How To Reset the Anti-Theft System on a Ford Focus

To reset the Ford Focus anti-theft system, you’ll have to get your car to properly detect your coded key. Click here for how!
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Need to reset your Ford Focus anti-theft system? Just insert your key in the ignition and turn it just enough to enable the electrical system. Wait a minute, remove the key, and your system should be good to go. 
Your anti-theft system can go a long way in securing your Ford Focus—and your peace of mind. However, that peace of mind goes out the window if your system is acting up or interfering with your driving.
If the anti-theft system in your Ford Focus isn’t behaving,
can help. As the trusted
car insurance
broker app, we’ve compiled this helpful guide to resetting your Focus’s alarm system—and how to cut costs on your
Ford Focus auto insurance
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How to reset the Ford Focus anti-theft system

If your alarm is on, you can usually press “lock” or “unlock” on your key fob to turn it off. Pressing the panic button on your remote will turn off your lights and horn, but it won’t disarm the system. If your system needs a reset, though, there are two tried-and-true ways to reset your Ford’s anti-theft system.
To deactivate your alarm system, put your key into your driver’s side door lock and partially turn it—but don’t unlock the door. Keep your key in this position for 40 to 60 seconds, then repeat this exact process with the key turned in the opposite direction. After 60 seconds, take out your key and start the engine. 
If you’re trying to reset the anti-theft light, put your key in the ignition and turn it on without starting it, making sure your car’s electrical system is on. Wait until your blinking or lit anti-theft light turns off, then leave your key in this spot for up to ten minutes. Afterwards, you should be able to start your ignition. 
If these methods don’t work—or if you don’t have your ignition key to deactivate the system—you’ll need to take your Ford to a dealership. They’ll either help you program new keys or reprogram your PCM (powertrain control module). 

What does the anti-theft system on a Ford Focus do?

Ford vehicles are equipped with SecuriLock, which is a type of Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS). Passive systems work automatically—without any action on your part—to protect your vehicle anytime your key isn’t in the ignition, your car is off, and the doors are shut. 
Ford’s PATS system uses an anti-theft alarm system as well as the Securilock, an engine immobilization system that prevents your engine from starting without a coded key. If this system detects an unprogrammed key trying to open your car or start the engine, you’ll be alerted with the horn sounding and lights flashing
Your Ford Focus will have come with two programmed transponder keys specific to your car. If you’re adding a new key, you’ll have to program it for it to work with your anti-theft system. 

How to program a new transponder key

To program a new key for your Focus, you have to have two already-coded keys plus your new key. Don’t have a second key? A Ford dealer can program a new one for you. You’ll only be able to use integrated keyhead transmitters or standard SecuriLock keys cut for your model. 
If you have all the necessary keys and you’re ready to program a new one, follow these steps:
  • Insert your first previously-programmed key into the ignition and turn it to the “on” position for at least three seconds (but no more than 10 seconds). 
  • Turn the key to the “off” position and remove it. 
  • Within three to 10 seconds, repeat this process with the second already-programmed key. 
  • After waiting three to 10 seconds, insert your new uncoded key into the ignition and turn it to the “on” position. 
  • Keep the key in this spot for six seconds, then remove it. 
That’s it! Your new key should be able to start your engine as well as operate your Focus remote entry functions, if applicable. If this process didn’t work, wait 10 seconds and repeat the entire process again. 

What can trigger the Ford anti-theft system?

Your SecuriLock PATS system does a good job protecting your Focus from potential burglars, but it’s known to give false alarms—sometimes being triggered by fireworks or even a strong jolt. Your system may interpret these as break-in attempts and keep your engine from starting, which is inconvenient at best. 
Your anti-theft system may also be triggered by these circumstances: 
  • Your door lock cylinder or handle is broken
  • Your battery is dead
  • Your key fob battery is dead or dying
If you still can’t figure out what’s triggering your false alarms, take your Focus to your local dealership to check for other mechanical issues at play. 
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Can the Ford Focus anti-theft system lower your insurance rate?

Anti-theft devices protect your vehicle, of course—but they can also protect your wallet by lowering your insurance costs. In fact, having an anti-theft device in your car could reduce your premiums by 5% to 25%!
You may also pay a lower rate for coverage for your Focus due to a few other reasons. For starters, Ford Focus models are known to be pretty reliable, and parts are generally more affordable when it comes to repairs. These make the Focus cheaper to insure as a whole. 
Of course, your insurance rates will depend on your specific year model and trim, too. For instance, a 2018 Ford Focus RS will be more expensive to insure than a 2010 Focus SE—but higher trims usually offer better safety features. 
No matter what model you’re driving, adding an aftermarket anti-theft device—like a catalytic converter strap—may score you even more savings from your insurance provider. 

How to save on Ford Focus insurance

Your anti-theft system will certainly reduce the risk of theft for your Ford Focus, but it’s no guarantee—especially as thieves get more tech-savvy. If your Focus falls victim to thievery, the only way to submit a claim for damages is if you have
comprehensive insurance coverage
Sure, comprehensive coverage will increase your
car insurance
costs a bit—but it’s still cheaper than paying for a whole new car if yours gets stolen! Plus, when you have the help of a
trusted insurance broker
on your side, you can find the most affordable policy around. That’s where
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