PATS 1 Ford Family Vehicles

A Short History of the Ford PATS 1 System

Ford began putting transmitter-responder or ‘Transponder’ chips  into their keys in 1996 with select models. This system was called the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS), and quickly became a standard feature.  Ford owners on the PATS 1 system can program in their own keys if they follow the correct procedure and have at least 1 pre-learned key.  This method of programming is referred to as On Board Programming or OBP.

Vehicles on the Ford PATS 1 system include:


97-98 Contour

97-98 Expedition

96-97 Mustang

96-97 Taurus


97-98 Navigator


97-98 Mystique

96-97 Sable

PATS 1 is found on this 1996 Ford MustangThe procedure to learn in a duplicate key can be found inside your vehicle’s manual.  If you buy the key from us we will program a duplicate in for you at no extra cost. If you have lost all keys to a PATS 1 vehicle you can program in a new master yourself as well after purchasing the correct transponder key that is properly cut to fit your vehicle.  Only PATS 1  vehicles can be originated using an on-board procedure, all other models with a transponder chip inside must be programmed with a scan tool if all keys are lost!

How to add a duplicate key to a PATS 1 vehicle:

  1. Insert an existing key into the ignition cylinder.
  2. Turn the ignition cylinder to ON (Run) and back to OFF.
  3. Remove the existing key and, within fifteen seconds, insert the new key and turn it to ON (RUN).
  4. The security light will light up for two seconds and then go out to indicate success in programming the key into the vehicle.

Note: When you turn the key to the ‘ON’ position you do not start the vehicle.

How to originate a key into a PATS 1 vehicle:

  1. Insert a properly cut transponder key into the ignition cylinder and turn it to the ON (Run) position.   You will see the security light blinking for 15 minutes and go out.
  2. Once the theft light has went out you have 5 minutes to turn the key to the OFF position.
  3. Turn the same key back to the ON position. The security light will blink for 15 minutes and go out.
  4. Once the theft light has went out for the second time you have 5 minutes to turn the key to the OFF position.
  5. Turn the same key back to the ON position. The security light will blink for 15 minutes and go out.
  6. Turn the key to the OFF position and back to ON and verify that the security light goes out. The key is now programmed. All other keys have been erased out of the system.

Note: This process takes a minimum of 45 minutes to complete.  It is strongly advised to connect to a secondary power source such as a trickle charger to power the battery for this procedure.  It is easy to get distracted while doing procedures like this, we advise you to set a timer (like the one that is standard on most smart phones) for 15 minutes to alert you so you do not miss your opportunity and have to start all over again.

1997 Lincoln Mark VIIISecond Note: Although it is not on the Ford PATS 1 system list, the 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII has been reported to have the exact same key learning procedures. The Lincoln Mark VIII is the only Ford vehicle in the United States that used the Steering Column Illumination Module or SCIL system and a typically un-readable Motorola Chip inside of the key.

For more on-board key programming procedures like these visit


Tags: , , , ,

8 Responses to “PATS 1 Ford Family Vehicles”

  1. Chris June 8, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    Thank you. Thank you. I had to buy a new ignition into transponder keys but I used your website to be able to program my key and I just want to say thank you thank you so much.

  2. Juan Cortes August 13, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

    I don’t have any keys at all,for a 2005 mustang. If I buy a key with a chip how do I program it myself??

    • McGuireLock August 24, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      You can’t unless you have a diagnostic computer to enroll new fresh keys. On the newer Ford vehicles you CAN program in spare keys but they require you to have 2 already programmed keys to do so.

  3. Sherri C. November 10, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Does the Originate a key into PATS 1 procedure work on a 1998 Ford Expedition that had the ignition lock cylinder and both keys replaced and we no longer have any original keys for programming?

  4. Joe B May 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    I am replacing the PCM in my 1998 LINCOLN MARK 8. Will this process work for me or will I have to take it to the dealer?

    • McGuireLock May 16, 2017 at 9:31 am #

      We recommend going to a dealer or qualified mechanic.

Leave a Reply