Q: Truck computer not recognizing key.

asked by on January 12, 2016

My truck will not crank. When the key is in the ignition, the theft light blinks fast and the truck will not turn over. I think it might have something to do with the computer not recognizing the key.

The Ford PATS (Passive Ant-Theft System) will react like this when the key is not recognized. The key not being recognized could be one of 3 factors, bad key, faulty PATS antenna ring, or a faulty PATS computer. Try all available keys first to make sure it is not just one faulty key causing the problem, then you may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, like one fromYourMechanic, to use a scan tool to interrogate the PATS system to determine the faulty component and recommend the proper repair.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

No power to the car after replacing the ignition switch.

Hi there. Check the electrical wiring in the steering column and make sure that the wires are not crossed. This will cause the system to bypass the switch and go back to the battery. Back track all of the wires...

Key switch not working

The ignition systems on these cars are equipped with the PATS system; if the anti-theft system sees the key as not programed, then the vehicle will not start. Look to see if the Anti-Theft Light is illuminated. If it is,...

Car will start and run smoothly but will die when you try to accelerate.

Hi there. There may be a misfire on a cylinder that is causing the engine to hesitate on acceleration. Check all of the spark plugs and wires and see if they have burn marks. If there is burn marks on...

Are all the motor mounts the same on the sides and in the front?

No, they aren't. Typically there are four main mounts that support the motor and the transmission. Depending on the parts source you buy from, it is important to be specific about the position of the mount. Mounts may or may...

Getting a p138b code - should I just replace the GPCM? I think a nearby lightning strike may be the culprit.

Hi there. If the codes for the engine are coming up with the glow plug control module failure, then check the module to see if there is any wiring burned or broken. If there is nothing wrong with the harness...

CV shaft on passenger side keeps breaking. The alignment is done and nothing else is wrong.

Hi there. Check the suspension to the front axle and see if the axle is loose or moving around. If the alignment is good on the front axle and the axle is solid and not moving around, then the band...

What does the Charging System light mean on the dash in a 2012 Ford Fusion?

Your car’s Charging system is responsible for everything from powering your radio to operating the spark plugs in the engine. It’s absolutely critical for driving your car. If the Charging System light on the dash comes on (it looks like...

Front seal leak in minivan's transmission - 1997 Ford Aerostar

Hello. It sounds like your transmission either did not get completely full of fluid after the service or it is leaking fluid again. To check the transmission fluid, start the car and leave it in park. Next pull out...

Won't go in drive

You will need to have the shift linkage checked where the shift cable connects to steering column. The bracket screws come loose and inhibit proper shifting.

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford Focus
The The 2012 Ford Focus brings a lot to the world of compact cars. Available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Focus has great fuel efficiency and European styling that sets it apart from other cars...
The Best Used Cars to Buy for Families
If If it’s time for you to search for the top used cars specifically for families, check out the list we’ve put together of the top five. The list of must-haves Typical items that families are looking for in their...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You’re a Plumber
Plumbers Plumbers need to carry around all manner of tools and supplies. If you’re plumbing a large building, or even a decent sized home, you’re going to need a vehicle that has quite a bit of cargo capacity. A car...