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key replacement

12-06-2004, 06:39 PM
I have a 2001 Ford windstar. I lost one set of keys for it (fob and key). Dealer said it was over $100 to get a replacement key, because of the chip thingy...

Is this true? I can't go to Home Depot to get a 2nd key? Any ideas?


12-06-2004, 07:41 PM
A 2nd key from Home depot, although cut correctly will not start the vehicle. The key does need to be a special type with a signature chip inside.

I have seen blanks available on ebay. Perhaps one of these will work if you can get it cut.

12-06-2004, 08:22 PM
wow.. that's a new one to me.. When I bought my 96' Windstar (maybe that's the difference not a 2001') I had the key with black plastic on top and the FOB.. and also in the drivers handbook in the glove compartment was a plastic credit card that said "emergency key knockout" (or similar) The key was part of this credit card as in you had to cut it out of it's holding (like a plastic piece from a plastic model set) and then it would open and close the door and could be used to start the vehicle as well.. That key is now in a magnet box under the vehicle and has been used countless times for emergencies!! SI can see the FOB needing a special chip set.. but ?? hey what do I know.. Maybe inquire what's up with that? Maybe new advances were made since then..

12-06-2004, 08:36 PM
DRW is right, the cut on the key only operates the door latches.

When the later ('99??) Windstars are assembled, the on-board computer thingeys assigned a (large number) numerical code to the first key transponder chip, and then the second key gets that number plus "1".
It's up to the owner, using the first two keys , to have a third key made (the original code number plus "2"). In fact, up to a total of 8 keys can made... and in each instance of making a key, it requires two all-ready programmed keys to be in the process.

So as long as you have two already programmed keys, you're OK. But when you get down to one, well, the dealer has you by the .... ah,.. "go-nots"!

12-06-2004, 09:44 PM
I have 2 keys for my 2001, but to cover my butt, would like a third. I tried a few local key/locksmith stores for my 2001 and found the same situation. They absolutely refused to deal with this type of key at all. I asked if they'd cut one if I carried in a blank (eBay). They wouldn't touch that either :confused: . I havent asked the dealer yet, but I'm hoping a 3rd key doesn't run $100!!! I do know if you get down to one key, it will cost a bundle for the second due to the magical "reprogramming" process. Like 12Oz says, per the owners manual, you need 2 good keys in order to (DIY) program a third, or more key(s) .

12-06-2004, 10:03 PM
When I bought my '99 and also bought the 3rd programmable key, I was bled $75. I understand that they are now available in some key shops ... but I don't know about Home Depot.

01-04-2005, 02:18 PM
When I bought my Windstar, I only got one key and had to find a source. I bought mine from for about $18. They also have a network of locksmiths that can "program" the car if you only have one key (for about $60) and "cut" the key while they are at it. As others have said, it is easy to program your extra keys if you have two already, and that is why I went for three keys and keep one in my desk.

01-04-2005, 07:34 PM
If you already have 2 working transponder PATS keys you can buy a blank key have it cut and program it yourself. You need two working keys to do it yourself. You have to do a series of things with the two keys in the ignition and then insert the 3rd key and it will program it. That information is available if anyone needs it I will post it for ya.

Coastie John
01-04-2005, 11:27 PM
I've done PATS keys for both the 2000 Winnie and the 2003 F150. I got mine of off Ebay for like $8 or $9 bucks and they came with instructions on how to do it.

A couple of thoughts after doing this a couple of times:

1. It's easy to do. Probably less than 4 minutes if you never done one before. Just follow the instructions.

2. Have someone you trust cut the key(s). They only get one shot at it and the place I used told me upfront it they screwed it up I'm SOL because I did not buy it from them (ACE Hardware).

3. If it doesn't program the first time flip the key 180 degrees in the slot and try it again. Both keys for my applications (Fords and aftermarket) have offset holes in the head of the key. Probably to make room for the chip inside. I had to flip the key with the Winnie and F150. Once it "took" it didn't make a difference after that. When mine "took" I could hear a click coming from the steering column or under that dash somewhere. I'm speculating that was a computer programming the key at the end of the cycle.

4. It does take two PROGRAMMED PATS keys to program a third. A side thought to CYA if your out on the town and loose your keys or lock them inside. I have non-PATS keys made that opens the doors only. This is hidden on the outside of the vehicle. That will get me inside. I have a spare programmed PATS key hidden inside so that I can get back home AND still progam a new replacement using the wife's key and the spare.

Good luck.....John

01-05-2005, 05:28 AM
PATS 2 And 3 Programming Procedure

1. Place first already programmed key in the keyway. Turn the ignition from OFF to ON(RUN) for at least 1 second and then switch to OFF.

2. Within 5 seconds, insert the second already programmed key in the keyway. Turn the ignition from OFF to ON(RUN) for at least 1 second and then switch to OFF.

3. Within 10 seconds of turning the ignition lock cylinder to OFF, insert the new key into the keyway. Turn the ignition from OFF to ON(RUN) for at least 1 second and then switch to OFF.

The theft indicator light should go on for three seconds, after which the key will start the vehicle. Repeat this process, from the beginning, for each new key to be programmed.

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