Do you own a FORD product? or GM or Chrysler?

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Terredax

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Nov 1, 2015
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892
I got a call from the MIL.
She owns a '99 Ford F150 Lariat, with about 60K on the clock. Looks brand new but, she said it won't start. It tries but, won't start. She put a battery charger on it for three hours, and it still won't start.
She isn't very descriptive, and knows zip about vehicles.

We made the trip to see what she meant by it tries but, won't start.
As soon as I turned the key to the on position, I noticed the THEFT light flashing. The PATS was engaged, so the first thing was to disconnect the battery, in an attempt to reset the ECM. No go, so I asked for the spare key. It showed the same flashing light.
The next step was to turn the ignition to the on and off positions several times. This caused the THEFT light to remain lit. Turned the key to run, and it fired right up. I placed the original key back in, and the THEFT light began flashing again. The on/off procedure failed, so back to spare key, and it worked.
The original key has a bad chip but, the truck starts and runs fine now.

When the THEFT light is flashing, it's caused by the chip and transponder not communicating with the ECM. If the steps above don't work, leaving the key in the on position for a few minutes, will initiate a flashing code. It took less than five minutes to figure it out without initiating the codes.

I apologize for the lengthy post but, I hope it might help someone in the event they have a similar situation. A similar procedure works on all brands of certain years.

This deed has earned me a free dinner in a couple of weeks... photos to follow in the bib thread.:wink:
 
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Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
JEEP- Just Empty Every Pocket
FORD- First On Race Day
GMC- Garage man's companion
Did I miss any?
BTW, I found Youtube to be valuable in troubleshooting car things. Had a Honda van- changed my own oil and Youtube walked my through resetting the oil life reading.
Thanks for the tip, Terredax.
 

Dehn0045

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Mar 19, 2017
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955
Location
Houston, Texas
Reminds me of my '92 Oldsmobile. I lost the key and didn't have a spare. I think it was a VATS II system (chip key). I learned that the "chip" is just a resistor, one of 12 (there may have been more, I can't remember). Problem is, the system is programmed to recognize the resistance of the first key that is put in and the only place this resistance is recorded is on the original sales slip. So being the super cheap and somewhat capable guy I am, I decided to take the DIY route rather than have the car towed to a dealer and replace the whole VATS computer just to get a new key (probably $1k or more). First had to disassemble the whole steering column to remove the old key cylinder. Then I got a bunch of resistors matching all of the possibilities and wired then in one-by-one, closing the circuit that is normally closed by the "chip". Eventually hit the right resistor and I was in business. I considered just continuing to use a plyers rather than install a new key cylinder (chip keys are expensive, even if you know the resistor). But then I remembered that my '88 Olds didn't have a chip, so I just got a new cylinder for that year model ($10), left the resistor hard wired in, and it was basically as good as new. Given the condition of the ride, I had little concern rolling around with the VATS bypassed...

Another funny thing that happened - I had to wait 5 minutes between each different resistor (safety time out of the VATS), everything was torn apart and I went inside to kill the time, got a knock on the door by a cop the was a bit confused when he saw a car parked on the street without a steering wheel.
 

SteveG

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Dec 21, 2009
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2,763
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Eugene, Oregon 97404
Reminds me of my '92 Oldsmobile...

So were you issued a citation for driving without a steering wheel? :tongue::tongue:

Sounds like you performed the ultimate 'work around'...nice! :biggrin:
 

Terredax

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Nov 1, 2015
Messages
892
Back when the VATS was being used, in the 80's and early 90's, it was common to place a resistor in-line to avoid the problems. The easiest way to put the resistor in, was at the base of the steering column. Locate the ignition wire in the column harness, and solder the resistor in. Took about 15 mins.

On the newer vehicles with the push button start, if the battery goes dead in the fob, the vehicle won't start. With some vehicles, maybe it works on all of them, when this happens, take the fob and press it against the start button. This usually starts the vehicle but, it requires the correct end of the fob to be pressed against the button. So if it doesn't work, try flipping the fob to the opposite end, and try again. Make sure to change the battery in the fob.

These fobs, if broken, lost, or stolen, are expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. Typically, if a replacement is needed, the dealer reprograms the new key, the old key, and the ECM.
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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I believe it was here that it was mentioned that some locksmiths can replace the key fob for a lot less than the dealer will charge. Personally, I don't see the need for them. I still like the idea of having a key for the ignition and a key for the trunk. Had an ignition switch replaced in a 77 Ford LTD. Cost $40. Cars are nothing but computers on wheels.
 
Joined
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Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I read the other day that 75% of all JEEPs were still on the road.

25% actually made it home.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
Now that's funny Danny! I think what you mean by the other 75% is that they are still off road having fun and that the 25% were wannabe off-roaders. I own a Jeep and Ram 2500 and love them both and both get me where ever I need to go. But that is funny for sure.
 

