How to reset the anti-theft system in a Ford F150

The Ford F150 comes with a standard Ford electronic interface for managing their transponder key functions. Essentially all Ford F150’s allow you to program the engine using a smart key or chip key to start the ignition. These anti-theft devices are also easily reset, and you can do so by sitting in the front seat.

However, before I go into the quick process, let’s just take a look at the Ford system:

The PATS (Passive Anti Vehicle Theft System) is a catchy acronym, but it is also misleading. All the system does is stop the ignition of the engine, it does not perform anything remotely capable of stopping your car from being stolen, simply because you can tow, haul and pull the vehicle without the car even starting. So, what we have here is a patented ignition disabling system that is at its best bypassable and its worst, just a waste of money.

Since this article is about how to reset the “anti-theft” system, I won’t go into bypassing, and here are the simple steps to reset the system.

  1. To start with, resetting one key will always demand two originally programmed keys to complete the reset process.
  2. Start by inserting your programmed key into the ignition and turn it to “On.”

  3. Now cycle this key back to “Off” and remove it from the ignition lock.
  4. Within 5 seconds, insert the second programmed key and also perform an “On” and “Off” cycle.
  5. Within 10 seconds insert the key you need to reset and leave it in the “On” position for exactly 1 second, then cycle it back to the “Off” position, but don’t remove it.
  6. Wait for the security light to turn on and only then remove the key.
  7. This completes the process.
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Jim Malkovich

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