Today I lost my battle with PATS - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Today I lost my battle with PATS

Since I got my 2000 Taurus I have had an issue off and on again with PATS. I would always be able to get it started after a few tries. The longest it ever took me was about 30 minutes. When it would not start I would get the PATS error code for partial key reads. I was told by a few people on this site that they had a similar issue and it could only be reflash ed by a dealer. However yesterday no matter what I did it would not start. I had partial key reads for hours. I finally called it quits and had it towed to the dealership. Today the dealership called me and told me that I would not be able to reflash my PATS. I would need to install a completely new PCM. I know the dealership is going to cost me an arm and a leg. Is this the kind of thing that only the dealership can do? This forum has saved me literally thousands on repairs already. I know my car is old but it only has about 100k miles on it and it still runs perfectly. So to me it is definitely worth the money to fix, I was just wondering if there were any less expensive alternatives? Any help or input would be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: The issue has been fixed. I towed the car to the dealer and after a week they told me "The PCM cannot be reflashed to fix my issue. The PCM probably needs replacing but we need to do further diagnostics and its going to cost $150 to continue diagnosing". I decided to just tow it back to the house.

The codes listed on the dealership print out were B1318, B1362, P1000, B1602, and B1681

I decided to try what Automender12345 and Tom S recommended and order a preprogrammed PCM from a reseller. Flag Ship One sells preprogrammed PCMs with two programmed keys for $220. I was hesitant to buy from Flag Ship One because they have some sketchy reviews if you look them up. I found that they had an ebay store that they sell through. I decided to buy it through their ebay store because ebay is generally very buyer friendly if there are any issues with purchases.

Today the PCM came by mail with the keys. I went to the hardware store, cut the keys, bolted in the new PCM, turned the new key and the car turned on first try. The care works with either of the new keys. So my PATS issue that has plagued me since I got the car has been resolved.

$100 Dealer Diagnostic + $220 PCM w/ keys + $6 to cut keys at hardware store = $336 Grand Total.

I hope someone else can benefit from this information in the future. Thanks to everyone that provided help with my issue!

Last edited by LuckyNumberSlevin; 01-18-2017 at 12:20 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:29 PM
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What you could do is get the PCM, key and ignition switch from a donor car and install all of those parts in your car. Then use your key to make a standard key for the door/trunk locks. That's the easiest and cheapest way to do it. That is of course if the PATS receiver is not having issues.... This is where a self service junkyard would be a BIG benefit to you.

John
2001 Sable LS Premium Wagon Duratec, 193K miles and kicking, 2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:35 PM
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Easy to find a PCM on ebay flashed to the correct code. I have spare PCM's for several of my vehicles to include 2 of the bulls. For the bulls I just snagged them at the junk yard. To use one I just have to reset the PATS after the PCM is swapped.

2006 Vulcan 52k GF daily driver
2003 Vulcan 73k My daily driver
2000 Vulcan 112k saved from the scrap yard
1991 3.8 207k drove to junk yard, 1988 Vulcan lost in divorce
2009 Impala 3.0 15k my nice car
1996 F250 Powerstroke my toy-pristine lots of mods

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:36 PM
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If the PCM is really bad you can get PCM online which comes with uncut keys but programmed to the new computer. You have to have them cut to your old key. I would look at the halo antenna around the ignition key or the interface module before the PCM.

Car Computer Exchange: Auto ECM, TCM, PCM sales and exchange

http://www.fs1inc.com/ford-lincoln-m...el=58&year=134

Do you have a spare key to try?

Last edited by Automender12345; 01-07-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Automender12345 View Post
If the PCM is really bad you can get PCM online which comes with uncut keys but programmed to the new computer. You have to have them cut to your old key. I would look at the halo antenna around the ignition key or the interface module before the PCM.

Car Computer Exchange: Auto ECM, TCM, PCM sales and exchange

Ford | Lincoln | Mercury | Engine Computers | ECU | ECM | PCM

Do you have a spare key to try?

I tried replacing the transceiver already and it didn't fix my issue. I have two keys for it. Both of which have started the car in the past. However this last time one of the keys was giving me a partial read error and one of them was not being read at all.

The price of a programmed PCM from that site is about $300. So all I would need to do is put the new PCM in and cut the new key to match the old key?

Last edited by LuckyNumberSlevin; 01-07-2017 at 11:16 PM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:49 PM
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I have not done that personally but was looking at options to have a TSB flash on my 2001 Taurus. I would call the company and ask them. It would seem like that is all you need to do. Not sure the dealer cost to fix your PCM but I thought the PCM from the sites are less than $300.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Automender12345 View Post
I have not done that personally but was looking at options to have a TSB flash on my 2001 Taurus. I would call the company and ask them. It would seem like that is all you need to do. Not sure the dealer cost to fix your PCM but I thought the PCM from the sites are less than $300.
That was a typo. The site has the PCM and two keys for $220 with a lifetime . That doesn't seem too bad. I just need to find the difficulty of swapping out the PCM
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:12 PM
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Swapping out the PCM is easy. I've done it. Lift the hood and look at the top center of the firewall.
You will see a thick cable with a rectangular connector and a bolt in the center of the connector. That cable connects to the PCM.
There is a bolt on each side of the PCM holding it in. That's it.
It would be a good idea to disconnect the battery first.
In the photo you can see the software version of my PCM is "HUK2".
You need to get a PCM with a 4-digit software code that matches your original.

http://imgur.com/HXNghIw



Last edited by dcheddar; 01-08-2017 at 02:44 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcheddar View Post
Swapping out the PCM is easy. I've done it. Lift the hood and look at the top center of the firewall.
You will see a thick cable with a rectangular connector and a bolt in the center of the connector. That cable connects to the PCM.
There is a bolt on each side of the PCM holding it in. That's it.
It would be a good idea to disconnect the battery first.
In the photo you can see the software version of my PCM is "HUK2".
You need to get a PCM with a 4-digit software code that matches your original.

http://imgur.com/HXNghIw


Alright that sounds very doable. I found a PCM online that matches and says it will come preprogrammed with two keys. I just need to supply them my VIN. Will I need to buy any other pieces? Or will the key and PCM combo have me back in buissness?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyNumberSlevin View Post
Alright that sounds very doable. I found a PCM online that matches and says it will come preprogrammed with two keys. I just need to supply them my VIN. Will I need to buy any other pieces? Or will the key and PCM combo have me back in buissness?
If the seller claims the PCM has been programmed for the supplied keys, you are all set. Just get those key blanks cut to match your original key cuts.
Each key has a chip containing a unique code embedded in the plastic head of the key.
The PCM has to be commanded using a scan tool to learn the codes of the new keys. This is what the seller will do before shipping to you.
(If you already have 2 keys that are known to the PCM, you can add more keys yourself without needing the scan tool.)

I have done the following, and I know the process works:
1) Buy a used PCM from ebay with the matching 4-digit software code. (That 4-digit code has to do with what car, engine, trans, year, etc you have. It has nothing to do with PATS or keys.)
2) Buy key blanks from ebay.
3) Buy a scan tool from ebay or Amazon that claims it can command the PCM to learn keys. (Search for Ford VCM)
4) Get the key blanks cut to match your old keys.
5) Install the new PCM and use the scan tool to command the new PCM to learn the new keys.
6) Use the new keys to start the car and drive it.

I did all of the above strictly as a science project. If you just need a new PCM, spend the 200 bucks for a PCM and blank keys, get them cut to match your existing keys, and you are all set.

Last edited by dcheddar; 01-08-2017 at 11:36 PM.
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