Anti Theft light blinking fast , engine won't start

680

Asked by Jul 23, 2014 at 07:40 PM about the 2001 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Anti- Theft light blinking fast and engine won't start. locksmith tried to reprogram key,
since i only have one, but it still does the same thing. Any way to over ride or bypass this
system altoghter?

62 Answers

34,995

Oh boy, your at the mercy of your local Friendly Ford Dealer. As far as I know, they're the only one who can reprogram the anti theft system and cut you the proper key. Get two keys. Home Depot and Sears can cut you a duplicate for less then FORD.

22 of 22 people found this helpful.
680

but will those keys have the chip in them?

16 of 16 people found this helpful.
34,995

The chips in the key are blank then they are programmed to the anti theft system.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
680

can I get keys and then have a locksmith reprogram them?

28 of 28 people found this helpful.
680

can i get keys cut and reprogrammed without having the PATS reprogrammed too?

12 of 12 people found this helpful.
34,995

I don't think so. It's one of those catch 22 things. Basically, Ford has you over a barrel. As I understand it, Ford is the only one that has the ability to reprogram the anti theft system. Think about it. That kind of information shouldn't be public.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
34,995

I have a thought. Just for grins and giggles, try disconnecting the battery for about a half hour. Then see if that doesn't reset the anti theft system. It might just be that the chip in your key isn't bad. It's worth a shot.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
680

Tried that, did not work. Took it to the dealership and found out the whole anti-theft system has to be replaced and reprogrammed!!! Ain't that a kick in the head! Asked if the system could just be removed and they said yes, but i would never be able to start the truck again.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
34,995

OUCH! How much did that set you back?

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
680

Not as much as originally quoted. About $363.51 instead of $658.92.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
500

A SOLUTION!!!!!! THIS WORKED FOR US TODAY! Try turning the key and moving the shift from park to drive and back. Then try starting it again! It should start. We were ready to call a tow truck before trying this. It worked. Saved time and money!

50 of 50 people found this helpful.
100

thank you sandra that worked^^^^^^^

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
370

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport and it's a stick shift. Someone tried to steal it unsuccessfully and now it will not start. Lights come on and anti theft light is blinking, but it won't start. How can I reset the anti theft and get it to start. No park since its a stick.

37 of 37 people found this helpful.
230

My Ford mechanic told me that the device that reads the key chip goes bad. Says there is no re-programming involved because it simply reads the chip and sends the info to the system. The last time my 2001 Explorer failed to read the chip I just bumped the steering wheel a couple times to send vibrations through the column. It worked. Probably same effect as mentioned above by Sandra. The Ford mechanic said the "reader" will eventually fail all together and will need replaced.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
95

SANDRA: thank you so much for your information. I have a 2000 Ford excursion to have you saved the day on it as well. I had never run into this problem before, and was looking at hundreds of dollars in repair bills. you saved the day.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
110

Thank you Sandra. I thought my starter went out. Then noticed the theft light. I googled it and found your solution. It worked!!! I almost towed my car. You are awesome!!!

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
60

My girlfriend and I had this happen yesterday night, we had to leave our car overnight. Came back the next morning after doing some research and Sandra's solution worked!!!! Thanks soooo much!!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
230

OK. Listen up. I bought a new "Transceiver" today. My Explorer was doing the intermittent theft light thing just like the rest of you. When I went to put in the new part I found that one of the wires that goes into the plug that is under the dash was broken. This break is was without a doubt caused by the wire being moved every time that you tilt the steering wheel. The only reason the wire was clearly visibly broken was because I pulled it out of the plug. I am sure the wire was just simply sitting in the plug broken and would sometimes not be making contact. The bottom line is if you are getting your vehicle to start by using the "Sandra" method or any other physical manipulation around the steering column I will bet that you have a broken wire just like I did. The next time it happens tilt your steering wheel fully down. This pushes the wire deeper into the plug. I was able to fix my broken wire. I know how to remove the pins from the plug. Now I have to hope the Ford dealer will let me return the new part. One more thing. My original Transceiver's wire has plugs on both ends. If yours is like this (the new one is not) you could get a good wire from a junk vehicle. You may even be able to buy a new one. I haven't looked into that yet.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
240

Awesome! Like others I tried many things, and actually my "solution" above is sadly, not a solution as it worked only once and I can't repeat it. So, your answer seems much more likely and I will try. Can you tell me/us what color wire was the broken one in your situation?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
240

***** Solution #2 I followed this post and it worked first try: http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-c112_ds558688 My problem started when the battery had gone dead in my 97 Expedition. After jumping it a couple different times, the Theft light came on. Just like everyone else I couldn't get out of the blinking Theft light condition. Replaced the battery, same problem. Called Ford, explained dead battery, etc., and no help - can't believe they don't know this. Followed the instructions by putting my key in the ignition, turning it from off to on 8 times, then on the 8th leaving it on and watching the Theft light go out after a couple seconds! YEAH!!! Pushed each of the keyfob buttons as instructed - including the Panic button, kinda scary in case it didn't go off, but nothing happened. Turned the key off, took it out of the ignition, put the key in the ignition, turned it to on, and watched the Theft light go out after a second or two. Freaking coooool!! I was looking at towing the vehicle 30 miles to the mercy of a Ford dealer - far scarier than the Panic button, as it would have been many dollars into finding the reset process. Vehicle starts ever time now after about 4 tries!

