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Old 02-11-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
satjock
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Help with a starting issue

My son has a 2008 SES that has become difficult to start. At first he said he was having to push the key in harder to get it to start. Lately it has been hit or miss if the car would start. When the key was turned, the solenoid was not engaging the starter motor. I tried the ignition cylinder first, and even after bypassing the PATS, the car still would not start. I get all the normal dash lights, and the battery is well charged, I assumed (there's that word) that the solenoid had given up, so we changed the stater. Again, no joy, although the car did start after 15 attempts, so the problem still exists. Before I commit to the god awful prices at the dealership, what have I missed? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:45 AM   #2
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Hi Lance,

When I got my 2007 SES it came with two keys. One key had FORD on the key handle and the other key had a much fatter handle without FORD embossed on the handle. Well after a year the non-FORD key started to not work intermittently and then failed entirely. Turns out the non-FORD was a clone. The real Ford key comes with an RFID chip in the handle. Each Ford key's chip is unique. When you insert the key that key's ID is transmitted to your cars computer and if that ID has been programmed to the computer then the computer will allow the car to start.

So what's a clone key? Well a clone key has additional circuits that allow you to modify the RFID chip's ID code, the additional circuits are why the key handle is fatter. When you go to a locksmith asking to have a dup key made, he says "Sure you have a working key"? He takes you key and one of his clone blank keys. First he cuts the teeth to match yours. Next he puts your key in a device that reads your key's ID code, then he inserts the clone key and the device writes your key's ID code to the clone key. Your key was just cloned. It will start your car.

So what goes wrong? Well if the clone key loses the code that was written to it, it will not work. While the real Ford key is a passive device and does not have an internal battery, it appears the clone keys are not. As the battery gets weaker you have intermittent failures then a complete failure. Some clones allow you to replace the battery and some do not.

My solution was to go to a locksmith that could supply a real Ford key and program it to my car's computer, cost was $50. You may know that if you have two working keys you can program in a third. That does not work if one of the keys is a clone of the other. Since they both have the same ID code your car's computer considers them the same key.

I do not know what you did to bypass the PATS but it sounds like it did not work Hope this helped
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
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AT or MT?

How did you bypass PATS?

FYI, even bad solenoids will click, just not turn the starter. I assume you're not getting a click.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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It is an AT. To bypass the PATS, I removed the ring that has the sensor ,when I changed the ignition switch, and when I tried to start the car with the new switch, I taped the known good original key to the sensor. Once I verified that the PATS light had gone out, I tried to start the car, and again got nothing. With the Ford original key, the key acts like it should, as the car checks certain systems, dashboard lights go out. I think that there is a way to check that the start signal is getting to the starter, but after that, I'm stumped.

Lance
P,S. The brake inter-lock appears to work, as I have been able to shift out of park, and into drive, and back into park.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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Oh, hey there, Dad.

Should have let me known that you posted on the forum I frequent =P
I just made another thread, I'll go see about deleting it.

I can address further questions.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satjock View Post
It is an AT. To bypass the PATS, I removed the ring that has the sensor ,when I changed the ignition switch, and when I tried to start the car with the new switch, I taped the known good original key to the sensor. Once I verified that the PATS light had gone out, I tried to start the car, and again got nothing. With the Ford original key, the key acts like it should, as the car checks certain systems, dashboard lights go out. I think that there is a way to check that the start signal is getting to the starter, but after that, I'm stumped.

Lance
P,S. The brake inter-lock appears to work, as I have been able to shift out of park, and into drive, and back into park.
So if I understand this correctly:
- You had two keys, one a genuine FORD key and a non-FORD key.
- The non-FORD key stopped working but the FORD key worked.

To fix the this you:
- removed the transponder ring
- Replaced the ignition switch
- taped the FORD key to the removed transponder ring
- Tried the non-FORD key and found it did not work
- Tried the FORD key and found it also does not work

My comments are:
- If I had a key that worked and a key that did not work, I would think the issue was with the non-working key, not the car.
- Removing the transponder ring does not bypass the PATS. What it does do is prevent the computer from reading the ID code of ANY key. In other words right now your car can not be started and can not be programmed to allow ANY key to start it.
- Some people "bypass PATS" by just taping the working FORD key to the ignition switch so the PATS will read the ID code of the taped key.

I'm afraid that at this point it sounds like you should:
- reinstall the transponder and hope the PATS works.
- Start the car with your FORD key. If it does not start, tow it to your Ford dealer. (I hope you do not have to go this route as it will be costly to have them repair the PATS.)
- Examine the non-FORD key, can it be opened to reveal a battery? If so replace it and see if it works.
- Find a locksmith that can make you another key using a genuine FORD blank and program it into your car's computer. The FORD dealer will want big bucks for this, often over $100. I found an independent locksmith by calling the local CarMax dealer. They have a continuous need for FORD keys, but do not want to pay the dealer prices for them, so they contract with a local locksmith that can do it at a fraction of the cost.

I have not heard of any method of actually bypassing or removing PATS. Since there are Focus vehicles without PATS, I suppose that it could be done but would no doubt be more expensive then getting a dealer to make you a key.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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I believe you misunderstood what I had originally written. I believed that the problem was the ignition cylinder. Knowing that the PATS would not allow the new key and cylinder to start the car, I taped the key to the sensor, and when I saw the PATS light go out, I tried the new ignition switch, to no joy, I returned the ignition to its original configuration, and changed the starter, believing the solenoid might be questionable. Unfortunately this also did not fix the problem, At this point I'm stumped, if it is wiring, I would think that it would never start, It will still start occasionally after 10 or more tries.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Lance,

Sorry for misunderstanding you, let's talk about the present status:
- Do you have a genuine FORD key and if so how many?
- Do you have a non-FORD key and if so how many?
--- If you have a non-FORD key examine it closely, is there a tab or something that will allow you to open the handle and access a battery?
- At present your original ignition switch is installed and it has the transponder ring installed, correct?
- With the genuine FORD key, does the engine start every time, intermittently or not at all?
- With the non-FORD key, does the engine start start every time, intermittently or not at all?
- When you replaced the starter, did you replace just the starter or the starter and solenoid?

Link to Genuine FORD key

Link to non-FORD key

Link to ILCO Key Systems FAQ. Scroll down the the section on "Automotive Key Blanks". It explains about clones and the limited life of a clone's battery.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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Ignition cylinders cause this sort of problems in GMs, but not Fords. The only problem with Ford ignition cylinders is when they don't turn.

PATS is only one thing that will keep the starter relay from closing. The neutral safety switch in the AT shifter will keep it from starting also.

You might want to remove the shifter and see if you can figure out where the N/S switch is and make sure it's not gummed up with soda residue.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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I believe you misunderstood what I wrote. To date, I changed the ignition cylinder, and bypassed the PATS by taping the key to the sensor. I don't have any key other than the Ford original. When the new ignition cylinder didn't work, I restored it to factory original and unfortunately it still did not work. My next try was the starter, my thinking being the solenoid was bad, and wasn't even pushing the pinion gear out. We replaced the starter, yet continue to experience the same problem, very intermittent starting. I went to my local NAPA store, many of the employees are big-time car guys, but they couldn't find a manual yet. I was told to try and find the ignition relay, but all I can find are 2006 fuse and relay charts. So, again, any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Lance
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