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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fine enough with only one ignition key. So I'd gone to Lowe's to get a copy of it made so I could at least get myself back into the car should I wind up locking my primary key inside (which I do every now and then).

But the guy said I should ask around (what better place than here?) to find out what the consequences might be of attempting to unlock my car with a key that isn't chipped. He said he'd heard some cars, newer ones obviously, have a fail safe or something of the sort that might wind up causing electrical damage if I try unlocking the door with an unchipped key.

Is this true for my Taurus?

Part B to that question would be; what's a chipped key gonna cost me and do I have to go to a dealership to get one?

Thanks car gods B)
 

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You can unlock the car with a regular key with no problem.

You can buy PATS keys on ebay and other places, probably cheaper than the dealer...I believe the average price for one is $40-$50.

However, since you have only one PATS key, you'll have to go to the dealer to have another PATS key programmed. Cost.....depends on how much the dealer is a schmuck. I've found that they usually charge an hour's labor for programming.

If you had 2, you could program other PATS keys for your car yourself. The owner's manual describes the process.
 

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I recently purchased a chips key for my 2006 taurus at zettler's hardware for around 74 bucks. I know this sounds expensive, but the Ford dealer wanted more with an hour and a half wait. The hardware key required only about a 5 minute wait and works fine. the key you have cannot be used for self programming, only keys bought at a dealer will work.
 

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PATS II was introduced midway through the '98 model year on some Ford vehicles. PATS I systems can program a new key with only 1 original, PATS II needs 2 keys. Try to find out which system you have. You can get an aftermarket PATS key blank for around $25 on the Interweb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So just to reiterate; using a standard key copy, a normal unchipped key, to unlock my door wont make the car explode?

Is there a way to tell if I'm PATS I or II? I don't have the original manual, FYI.

And also... what exactly happens if I lose my one and only chipped key?
 

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Then you will need to have your car towed to a Ford dealer and have them program you a new PATS key. Which is goi ng to be very expensive. I would advise you to call around your local ACE hardware to find out if they will sell you a new chip key! BTW a regular key will absolutely not cause any harm to your car I use one to unlock my car doors all the time with no problem.
 

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Got my uncut chipped key off ebay.
Got it programmed at a locksmith.

Total cost: $49
Feeling: Priceless!! :lol2:
 

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If you lose your key and have to go to the Ford dealer, it will cost you between $200-$300....or even more if the dealer is a ripoff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So does that mean, with only one key, I have to go to a dealer for another key no matter what?
 

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Sure if you want to go to the dealer, go ahead. For a $110 a key, you'd think they'd include some lube with that raping. I don't know what's difficult about calling the list of locksmiths in the phone book and ask if they can make and program a new key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Right...

I'm only going off of the information provided to me by other more helpful people in the thread thus far. And if I'm understanding them correctly, for me to get another PATS II key programmed, two keys would be required from me... of which I only have one, which isn't even the original Ford key.

Hence my question of whether or not I'm locked into going to a dealer because I need a PATS II key...
 

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No, if a locksmith has the proper equipment to program a PATS II key, then that's definitely the more affordable route. There are two members who replied to the thread that have post '98 cars that have PATS II. I've also read replies from others in the past who have had such success at local hardware stores getting a PATS II key.

Two keys are required if you program it yourself. The dealership and locksmith don't require a key at all. Not even the original factory key. They have a machine to get the computer in the car to accept the second key. The key you have is a dealership copy. It's just as good as the original key as far as the car's computer is concerned. There is no magic behind all of this. The key has a code in the chip that needs to be put on the car's computer's whitelist. If it's not on the whitelist, the engine won't start.
 

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^+1 with qwertz. Doesnt matter if chipped key has ford, merc. logo, pats or strattec embossed, it will function like the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, alrighty then, I just misunderstood the two key requirement.

I'll chase down a locksmith to see how much this is gonna cost me. Thanks guys. :)
 

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You should also call up a couple of ford dealers. I did this years ago and the one I used only wanted 1/2 hour which was around $40 at the time. A few others in the area wanted an hour of labor. I provided the key which I got on eBay. If you try to start the car with the copy, it will just disables the ignition, however I think it only does it for a limited amount of time, maybe just 1/2 hour or 20 minutes even if you use the real key.
 
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