< Back to Results

Quick Tip: Ford® PATS Key Programming


Have you ever needed to program a set of keys to a vehicle? In this Diagnostic Quick Tip, National Field Trainer Jason Gabrenas shows you how to program keys on the Ford PATS System using a scan tool.



Key programming is a pretty hot topic nowadays. There's a lot of these high-security keys and security systems on these newer vehicles.

On 2010 and newer models, pretty much in order to program a key, you've got to be a locksmith, you've got to have a locksmith license, you've got to be bonded, all sorts of things like that. There's a lot of legal issues involved.

But for a lot of the older cars, when they first started with these security systems, you are able to program them with a scan tool. The Snap-on software has the capability to do that for the Ford PATs keys so let's go through that on the SOLUS Edge.

We're all plugged in here so let's just go into the Scanner and it is a Ford, so we'll do a quick auto ID. It comes up as a 2007 Taurus with a three-litre engine.

And then we'll go down to the Anti-Theft PAT System. That is a Functional Test, and we'll go under Security Access.

Here, it just gives us a little description of how everything's set up. The anti-theft functions on this vehicle are controlled by the PCM.

Ford anti-theft systems are also referred to as PATs. That stands for Passive Anti-Theft system. And here's the most important line right here. Security access will take 10 minutes.

So even on the Ford tool there is a 10-minute delay in order to get into the security system. That's just a safety/security thing so we'll just hit continue and wait 10 minutes and then we'll be in.

It gives us a whole bunch of different options on the screen. The first two are Customer Spare Key Programming, Enable or Disable. And what that does is as long as there is one key programmed to the car, the customer who owns the car can actually program additional keys by using the procedure in the owner's manual.

The next one is Erase All Keys. That's pretty self-explanatory. It'll take all the keys out of the memory. Next one tells you how many keys are actually programmed to the car. Looks like we've got five programmed to his car.

Next one is Program Additional Ignition key. That's where you're going to go in to program new keys

Unlimited Key Mode: it's going to have either a normal mode or an unlimited mode and in unlimited mode. You can program unlimited keys to the car. That [setting] will tell you whether or not that unlimited key mode is on or off.

Let's erase all the keys out of this car and reprogram the three new ones that we have. Very important messages come up on the screen.

So read this message carefully: Keys may look identical, but can have different transponder chips. Make sure the correct type is used for the vehicle. This procedure will erase all keys stored in the anti-theft system. Once complete, it is necessary to program a minimum of two keys.

That's another important one right there. You have to have at least two keys in order for this car to start after you're done.

All keys have now been erased from the anti-theft system. It's now recommended to program a minimum of two keys in the new system.

Now that we've got all the keys erased, we have to program in the new ones. Let's go down to Program Additional Ignition Key and it says this procedure will program additional ignition keys equipped with appropriate transponder chips. So you've got to make sure they are the right keys for the vehicle.

First step, place an unprogrammed key in the ignition. We got that in there so let's hit continue. Operation is successful. Okay, now we'll just going to cycle through and go to a different key to program in. Let's now go to the third one.

Now we're done with that procedure it says there are three keys programmed on the vehicle, so let's just crank it over real quick with a couple of them just to make sure that it is programmed.

All the keys start the car so we've verified that all the keys are programmed. It's not too bad a procedure - just that little 10 minute wait to get in there and you're programming keys.

Last Updated: January 11, 2020

Got Questions?

Contact Diagnostic Customer Care:
Car & Light Truck Diagnostics

Send e-mail
(800) 424-7226

Heavy-Duty Truck Diagnostics

Send e-mail
Contact us here
(800) 311-5452

Request Product Information

Snap-on Diagnostic Tools and

Repair Information

Snap-on is a trademark of Snap-on Incorporated.

All other marks are marks of their respective holders.

©2020 Snap-on Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

Got Questions?

Request Product Information

Online Product Help Here

Contact Diagnostic Customer Care

Send e-mail

(800) 424-7226

Mon - Fri 6am - 5pm PST


Product Registration:

• US     • Canada

We welcome your feedback on our website.


Enter your name:



Please rate your experience in the following:
(1 being an unpleasant experience and 10 being exceptional)


 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10


 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10


Suggested improvements:

Can we contact you by e-mail to discuss your feedack further?


If you would like to receive e-mails from Snap-on about product releases, developments and promotions, please click the box below.

Yes - I would like to receive further e-mails from Snap-on about product releases, developments and promotions