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Ford 98 explorer computer malfunction

My 98 ford explorer when I turn the ignition computer codes are deleted in two minutes

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Your ECM is reading that everything is ok. The light will stay on when the problem becomes constant. You can have the codes read safely while the motor is running.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010

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How to program my key to 98 ford explorer


for Ford keys (1996 -early 1998 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)

If you want to initiate a new master key....

1. Insert new key into ignition cylinder and turn it to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen minutes.


2. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder OFF and then back to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.

3. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder to OFF and then back ON (RUN) position. The dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.

4. After the security light stops flashing the third time, the new key has been programmed into the vehicles computer and will operate the car. It has replaced ALL the previous electronic key codes and is the ONLY key programmed into the vehicles computer.
If you want to add a key....


1. Insert an existing key into the ignition cylinder.


2. Turn the ignition cylinder to ON (RUN) and back to OFF.

3. Remove the existing key and, within 15 seconds, insert the new key and turn it to ON (RUN).

4. The security light will light up for two seconds to indicate success in programming the key into the vehicle.

5. Don't attempt to start the vehicle with any key for at least 1 minute.
<HR>On-Board Programming Method "C"


for Ford keys (Later 1998-newer Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)

If you want to initiate a new master key....

1. This requires that the vehicle be connected to special dealer equipment. There are two ten minute delays involved while this device erases all existing key programming and sets up the vehicle computer to accept new key codes. Two new keys should be ready because the system requires a minimum of two keys in the program. After the first two keys are programmed, additional keys can be entered individually by following the instructions for adding duplicate keys (below).

If you want to add a key....


**You must have two original keys to perform this procedure. If you only have one key, you WILL have to take it to the dealer to get it programmed**


1. Insert and existing (working) key into the ignition cylinder.

2. Turn the ignition cylinder ON (RUN) and back to OFF. Ignition should stay on for at least ONE SECOND.

3. Remove the existing key and, within TEN seconds, insert a second working key and turn it to ON (RUN) and the back OFF. Ignition must be in ON for at least ONE second, but no more than TEN seconds. Remove the key.

4. Insert the new key before TWENTY seconds have elapsed and turn it to ON (RUN). Leave it the ON position for at least ONE secondand turn back to OFF.

5. The security light will light up for THREE seconds to indicate that the new key has been successfully programmed.

6. To program additional keys, repeat steps 1 through 5
As a precautionary measure for all of the above procedures, you should wait at least one minute after you have performed this until you start your vehicle.

Dec 10, 2016 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

98 ford explorer cranks wont fire


Check your Cam,MAP,MAF sensors.

Mar 07, 2012 | 1998 Ford Explorer

3 Answers

Engine light is on, flashes when driving above 100 Km


stop by local parts store (Autozone,Advance, etc) and have them do a free fault code test. They can print out a list of faults and clear the codes

Jan 02, 2011 | 1998 Ford Explorer

2 Answers

98 ford explorer cranks but won't run.


it means that the key(s) needs to be recoded to the car,when you did the wheel you wiped the codes out.....the transponders are in the keys.
the car thinks its not you/your keys.

Apr 01, 2010 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

I accidently used my Mustang key in my Explorer ignition...now ignition key wont work...is this part of the theft deterrent (98 Explorer) ?? Thanks


If the key works and turns the switch and car don't start it theft deterent it will again after a small timeout

Mar 31, 2010 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

I have 98 eddie bauer ford explorer with headlight problems. Headlights work when first starting up and then about ten minutes into drive the dash lights flicker and then headlights go out. If i pull the...


