coded ignition key

Recently purchased a new key from our Ford dealer for a Ford 05 Freestar. The owners manual has a simple procedure for programming a third key. The parts guy warned not to use it prior to completing
the programming procedure. He said if I were to try, it would disable the car and require a tow in. The reprogramming process takes about 24 hours and total cost of around $1500. I researched the internet and read many conflicting accounts. Does anyone know for sure (no guesses) if the parts person was correct? My concern is that during the procedure something happens that causes it to end unsuccessfully. Then using the third key which was not accepted by the PCM creates the situation the parts person described.
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If the 2005 Freestar is still using the PATS II system that was used on my son's 99 Ranger, you have nothing to worry about. When programming the new key on his truck, I screwed up the sequence and inserted the new, unprogrammed key into the ignition too soon. All that happened was that the system locked out for about 30 seconds and then reset itself. I got the sequence right the second time and the new key was programmed successfully.
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That's been my experience too. If you try to use an unprogrammed key, there's a timeout sequence that will prevent the car from being started by any key, but after that it's back to normal.
CJB
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Given the amount that your parts guys DOESN'T know about the PATS antitheft system, I am surprised that they would allow him to talk to customers.... Are you sure you weren't dealing with the janitor?
Using the new key at the wrong time will disrupt the programming sequence... nothing more. The process is so easy that anyone, (well, anyone except your parts guy) should have no problems completing the routine. Read the process several times and have the owners guide handy and open - just in case. Many of the steps must be completed within a finite time frame and may not leave enough time for lengthy pauses while referring to the documentation.... again, a mis-step will be a minor inconvenience but can be unnerving enough to frustrate or scare the beginner.
If something does, indeed, go wrong (and I haven't seen anyone that can screw up the process - though I have seen some that can't complete the process) - programmoing 3 keys from scratch will take about 20 minutes to 1/2 hour - beginning to end. Most dealers will charge 1 hour labour (this is to offset the cost of the diagnostic tool, it's software subscriptions and (hopefully) some basic training in scan tool usage). At least 10 minutes of the programming process is taken up with waiting for "Security System Access" to be granted.
Try to avoid that partsman in future.... he has no good advice.
FWIW.... I have been a licenced journeyman automotive tech for about 33 years and have been involved in the trade for almost 40. I am a Ford Master technician with diesel certification and I am also the shop foreman for our dealership....
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Jim Warman wrote:

:)
4 keys total now, one on me, one at the job, one at mom's and the other one at my sister's...
Stealershop wanted 75CAD to program one key.
Got two of them for 12$ on eBay (brand-new blanks). got them keyed at my locksmith's and programmed them myself. Just follow the procedure and you'll be fine...
It's in the owner's manual and Google
--
Don't drink water, fish have sex in it!

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And that is the wise way to do it.... Too often we read about someone that lost his only key and, now, it is no longer an inconvenience... it is nearly a castastrophy.
FWIW, $75 CA isn't bad for a "ground up" key programming sequence (including the price of the key). Some owners that have lost a key will even insist on this kind of service in order to erase the lost key from memory (the key "buffer" will usually store around 8 keys).
A word on the "cheap" blanks.... while it isn't common to see faulty keys, the majority of those that we do see are not on the Ford "approved" list - as always, YMMV.
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Thanks to all that replied. I feel now confident to complete the third key process......

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