Defeat Anti Theft

My teenage son has lost several keys to his 2002 Mustang. Echa replacement costs more than a hundred dollars because it has to be programmed to match the car. At this rate I’ll soon spned more money on keys than the car is worth. Is there a way to turn off or defeat the anti theft measures. I tried making a copy of the key without the programming and just holding the programmed key near the ignition switch. It worked - sort of. The catr strarted, grudgingly, but then ran very rough. The second time it wouldn’t start at all. any suggestions?

Simple. Have him pay for the replacement. Until he can come up with the money, no car. Maybe then he will learn to be more careful, and not lose them so easily. The anti-theft system is completely hard-wired into the electronics, including the Engine Management System. There are ways to defeat it, but the trouble could be worse than simply learning an important life lesson. Just my 2 cents.

“My teenage son has lost several keys … At this rate I’ll soon spned more money on keys…”

It is not a problem with the car or your son. Why are YOU paying for new keys. It is past time your son learns he is responsible for his errors. I hate to say it, but you have failed in a very important parenting responsibility. Kids need to learn that there are consequences to their actions. In this case it is very simple, you loose the key you pay for the new one. You don’t pay you don’t drive. No excuses from him or YOU.

Easy don’t pay for them. Get him a nice necklace to put his key around his neck so he does not lose it.

Why don’t you just get him a dollar store keychain and let him pay to replace the keys. Besides, why would you want to disable the anti-theft system on a Mustang… unless you’d rather pay to replace the car after it gets stolen - I think your insurance company wouldn’t look too fondly on paying out your claim when they discover the anti-theft system was disabled.

I agree with the other posters regarding the personal responsablity things, but hey, if losing his car keys is the worst of his youthfull discressions, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I think you’re on the right track-- you may have to remove some of the paneling on the dash to find the sweet spot to mount the programmed chip. I’m not sure why the thing would run poorly, though, since it should be all or nothing. Maybe there’s a different problem here?

As we all know (and as we remember, from our own teen years) teenagers do tend to be irresponsible. Unfortunately, you are enabling this behavior, and that is one of the reasons why it is continuing.

Is losing the car key the worst thing that he could do?
Absolutely not.

Is it desirable for him to be losing the key more than once?
Obviously, no.

Is it acceptable for him to lose the key more than once?
Well, clearly you have given the signal (perhaps on an unconscious level) that this is acceptable and that you will do whatever is necessary to remedy the situation. Until you stop the cycle, it is likely to continue.

As others said, disarming/bypassing the security system is not the answer. If you want to help your son to become a responsible person, you will make him accountable for his actions, and you should the one to decide how to make him accountable for his actions, since you know him and his situation better than anyone.

I know that this sounds extreme, but constantly “bailing out” your son when he screws up is giving him the idea that whatever he does is acceptable to you. And, while losing the key is not the worst thing that he could do, if he continues to think that whatever he does will result in Daddy making it better, his actions have the potential to become more irresponsible.

When I was 17, I hit the back of a tractor trailer (at low speed) as a result of my own inattention and lack of responsibility. The car that I damaged was my family’s only car. When my father came home, he calmly said, “Well, I am not going to contact the insurance company. Beginning tomorrow, you can get three estimates for the repair. We will choose the low bid, and you will pay for it from your savings account.” I did as he said, I knew that he was right, and I became a VERY careful driver from then on.

I give this advice from the perspective of someone who spent 34 years as a high school educator, with the last 29 of those years as a H.S. Counselor. The kids whose parents always “made it better” were not the ones who became successful or responsible people. In retrospect, I am very glad that my father made me pay for repairing his car, and I am confident that it made me a better person.

Help your son by making him responsible for his actions.

I suspect that if it was easy to defeat an anti-theft system, it wouldn’t be much of an anti-theft system.

I’m 18 years old, have had my car for two years, and have not lost one single set of keys, and I know for a fact that if I did, i’d be footing the bill to replace them.

I agree that the best idea is to let the boy get a job and/or pay for the replacement key. After doing that once or twice, he might just pull his head out of his tailpipe. If not, it might be time to trade in the Mustang for an economy car that has cheaper replacement keys.

Yeah, that’s a very good point. I know the 1989 Escort had no antitheft key system. Threaten any kid with one of those and he’ll never lose a key again.

If only life were so simple. For the record he paid for the car and all of the keys, it just feels like a scam to be forced to pay for “protection” he really doesn’t want.

Didn’t learn much about the car, but I sure know where to come for parenting advice now. Thanks everyone. Maybe I’ll have better like with the car question at If anyone out there knows anything about the car I’d love to hear from you.

Just for the record, you are the one who stated, “At this rate I’ll soon spned more money on keys than the car is worth”, so if there was any confusion about who was paying for the keys and/or enabling your son’s behavior, the confusion resulted from the information that you provided.

However, that being said, there is still an obvious need for your son to become more responsible, even if he is paying for those keys, so maybe should be your next stop.

His insurance premium is lower (in theft) due this “protection”. Does he want to pay more yearly for that?

You’re right. Sorry I confused you. Do you know anything about the car question?

Actually, you’ve been given the answer as well. No. There is no simple way to disable this anti-theft system. You could pay the Ford dealer a bunch more money, but the keys are probably cheaper. Oh, you may also want to check with some local locksmiths. They can sometimes program keys for less than the dealer. Not always, but sometimes.