How To Reset the Anti-Theft System On a Ford Taurus

Resetting the anti-theft system on a Ford Taurus is as easy as turning the coded transponder key in the ignition!
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Pat Roache
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It’s so simple to reset the anti-theft system on your Ford Taurus—just start your car using your coded key! You can also stop the alarm using the keyless entry pad if you don’t have your original key, but you may need to tow your Taurus to a dealership to unlock the ignition. 
Ford makes it really easy for Taurus owners to turn off the anti-theft system. You don’t have to memorize tricky instructions or do three backflips on the hood of your car. As long as you have your key or can open the car with the keyless entry pad, you’re good to go! 
You’ve probably still got questions about the anti-theft security system, and
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How to reset the Ford Taurus anti-theft system

Ford makes it a snap to turn off the anti-theft system if you accidentally trigger it. Just try any of these options:
  • Press the power door unlock button within the 20-second pre-armed mode
  • Press the unlock button on the key fob
  • Unlock the doors with the keyless entry pad
  • Turn on the car using your key
  • Press the panic button on the key fob. (Note that the anti-theft system is still armed, but this stops the honking and turns off the flashing lights)
Don’t worry if you unlock your driver's door with the key and hear an alert tone. This just tells you that you’ve got 12 seconds to disarm the car—turn it on, and the system resets! You could also use any of the previous resetting options.
If you can’t find your coded car key, you won’t be able to reset the security system. You won’t even be able to drive the Taurus! Tow your car to a Ford dealership so they can disarm the system and program new keys. 

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

In a nutshell, the SecuriLock passive anti-theft system (PATS) activates an alarm and immobilizes the engine a non-coded key is detected trying to open the door or start the car.
Passive may not sound helpful, but it just means that the system automatically works without needing to be turned on—AKA no extra work for you! The PATS activates whenever you don’t have your key in the Taurus, the car is turned off, and the doors are closed.
When PATS is triggered, the anti-theft light flashes brightly on the dashboard, and the engine will lock so the car can’t be driven. Only someone with the coded transponder key for that specific Taurus can unlock the engine and drive it again. If you need a new or spare key, you’ll have to get it programmed to your specific Taurus or you’ll set off the PATS.

How to program a new transponder key

You’ll need two original coded keys to program a new spare key. Unfortunately, you can’t program the spare key yourself if you don't have two original coded keys. A Ford dealer technician will have to do it for you.
If you do have two original coded keys, follow these steps to program the spare:
  1. Insert an original key in the ignition and turn it on for at least three seconds, but less than ten. Do not activate the engine.
  2. Turn off the car and remove the first key. Wait at least three seconds, but no more than ten.
  3. Insert the second original key and turn it on for at least three seconds but no more than ten. Once again, do not activate the engine.
  4. Remove the second key and wait at least three seconds, but no more than 20 seconds.
  5. Insert the new unprogrammed key and turn on the car without starting the ignition.
  6. Keep the car on for at least six seconds until you hear the doors lock. Then, remove the key.
It’s a sensitive, repetitive process, but your new key should be registered with the anti-theft system! You can program up to eight keys for your Taurus.

What can trigger the Ford anti-theft system?

Using the wrong key is a surprisingly common way to activate the anti-theft system, but even keeping metallic objects, electronic devices, or an extra coded key too close to your car key can trigger it. Always check that you have the right key and keep items away from the key when you put it in the ignition. 
Other Ford drivers note that loud noises, like fireworks or a thunderclap, can trigger the anti-theft system. Here are a few different causes:
  • Dead or dying car battery 
  • Broken door lock cylinder or door handle
  • Dying transponder key battery
If you can’t seem to pinpoint the reason your Taurus’s anti-theft system keeps coming on, take it to the Ford dealership where they can run diagnostic tests.
MORE: The best Ford station wagons

Can the Ford Taurus anti-theft system lower your insurance rate?

Most insurers want to reward drivers who protect their vehicles, so having an anti-theft system or device might make you eligible for significant discounts—typically between 5% and 25% off your
comprehensive coverage
.
Note that this doesn’t apply to
liability insurance
, which is pretty bare-bones coverage. Since the Ford Taurus is famously inexpensive to insure, you might want to spring for extra protection. If you’re driving an older model, it usually costs less to insure because the value of the Taurus depreciates over time. 
Check with your insurance company to see if they offer incentives for adding aftermarket anti-theft devices like an active alarm system or a catalytic converter strap.

How to save on Ford Taurus insurance

An excellent anti-theft system can minimize the chances of getting your Taurus stolen, but older models of Ford Taurus are popular among car thieves. If your Taurus does get taken, you’ve got to have comprehensive insurance coverage to file a claim for damages. Your insurance company won’t pay to replace your stolen Taurus if you've only got liability. 
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