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Help! 1998 explorer cranks w ont start anti theft blinking


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March 18, 2021
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1998 ford explorer eddie
Ok 1998 explorer running fine .. Went out to start up in the morning. Will crank, wont start, anti theft light blinking . well checked fuses, tryed resetting with locks, still will crank wont start. Called locksmith came out and tryed reprogramming key even a new key. Said it was the pcm. So i got a new one . called locksmith back. Put in new pcm, cut 2 new keys, he hooked up his computer thing reprogramed the keys to the pcm. Readings came back it was successful keys match with pcm. Tried to start. Nothing still cranks wont start theft light still blinking.. So i replaced all of it and still wont start .what can i do????

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You can't just replace the pcm you will need a pats module to
Others with more knowledge than me will chime in


Check the condition if the key code receiver, the transponder located next to the key cylinder, under the plastic trim.

The big factor is the "THEFT" light flashing with the ignition on. If that ever flashes, stop cranking the engine. It will never start if the theft light flashes, that's an error code telling you the key code was not accepted by the PATS/PCM modules. The person who did the work with the key programming should have known all of this, and told you that. Replacing the parts without any testing can be very expensive, and not solve the problem.

I had that issue randomly with my 98 about 15 years ago. Some times it would start, and rarely it wouldn't. After changing the fuel pump before I knew about the flashing light, I learned that my transponder had been damaged. It was simply broken at the mount(fragile plastic), and laying slightly away from the key cylinder. I first taped it place, which let the engine start, and then I RTV'd it permanently. That was in about 2006, around 110k miles ago.

Thanks i tried everything. I got appointment at dealership friday am. Have them hook itcup and find the problenm. Only $135 for diagnostic. Heck already spent $450 on locksmith and parts

Yes keep at it. It does get frustrating, when it work right it's great, but when not, damn.

Well took truck to dealership. Found the problem . it was the door module drivers door. Somehow would still unlock and lock doors but wouldnt deactiveate antivtheft . cost total $873 but works great know

"Door Module". Are you referring to the exterior door keypad?

I think he means the door latch, which has the switch inside for door ajar etc. I don't think that could do it, putting a proper key in the ignition and ON, deactivates the OEM alarm if it's set off. I don't know what the dealer did, but it sounds fishy to point at the door and charge $873, probably $800 of labor. You could buy a brand new PCM and PATS, plus the keys and programming, for less than that.

I considered that, too...but, couldn't figure out how the hell it could cost $873 to replace a door latch even after factoring in diagnostic fees.

First it cost $135ph to diagnose whick was 3 1/2 hours. Then the part was that the door key switch the moduale in the door was stuck in open .causing the pcm to think illegal entry. The ignition would turn over but the pats system was still active not letting signal through. I will no more when i pick up on friday oh yeah. 3 1/2h diagnoise, 2 1/2 to remove and install new parts. And $63 for the part. So yeah $810 just labor for a $63 part . thats the dealership they could have thrown in a jar OF VASILENE!! LOL

I don't believe I've ever heard of a faulty door latch causing a no start problem and would never have found it on my own, either. Sometimes you just have to bend over and turn things over to those with the proper diagnostic knowledge and equipment. I had a similar situation with a couple of vacuum leaks on my Merc Sable some years ago and, due to my need to use the vehicle on a daily basis, decided to have it taken care of at the dealership. It, too, was a painful! Anyway, glad you got it fixed...and, maybe others on here will be able to use your experience to resolve the same problem with their vehicle.