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Brad B
Brad B, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1076
Experience:  ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Engine and Chassis Master. Been at a Ford dealership for 9 years.
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I used the wrong key to try and start my truck and the ignition is

Resolved Question:

I used the wrong key to try and start my truck and the ignition is now disabled what can I do to start it
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Brad B replied 3 years ago.

Brad B :

Hello, thanks for choosing Just Answer!

Brad B :

If you have triggered the PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System) you can generally wait for the 15 minute timeout. In some cases you will need to disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes.

Customer:

welcome, what can I do to get the truck started

Brad B :

If you see a red / theft light continually flashing this will indicate the vehicle has seen an event of someone trying to start the vehicle.

Customer:

I left it unattended for well over 30 mins and came b ack and still would not start

Brad B :

Does the theft light continually flash with the key in the run position?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

at least I think so I am at home now and not near the truck

Brad B :

Ok. Try to disconnect the battery then reconnect it. If the vehicle still does not start disconnect the battery and wait 15 minutes.

Brad B :

By disconnecting the battery you will reset the system.

Customer:

I tried disconnecting it sometime ago but was only off minutes not long. and that did not work I can try it being off for 15 mins

Brad B :

Also when starting the vehicle turn the key to the run position and wait for the light to go out before starting the vehicle.

Customer:

any other thoughts?

Customer:

which light?

Brad B :

Make sure you are using a programmed key. Trying too many times with the incorrect key will put the system into theft mode and will delay the process. The light I am referring to is the theft light (may be the words theft or a red led light).

Brad B :

In some cases I have seen a key lose it's program which can be done if a key was set next to something magnetic.

Customer:

I am using the programmed key I have locked up the other one. The only theft light I have is the red blinking one on the dash in front of the driver

Customer:

It should not have done that, the issue was I locked both good keys in the truck and had to use the other to get in.

Brad B :

Ok. After you have reconnected the battery, turn the key to the run position and wait for the light to go out. It should be on for a few seconds then go out if everything is working correctly.

Brad B :

By disconnecting the battery you will clear the theft code in the system and should allow the car to start with the correct key.

Customer:

There could be one other thing I was checking the fuses for the trailer lights and removed a couple relas next to the fuses, though I am fairly certain I put them back in all the way... are there any relays close to those fuses that could cause the problem?

Brad B :

There is a fuel pump relay, none that I am aware of for the theft light to be flashing.

Customer:

I will check those when I go back to do the battery thing

Customer:

will you be on for a bit?

Brad B :

I will be around for a while. Go ahead and leave the question open and if you still have issues let me know and well go from there.

Customer:

Thanks I will be back

Brad B :

Ok. I'll save the information and wait to hear back.

Customer:

I am back

Customer:

You there?

Brad B :

Yes I am here.

Customer:

I went back and tried the ignition once more before doing anything..... I heard a little click come from down at the fuse panel and sure enough I forgot to put the "PCM" relay back in. Installed it and truck started right up... feeling pretty stupid here.

Customer:

what the heck is the pcm relay fuse?

Brad B :

Thats odd that the theft light was flashing, generally without the PCM relay what happens in the odometer is blank. The PCM is the 'Powertrain Control Relay' this is the main computer of the vehicle.

Brad B :

Without the relay the main computer is not active and will cause a no start issue.

Brad B :

Which will have an odometer with lines through it (blank).

Customer:

LOL... the odometer kept saying check gauges. well thats what happened driver error like a lot of things I am sure you see from tiime to time

Brad B :

Being you said the theft light was flashing made this seem to be a theft issue. Very odd the relay was out and the theft light was flashing. Lol the customer errors happen from time to time.

Customer:

Well thanks for your expertise anyway... As it turns out the truck was fine the driver is stupid.

Brad B :

Also known as a spacer issue, LOL......... Issue was between the steering wheel and the seat..

Brad B :

Glad it was an easy / cheap fix.

Customer:

lol yes on all counts have a good evening now I can go make some money tomorrow.

Brad B :

Have a good one yourself! Thanks.

Brad B, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1076
Experience: ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Engine and Chassis Master. Been at a Ford dealership for 9 years.
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