Question about Ford Taurus

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My daughter's car,she was out of town, the car wouldn't start, had it checked out and battery was bad. Replaced battery and still would not crank. Turn the key and nothing happens, then turn it off and on again an it would crank. So she's home now and I have looked at the car. Checked all fuses inside and out. some times the car cranks and sometimes it does not. The theft light will come on and if you keep turning key off and on it will eventually crank. Have tryed spare key, both keys act the same. When car cranks, digital odometer or any digital information will not work. Dash lights will go off if A/C is turned on. Acts like weak power supply but battery is hot. Shop that replaced battery said that battery was cranking the motor but then the car was running on the alternator afterwards...??? HELP!!

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  • James Gardiner Apr 05, 2011

    2006 Ford Taurus I don't see the word PATS the light that flashes says "theft" and yes it flashes fast. The keys have molded plastic on the turning end.

  • James Gardiner Apr 05, 2011

    one is the spare key that I keep , it's not on the same keyring as hers.

  • James Gardiner Apr 05, 2011

    I have inspected the key and don't really see a plug that could be remover.

  • James Gardiner Apr 05, 2011

    would replacing the ignition switch fix it ? or should I take it to the dealer, I have taken a knife and dug around on the key and could not remove anything, the problem still existed with either key.

  • James Gardiner Apr 05, 2011

    is there a trick to removing the shround from the steering colum or will it come off easily

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  • Ford Master
  • 8,531 Answers

Hi, can you tell me the model and year? Do you have the PATS red light that flashes fast when it doesn't strat but flashed slow when it does? This is classic PATS behavior. Do you have keys with the little square plug on the end?

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

  • 5 more comments 
  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    OK, and you don't have both keys on the same ring, do you? I think the transponder on the key barrel is having trouble seeing the pellets in the keys.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    OK, can you see a little square plug on the end of the key, and can you dig the plug out to see if there is a pellet inside?

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    sorry, maybe the plug is on the bottom by the blade? It might be round. Designs have changed over time. In any case, the theft light IS the problem. The remaining question is how to fix.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    The reason I want you to find that pellet is because of the way I recommend solving PATS problems. What I do is take the shroud off the steering column and remove the PATS tranceiver from the key barrel. Then I stick a pellet or the whole key inside the transceiver and tape it up. This gets the pellet as close as possible to the transceiver. Then I remove the pellets from any other keys, because PATS will not work if it sees 2 pellets. I can then make regular hardware store keys as duplicates. I just leave the one key with the pellet in the free space of the lower column shroud. Voila, no more PATS, but this also makes it easier to steal your car. If you look up PATS online, you will see there are no good ways to bypass it, and if you want to fix it right, you have to pay the dealer to replace the transceiver or whatever happens to be wrong with it. Only the dealer can typically fix a PATS problem.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    It actually has nothing to do with the switch. There is a transceiver on the key barrel that transmits. That excites the pellet in the key, if it's close enough, and the pellet responds with it's special frequency. This frequency has been programmed into the car's computer, which will not let you start the car unless it's correct. Everything has to be exactly right for it to work. The problem could be with the transceiver--usually is. My son's Cougar had the same problem, but I fixed it as I have told you by putting the key right in the middle of the transceiver. It no longer has any trouble talking to the pellet. If you're not comfortable with that approach, the dealer is probably your best bet. There are some good locksmiths out there that can fix a PATS problem, but I don't know how you find them other than yellow pages. Most locksmiths can make you a new key and program it to the car, but few of them know how to repair a true problem with the system.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    There are 3 screws on the bottom. If the bottom shell will not slip over the key barrel and off, you may need to remove the key barrel. To do that, turn it to the run position and push a thin rod up the release hole to pull the barrel out.




  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Apr 05, 2011

    The transceiver should have a few small wires going to it and is usually wrapped around the key cylinder held in by one or 2 small screws.

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