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Old 03-07-2005
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How-To: Programming PATS Keys

Programming for a new PATS key

Tools required:

Supplies Requires:
Your PATS-equipped vehicle;
Two working PATS keys for that vehicle;
New PATS key or keys cut to match the working keys.


The Ford Passive Anti-Theft System, also known as PATS or Securilock, uses a special transponder key as a theft deterrent. Several years of Rangers through 2004 use Securilock. A PATS key, recognized by the truck's PATS transceiver, is required to enable starter operation on a PATS equipped vehicle.

If you need extra keys for your Securilock system, you could let the dealer handle it for you. This is quite expensive and usually runs $60~100 parts and labor. Or you can purchase the key and easily program the tranceiver yourself. Uncut genuine Ford PATS keys usually run about $15 + S&H on eBay. I got mine at the local Ford dealer for $20 and they were nice enough to cut it for free.

So, you already have the two original PATS keys that were delivered with your new truck. Why should you buy a third key? Because you need two working PATS in order to program the transceiver to recognize any additional keys. If you haven’t made more and you lose one of your two originals, you are toast. The only way to get a replacement then is to go to the dealer or a locksmith. The dealer has the capability to make replacement keys without having two originals but that will usually cost well over $100.

I bought my third key as a sort of insurance. For a $20 investment, I can always make more as long as I have two available.


Be sure to get the correct PATS key for your year Securilock. You can have the teeth cut to match one of your original PATS keys’ pattern at the Ford dealer, a locksmith or at most hardware stores.

Have all three PATS keys available – two working keys and your new one, ready to program for. The programming procedure involves inserting a key into the ignition switch, turning the switch to the “ON” position, then turning the switch “OFF” and removing the key. This is done to each of the three keys and must be done within the allowable time limits. Keep in mind that you don't need to turn the key to the “START” or “ACC” positions during programming. Use only the “OFF” and “ON” ignition switch positions.

The following is the procedure to program for a new Securilock key:

1) Insert one of your two working keys into the ignition switch and turn the ignition “ON”, wait 5 seconds and turn it “OFF”. Remove the key immediately.

2) Insert the next working key into the ignition switch within 20 seconds. Quickly turn the ignition “ON”, wait 5 seconds and turn it “OFF”. Remove the key immediately.

3) Now insert the new PATS key within 20 seconds. Turn the ignition “ON”, wait 5 seconds and turn it “OFF”. Your new PATS key should now be recognized by the transceiver.

4) Use the new key to turn the ignition switch to the “START” position. If programming was successful, the engine will start as usual. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on saving a chunk of change.

If unsuccessful, repeat the above procedure, paying close attention to staying within the allowable time limits:

Keys must remain switched to the “ON” position for between 1 and 10 seconds:
There is a 20 second time limit between successive keys.

[NOTE: If you have more than one additional new key, you can repeat step 3 above for each of the new keys up to a total of 8 keys per vehicle]

Two original PATS keys and a replacement PATS key (right):


The value of owning a non-PATS key:

A standard, inexpensive key blank, cut with your PATS key's pattern, has a couple of uses:

1) It can be used as an emergency lock-out key to get you back into your truck if you lock your keys inside. A non-PATS key will open the door locks and unlock the ignition switch, too. The only thing more that a PATS key can do is to enable the starter.

2) Use it to listen to your sound system when outside your truck. As mentioned above, a non-PATS key can unlock the ignition switch. This means that you can turn it to the ACC position, open the doors and listen to tunes or use other accessories. Using the non-PATS key means that there is no danger of someone driving the truck away – it can’t be started with the non-PATS key.

An original PATS transponder key (left) alongside an ordinary Ford key cut with the same tumbler pattern.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 03-07-2007 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 12-04-2006
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Originally Posted by DaveO
I don't understand why I can't use my only key for step #1, get some distance from the vehicle and then get back witin 20 seconds and again put the (only) (same) key back in and then do step #2, and then put a new key in for step #3?

Why won't that work???? What am I missing??
To prevent theft, there are many different PATS keys. Each key's transponder contains a unique radio frequency identification and there are billions of possible RFID's. You aren't programming the key to the module; you are programming the module to accept the key.

Your module is already programmed to accept the two original keys which are different. You must prove that you are the owner by showing those two keys to the module first and then you will be allowed to ask it to recognize others.

Dealers and locksmiths have an alternate procedure that will allow them to program the module without the two originals. You don't have that option.
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