How do you program a key fob for a 2003 Ford F150?

I ordered a replacement key fob online for my 2003 Ford but the dealer told me they couldn’t program it. I’m worried that I spent on a defective fob. Can I program this new key for a Ford F150 myself?

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Answer provided by
Annette Maxon
Answered on Apr 22, 2022
Sorry to hear that! Don’t get discouraged. Fortunately, programming your new 2003 Ford F150 key is an easy DIY task that only takes two minutes.
Before getting started, keep these two tips in mind while programming the key fob:
  • Avoid pressing on the accelerator
  • Make sure all of your car doors are unlocked by pushing the *unlock button inside your car
Now, let’s start programming! Here’s how to do it:
  • Get in the driver’s seat and start by quickly turning the ignition from on to off eight times, in ten seconds or less. Be careful not to move the ignition switch far enough forward that the engine starts. Push the ignition switch just far enough forward that the dash lights up.
  • As you do this process, you will hear the car door locks locking and unlocking—this indicates that the car is in programming mode.
  • On the eighth time, make sure you end with the ignition on.
  • Next, you have 20 seconds to a button on your key fob—you can push any button you like, it doesn’t matter which one! You will hear the door locks cycle, indicating that the key is successfully programmed.
  • If you have additional keys to program as well, press any button on them immediately after you do so on the first remote. The door locks will cycle every time you successfully program each additional remote.
  • Now, take your car out of programming mode by turning the ignition switch to off. You’ll hear the door locks cycle once more, signaling that your car is no longer programming.
If your key fob replacement comes with an uncut key insert, you will need to seek out a locksmith to get this cut to fit your Ford. Before visiting a locksmith, you’ll want to double-check whether you have towing and labor coverage as part of your insurance plan. This will make sure that any labor costs are covered by your provider.
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