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Ask Chris (aka- Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 48011
Experience:  16 years experience
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I have a 98 explorer. story short, it was running fine.

Customer Question

I have a 98 explorer. Long story short, it was running fine. Replaced the steering column. Wouldn't fire, anti theft. Swapped computer along with every other thing we can think of, even the fuel pump, bypassed fuel relay, etc. When trying to start the anti theft is dimly lit and blinking quickly.
I live in the Virgin Islands, with no Ford dealerships nearby. Advice? Many thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

You need a diagnostic tool to open the programming process so the computer can recognize both key codes as good keys. Then it can start. There is not a way to bypass this. Call your local locksmiths to see if they have this programming tool and can come to you.

You want a excellent 5 star answer & I would like to be rated the same for providing it. Consider I don't know your skill level & I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies. Try your best to respond with good detail so I can do the same. I normally log in at 3pm and work late. A rating is required. Your rating me, what I type. I am not an employee of this website, nor have control over the fees or the time it took to get a response. If you rate negative or not at all you still paid, but I get nothing. I want you pleased with me and my efforts, so let me know if your experience here has come up short.

Thanks Chris

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

It seems like we are not done yet. If your still wanting/needing help, I m still available.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I swapped out both the computer and steering column from a matching 98 ford explorer. The locksmith told me they should work together so he can't garuantee that is the problem. It's going to cost me at least $600 to come to this island to look at it so I want to make sure that's the problem.
So, if I swapped the whole column and took the computer from the same car and put it in mine do I still need to get the keys reprogrammed or is there another problem? Thank you!
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

If the theft light is on or flashing after the key has been in the run position then the PATS system has triggered.

The transceiver module communicates with the encoded ignition key. This module is located behind the steering column shroud, and contains an antenna connected to a small electronics module. During each vehicle start sequence, the transceiver module reads the encoded ignition key identification code and sends the data to the PATS module.

The control functions are contained in the PATS module. This module performs all of the PATS functions such as receiving the identification code from the encoded ignition key and controlling engine enable. The PATS module initiates the key interrogation sequence when the vehicle ignition switch is turned to RUN or START.

PATS uses the p owertrain control module (PCM) to enable or disable the engine. The PATS module communicates with the PCM over the SCP communication network in order to enable engine operation. The PATS module and the PCM use sophisticated messages in order to prevent a theft. The PATS and the PCM share security data when first installed together, making them a matched pair. After this security data sharing, these modules will not function in other vehicles. The PCM shared security ID is remembered even if the battery is disconnected. The PATS module also stores the vehicle's key identification code, even if the battery is disconnected. There are special diagnostic repair procedures outlined in this workshop manual that may be carried out if either the PATS module or the PCM needs replacement.

You can buy a diagnostic tool that can be used to diagnose your vehicles as well as program keys to a vehicle for under 600$