Spare key

i am needing to have a spare key made for my 1998 Ford Taurus SE station wagon. I know that in newer models the key has some kind of chip or code in it that must be present for the car to start. I don’t see anything like that on my key to this car, how can I know for sure this car of this age doesn’t have that and I can just go have a regular key cut to use in an emergency situtaion.

There may be something in the owner’s manual about this.

Does your key have a plastic head? Then it probably is PATS.
Is there a red light on your dash that comes on when you turn the key to run, before you start the car? If so, then it is PATS.
If it is PATS… If you have two working keys, then you are okay. Have a new PATS key cut. Put an original key in the switch. Turn it to run and then back off. Now, quickly put the second original key in the switch and turn it to run and then back off. Quickly put the new key in the switch and turn it to run. Now the new key should be programmed.

you could just spend the $2 for the key copy and see if it works.

I would go to the dealership, show them the key, and ask. Some dealerships also make keys at reasonable prices, so while you are there, you might be able to get your question answered and get a spare key.

If you have a spare key made at a hardware store, isn’t it possible that exposing the chip to the magnetic field generated by the key cutting machine could fry the chip in your last remaining key? I think you should play it safe and find out first. The guy at the parts counter at the Ford dealership should be able to answer this question without putting your last good key at risk.

“…isn’t it possible that exposing the chip to the magnetic field generated by the key cutting machine could fry the chip…”

No, it is not.

The SE & GL trim in 98 should not be a PATS key, they bagan in 99. In 98 the LX & SHO show PATS system.

Just try a generic key copy first to be sure.

Try the above site, It shows you have a transponder key. It’s selling them for $13.99 each. Buy one (or more), get it cut locally for a couple of bucks, and follow tardis’s programming instructions. Those instructions also come with the key.

Remember thought, in order for you to program the key yourself, you need two good working keys. If you only have one or no working keys, you’ll need to take the car to a Ford dealer or to a locksmith. Ford dealers charge lots of money to program keys. I’ve seen good local locksmiths charge half of what the dealers charge.

I’ve bought transponder keys from with good results.

Using a non coded key in a coded system will not hurt the system. Spend $1.29 for a generic cut and try it. It’s an affordable gamble.

Besides, if you have the key made at Lowe’s or Home Depot their machine will check if it’s coded and they’ll refuse to make it for you. I wanted them to make a generic cut key for my coded system just to keep in my change pocket to unlock the door if I lock the keys in, and the first guy wouldn’t make one. I went back when there was an older fella there and he agreed to cut one for me once I explained what I was doing. It works, by the way.