Hello all. I need some help because I am close to the point of selling this car to an auction place just to be rid of it.
2015 Ford Fiesta SE Sedan. 59k miles.
Purchased used in 2016 with roughly 28k miles. 2nd Owner. No remaining warranty.
Mods: 10" Rockford Fosgate sub. Backup Camera on rear view mirror. <- both installed in 2016.
My wife is the primary driver.
Problem: Key Not Detected. Intermittent Issue causing the vehicle to not start.
First Noticed: November 2018
Frequency: Was once per month, now roughly every three days.
Duration: 90 seconds to 12 hours.
Attempted Fixes: New Car Battery, New Key FOB Batteries, New Key.
Trips to Ford Dealer: Two
Total Number of Days Car at Dealer: 15
Back in November of last year, my wife told me she had trouble starting her car. Note we live in middle Georgia. So November means 50 degrees and no snow. We swapped cars for a few days and I had no issues with her Fiesta. I thought maybe it was a fluke or operator error. In December she had the same problem, and told me it kept saying key not detected. Eventually it started and she drove home. I looked at the car and saw the battery was 4 years old. So I replaced the battery and thought “problem solved.”
Well the problem didn’t stay solved, and around Christmas time my wife stopped for gas and was stuck for about an hour while the car wouldn’t start. She had both keys with her and neither would start the car. She eventually drove it home and it worked fine. Since basically all of google believes this problem to be key fob batteries, I replaced the batteries in both key Fobs. To prove a point, I also took the batteries out of both key Fobs, started the car, drove to the grocery store, bought groceries, drove the car home, put the key Fob batteries back in. This car does not need a battery in the key fob to work. But… new batteries… no difference. Yay.
I believe we made it through January with no issue. So I was starting to think maybe messing with the keys had knocked something back into place or whatnot.
February was maybe one time for about 15 minutes the car did not work.
March was the first time I ever saw the problem myself - after coming to my wife’s “rescue” when she was stuck picking up dinner, I drove her car home. Then it failed to start over and over in the garage with Key not Detected on the screen. I ended up going to bed without figuring it out. The next morning the car worked great. I drove the car as my daily driver for two weeks with no issue. By this time I thought maybe it was a fault in the anti-theft system.
In April the frequency picked up, maybe once a week the car would say “key not detected.” However, it normally would only take about two minutes of trying before the car would start and work fine.
Which brings us to one night in May (current month) where the car wouldn’t start. I drove to my wife’s work place and together we spent about two hours with it that evening. We gave up and “abaondoed” the car at her workplace. The next morning I got out there around 0430 thinking I’d have the car towed that day to Ford. But it started right up. I drove it to Ford later that day. They ended up keeping it five days and telling me one of the two keys had an intermittent wiring fault. I paid $340ish for a new key and I was highly skeptical that was actually going to fix the problem. The Ford rep assured me the problem would be solved.
I paid and drove the car out of the Ford repair shop on a Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I drove it to work and back with no issue. However, when leaving work on Friday - Key Not Detected. And I was using the new key the dealership had made. About five minutes later the car was able to start and I dropped it back off at the dealership. That was May 10, 2019. It’s now May 19, 2019… no word on the car. I’ll checkin first thing tomorrow morning.
However, what could this possibly be? The dealership appeared stumped when I dropped the car back off. I’m told that the Key Not Detected message is normally for a push button start car and is normally caused by a low or dead battery in the key fob. That’s not the case here. This car uses a physical key that you insert into the ignition.
What we have done:
New Car Battery
New Key Fob Batteries
New Key (Ford Dealer)
System Reset (Ford Dealer)
Cell Phones - it should be noted that this happens with phones around and without phones around. I do not believe cell phone interference is a problem here. When I used the car I would keep my cell phone in a completely separate pocket than the car keys.
Engine codes - none.
Computer codes - none.
Ideas that have been tossed around but not acted on:
Replace Ignition Switch - maybe it has a sensor that recognizes keys?
Replace Anti-theft System - I’m not sure what that would even entail.
Have the car stereo place uninstall the subwoofer and backup camera - maybe one of those is causing a fault now? Seems unlikely as they have been there for 3+ years, but maybe?
Dump the car and get a new one - really don’t want to do that.
Has anyone actually had this problem and found a solution? Thank you.
I have an older thread on the Fiesta Faction site. However, I don’t think that site generates as much traffic in terms of views.