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Unread 01-21-2007   #1 (permalink)
azheat is offline Rookie

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Default Anti-theft sensor tripped and car's dead. Help!

Hey- I'm new and need help on how to reset anti- theft alarm. I don't know how but the theft light flashed on in the dash while I was driving and when I stopped at a gas station it died. My car is or was mechanically sound, healthy battery and of course well taken care of and no prior issues. Well I had to leave it at some ghetto gas station and walk a mile to my place to try to figure out what went wrong. It's not that ghetto but I don't like leaving my car especially in this condition. There is no power what so ever going anywhere to the car. The fab doesn't lock or unlock. I got the interior lights to go on once after jiggling the keys and tapping the brakes and then went to start it and it died like engine kill. I really would appreciate any tips advice or consoling at this point. I'm not happy that my car isn't safe at home with me. Sounds stupid but I love my car so much it really does hurt.
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Unread 01-22-2007   #2 (permalink)
harryc is offline Rookie

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Default Probably the key

Once in a while when I go to start my car the theft light on the dash blinks and the ignition cuts out. I have to remove the key and try again.
Your problem actually sounds like you key went bad. The keys are computer controlled, and if it doesn't recognize the key the car won't start, hence the flashing on the dash.
If you have a spare key, try that. If you don't, have your car towed out of that ghetto ghandi mart tootsweet and to your local ford dealer.
One more tip- Don't instert your key into the ignition if its wet from rain or anything like that. That action almost always seems to make the key unrecognized by the theft deterrent system.
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Unread 02-03-2007   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah it sounds like the chip in the key went bad for it to do all that stuff at the same time. I had the exact same problem with one of the keys to my Explorer and all I had to do was take the keys and VIN to a dealership and they made new ones. Luckily mine was still under warranty because I've heard that this is about $50 or so.
"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."

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Unread 02-03-2007   #4 (permalink)
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If it is the chip in the key (the so called PATS system), I posted a response that included a link to a webpage here:


Part of the page I noted, also includes two procedures for regaining control of the car if the key has gone bad or missing...

Just for completeness sake, I'll repost my answer from that thread:

The chip inside the key idea is the PATS system... (PATS = Passive Anti Theft System).

It means that aslong as a known chip is near the ignition, the car will start. When you have a key that has no chip (or an unrecognized one), even if it fits, and will turn, the car will refuse to start. So having your 'regular' key with you, and a non-chip key in the ignition will probably start the car. Remove the 'regular' key, and your car will basically refuse starting.

I did have it with my 99 Cougar once. Using an unrecognized key to start the car and finding it didn't wanna start. Well, then we use the 'regular' key (which I put away on the rear-seat to make sure the spare key would start the car). Great surprise when the car wouldn't start with that one aswell... Needed to wait 30 seconds before the system reset itself, and I could use the 'regular' key to start the car. I did take care of that faulty key pretty soon after that tho

Of what I know of those things it's not something that's prone to actually be damaged. So I doubt you really need to worry about that. A Ford dealer would be able to provide you with a proper key for your car and the page below (aswell as your manual I recall) should provide you with information on how to program the thing. Or take the easy was and let the dealer do it for you :P

There's a bit on PATS and the programming of keys on this page: http://www.fordf150.net/howto/patskey.php

That doesn't really explain the fact the car died completely when you never messed with anything electronically. Indeed the most likely cause would be a loose wire, or some system reset. If it actually is the PATS system, that page should help you out.

I'm not sure if the computer would throw a code out on the AntiTheft system engaging, but if it does, you might want to try and get a read-out of the computer. It might specify the exact cause of the problem.
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