Stealing my own SUV

Hello :slight_smile:

I have recently been forced to redo the entire engine of my 1998 Mercury Mountaineer due to the timing belt tensioner going poof. We have it all back together but in the process the computer was damaged and replaced. Now the truck will not start, so we took it to the Ford dealership, and they say the alarm system is stopping the truck from starting because it is not in sync with the computer, basically thinking I am trying to steal my own car.

But here is the problem…The Dealership, and 3 others in my area, have no clue how to fix it. so here is my question…

Can I somehow…

A) disable the alarm, at least for now, and if so, how>

B) Putting the old Computer back in is not an option, so how do we program a new one, or at least sync it with the alarm


When you say that it fails to start do you mean the dashboard warning lights come on but the starter motor does not engage or the starter solenoid does not even make a click sound?

(Just thinking here, but I’m not buying what you were told about the alarm system not being in sync with the computer)

Another question. Was the hood removed for this engine repair?

Here is part of the description of operation from ALLDATA.

The PATS uses the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to enable or disable the engine. The PATS module communicates with the PCM over the J1850 (SCP) network in order to enable engine operation. The PATS module and the PCM use sophisticated messages in order to prevent a theft. The PATS and the PCM share security data when first installed together that makes them a matched pair. After this security data sharing, these modules will not function in other vehicles. The PATS shared security ID is remembered even if the battery is disconnected. The PATS module also stores the vehicle’s key identification code even if the battery is disconnected. There are special diagnostic repair procedures that may be performed if either the PATS module or the PCM needs replacement.

I can’t believe the Ford dealer can’t figure it out. It would seem to me that Ford should be able to reprogram the system so it will run.

Yes the hood was removed and was off of the vehicle for some time while it sat in the garage

It does everything BUT actually start. The fuel pump comes on and all that jazz, it just doesn’t actually start.

After this security data sharing, these modules will not function in other vehicles.
Does this mean that if the computer turns out to be used (it is not supposed to be) that it will never work?
There are special diagnostic repair procedures that may be performed if either the PATS module or the PCM needs replacement.
You would think the Ford dealership would know how to fix it, I mean seriously, like no one has ever replaced a computer before? Of course, we are talking about the same people who do not know the difference between a bolt and a nut (long story).

We have 3 Ford Dealerships in my area, The Sanford (NC) one just said they have no clue, The Lillington one said to call Raleigh, and they have quoted me a price anywhere from 95-695$ in order to fix and research the problem, saying flat out they had no idea, and also saying that even after I paid the money there was no guarantee they would fix the problem.

Oh and the dealership in Sanford put it on their big fancy machine and thats how they came up with the alarm system being a problem.

I did some more research and found this…

Is that what I need to take to the dealership?

My GM dealer had dedicated techs to deal with factory security we had printed material,on-line data and a line to the dealer rep. No one was ever told we dont understand that system,go away. This is shameful.

Surf over to, register, and hit the Ford forum. There are some very helpful Ford techs there. I predict that they will tell you that all 4 dealers either don’t understand you or are idiots, but I really don’t know. Did you do the engine work yourself? What do you mean by “redo the entire engine”? What engine to you have?

I only read part way through the pinpoint tests in the link you posted. That is the kind of process you normally have to go through.

The reason I asked about the hood being off the vehicle was because there is a switch on the inner fender that provides an input to the anti-theft module. These switches can act up due to body flex even when the hood has not been removed.

I assume this vehicle was towed in and this kind of thing is something a dealer or independent shop hates more than anything in the world because they have no idea what has really been done, what has been done correctly or not correctly, or what, if anything, has been butchered or fried.

At this point, I would not blame the dealers for the failure to repair this vehicle. The question is: Have you actually authorized, and you are prepared to spend X amount of dollars (whatever that may be), to repair this vehicle or are you simply asking them to take a quick look, having a quick chat with a service writer in person, discussion on the phone, etc.?
No one is going to go too deep into a potential nightmare unless the customer agrees to it first.

Will Do :slight_smile:

By Redo the engine, I mean that for the second time in the last year the timing belt tensioner (otherwise known as the thingie) broke on the opposite side of the engine that Ford says it should break on. The first time I purchased an engine from Wisconsin (had 36k miles on it) and my father and I installed it, 7k miles later the same thing happened in the same place. This time we actually took the whole thing apart and rebuilt it (if that is the right term to use). The dealership that I went to have the cams timed is the same dealership I visited (and payed 85$ for) the test to see why it wouldn’t start. That is when they told us about the alarm system.

It was taken to the dealership on a trailer, so I understand what you mean :slight_smile:
I have authorized them, and I am willing to pay to fix it, they just claimed they have no idea how to do it

I am pretty confident in my father’s work on the vehicle, and I know you are not downing his efforts in anyway, but some things he just can not fix, such as this issue :slight_smile: While I certainly enjoy him fixing my truck , as well as the bonding time it affords him and I (he is my hero, I am his middle daughter), I accept that there are some things my Daddy can not fix.

I did speak to the dealership about the TSB I posted earlier and they did some research and told me they need to add an as built something or other to the computer, and even quoted me a price of 79 - 85$. Considering the 7k I paid for it, the 2.5k for the 1st engine, the 700$ 3 months later for the transmission, and the somewhere around 2k we have dumped into it on the latest apocalypse, it sounds like a Deal to me.

Reminds me of a niece here in rural Mexico. She is absolutely gorgeous, though at my age all women that young are gorgeous, so what do I know? She is also a very intelligent young woman, and not all young women here are.

But, she loves her dad, and I swear she wishes she were strong enough to work with him; most work here for men is heavy physical labor. She helps him when she can, though, and says she wishes she could work with him all the time.

Our fireplace was designed by the idiot engineer who was in charge of renovating the old colonial building now used by the State Supreme Court in Puebla city. It couldn’t possibly draw. So, I said enough of your experts; we are going to do it my way. When he was up inside, banging away, taking out firebricks that were where they didn’t belong, she was on her back with a hammer and chisel helping him. But, when he starts dynamiting, he makes her go home.

Last year, I bought her a book on how carbureted motors work; she had wanted to know. Here in Mexico, such books are almost impossible to find.

Wished I could be of more help here but from my vantage point I’m totally clueless I humbly admit.
High technology can have its drawbacks, huh? :frowning:

My Lincoln had a non-starting hiccup problem one time due to the security system and I solved that problem by a wire splice or two but without a good factory wiring schematic and ample time I could not tell you how to work around the system on your vehicle.

Personally, I don’t care for security alarms, security lug nuts, etc. In some areas it may come in handy but around here it’s just an annoyance. I leave my car unlocked with the keys in the ignition most of the time. I’ve even left a checkbook in the front seat with 1500 in cash and did not even worry about it when I remembered it later. Matter of fact, my checkbook with debit cards and a 100 in cash is out on the dashboard right now.
The benefits of living in a low crime area. :slight_smile:

It’s impossible to imagine that there is not a backdoor method to enable dealers to synch various modules to overcome the anti-theft system. Else any failure no matter how simple woudl render a car scrap.

Now I cannot imagine how a mechanical failure caused the ECU to become damaged, can you explain… unless the mechanical damage was in someone hammering the ecy with a tyre iron.