Ford car won’t start – Do you have a Ford car key problem?
This is a really easy one. It depends on what type of Ford you have. If it’s an older style key, like the one below, in fifteen years, we’ve very rarely seen a Ford car key problem that stops the car starting. The transponder chips are excellent quality. Therefore, even if you have problems with the key falling apart, or buttons not working, this shouldn’t effect the car or van starting.
However, we’re starting to see issues with the newer style of Ford car keys, both the standard flip key and the proximity, or ‘smart’ keys that were introduced around 2010. If your Ford car won’t start and you have either of the keys below, it’s possible you have a Ford car key problem. Read more below.
Symptoms of a Ford Car Key Problem
Does the car try and start? Is the car turning over, or cranking?
The immobiliser works by preventing the starter motor, among other things, from working. Therefore, if the car is winding over, but not firing up, then you can be certain you don’t have a Ford car key problem. However, if it won’t even try and start, then the key is worth looking at.
There is an immobiliser light on early Fords. It’s always red and it’s normally a red dot, or a red padlock symbol. There are three things the Ford immobiliser light will do.
Immobiliser, or ‘PATs’ Light
Normal operation. With no keys in the ignition, or the car locked up, the red light will flash once every second. This is normal and means the immobiliser is set. When you turn the ignition on, the red light should come on for a second then go out.
If this happens, the car is happy with the key and you don’t have a car key problem.
Immobiliser light flashing. This time, when you turn the ignition on, the light flashes very quickly, about four times faster than before.
If this happens then the car does not recognise the key. We see this when either the key hasn’t been programmed, or the cloned chip has failed.
Sometimes, if a Ford Focus or Mondeo has been stood for a long time and the battery has gone flat, the car forgets the keys. However, we don’t any other Ford cars where the keys are forgotten. If you’re being told to ‘get the keys reprogrammed’ because the car has forgotten them, wait a bit and get your car key checked first.
Immobiliser light solid red. We don’t see this much, but sometimes, if there’s a different problem on the car, such as a communications fault, the light stays on red. The car will not crank and this will look like a key problem.
A solid red light needs to be investigated by a skilled technician.
What to look at with Ford vehicles.
Even though Ford keys are excellent, there are a couple of exceptions to look for. About ten years ago, the clever people at the key factories managed to work out how to clone the key, just like Dolly the sheep, remember her?
Things didn’t work out too well for her but cloning car keys changed things for ever. Cloned keys are what you buy at key cutting shops and are cheaper than a properly programmed car key.
There are more Ford cars in the UK than any other make, and so more Ford cloned keys than any other. We started to see problems with Ford car keys caused by cloned keys and they are still a major issue, in our opinion.
Cloning chips fail, and whenever we attend a car key breakdown on a Ford, it’s normally a cloned car key problem. We’ve only ever seen two genuine Ford chips fail in sixteen years, we think that’s excellent record. Compare this with any French key on Citroen and Peugeot cars and we see them every week!
The other exception is Ford Transit vans like the one below.
These have a new type of chip, that is on all french vehicles and the scourge of the motor trade. When this type of key is dropped and damaged, the chip does fail and the van will not start. Look for a flashing immobiliser light and no crank. Yes, most likely you need a new key.
Key not detected
The newer Ford cars do not have an immobiliser light. They have a display that will tell you what the problem is.
If you need a new Key battery, check out our Resources page which will take you to our Amazon Store.
The increase in proximity smart keys is causing a big problem for owners. These keys are very delicate inside and we’re starting to see car key breakdowns, caused by a failure of the key. The car will display a Ford car key problem message by telling you ‘key not detected’ on the dashboard.
When this happens, more often than not, you need a new car key. However, before you spend a lot of money on one, make sure you put a new car key battery inside. This type of key won’t let you start the car if the key battery dies! What a stupid idea..
Another common reason for this message is poor car key battery choice. All these keys need a good quality CR2032, and anything without a good brand should be thrown in the bin! (Well recycled in a car key battery facility!)
Ford Cars Stolen without keys
This is a big problem and is on the increase. If you have a keyless Ford car, you should click here.
How good are Ford Keys compared to other keys? Click Here to find out. We hope this has helped. Any questions please leave in the comments below.
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