The Ford PATS is one of the top security systems that you might have for your car. It is specifically designed by the manufacturer to ensure your car does not get stolen and to give you some peace of mind.
However, many people can often lose their keys and since keys are far more advanced in the modern era, it is more expensive.
You can easily pay around $200 or even more to replace your key and this makes it more viable to disable the PATS for a while until you get your hands on a brand new key.
Disabling the system is tricky and it should be done by an expert to ensure that you can fix the transponder and keep the car safe from theft.
In the following article, we will look slightly deeper at the Ford Passive Anti-theft System and how the unit functions.
Many people have found small workarounds, but inevitably, it is only temporary and you want to get it fixed as soon as possible. However, here is a breakdown of the Ford antitheft system and how to potentially disable it.
What Is The Ford PATS
Before you can even think of disabling the system, you need a little bit of background to understand how it will function. The PATS is a transponder that is located in the key of the car. With each Ford you buy, you will receive a transponder and each of these transponders is different, with different codes that are created.
Keep in mind that there are up to 18 billion combinations of the codes that the system can generate, which makes it virtually impossible for one to guess the codes. The PATS module will generate an exciter that communicates with the key and transmits the data back to the module when you place it in the ignition.
Since the unit is static, it does not require any batteries to recharge the key and you can look at it in the same way as you would a magnet. The car will not move when the magnet is not connected. Once the key is in the ignition, it contains a spool of wire. The spool of wire will convert the field to power, which runs the chip eventually.
Once you have all of this in the ignition and the key in the car, you will notice that it effectively communicates with your PATS module. The PATS module will deactivate some of the safety features, which enables the car to start. However, it should be noted that it could often malfunction, which is why many people might want o bypass the unit.
Where Is The PATS Module Located
One of the most common questions that many people like to ask is where the PATS module is located. However, when you look at Ford as a whole, it is hard to determine the direct location. Over the years, the manufacturer has changed the location and it will also vary depending on the model of the car to ensure more safety.
In some of the older models, the PATS module is located as a separate system on the car. It is something that can be removed and replace if you find an issue. In many of the newer models, you will notice that the PATS module is located behind the steering, which makes it possible to easily locate it due to the antenna that comes from the unit.
The location behind the steering makes it much easier for the individual to ensure they can access the transponder. The transponder might even have a color and the blue or green color should shine to ensure that the unit is effectively powered. Keep in mind that if the data on the key and the transponder do not match, your car will not start.
Top Reasons Why The PATS Module Might Not Work
As mentioned, there are a couple of reasons why the PATS module might not work. If there are some issues with the unit, it will cut out and you won’t be able to move the car or turn the ignition. The PATS module aims to ensure that you cannot access the car if you do not have the right key.
Unfortunately, the PATS system might fail due to other reasons and we have isolated a couple of the main reasons that can cause the PATS module to fail.
Ignition Key Incorrectly Coded
When it comes to these ignition keys, you might often have a faulty key that you need to deal with. However, when you buy the car from the dealership, you should be able to avoid this. You and the seller should spot the issue. Once the issue has been spotted, the manufacturer should replace your key or redo the coding.
Ignition Key Is Damaged
A damaged ignition key is one of the main reasons that people need to disable or even replace their PATS module. Generally, water should not do any damage to the key, but when it comes to physical damage, you might damage some of the finer components. This means you care about using the right key, but the PATS module does not recognize the code.
A key that has not to be programmed should not be an issue. Most of these issues will be identified the moment your drive the car off the lot. However, the unprogrammed key can be an alternative key that you might have bought. You will need to take it to the dealership to have it coded for your car and this can be very expensive.
You should also keep in mind that should the electronics fail in the car of the key, the transponder will not be able to communicate with the PATS module. Due to the nature of the module, it will not allow you to start the car and the ignition will be dead. This might be another reason for you to replace the key or bypass the PATS module.
While there are many different forms of damage, we have contained them into one section. However, you can have the key broken or damaged in a more severe way than the ignition. Additionally, the PCM and transponder might also be damaged due to an accident. You would want to avoid having the transponder or receive damage to avoid excessive costs.
