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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6215
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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My 2012 f150 wont start and I'm getting an error message

Customer Question

Customer: my 2012 f150 wont start and I'm getting an error message that reads "start system fault" any idea?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: not really, just wondering if its maybe the key chip?
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  A. Penland replied 11 months ago.

It could be a PATS security key problem, but I would like a little more information first.

How many keys do you have for the F150?
How many miles on the F150?

Can you give me the VIN# ***** I can check Fords database?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have two keys, my other key is being mailed to me from back home as we speak. Everything I read online makes it pretty clear that it might have something to do with my key. It has close to 55,000 miles on it. Never have had a problem, flew home for xmas, and came back 3 days later. Tried starting it, and it's giving me that message. Checked battery voltage, plenty good, so it has to be something electronic.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Vin #1FTEX1EM4CFB26169
Expert:  A. Penland replied 11 months ago.

Ford used a small flashing red light for the old PATS key system. Now in the 2014 and newer vehicles, they use the message center that shows starting system fault which is the same as the light. There is an issue with the PATS system, most likely the key, with that mileage. I asked for the VIN to check for any extended warranty from Ford on the F150. If it turns out to be the key, you will need to eventually get a replacement key for the bad one causing this problem. When you get the mailed key, disconnect the battery and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then reconnect the battery and use the new key to see if the truck starts. If you get the same problem with the new key, then you have another issue and testing will have to be done with the proper scan tool to properly locate the problem.