Ford introduced the Passive anti-theft system (PATS) in the Ford F150 pickup truck in 1996 as a security feature to prevent theft incidents.
However, it becomes problematic sometimes for truck owners due to increased incidents of false alarms and other faults.
How to Bypass Anti-Theft System on Ford F150? The simplest method to bypass the anti-theft system on the Ford F150 is by using a fake transponder key. However, you can disable it on the latest models by reprogramming the PCM module. PCM reflashing kits are also available to defeat the anti-theft system. Other options can be disabling the power door auto-lock feature and finding an override button to bypass PATS.
I have added 9 easy methods to do it yourself, including an inexpensive way by adopting a homemade solution.
How to Bypass Anti-Theft System on Ford F150?
Ford motor company has designed the anti-theft system as a security feature to prevent the stealing of its vehicles.
Therefore, they are difficult to deceive, and any wrong attempt to tamper with its electronic module can lead to the No-Start state of the engine.
Therefore, carefully attempt any method or hire an expert if you can’t do it by yourself.
Bypass anti-theft system using transponder key chip
I use a technique using a homemade key and a piece of wire.
I replaced my broken Ford F150 key with this self-made version instead of spending hundreds of dollars to purchase it from the dealer.
Purchase a copy key from the hardware store. Then, visit the locksmith to cut its grooves according to the original one to make its copy.
Both the original and its duplicate should be identical, with the only difference of the original key containing the transponder chip.
Take a 5-ft long wire of 20 gauge and wrap 12 turns around the original key. It will make a coil around the key. Fix the turns with the help of tape to prevent uncoiling them.
Twist both ends of the wire to complete the loop. Use solder to fix the joint to prevent it from getting broken.
Wrap the loose part of the wire around the internal part of the ignition switch for 2-3 turns. In this way, it will fix the original key with the ignition switch.
Insert the fake copy key in the ignition switch and turn it to the ON position. It will start the truck as you used to do with the original key having a transponder chip.
Instead of hanging the original Ford key, you can also remove the chip from its casing and fix it with a fake key.
Using the power door unlock button
Power door locking is part of this system, and you can disable it by following a series of steps. However, this method will work in earlier models of Ford F150 from 1996-2000.
Close all the truck doors and turn it to OFF condition.
Insert the ignition key and spin it to the ON position. Next, locate the power door unlock button on the driver-side door. Press it 3 times consecutively. I suggest doing it with a gap of one second to ensure good press.
Turn off the ignition and stop power to accessories and all electrical systems.
Repeat step 3 and press the door unlock button 3 more times.
Move the key to the ON position, and you will hear a chirping sound. It is a confirmation of the successful completion of the procedure.
How to disable anti theft using reprogramming PCM?
With the development of new tools, Ford has upgraded its anti-theft system to make F150 harder to steal.
PATS sends data to PCM, and it disables power to fuel injectors and related electronic systems in case of any theft attempt in the latest models.
Moreover, suppose a tampering attempt to bypass certain safety and security features on PCM goes wrong.
In that case, it goes into a No-Start mode, and you need to replace it or visit an authorized dealer to get your truck started.
Although it is not allowed by Ford Motor Company, you will find mechanics or programmers in the market that will reprogram the PCM to bypass the anti-theft system.
They have FORScan and know the relevant settings. I recommend not doing it yourself and finding an expert who will do the job professionally and economically.
How to bypass PATS using the override button on Ford F150?
There was an option in earlier models to disable it using an override button under the dashboard.
Initially, it was a mechanism to bypass the system due to the increased frequency of false alarms and other faults.
Use PCM Reflash/Tuning Kits
There are electronic kits available to delete this system setting from the PCM module.
You need to purchase these modules, plug them into the computer of the Ford F150, and it will take care of the PATS.
They reflash the PCM memory to defeat the security feature and reconfigure the fuel pump, fans, and other sensors for the engine’s proper functioning.
However, it works well for all engines from 1996 to 2010. For trucks after 2011, you can use it for the Coyote engine and 3.5-liter Ecoboost engine only of Ford F150.
How does the Ford anti-theft system work?
This system on Ford F150 works with a transponder key and motion sensors installed inside the vehicle.
Any unauthorized attempt to open the door locks and movement inside the truck creates an alarm when fully locked.
It also has sensors to detect tilt or an effort to lift it for loading in another vehicle.
Moreover, this system will allow starting it with the help of a transponder key already programmed only.
Each transponder key has a particular encoding with a unique identification code embedded on a chip.
Furthermore, you have to program each working key into PCM before using it. Its electronic module, located near the steering column, has an antenna to communicate with the transponder key when inserting it into the ignition switch.
It sends the code to PCM, which will match it with already saved data and perform engine enable. In this way, the engine will start only with the original and pre-programmed key.
If you somehow lost the key or had a faulty key, you need to purchase a new one or visit the Ford authorized dealers to start your truck.
Disadvantages of disabling anti-theft system on Ford F150
It is a security feature, and you should avoid removing it without any genuine reasons.
If you disable the theft prevention system, it can void your insurance claim. Moreover, you have to pay higher premiums due to the less security of your truck.
Moreover, it is a premium feature that pickup truck buyers want to secure their investment. Therefore, removing it will decrease the resale value of your truck.
Is it Illegal to Bypass the anti-theft system?
There is no legal requirement for keeping the anti-theft system active on your truck.
Therefore, you can disable or bypass it on your truck in case of a broken or lost key or faulty electronic module.
However, it is illegal to try it on other vehicles or attempt to steal them. Your insurance company can also take a legal course of action if you disable it and your truck gets stolen.
How much does it cost to bypass Ford F150 anti-theft system?
If you trick the anti-theft system using a homemade fake transponder key, it will cost you only $5-$10. However, in case of a visit to a mechanic or dealer shop to reprogram PCM, you will have to pay $250-$300.
There are PCM reflash and tuning kits available to disable or defeat the security feature. They will cost you around $100-$400, depending upon the model of your truck.
The latest models have expensive solutions because they are challenging to defeat. Furthermore, a programmer can even offer his services to delete PATS from PCM at an affordable $100.