Trouble Programming Key | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Trouble Programming Key


New Member
January 2, 2009
Reaction score
Hi. I just bought a 2001 Mountaineer. Of Course I just got one key and one remote. I did buy an additional remote and key blanks on ebay. I programmed the remote with no problems. I had my second key cut and programmed by a locksmith with no problems. My problem is I had Wal-Mart cut a third key and thought that I would be able to program it myself, but no luck. The manual says 1 second to program, but at the locksmith it took ~500 seconds (9 minutes) with his programming machine. Do you have to wait until the theft light quits flashing, or should it do it in 1 second? Is there some trick I'm missing that is not in the manual?

Thanks in advance for the help.

This is a great forum

2001 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD
1986 Jeep Grand Wagooneer 4WD
1993 Chevy Silverado 6.2l Diesel

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Check out this article Dead Link Removed

1. Make sure you have both keys.
2. Turn on car but don't start. Watch "theft" indicator untils it goes out.
3. Turn off and repeat procedure with second key.
4. After "theft light goes out, insert new key and turn on.
5. Wait until the theft indicator goes off and then turn off switch.
6. Wait thirty seconds. New key is now programmed into security module. Repeat for any other keys.

Are you certain the 3rd key is the correct type of key?

Wrong blank was one of my first thoughts. It has the offset keyring hole and looks exactly like the other 2. Could it be the wrong blank?

It could be lacking the chip inside it... Without a chip to program, it won't take the key cut.

As you already know, you must have two working keys to program a third. Just thought it bears repeating.

When the locksmith programmed the new key, did he also delete all the other ones? I'd be surprised if you were at the maximum allowed (8 IIRC) but anything's possible. It also could be that you have a non-PATS key as well... those won't program.


You are correct gijoecam, the PATS system will only allow up to 8 keys programmed at a time without having to delete them from the stored memory

Wal-Mart Keys DO NOT CONTAIN THE CHIP REQUIRED . I found this out the hard way when I purchased my 2000 XLs