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Homemade PATS key / PATS key repair


Well-Known Member
July 19, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Surrey, BC Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Sport + 06 EB
Sometimes I can be so cheap but most of the times it's the satisfaction of making something work even though some may consider it non-functional.

There are threads and discussions on how the PATS key works so I'm not going to go deep into that. Even though most of us have the door security pad on our trucks, it is still advisable that we have at least two working PATS keys. As an extra measure, three working keys would be optimal.

Granted, a new one would probably cost about $15 on ebay and another $2 to cut. Reprogramming is simple as long as you have two working keys.

I still didnt want to spend about $20 for a third key and it dawned on me that one of my friends totalled her 98 taurus. So I asked for her keys and extracted the "chip"

On top of a standard PATS key, you could possibly make out the outline of a small access cover. Carefully pry or remove this cover. In one key I was able to easily pry it off but for another key I had to cut around the cover outline to remove it.

A rubberized plastic holder slides out containing the "chip". In this case it is really a sealed glass capsule about 5/32" in diameter and about 3/4" long.

I obtained a cheap blanks (axxess no 24) and had them cut at home depot for $1.50 each. Then I made a plastic housing for the key to make it look like a standard PATS key.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the process but basically I got thin pieces of plastic (such as those computer front panel covers) and glued them to the blank key. Then I shaped the plastic so that it more or less resembles a normal key. When I was satisfied with the shape, I carefully made a 11/64 hole from the top running the length of the key handle. The PATS capsule fits into this hole. The hole was sealed with hot glue and sanded smooth.

I made a black and white key

Hole on top where the capsule slides in.

I programmed both keys

(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 an existing (working) key into the ignition cylinder.
2. Turn the ignition cylinder ON/RUN (do not start) and back to OFF. Ignition should stay on for at least ONE SECOND or until the theft light goes off.
3. Remove the existing key and, within TEN seconds, insert a second working key and turn it to ON/RUN (do not start) and then back OFF. Ignition must be in ON for at least ONE second, but no more than TEN seconds. The theft light should go off before ten seconds. Remove the key.
4. Insert the new key before TWENTY seconds have elapsed and turn it to ON/RUN (do not start). Leave it the ON position for at least ONE second or until the theft light goes off and then turn back to OFF.
5. 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.

Now I have 4 keys that work on my truck !


Additional notes:

You could probably obtain pre-cut PATS key from a junkyard, a friend or anybody who previously owned a Ford-PATS enabled vehicle. Just make sure that your donor key is compatible


I tried the PATS capsule from a #1 key and it didn't work. The one from the the "S" key worked.


The process above can also be used if you broke one of your existing keys. By taking out the capsule from the broken key and using it with a cheap new generic key, you still retain two functional keys.

Opera House

Explorer Addict
August 19, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Cincinnati, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer 3.5L base
I enjoyed that. Always wanted to cut a PATS key open, but haven't been able to find one not in use.