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I've got an 04 Crown Victoria ex County Sherriff car that the ignition key gets hot when using the AC. After running for a minimum of 15-20 minutes with the ac on the ignition key gets hot to the touch. My first thought is an insufficient ground from the column? Does anyone know if this is common with these cars after the police wiring add ons have been removed? I/we will be trying a larger ground wire from the column just in case as soon as we can. I am hoping to find someone that has experienced this same situation and can share any results. Thanks Jmac
 

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http://www.warsprints.com
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I did a search on this and for what it's worth found in another forum that this is pretty typical of thermal transfer and that some of it may be the exhaust heat travelling up the steering column, more noticeable in hot weather. One guy on the forum said that after he drove his car and turned the ignition off and removed the key, he accidentally touch the back of his hand with the key and it burnt the crap out of it. Don't take this as gospel, it's just what others have been saying.
 

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Get in, sit down, hang on
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Although there is no mention of your specific ignition key problem, there is a recall involving exhaust heat as mentioned by S10 Racer. See link posted below.

Recall ID # 53800 - ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING:INTERIOR/UNDER DASH
Recall Date:

MAY 09, 2005

Model Affected:

2004 Ford Crown Victoria

Summary:

ON CERTAIN POLICE INTERCEPTORS (CVPI) AND COMMERCIAL HEAVY DUTY (TAXI) VEHICLES, AT EXTREMELY HIGH OPERATING TEMPERATURES, THE SOUND INSULATING PANEL, LOCATED UNDER THE VEHICLE POSITIONED BETWEEN THE EXHAUST SYSTEM AND THE UNDERBODY, COULD SAG AND POSSIBLY CONTACT THE SURFACE OF THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER.

Consequences:

IF THIS OCCURS, THE INSULATOR MIGHT EXPERIENCE CHARRING OF THE OUTER LAYER, BURNING ODOR, OR SMOKE WHICH MAY ULTIMATELY RESULT IN A FIRE.

Remedy:

DEALERS WILL REMOVE THE EXISTING DASH INSULATOR AND INSTALL A REVISED DESIGN INSULATOR PAD FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JUNE 3, 2005. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.

Potential Units Affected:

132800


Read more: 2004 Ford Crown Victoria Recalls & Problems - Motor Trend Magazine
 

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Yea right. Thermal transfer from the exhaust system to the ignition key and the steering column does not get hot.
I'm going with the ignition switch is going bad. High resistance connection heats up. The more current the higher the temp.
Does the key get hot when the AC is off?
Try running the heater fan on high speed with AC off to see what happens.
Does the car have electric fans that come on when the AC is on?
The AC clutch is a small load and should not cause high amp draw.

vicrod
 

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http://www.warsprints.com
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Yea right. Thermal transfer from the exhaust system to the ignition key and the steering column does not get hot.
I'm going with the ignition switch is going bad. High resistance connection heats up. The more current the higher the temp.
Does the key get hot when the AC is off?
Try running the heater fan on high speed with AC off to see what happens.
Does the car have electric fans that come on when the AC is on?
The AC clutch is a small load and should not cause high amp draw.

vicrod
So thermal transfer from the exhaust is 100% totally out of the question?
 
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