finished.

Ford Custom key


Pretty straight forward. You don’t need much solder. You just need to make sure you get solder all the way around the leg. Next, check that the key’s transmitting. Now, we’ve got a machine to do this, but you can just walk out to your van and try it. If you operate central locking, then it’s working fine.

Ford Custom key

This is a repair case we use, they can be bought on Amazon.

It fits the Mondeo and the Transit, So, when you get that new case, open it up again with some circlip pliers.

So, we put the circuit board inside the case. We put a little bit of silicone inside to support the new battery. This is how we’ve made the key better and what Ford should have done in our opinion.

Ford Custom key

Excuse Simon’s lovely squishy finger. We put it on the back of the key just to support the key so that doesn’t happen again when the key gets dropped. Hopefully that’s a better repair.

Ford Custom Key Blade Mechanism

Ford Custom key

Firstly, this part here is different to this. It’s been made differently so you can’t just put this bit into your new Ford Custom key case. It won’t work. So, can you take this old blade out and put it into this new key? You might be able to, but the trouble is the little tangs that hold in the key are not the same shape.

If you wanted to put this old key blade into this new hinge mechanism, you’re going to need to file it down slightly and mess about. We’re just going to cut this key.

But you can have a go at making the old blade fit, you have nothing to lose, seeing as it’s going in the bin anyway. You need to knock out the pin in each key that holds the blade in. This can be a but tricky and you’ll need a thin punch or pin. It’s a bit fiddly.

How To build up this Ford Custom Key flip mechanism.

Ford Custom key

Just pop the silver button into the blade holder. There’s only one way this will go through. Okay, it’s just a little bit fiddly. Next, pop the spring into here. So, it’s the end without the tail. That goes into there.

Ford Custom key

Okay, next thing we’re going to take the blade mechanism and it needs to go onto this half of the repair key. This little spigot here lines up with the hole in the spring.

Ford Custom key

So just must bear with me while we line up. You must remember that it’s going to flick clockwise, so you must wind it anti clockwise. So, wind it round, okay so that’s all good. Remember to put the ring back in.

Ford Custom key

And then we’re going to seal the key back up. And then get rid of the excess silicone. Just push it into there to make a bit of a support.

Ford Custom key

Okay. So, we’re going to pop the screw in and then we’re going to pop the cap that comes with the case, cover up all the goop.

Ford Custom key

And we can see from the tester there that the key transmits fine, if you turn the tester on.

What to do about your Ford Custom key blade

The last thing to do is the problem with this blade here. So, obviously, you need the blade either cut or you need it put into this key. The issue, really, is that quite often these blades here won’t go into the aftermarket cases. So, we would recommend getting the key blade cut. Find a good auto locksmith or key cutting shop that’s prepared to do it. Or, get it done by post.

Okay. So, we’ve got the blade cut now and so there you go. Our key’s ready, so we can get rid of all the old key there. This new key will start the van and the buttons all work. And we’re good to go.

Do you have a Focus or Mondeo key and need a fix for it? These keys look the same as the Ford Custom key, but use a different type of battery. Click here to find out how to fix these keys

New Ford Custom Review – Same Crap Door Lock

Warning -This is a rant about the New Ford Custom.

If you’re thinking about a New Ford Custom, you’ll want to check out all the improvements they’ve made. It was always a great looking van, and we expected the second version to sort out the teething problems.

We talk to the Ford Custom owners every day. The one thing that lets the old Custom down is the driver’s door lock, it may as well be made of chocolate and has been the cause of so many van break-ins.

It seems every owner we talk to has either been broken into or knows someone that has. The release of the New Ford Custom was a great chance to finally put this problem to bed.

If you’re in any doubt to the extent of this problem, just visit Twitter @vansattack, or search Facebook for ‘Band of Builders’. You’ll not have the time to read every tweet and post, but you’ll understand how angry owners are, and how important it was for the Ford design team to make a bold statement. As Auto Locksmiths, we expected announcements such as-

‘New Ford Custom unbreakable door lock’ or ‘The most secure van for Britain’s workers’. Maybe even, ‘Trust the New Ford Custom to keep your tools safe’

New Ford Custom Replacement door lock announcement

What announcement? Nothing.  So, we checked out the website to study the new features. There are too many to list, the highlights being ‘Intelligent Speed Assist’, Adaptive Cruise control and ‘Cross Traffic alert’. Check out the link

No mention of an upgraded locks. So, we dug into the website looking for the security upgrades. Still no mention of the upgraded driver’s door lock, which to us is important. It’s also the first thing owners mention, when we speak to them.