Seer

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Jan 3, 2009
Messages
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Location
Glendale,Arizona
JEEP- Just Empty Every Pocket
FORD- First On Race Day
GMC- Garage man's companion
Did I miss any?
BTW, I found Youtube to be valuable in troubleshooting car things. Had a Honda van- changed my own oil and Youtube walked my through resetting the oil life reading.
Thanks for the tip, Terredax.

Dodge- Dammed old dieseling gas evaporator
 

sbwertz

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May 11, 2010
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Location
Phoenix, AZ
I had a peculiar one. I have a Rialta motorhome (Winnebago on a VW eurovan chassis.) The automatic door locks are unique. When you unlock one with the key, all three doors (both cab doors and the coach door) unlock. Lock the same way...lock one, you lock them all. Didn't use the rig for a while, and didn't realize my battery maintainer had failed. When the battery failed, the doors wouldn't unlock....even with a key....the key simply wouldn't turn. Fortunately, I had it set up so the pigtail for the battery maintainer stuck out the side of the hood by a couple of inches so I could unplug it without opening the hood. Went and bought another maintainer, and as soon as I plugged it in, the doors unlocked. I don't know what I'd have had to do if I hadn't had a way to recharge the battery without opening the hood....hood release is inside the cab.
 

pshrynk

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
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Location
Lake City, Minnesota
I've had two JEEPs in my life, the latest for over 10 years. I don't think I'll ever get another brand. Living in the Great Northern Wasteland, you need to have a reliable way to get home when the farging roads take the day off due to a snow day.
 

OLDMAN5050

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Unionville, tn, USA.
New in August Chrysler 300 luxury edition.. Since I got a lot worst with my terminal illness it hasn't been driven but 1400 hundred miles. sits in the garage..
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
OLDMAN5050, sorry to hear about your health issues. Have a few minor ones myself. Back the car out of the garage and let it run for 10-15 minutes or get someone to drive it to circulate the tranny fluid. Not good to let an internal combustion engine sit for long periods. Speaking from experience.
 

Woodchipper

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Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
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Location
Cleveland, TN
I read the other day that 75% of all JEEPs were still on the road.

25% actually made it home.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
Now that's funny Danny! I think what you mean by the other 75% is that they are still off road having fun and that the 25% were wannabe off-roaders. I own a Jeep and Ram 2500 and love them both and both get me where ever I need to go. But that is funny for sure.
News blurb on radio- 85% of the four wheel drive vehicles never leave pavement. At least deliberately.
 

Terredax

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Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
892
I read the other day that 75% of all JEEPs were still on the road.

25% actually made it home.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
Now that's funny Danny! I think what you mean by the other 75% is that they are still off road having fun and that the 25% were wannabe off-roaders. I own a Jeep and Ram 2500 and love them both and both get me where ever I need to go. But that is funny for sure.

News blurb on radio- 85% of the four wheel drive vehicles never leave pavement. At least deliberately.
That's because 85% of four wheel drive vehicles, aren't capable of leaving the pavement, other than the occasional dirt road.
The average person purchases a four wheel drive vehicle for the false sense of security on those snow covered roads. Just because it can take off and go from a stop on snow and ice, doesn't transfer to stopping any better or faster on those same roads.
 

pshrynk

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
237
Location
Lake City, Minnesota
True that! Don't get a JEEP for snow and then think you can zip along at 60 in butt deep snowstorms. Get a JEEP and drive around 35 in 4WD and get there while others are sliding into the ditch! And it's good for those stupid parking lots where they use curbs and make access to the roads like a farging maze. Point A to point B.
 

Curly

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Nov 20, 2010
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Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Studded snows go on in late October and come off about now on both my 4x4 Frontier and the Rogue, both Nissan.

Now what bugs me is the TPMS stuff. If the wheels don't go back on the same location the warning stuff goes on and you have to pay to get it reset. Same goes when you rotate the tires. Very much a money grab rip off by the manufacturers/dealers because they could be reset with the press of a button in the car if they would add a tiny bit more circuitry. My 2008 Smart Car had it so it grinds me it isn't on all cars. Really bugs me when I see it take all of 3 minutes for them to walk around the car and then plug into the car and it is reset. :mad: Rant off.
 

pshrynk

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
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Location
Lake City, Minnesota
Back when I had a Miata and drove it with snows, I solved that problem by getting a set of cheap rims for the snows. It looked weird, but hey, so did having a Miata running around in Minnesota Winter!
 

Woodchipper

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Cleveland, TN
Curly, check Youtube to solve your reset situation. Might have the solution there. Found several things there to help me save $$$.
 

Curly

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Messages
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Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
I can spend money on a TPMS reader and have found that the system can be shorted out to reset it but then you have to lower the tire pressures on each tire and drive around for a while until it is recalibrated. That works for the truck but the Rouge is something else. I'll likely buy the tool and after a couple years break even on the purchase. I'd rather buy tools for the woodshed though. ;)
 
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