Generally, the module located behind the steering should have a light and the light will indicate if there is a fault. The light can be red when the unit does not match and when it does not detect the right receiver code. You will need to make sure that you check the system to ensure that it works as best it possibly can.
Key Symptoms Of a Failed PATS Module
Before you rush to the conclusion that the PATS module is broken or damaged, you need to consider some of the symptoms. While the manufacturer might not indicate the methods of diagnosing these issues, we have done some research. Here are some of the main symptoms that could be the result of a failed PATS module or key transponder:
- Flashing Module Light: As we have mentioned in the previous section, you might come across the blinking light and this is an indication that something could be wrong with the module.
No Crank: Generally, when you start your car, it will crank and it if does not crank, it can be a symptom of the PATS module blocking the car from starting.
- Stalls After Starting (1-second): if the PATS module is damaged, your car might stall immediately and it should happen within 1-second of you starting the engine.
- Cranks But Doesn’t Start: Finally, if the car cranks, it should be a good sign, but when it stalls immediately after cranking, you might have an issue with the PATS module.
There are many other things that people consider symptoms, but if the car takes longer to stall than 1-second after it has cranked, it is not the PATS module. It can be very expensive to replace these modules and nearly impossible to bypass them. You want to be 100% sure it is the PATS module before you take any other risks.
Disabling The Ford PATS System
One of the main reasons why many people are here is to understand how they can disable the Ford PATS module. However, it is not recommended that you do that and there are many other ways that one can go about fixing it.
However, there is one way that some people have managed to bypass the PATS module located near the steering.
1. Wrap A Wire Around The Real Ford Key
Using a standard 6-inch wire, you can wrap it around the real Ford key. You will need to have some form of insulation tape to keep the wire from unraveling, but in general, it should be tight around the real key. Keep in mind that the key you are using will need to have a transponder built-in to ensure it will make contact.
2. Connect The Wires To The Module Wires
If your PATS module is located behind the steering wheel, you should be able to reach the unit and access the wires. There is generally a wire that connects directly to the ignition and this will also power the transponder. Once the transponder is powered, it sends a signal to the PATS module, which allows the user to start the car when you crank the ignition.
In theory, the transponder located in the real key should now make contact with the module and it will seem like the key is in the ignition for the PATS module. If you have a secondary Ford key, which should be cheap to find if you don’t have any coding and technology in the key, it should be able to crank. Now you can start your car just as it should.
3. Clean The Wiring
Since you don’t want to drive around with wiring like this, you should get some insulation tape and fix the wiring. You can simply store it behind the module if you do not have enough space. However, the wiring should look normal as if you get pulled over by a police officer, they might have a couple of questions and even run the plate.
Keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution and the main goal should be to visit a body shop or any dealership to have them fix the issue. Additionally, this is only when the module is having issues connecting to the transponder. If your key (transponder) is stolen or broken, you might have an issue and the hack might not work as effectively.
Should You Bypass The PATS Module?
Many people want to simply bypass the PATS module when they have issues with their car. However, it is not recommended that you pursue this path. It is often cheaper and easier to simply replace the broken components. These components are designed to offer an additional layer of protection for you and your vehicle.
While bypassing the PATS module at first can be fun and easy, you often have issues in the long run. Eventually, the wiring might cause some damage and you need to take the car into the dealership or workshop. The cost associated with fixing the damage done from bypassing the module could have been avoided.
We would recommend that you bite the bullet and consider replacing or changing some of these parts. The replacement keys are often very expensive, which is also why most cars have a backup key. If your backup key is not coded, you should consider having it coded by the service providers, and bypassing should be the last effort.
The PATS module is one of the most reliable antitheft modules you can find in any car. It offers tons of usability and will ensure that your car does not get stolen as easily as many others. However, you might want to bypass the system and while w do not recommend it, we would love to see some of your comments and tips if you have ever bypassed the PATS module on your Ford.