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PATs immobilizing car after PCM swap


New Member
May 18, 2023
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City, State
Las Vegas, NV
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer Limited 4.0
PATs immobilizing car after PCM swap-What to do?

Ok so I have had to do this procedure twice on my Ford vehicles. First my 2010 Focus and second my 2006 Explorer

Focus battery leaked on PCM and caused it to go out (I think) either way it was toast and had to be replaced.

Explorer wiring harness is a nightmare and broken bare wires shorted out PCM and had to be replaced.

Both times I hopped online and bought a used PCM and had it programed to my Vin #, cost was about $220 both times.

OK here is the part that can be confusing: when I got my new/used PCM for my focus in the mail I thought I would just have to install it and have a locksmith program new keys and I would be set! That’s not the way it went! The locksmith told me after a few minutes that he could not do anything for me until the dealer programed the PCM for my vehicle. Well I thought I had paid the PCM Company to do just that! It turns out that they did program it to my VIN # but there is another step required.

When you replace the PCM on certain year Fords, 2006-2010 for sure that I know of you will need to do a parameter reset. You have three components to having your engine turn over when you turn the key as far as the PATS is concerned. The PATS, IC module and the PCM all have to have the same signal or your car will be immobilized, meaning you aren’t going nowhere! If you just replace one of those three modules you will need to do this procedure, if more than one you have a more intense procedure which I don’t know about the specs of that but if just one of these three are replaced you need to do a parameter reset.

After looking it up on the internet I had discoverer that I would need to have the car towed to the dealer and have them do the reset before I could start my darn car! Oh but before I did that I found Forscan and it took a bit to figure it out but I got it done with just a laptop and a OBD connector. The connector I bought was the $49 one that Forscan recommends and then you have to get the pro license of Forscan which there is a free trial version and a yearly version for 12 bucks and that’s what I got.

I had to hook everything up go to the programming tab of Forscan and click on Pats module and pick module initialize and then it made me wait like 10 or 12 minutes as a security thing and then bam it was good to go my car started up and screw the dealer, actually I had to do it twice on the focus to get it to work.

A few years later my Explorer needed this done and I remembered what to do it was super easy and did not even need a locksmith. I put PCM in, hooked up Forscan on the laptop, PATS-initialize and waited 10 or so minutes and explorer started right up away, easy! Forscan is such a great software it has saved my azz twice now! Hope this helps anyone that runs into this situation

Excellent info thank you!

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Glad you had success! I had similar experience that locksmith failed (but still charged). Bought spare key from Bulbs and More )cheaper than locksmith wanted to charge). Used Forscan to program. It actually failed twice at the end, but when i tried the two keys they worked!