2003 ford explorer sport trac just quit running and now ignition does nothing

Asked by Jan 16, 2015 at 05:51 PM about the 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4WD Crew Cab

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my 2003 explorer sport trac just died on me when I tried to start it nothing happens. No sounds or nothing. The battery is fully charged and all lights and radio work. I have checked all fuses and the starter. When I turn the key to the on position the anti-theft light on the dash blinks about every 2 seconds, the same s when the key is turned to the off position. Any suggestions?

1 Answer

465

The passive anti-theft system (PATS) uses radio frequency identification technology to deter a driveaway theft. Passive means that it does not require any activity from the user. This system is known as SecuriLock in North America, Safeguard in the U.K., and PATS in Continental Europe. This information can be found in customer literature such as the owner's manual. The PATS uses a specially encoded ignition key. Each encoded ignition key contains a permanently installed electronic device called a transponder. Each transponder contains a unique electronic identification code out of over four quadrillion combinations. Each encoded ignition key must be programmed into a vehicle's PATS module before it can be used to start the engine. There are special diagnostic repair procedures outlined in the manual that must be performed if the encoded ignition keys need to be replaced. The encoded key is larger than a traditional ignition key. The key does not require batteries and should last the life of the vehicle. 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. The PATS uses the powertrain control module (PCM) to enable or disable the engine. The PATS module communicates with the PCM over the J1850 (SCP) 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 that makes them a matched pair. After this security data sharing, these modules will not function in other vehicles. The PATS 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 the repair manual that may be performed if either the PATS module or the PCM needs replacement. All the elements of the PATS must be functional before the engine is allowed to start. If any of the components are not working properly, the vehicle will not start. The PATS uses a visual theft indicator. This indicator will prove out for three seconds when the ignition switch is turned to RUN or START under normal operation. If there is a PATS problem, this indicator will either flash rapidly or glow steadily when the ignition switch is turned to RUN or START. The PATS also "blips" the theft indicator every two seconds at ignition OFF to act as a visual theft deterrent. The PATS differs from the perimeter anti-theft system in that the PATS enables and disables the engine from starting. If equipped, the perimeter anti-theft system protects the perimeter of the vehicle (doors, hood and trunk) and sounds an alarm. The passive vehicle protection system will be activated and will disable the vehicle from starting if there is a: Damaged encoded key. - Unprogrammed key. - Non-encoded key (key has no electronics). - Wiring concern. - Transceiver concern. - PCM concern. - Module communications network concern.

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