12 of 12 people found this helpful.
230

I'm sure there are different reasons for the system to "think" its being tampered with. ggaskill, good to hear you got it to work. I've done a little more "research" and found older vehicles with tilt wheel steering column are known to have broken wire issues. On my Explorer the transceiver has 4, wires going into a white plastic connector under the dash. The far right wire was broken on mine. The wires are left to right: black/w-white stripe, red (it may have a stripe I can't see it in my photo) violet/w-blue stripe, tan/w- white stripe. The tan/w-white stripe was broken but unless you test them by gently pulling on each one you would never know because the wire is held by a small crimp onto the insulation at the back of each pin.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
20

I've tried all the solutions mentioned above^^^^ with no luck. I have a 2000 f150 4x4 and called a locksmith, he told me the computer is reading the chip in the key and everything checked out ok, so he even tried to cut and programmed a new key, all to be a loss of time and money. 3 days ago the truck ran fine and was ok when I parked it in the driveway.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

put key in ignition turn your key to run and back to stop position 8 times on the 8th time leave it to the on position security light will blink then go off.You should hear door locks activate,this is good .With the key in the on position push all of the buttons on the fob,Turn key off .should start It should start .

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
160

For my '02 F150 Expedition - Had it. Fixed it. Replaced a module and a relay. 180 bucks....most of which was 2 hours labor to find it. Done deal. ;)

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
20

YOU CAN START THE CAR BY simply (putting the ebrake all the way down, if your on a slant) then just put it in natural and start it, might take some gas peddle and key positioning type of skill.. As for a permanent solution, don't know, just live with it, shouldn't have bought a ford.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
160

Like I said...the real fix is a new relay and module. That is indeed a "permanent solution". Btw, last I checked all brands' parts break down...especially after 200,000 miles. No need to troll.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
90

Thanks everybody but I got it fixed all I had to do was reprogrammed the system. I turn the ignition key on and off six or seven times and then hit the unlock button on the key fob and that fixed it. Thanks again I appreciate the help.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
50

Shut off my 2002 ranger 4we 4.0 . anti theft light blinking and engine does not turn over . Tried all the quick fixes mentioned . Relays all good . So has anyone had any luck with having system scanned by mechanic ? The scanners from parts stores are not sophisticated enough to get any codes.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
30

Thanks Sandra. That helped me today. If I have any further problems I'll keep Hoot60's advice in mind.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
30

Geary, where did you find the module? My mechanic called Ford and they said its no longer made.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
160

Michelle, sounds like you got a bogus answer. They're not going to just stop producing needed parts. Anyway, my mechanic just ordered it up at the local Napa auto parts supply and it was delivered and done within 2 hours.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

Hey all, Ihad my truck looked at by Ford my issue was the ignution cylinder lock. It start right up now.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

Hey y'all , I got a 04 Ford explorer I bought it off my father in law he was driven it and it ran out of gas he got a way home and the by the time he got back to it he had lost his key so he knocked the key switch out and the security light came on I changed the whole steering column it came out of a mercury montainer. So I'd have a key programed to the key switch it won't start off the key to starts off the sylonid tho and runs but not long dont sound like the fuel pump is kicking in maybe a lose wire

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
50

My 02 ranger did this . I got lucky and know a guy are in town that can scan this. He scanned it , said pats module came up bad . He said since it showed up No other modules at all it was not that but likely the instrument cluster . Bought a used one . He said now scan it with a auto parts store scanner and see what it says . It showed tranciever bad . Before it had showed nothing . Replaced it and it started up. Tried all the other fixed also but no luck there

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

I have a 2003 mercury mountaineer everything on dash board turn on but won't crank just makes a click noise and battery is good and theft light blinks quick any solutions I'm thinking its the PATS anti theft transceiver but would like other options thanks

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10

SANDRA you rock started right up woohooo

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Had a tire blow out on driver side in the back fixed that then didnt drive til Monday only to find out it wouldnt start. Replaced battery,alternator and starter checked fuses and all tested good i dont know what to do at this point. Tried jumping it and my antitheft light stayed on but didnt hold a charge

60

What if I don't v have a key fob !!! I have a 2004 Ford Explorer

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
20

Disconnect both battery terminals touch both wires together this should drain your whole system of power then try to start the car... worked for me

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
60

I have this problem now on my 99 ranger

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
10

I have a 2003 ford explorer i just put a fuel pump and a ignition coil on and it still wont crank any suggestions

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
160

Arkella...do you have the fast blinking light as in the first scenario on that s thread? If so...you may need to replace what I did...you need a relay and a module...associated with ignition.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

So this is my 3rd or 4th time with this problem in my 04 ford explore. I had the mechanism in the steering column replaced in 2013 and then the other times it was the key.. tired of paying ford for the same issue over and over. Currently the battery is dead since the truck has been sitting for over a month... help?!

