Ford Mustang Servicing Guide, Part 2

Part 1 of our Comprehensive Guide to the Ford Mustang addressed car opening, removing and disassembling the door lock, opening the trunk, removing and disassembling the deck lock and the glove box lock. (See February 2008 issue of Locksmith Ledger...

REMOVING THE IGNITION LOCK The ignition lock used on the Mustang is made by Strattec (P/N 708556) and is the same ignition found in the Montego, 500, Freestyle and the new Taurus and Taurus X as well as other Ford vehicles. The lower portion of the steering column shroud is secured to...

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There are many ways to generate a new key for this vehicle, ranging from obtaining the key code from a key code service to removing and disassembling the locks. The most common method in use when the key code is unavailable is to decode the door lock, deck lock or both and then progression any cuts that are still unknown.

The door and deck locks can be decoded with a variety of methods including impressioning, try-out keys, and specialty decoders. The three most popular decoders are the Determinator, EZ-Readers and Kobra Readers. The EZ-Readers and the Kobra Readers read the individual tumblers to determine the exact depth, while the Determinator uses a system of half-depths and impressioning to decode the locks.

Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and I personally use all three. Depending on the amount of wear on the locks, and the physical condition of the lock system, I will use the tool that I think will do the best job on that particular car.

Regardless of which system you use to generate the new key, you will still have to use a diagnostic device in order to program the transponder key into the on-board computer. All Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury passenger vehicles from 1999 and up, with the exception of the Escort, are equipped with a transponder system.

Duplicate keys can be added with on-board programming only if two working keys are available and there are less than eight keys already programmed into the vehicle. In some cases the “Spare Key” function that allows on-board programming for duplicate keys may also have been turned off.

The most common tools used to program Ford vehicles are the NGS tool from Hickok, one of the Advanced Diagnostic tools: T-Code, T-Code Pro, MVP; Strattec Code-Seeker; or one of the Silca tools: the SDD or the TKO.
The NGS tool is designed strictly for Ford vehicles and at one time was the official Ford programming tool used in dealerships. For that reason, the NGS tool is capable of some diagnostic and programming functions that are unavailable with any other locksmith tool. But for simple key programming when the system is working properly, all the above systems work equally well.

Regardless of which machine you choose to use, you will first have to plug in to the OBD port. The OB port on the Mustang is easy to find, near where the driver’s left knee would be. All of the diagnostic devices are powered from the vehicle. They should come on as soon as you plug your cable into the OBD port. If not, check for blown fuses, a low battery or other electronic problems.

If you are using the NGS machine to program your key, the first thing you will have to do is select “Service Bay Functions.” If you are using a different device, you will most likely have to select “Immobilizer.”

After selecting the make and model of the vehicle, you will then have to select the module that contains the programming for the transponder system. In the case of the Mustang, that module is the PCM module.

Once in the PCM module, you will have to enter the “Security Access Delay.” This is a 10-minute delay that is built into the system to prevent theft. Studies have shown that if you can slow down a would-be auto thief for even a few minutes, the number of successful thefts will be greatly reduced.

After the security delay has passed, you can select several different options regardless of the machine you are using. You can erase all of the keys that are currently in memory and replace them. You can add one or more keys to the system without erasing the existing keys – up to a maximum of eight keys. Or you can turn the “Spare Key” option on or off, which will either enable or disable onboard programming for duplicate keys as I mentioned earlier.

The machine will let you know when the programming process is complete, and at that point you can add additional keys by inserting them into the ignition and turning them one after another up to the maximum of eight keys. The system is designed to operate with a minimum of two keys in memory, so if you erase the existing keys, you will have to add at least two keys for the system to work properly. If you leave the programming mode with only one key programmed into the system, you will usually have some type of intermittent problems popping up with the security system.

In addition, on some vehicles there is a setting inside the programming menu for “Unlimited Keys.” If this is selected you can program in an unlimited number of keys. This is usually done for fleet vehicles and will require a NGS machine for the programming.

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