The Ford website security page has information on ‘ Trailer Sway Control’, ‘Anti-roll’ features, and even new features to protect pedestrians!

However, unfortunately, the security page has no mention of van security. Check the page out for yourselves.

New Ford Custom – Same old door lock

This can’t be right. So, we did what any conscientious Auto Locksmith would do and found a brand-new Ford Custom, sat in the forecourt of our local Ford dealer. We noted down the reg and asked about the part number for the door lock. Was it the name part number as the old version? No!

Great news everyone, they’ve changed the part number of the replacement door lock that you’ll need over the coming months, (after tool thieves screwdriver your door lock).

So, with high hopes, we called the parts team and had them send us the new and improved, ultra-strong, ultra-secure New Ford Custom driver’s door lock.

It’s bad news I’m afraid.

New Ford Custom

The part number is new, the door lock is exactly the same. Unbelievable.

New Ford Custom

It’s the same, cheap, aluminium monkey metal that they’ve been using for the last five years. On top of this, they’ve kept the design flaw of a two-part lock.

The body of the lock is joined to the back of the lock with? A plastic clip. Now my first ever job on leaving school was a machine shop apprentice. I made things from metal during my four long years.

I learnt what was good quality and what was poor. The New Ford Custom door lock should never have left the drawing board five years ago, let alone in 2018. The fact they’re still using this lock is criminal.

New Ford Custom High Security door lock.

Laziness or incompetence?

For the last three years, several companies have produced high quality replacement door locks, designed to solve the Ford, door lock problem. They have produced a strong, smart, and dependable door lock, engineered in one piece from high quality steel.

This makes the standard Aluminium two-part door lock look pathetic. Compare the two and the differences are clear.

The replacement lock is beautifully made when compared to the shoddy standard door lock. A strengthening security bar, shown clearly in the photo sits at right angles to the lock body.

This prevents the lock from being forcibly twisted. This is a stark contrast to the tiny Aluminium button that barely protrudes from the side of the standard New Ford Custom door lock and easily breaks when forced.

As well as this, the replacement one-piece design, made by Locks4Vans, prevents the tail of the lock from being broken off. This has been the cause of so many thousands of vans getting broken into all over the UK.

Shown below is an example of a lock that’s been forced, and the tail can be seen detached from the lock body. This is simply because, only a single plastic clip holds both art of the lock together.

Just Copy what works

The most unbelievable thing about this whole story is that the design team at Ford didn’t even need to do any real work. Locks4Vans, the company who made the aftermarket replacement door lock, had already done the hard work. All you had to do was to put your lock cylinder into a high security Lock of your own manufacture. However, no-one bothered.

A bold message to tool thieves

Ford had the chance to make a bold statement to tool thieves. By taking the effort to redesign the door lock it would show everyone

‘Sorry. We messed up. But we’ve listened, and we’ve done it better. Look, we’ve taken the time, invested the money to provide the best possible high security door lock we can.’

Instead, the drug fueled thieves will be rubbing their hands as they still attack the New Ford Custom door lock, just as before. Like trained dogs that drool at the sound of the food bell, tool thieves will twist the door locks expecting power tool treats.

A Stainless-steel security door lock would cost peanuts, when compared to the overall cost of the van.

What are the contents of your van worth to Ford?

Think about this. The replacement door lock from Ford costs around £40, to us. This means Ford are likely to be paying little more than £15 to their supplier. That means that your van contents, your security, your livelihood, is worth little more than £15 as far as the Ford Motor Company is concerned. Think about that.

Next week I’ll be discussing the new Ford software security update that is supposed to stop tool theft. Well done, good try.

So, my rant is over. I’m hoping that someone, somewhere at the Ford motor company will read this and think about it. Then maybe security will improve, hopefully a recall will be announced following some emergency engineering.

Maybe, one of the leaders will give the security that thousands of UK workers deserve but are currently denied. It’s about effort and attention and doing a decent job.

Come on, we know you can do it.