160

As I've stated a few times before: it's a relay and module associated with ignition. Take it to a good mechanic you trust. It'll cost you about $150.00. The blinking light thing happened in my 2002 Expedition two years ago. Haven't had a problem since.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
15

Thanks for all the information, toke my truck to the dealership, 213.00, back on the road,said that I had bad relay and wire going into the pcm.let's go fishing. Thanks again

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
35

05 G M C 2500 HD 257,000 miles on it , bought it w/ 70 k ,,,,, I put Gas in it today ,,and drove away ,,,, ' that says it all " good luck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

My 02 escape just started doing this over the past couple weeks but always started after a few tries. Friday night I had it towed after it wouldn't start at the gas station. Had the starter replaced Sunday, it drove fine Monday and then wouldn't start Monday nite. Just saw Sandra's solution and BAM it started!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My anti theft light came on and was blinking and then none of my lights would turn on and the ignition wouldn't crank, I turned the key all the way forward (clockwise/ on position) and then unplugged the battery for 45 minutes, went to Wendy's for a number 1, reconnected the battery and cranked the ignition, my 04 ranger came back on.

i have the same problem the blinking light

10

Chalk-up another "success" using Sandra's answer/solution, above. Thank you very much, Sandra! Just out of curiosity, Sandra, do you recall where you got the answer? (And yes, if you say it's on page such-and-such in the owner's manual, I'll feel like a complete idiot!). Thanks again!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Chalk up another one for Sandra's solution. I had to jiggle the shift lever on our 1998 Explorer a couple of times before I could turn the key -- but then shifted into drive, then back to park, then started up like a dream. Thanks again, Sandra! You do indeed ROCK!!

I have a 2000 Mazda B4000 pickup truck. It has not been starting due to a flashing Theft light. I tried Sandra's solution, and it works. Her method is to turn the ignition key on, and move the shift from Park to Drive and back to Park. This should turn off the ATS. Then turn on the ignition. It starts right up.

I have a 2002 Ford F-150. 2 wheel drive. 4.2L. Manual. Went out and truck didn't start. Theft light was blinking. Turned key to on posistion and all the way back ( lock on steering column have to push with finger to get all the way back ). Did this 8x. On the 8th left it in the on posistion. Reset and truck started right up

10

My 2001 Ford explorer is doing the same thing because I locked my keys in the car stuff had to get a locksmith to unlock it now I'm down $120 and now my car won't start!! Everything was fine now I don't know what to do, can someone... Anyone help.

I have the theft light blinking slowly on my dash but that is the only light that flashes on the dashboard. All other lifts work but I've tried every method on this page does anyone know what this could be?

10

My car did the same thing and the problem was actually my battery. So I had to jump it. I'm gonna get a new battery to avoid this problem in the future.

I tried that and it still won't start. The battery is pretty now not more than a year old. Every light inside the car works and the headlights too, but the dashboard only has the flashing theft light.

10

Well the next best thing to do is go to your local Ford dealership and have them reprogram the key. I pretty much gave up and was ready to do that until my dad tried the battery, saved me about $150 but if it's a last resort then that's what you'll have to do.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

This happened to us today on our 2002 Ranger, 3.0L, Auto. I googled this thread up from there. I tried everything. My one last desperate attempt was to unlock the tilt wheel and slam it up & down like a mad man before trying to start it. It worked. I got her home and started taking the column apart. I work slow though because the heat gets to me bad. I cussed out that little black chip sensor (pictured) that runs parallel to the airbag wiring in the column. Being that the shaking worked, I am hoping I can find a loose connection. I can make any wire fit any plug somehow. I am already trying to figure out how I am gonna budget for the new motor my baby needs and I sure don't need electrical on top of it all. By the way, I joined this site today just so I could thank you all for this thread. :)

Oh yeah I forgot to mention something in my post above. ^^ For those with actual KEY issues, not system issues, here is how it works: If you have TWO programmed keys, you can follow the directions to program other keys. If you have ONE or NONE, you need to see your local dealer. Also, if anyone has a bad transceiver (pictured above) they can be gotten cheap. Google the part number. To me it looks like 1L5T-15607-AE, but my eyes aren't what they once were so you are responsible for verifying this!

10

Any experiences with this problem on a 2007 Ford Ranger, 2 wheel drive, or other manual model? No key fob buttons. Battery is good; all lights go on. The theft light is blinking. I turned the key 8x's (all the way back) has not worked. If I'm doing it right). How long to hold it there? Does the theft light go out?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Nope just on this one. My key doesn't have buttons either though. It just looks like a normal double-edge Ford Key with a huge black head on it. The chip is read right through the plastic. I don't know about the 8x thing.

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