1999 Ford Taurus red anti-theft light

I disconnect the wires to the battery on my daughter’s 1999 Ford Taurus to clean the terminals. A few hours later I reconnected it and now there are no lights, it won’t turn on, and the red anti-theft light is lit. Can someone help me figure out what to do please?

Sorry, I should have said the anti-theft light is blinking. Please tell me this is an easy fix.

One possibility is that very little curent is getting through from the battery. There is enough current for the anti-theft light to blink, but not enough for anything else to operate. I wouuld remove the terminals and repeat the process and see what happens. You might want to measure the voltage at the clamps on the battery and from the positive terminal to the ground. If you are getting less that 12.6 volts, there may be a battery problem. Did extensive corrosion on the terminals convince you to clean the terminals?

The car probably has PATS (Passive Anti Theft System) type B. There is a factory service bulletin detailing the instructions to the technician on how to initialise the PATS to the ignition key, using the factory scanner/computer. http://www.ford-trucks.com/tsb/fulltext/show_article.php?tsb=01-6-2
This might work (might not): Put the chipped ignition key into the ignition switch and turn to the start/run position and leave it there for 30 seconds. Now, try to start. If that doesn’t work, I don’t have any other suggestion.

The PATS light is lit steady or it flashes slowly as it does normally?

It’s not flashing at all now. The Ford ignition key does not appear to have a chip. This car belonged to my mother and she was constantly loosing keys. The keys that I have are probably not original.

Back to basics. The car was normal before you cleaned the battery terminals and now it is broken. either the battery connections are not good or your broke something else under there. Did you lean on anything and hear a “snap”? Try to think and examine anything else you might have touched.

It has an RF chip in the head of the key. It is contactless, so you can’t see it.

  1. Put key in ignition, turn to run position ( but do not turn to crank engine ). Let sit like this 2 minutes.

Remove key, and test operation with all keys.

If this does not work…

Remove BOTH battery cables, allow to sit 20 minutes.

Reconnect Positive, then negative, and do step #1.

If neither approach resolves this, have a locksmith reprogram.

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