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PATS issue, no start, no crank.

Discussion in '3rd Gen - 2007 - 2017' started by Thunderbirdsport, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    Have two keys, both were working with no issues. About 2 weeks ago when it got really cold, I'd insert a key, turn to start, and nothing would happen for about 5 seconds. Then the cluster warning lights would come (as normal) and then it would be able to be started.

    Today, when the key is turned to start, nothing. No cluster warning lights, no start, just that damned PATS light blinking steadily. Either key does the same thing.

    I searched, couldn't come up with much other than one fella had his start/run relay replaced at Ford.

    Before I drag it to the shop tomorrow, anything else I can try?


    I did hook the forscan up to it but it says it can't connect. Not sure if that's a side effect of the PATS locking things out or what...

    And to really shit on my parade, my Explorer has a head gasket leak. None of my other vehicles are licensed, the one that does otherwise run needs diff work and isn't safe to drive.
     
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  2. JExpedition07

    JExpedition07 That One Member Supporting Member

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    Shake the key while you try and crank
     
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  3. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    I'll try that in a few and follow up with results.
     
  4. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    That didn't work, with either key. Going to let it sit with neg batt cable discoed for a couple of hours. Had a lot of Fords under my care, never EVER had one with PATS issues. Is there a way to put a tuner on and disable this shit completely?

    I don't need/want it, especially if it will leave me with nothing but driveway art....
     
  5. Mike Expy Poland

    Mike Expy Poland Member

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    Been there buddy.

    Ok. BTW: do you get dashes instead of your mileage or your mileage is shown?

    If it's shown, it means the Instrument Cluster talks to PCM.

    1. Check if you have power to the PCM (in my case - 2007 Expy, it was PIN 8 in connector C175B ). It should get the same as power measured at the battery. If you are not getting power or power is lower than from the battery then there is a problem, likely in the wire leading to engine bay fuse box.

    2. replace PCM relay in engine bay fuse box with other relay that you know works (you can use for example the one for blower).

    3. Check the fuse for transponder receiver or it's something called like that - in the fuse box by the front passenger.

    4. Check if you have grounds in connector C175B - bottom 4 plus I think PIN 66.
     
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  6. Trainmaster

    Trainmaster Old School Member

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    I'd go with Mike's advice. Sounds more like a voltage problem than a PATS problem, though I'm just guessing.

    Relay contacts, corroded connector, etc... especially since it seems to be getting worse. Electronics usually just outright die.
     
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  7. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    This morning, after I'd checked all of Mike's suggestions (of which none had any favorable results, I decided to throw in the towel and called for a rollback to bring the Expy to Ford. Since it's thawing here, the driveway is a muddy disaster, so I decided to pull the Expy down to the end of the drive. The girlfriend was in the Expy, I'd already bypassed the shift interlock and had it in neutral and was preparing to hook up a towrope. She started the damned thing, just to see if it would. Scared the hell outta me, as I was hooking the rope to the front tow hook LOL.

    So I got in the pass side, turned the engine off, restarted it. I did this a couple more times, then it wouldn't start again. (By this time I'd put it back in park, despite it being on rather soft ground...it wasn't going to roll anywhere but why chance anything?)

    I bypassed the shift lock again, put it in neutral, and it started again.

    So I left it running, she got in the Explorer, and I drove it to the local Ford dealership.


    They couldn't replicate the problem, though they had it all day. They called me about 430PM and asked what I wanted them to do with it as they were closing in an hour. I went and got it and it's continued to start fine.

    I'm starting to think it's temperature related. Their shop is heated and it got up to 53 today. I'll go out later after it's sat for a few hours and see what it does.

    The tech did say there were no codes, and he too checked all the grounds, the PCM, the start/run relays, and even suggested that the PATS wasn't the issue as according to him when that fails/activates the dash light flashes very fast.

    I'll try it again later and see what she does. I'll update with findings. Stay tuned.
     
  8. sjwelds

    sjwelds Full Access Members

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    My 08 acted similar once. Turn the key and nothing. Try it again, sometimes nothing, sometimes start. Took it to an independent mechanic, whom I've used for years and trust implicitly. Could not replicate. He switched some relays around with some lesser used relays, and had me come get it.

    Never had that problem again while we owned that vehicle.
     
  9. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    It started last night after it had sat for a few hours, and again this morning. Will be a little while before I trust it on a long trip, but so far so good. I'm still not entirely convinced the bitter cold didn't play a part in it, though. It has been below 33 degrees the last 3 nights..
     
  10. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    And as of yesterday afternoon, we're back to the no-start. Talked to a Ford wrench, he said the only other time he'd seen this, he had to replace the cluster.

    I've checked every relay and fuse that is in the circuitry for cluster, PCM, and shift interlock* (more on this in a minute) to no avail, everything is good. I even switched all the relays around, still no start.

    *Friday when I preparing to drag the Expy to the end of the drive to have it towed to the dealer, I had the console opened up and manually bypassed the shift interlock. While it was in neutral, it started. I shut it off and started a couple of times and on the third try it wouldn't start up again. By this point I'd placed it back in park. I again manually bypassed the shiftlock and it started again. After that, it always started in park. The times it won't start, you can NOT get it into neutral, even with the brake applied, UNLESS you manuall hold the interlock tab open and bypass.

    The only thing that's lit on the cluster when the no start occurs is the steady, every-2-seconds blink of the anti theft light. No other lights come on, as they should when the key is on but engine off.

    I'm not too sharp on the cluster swap process beyond the mechanical bit of removal/reinstallation....is there programming to be done to get it to communicate with the PCM and other systems? At this point the mileage is the least concern, I just want the damned thing to start and run reliably.

    A used cluster isn't too cheap, but nor is it a life changing purchase. If that's what I need then it's a non issue, but I hate to spend 100-some bucks to throw a part at it, much less the programming work at Ford and it's not the solution to the issue.

    The only other thing I can think of is something in the wiring, but barring a temp related issue (it's been no colder than 40 and no warmer than 50-52 the last 3 days, and it ran Friday, last) I am stumped.

    The tech at ford couldn't replicate the problem and seemed to think that PATS wasn't the issue, he said the anti theft light would blink rapidly, fast than a blink every couple of seconds.

    Has anyone here had to replace the cluster?


    There's something wrong with the board, search is not working, and the site itself is extremely slow and keeps giving error messages. The only other info I have to go on is on the truck forums, and I'm not entirely sure the issues about clusters being bad, causing no-starts is exactly like mine.

    Thanks for all advice! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021

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