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New Ford Vehicles with PATS

For the 1999 model year, all Ford Motor Company vehicles equipped with the passive anti theft system will be using the PATS II system.  The PATS II system was introduced on roughly half of the PATS equipped vehicles for the 1998 model year.  The other half of the PATS equipped vehicles for the 1998 model year were equipped with the PATS I system. Many 2000 and later Ford Vehicles Use the E-PATS system, which uses an encrypted transponder in the key.

Hold on there... What is PATS, how does it work, and why is this important to me?

Good question.  PATS is Ford Motor Company's passive anti theft system.  In 1996 it started showing up on select models of Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles. The keys for these vehicles have a tiny radio frequency transponder imbedded in the plastic Head. 

When you attempt to start the vehicle, the onboard computer sends out a RF signal that is picked up by the transponder in the key. The transponder then returns a unique RF signal to the vehicle's computer, giving it the ok for the vehicle to start and continue to run. This all happens in less than a second, and is completely transparent to the vehicle operator.  It is a very effective system that does its job without the vehicle owner having to think about it, or modify his / her usual routine.

One thing the vehicle owner should think about is obtaining duplicate keys or replacing lost keys. No longer can you pick up an extra car key at the checkout stand of your favorite hardware store.  Replacement keys must be originated on a new keyblank that has an embedded transponder. The vehicles onboard computer must be programmed to recognize the new key. This brings us to the "why is this important to me" part.

With PATS I, as long as you have at least one working key and can read the owners manual that came with the vehicle, you've got a good shot at programming your new key without additional assistance.

With PATS II, things become a little more difficult. Someone decided that two working keys be required for admittance to the programming show. On the surface, this is a good idea. It pretty much insures that only the owner of the vehicle will be making duplicate keys. The down side is that many vehicle owners don't think about making extra keys until they only have one, or even worse no keys!

If you own a vehicle equipped with the PATS II system and find yourself in this situation, you have a couple of choices.

  1. Have your vehicle towed to the nearest Ford dealership. They will use their electronic programming equipment to reset the system and program in new keys.
  2. Have an auto lock specialist who has electronic programming equipment and is qualified to use it come to your vehicle and do the same.

While option #2 is many times more convenient, neither solution is inexpensive.

Bottom line advice?  If you own a PATS I equipped vehicle make sure that you always have at least two working keys.  If you lose one of them, have a duplicate key made and programmed at once.  PATS I equipped vehicles include the following.

bulletContour V6 Duratech 1998
bulletMustang 1996 - 1997
bulletTaurus LX, SHO 1996 - 1997
bulletExpedition 1997 - 1998
bulletMark VIII 1997 
bulletMystique LS 1998 
bulletNavigator 1997 - 1998
bulletSable 1996 - 1997 (some)

If you own a PATS II equipped vehicle make sure that you always have at least three working keys.  If you lose one of them, have a duplicate key made and programmed at once.  PATS II equipped vehicles include the following.

bulletMustang 1998 - 2001
bulletTaurus LX, SE, SHO 1998 -2001
bulletExplorer 1998  - 2000
bulletExpedition 1999-2001
bulletExcursion 2000-2001
bulletEscape 2001
bulletFocus 2000-2001
bulletContinental 1998 -2001
bulletCrown Victoria 1998 - 2001
bulletRanger 1999 -2001 V6
bulletF150, F250 1999 - 2001
bulletContour V6 1999 - 2000 
bulletWindstar 1999 -2000 (optional) 2001 All
bulletNavigator 1999 - 2001
bulletTown Car 1998 - 2001
bulletCougar 1999 - 2001
bulletGrand Marquis 1998 - 2001
bulletLS6, LS8 1999-2001
bulletMark VIII 1998
bulletMountaineer 1998 - 2001
bulletMystique LS 1999 -2000 
bulletSable 1998 - 2001 (some)

Despite your best efforts, sometimes keys just have a way of getting away from you,   Should you find yourself in that situation, give us a call.  We are qualified and equipped to service your PATS I & II vehicle.  If you are located outside of our service area, We will do our best to put you in touch with a qualified auto lock technician in your area.



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Last modified: January 12, 2012 02:03 AM