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Old 03-26-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
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2005 Ford Focus ZX3 PATS Problem

Here are the facts: 2005 Ford Focus ZX-3; Manual transmission; 2.0 DOHC. Manual windows and manual locks. The PATS system is intermittently kicking in and not allowing the car to crank or start. The system blinks normally in the slow pattern when armed. When it won't let you start the car, it flashes rapidly when the key is turned to the run or start positions. The computer has been changed twice in 8 months and the problem continues. The PATS transceiver has also been replaced. All ground connections have been cleaned up. Both keys have been properly programmed by the dealer. I have repaired some hacked up wiring from the previous owner. The problem continues. I have read through the forum discussions and no one really seems to fully understand how this system works and how to deactivate or disable it. The Ford dealer doesn't know what to do next either. If you can offer some techinical help, I'm ready for it. Thanks.


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Old 03-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #2
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Wow, what a bummer.

I can not offer any truly good tech advise, but maybe some discussion to get some ideas going.

The car has a couple data-buses (SCP, ISO, CAN) for some modules to communicate. There was a least one thread where a damaged wire caused one or all the buses to crash and it was a no-start condition; can not remember if that guy had PATS flashing tho. The point here tho is that (sadly) your intermittent problem could be a defective wiring thing and this could be causing PATS to fail.

There are also a few stories about odometer/instrument cluster problems were the typical problem is cluster lights not working or flashing. These were often fixed by removing the cluster and cleaning the circuit board. I can't remember the exact details, but I remember that PATS and the cluster have some shared components and/or connectivity. So, my idea is that cleaning that circuit board is a good thing to do in your shoes. BTW, the cluster is also one of the modules that connects via a data-bus.

Do a search for "focus instrument cluster circuit board" and you should find a few hits.

Also, you have a hatch, so inspecting the hatch wiring is a good idea too.
See pic at post#5 here->
Trunk release does not work even with new release

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Old 07-09-2016, 02:21 PM   #3
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I have been having a similar intermittent problem, and may (hopefully) have fixed it. In my case, when the problem occurs everything is dead (instrument cluster, radio, etc.) except the PATS light and a dim red oil-can symbol below the speedometer dial).

While checking ground connections this morning (all appear good), I found a dangling wire with a tiny 4-pin connector. It was hanging right next to a Karr Security Systems device mounted next to the hood release, and by golly the wire plugs right into the back of that.

I bought the car used, and the dealer disabled the Karr system with a disarming plug and a certain procedure. I assume the wire still must be plugged into the device to avoid a security fault, and the connector may have been working its way loose. (I won't pull out now; there must be some kind of catch on the connector.)

Since the problem is intermittent, I won't know for quite some time (ever?) if I have fixed it. Fingers crossed.

(After reading a bunch of threads on this forum about PATS [passive anti-theft system] and some of the very sorry, crippling and long-term problems people have had with it, I think it should have been called ADSS [active denial of service system]. How many folks have been at the end of a long, lonely road, in winter, beyond cell phone service when these problems happen?)
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:18 PM   #4
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There is a special circle of hell reserved for people who install aftermarket security systems, then sell their car without either removing it or informing the new owner of how to disable the thing.

And it's a lower circle still for those who hack up the factory wiring beyond repair while installing it...
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #5
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Now that the picture shows, I can agree wholeheartedly that the system should have been removed completely before selling the car!

Permanent item that plugs into the OBD port could be a REAL issue in the future, I'd try to get it removed by them to avoid issues.

Heck, does the car even work with it disconnected now? You need OBD access for Inspections & repair.
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