The headlamp switch will cause the lamps to turn off. The switch heats up and turns the headlamps off. It will cool down and work for about 10 minutes and cut out,

Oct 06, 2009 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

Does 98 ford explorer has a microchip in the key


Yes it does have a microchip did they replace it with the right key switch and try unplugging the negative battery cable for about a minute to reset the computer

Aug 01, 2009 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

No keys


If you want to initiate a new master key.... 1. Insert new key into ignition cylinder and turn it to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen minutes.
2. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder OFF and then back to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
3. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder to OFF and then back ON (RUN) position. The dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
4. After the security light stops flashing the third time, the new key has been programmed into the vehicles computer and will operate the car. It has replaced ALL the previous electronic key codes and is the ONLY key programmed into the vehicles computer.

The dealership should be able to do this for you without a current key, of course this means towing the vehicle to them. See if they will sell you a key and you program it yourself.

hope this helps. I found the above info at FordF150.net

Jun 22, 2009 | 1998 Ford Contour

1 Answer

Program 2002 Mercury Sable Key


For convenience, I'm also including a list of other vehicles that these instructions apply:
Ford Contour ‘98–up
F-150 ‘98-up
Ford Crown Victoria ’97-up
Ford Escort 99-up
Ford Excursion ‘00-up
Ford Expedition ‘98–up
Ford Explorer ’98-up
Ford Focus ‘00-up
Ford Mustang ’96-up
Ford Ranger ’98-up
Ford Taurus ’96-up
Ford Windstar ’98-up
Lincoln Continental ’98-up
Lincoln LS ’00-up
Lincoln Mark VIII ’98-up
Lincoln Navigator ’98-up
Lincoln Town Car ’98-up
Mercury Grand Marquis ’97-up
Mercury Mountaineer ’98-up
Mercury Mystique ’98-up
Mercury Sable ’96-up
NOTE: These instructions may apply to more or less vehicles than those listed above. I cannot confirm that these procedures work for every year and model listed. See your dealer if to confirm this.
On-Board Programming Method "B" for Ford keys (1996 -early 1998 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)
If you want to initiate a new master key.... 1. Insert new key into ignition cylinder and turn it to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen minutes.
2. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder OFF and then back to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
3. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder to OFF and then back ON (RUN) position. The dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
4. After the security light stops flashing the third time, the new key has been programmed into the vehicles computer and will operate the car. It has replaced ALL the previous electronic key codes and is the ONLY key programmed into the vehicles computer.
If you want to add a key.... 1. Insert an existing key into the ignition cylinder.
2. Turn the ignition cylinder to ON (RUN) and back to OFF.
3. Remove the existing key and, within 15 seconds, insert the new key and turn it to ON (RUN).
4. The security light will light up for two seconds to indicate success in programming the key into the vehicle.
5. Don't attempt to start the vehicle with any key for at least 1 minute.
On-Board Programming Method "C" for Ford keys (Later 1998-newer Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)
If you want to initiate a new master key.... 1. This requires that the vehicle be connected to special dealer equipment. There are two ten minute delays involved while this device erases all existing key programming and sets up the vehicle computer to accept new key codes. Two new keys should be ready because the system requires a minimum of two keys in the program. After the first two keys are programmed, additional keys can be entered individually by following the instructions for adding duplicate keys (below).
If you want to add a key.... **You must have two original keys to perform this procedure. If you only have one key, you WILL have to take it to the dealer to get it programmed**
1. Insert and existing (working) key into the ignition cylinder.
2. Turn the ignition cylinder ON (RUN) and back to OFF. Ignition should stay on for at least ONE SECOND.
3. Remove the existing key and, within TEN seconds, insert a second working key and turn it to ON (RUN) and the back OFF. Ignition must be in ON for at least ONE second, but no more than TEN seconds. Remove the key.
4. Insert the new key before TWENTY seconds have elapsed and turn it to ON (RUN). Leave it the ON position for at least ONE second and turn back to OFF.
5. The security light will light up for THREE seconds to indicate that the new key has been successfully programmed.
6. To program additional keys, repeat steps 1 through 5
As a precautionary measure for all of the above procedures, you should wait at least one minute after you have performed this until you start your vehicle.

Mar 27, 2009 | 2002 Mercury Sable

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