07-25-2012, 04:44 PM
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Linden, NJ
What I Drive: 2001 Infra-Red ZX3
FF Reputation: 1
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0
Originally Posted by Milton
A PATS key has an RFID chip embeded in the handle. When you insert the key into the ignition the computer reads the chip and if it's ID matches one of up to six IDs stored in it's memory your computer will work with it. If the cut pattern of the key matches the cyclinder then you can rotate the ignition switch and all works. If the chip does not match one of the 6 stored IDs, or if the computer is unable to read the key's chip, your computer will not start the car even if the key rotates the ignition switch. So even if your new key does have a PATS chip, if it is not paired with you car's computer so it will not work.
There are a couple of ways a locksmith can make a key for you:
DEFINITION: A "Master Key" is just a key whose ID has been paired (accepted and stored) into your car's computer.
1) Clone a master key: The key blank for these have an even fatter handle and do not have a FORD logo. After the locksmith cuts the teeth pattern, they read the ID from a "known working" key and write it to the newly cut key, hence you have a clone of the original key. In my experience these clones stop working in a couple of years. Also as far as your PATS system is concerned this cloned key does not count as a second master key.
2) Make a new master key: A new OEM blank is used, and it's chip already has an unchangable ID. The locksmith cuts the teeth and the key's ID is paired to your car's computer.
3) Pairing a new master: If you have two master keys (not a master and it's clone) you can pair it yourself. If you do not then the locksmith can connect a computer to your car and pair the new key in about 10 minutes.
I went through all of this on my Focus when the cloned master died. In the San Antonio area it cost me about $35 for a locksmith to create a new master from an OEM blank and pair it to my car.
You lucked out, then. I'm getting quoted almost $100 for a clone, much less a new master. I've come to realize that the keys may not be the issue. My master key isn't always working anymore either. Could have just been coincidental that one would work and the other didn't. My new guess is that it may have to do with the wiring.. My clone has been working perfectly for a week or so now, until today, actually. Took me removing and retrying at least 50 - 60 times easy.
This is pretty frustrating. A few weeks back, I had a car riding my bumper on a hill. Red light came up. I let off the clutch too quick trying not to roll back into their car and stalled out. Took me almost a full minute to get the car started again when the key was never even removed.
I know this is starting to work its way into a different topic, but does anyone know of a wiring diagram or something for this stuff? Maybe something isn't making contact the way it should be?