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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 21956
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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I have a problem with the Ford Explorer UK fitted

Customer Question

I have a problem with the Ford Explorer UK fitted immobiliser but I can see from the previous threads, no one seems able to help with this. Sophia
JA: What year is your Explorer?
Customer: 1997 and has the Bosch VIM171 fitted
JA: Are you fixing your Explorer yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: More or less with the help of a local mechanic (we are in Antigua) The car can be started but cuts out after a while due to the immobiliser cutting off the fuel. There is not problem with the fuel pump or filters. To get the car restarted, we have to take the negative off the battery, leave it for 5 minutes, fiddle with the door locks and then she will start again; only to stop again sometimes after 10 or 20 minutes, sometimes after 2 or 3 minutes. it is a nightmare! If only we could disable the system!
JA: Have you ever replaced the fuel pump, or is this the original?
Customer: It is the original and works perfectly; this was the first thing to be checked
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: As i said, I need someone to tell me how to disconnect the immobiliser system; otherwise it is just a waste of time.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Don 'Mo Lurch' replied 2 months ago.

How do you know it is the Transponder / Immobilizer ?
The Transponder / Immobilizer is "out of circuit" once the Engine Starts & Runs
IF you believe it is the Transponder / Immobilizer, then you likely will need to Repace & Program the ECM, as the ECM is responsible for that circuit

.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your mail; sorry for the delay in response. Reason for us to think it is the immobiliser is that everything else checks out ok and when it stops it cannot just be re-started. Need to disconnect the negative again, wait 5 minutes, fiddle with the door locks and then it starts again. We have checked the relays and these seem to be fine. Where can we find the programme ECM? Easiest for us would be to disconnect the system as for the past 10 years it has only giving us problems. Can you help with this? Sophia
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If you think it is the ECM, would this be standard to all Ford Explorers from 1997 regardless of the fact the Immobiliser unit in the European models are Bosch unlike the US cars?
Expert:  Don 'Mo Lurch' replied 2 months ago.

You may want to locate a ECM Rebuilding Company (Euro or USA), as they used to sell a ECM "without" the Security Components, where you do not need the Transponder / Immobilizer.
Some Companies can Rebuild your ECM & remove the Security Components.
When it stalls, turning the Key OFF then ON or Restarting, activates the Security System, so the Transponder / Immobilizer is activated until it Starts & Runs, then it is dropped out of the circuit

.

I no longer have communication with the Companies that did the Rebuilding.

You would have to do a search on the Internet..........

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks very much for your reply. I know it must seem as a pathetic question, but is the ECM the same as the Vehicle Immobiliser, which is model VIM171 made by Bosch for European cars only? Or is this something else? If it is the latter, would it be the same part in all Ford Explorers of that time? I know the US models have a different immobiliser system fitted.
Just turning the key on/off does not work. To get the car to restart, we need to remove negative from battery as described before and fiddle with the car locking system. One thing we have just discovered is that all the doors are no longer locking on the remote; could this have something to do with the problem? Many thanks, Sophia
Expert:  Don 'Mo Lurch' replied 2 months ago.

is the ECM the same as the Vehicle Immobiliser,

.

The "ECM" (engine control module) is the Main Vehicle Computer which controls the starting & running of the Engine & Transmission and it's components.
The Transponder / Immobilizer components is built into the ECM
The Transponder is built into the head of the Ignition Key which constantly transmits a signal
The Transponder / Immobilizer has a Ring at the Ignition Key Cylinder that receives the signal form the Key head
This signal is sent to the ECM that the correct Transponder / Immobilizer Code is being used at the Ignition Key Cylinder.
This enables the ECM to provide Start & Run

.

Just turning the key on/off does not work. To get the car to restart, we need to remove negative from battery as described before and fiddle with the car locking system. One thing we have just discovered is that all the doors are no longer locking on the remote; could this have something to do with the problem?

.

Locking ARMS the Factory Security
Unlocking "DisArms" the Factory Security
There is "2" components to the Security System of this Vehicle
1) Factory Alarm, which sounds the Horn & flashes the Lights, cuts starting & Ignition, if tampered with
2) Transponder / Immobilizer which the Transponder is built into the head of the Key & is always transmitting a signal. Once start & run is done, the Transponder / Immobilizer is taken out of the circuit of the ECM
I will open this question back up to see if anyone else can offer more info, as it sounds like the ECM may be the issue
Removal of the Battery Cable is "resetting" a component

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks a lot; there is no chip in the car key though with this model. The key is just a thin flat one. Sincerely, Sophia
Expert:  Don 'Mo Lurch' replied 2 months ago.

your first post;

I have a problem with the Ford Explorer UK fitted immobiliser

.

to have the Immobilizer, you have to have the transponder key

key will look like most regular keys

.

there is no chip in the car key though with this model. The key is just a thin flat one.

With your new info, I am somewhat confused now to your original question

will opt out & relist

please DO NOT respond to this as it will lock question

if someone else has more info or can help, they will post here

thanks

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

You don't appear to be describing a security issue, just the engine dying while driving. A security related issue is going to cause the engine to start and die immediately or not start at all, it isn't going to cause it to die while driving.

The first step in diagnosing the problem was to use a scan tool or code reader to see if any fault codes are setting. Disconnecting the battery will clear any codes that are set and is counterproductive to diagnosing the problem.

Have you checked for fault codes?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you very much for your input. Working conditions are not ideal; we are in Antigua so no scan tools etc. available. I will go the local Ford dealer now and ask what diagnostic equipment they have available; when asked before not a lot! The reality is that is feels as though the engine is starved of fuel, but the mechanic has checked this and the fuel is getting through. The initial question remains; how can we disable the immobiliser system? The locals here seem to think this is the problem but even if it is not, at least we have isolated it. Can you help? Thanks, Sophia
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 months ago.

The dealer will have all necessary equipment to be able to diagnose the problem.

You can't remove the immobilizer system, and it isn't what is causing the problem you described.