When it's not a dead battery or starter but access denied?

Beautiful January day and I parked my car to volunteer for sled dog race help - when I got back in - nothing! Some clicking. Police tried to jump start. Finally towed to Sears and bought new battery - still nothing and they said it’s NOT the starter but possibly some entry or safety module that locks you out when your battery gets so low it’s drained. We have the key code and that opens the door fine. The lights are nice and bright. Is there some secret turn off switch we’re not finding? It has to go to the dealer - maybe they can help but are they going to try to replace some expensive module? Thanks if you can help!

This Ford truck uses Ford’s SecuriLock system, that requires a special coded key to enable the truck to be started. The way to tell if the SecuriLock system is having issues is found in the owner’s manual. Simply put, if the truck is off, the ‘Theft’ light should blink every 2 seconds. When you try to start the truck, the light should remain on and steady for 3 seconds. If it stays on longer than that, or if it blinks rapidly, the SecuriLock system is having problems and will not allow the truck to start. This may or may not be an expensive problem. But, it will not start until the system is fixed.

Busted Wins Nice post, Just in case I’ll leave my reply

You need to clean the battery connections Step 1 Then clean and check Ground connection to the motor and positive cable connections to the starter, and or solenoid. Make sure there are no swollen spots in any of the cables, as that indicates poor conductivity and needs replacement. Many starter solenoids are incorporated into the motor, many are not, It does not have to go to the dealer if you do not wish. Maybe there is a reset someone knows of for the anti theft system.

Thanks Busted and Water - That gives me some clues especially on the Securilock system - yes I think that’s probably the right direction but will also check the cables, etc. At least I can go armed to the dealer’s with more knowledge and hopefully they will keep it simple. There’s no after-market anything except a remote start. But I read somewhere there are ways to reset the Securilock in some vehicles. I had no idea so didn’t look at the blinking lights, etc. There is always a red blinking light on top of the dash.

Just a shot in the dark, but remove the ignition key from your keychain (sometimes keys w/transponders in them get interference from other keys next to them.) stand outside the
truck and lock and unlock the driver’s door. then see if it starts. If no good, try the front passenger door the same way. Can’t hurt to try & only takes a minute.


I hate to tell you, but there are numerous complaints about aftermarket remote start systems harming factory alarm systems, and SecuriLock is no different. The owner’s manual actually warns about adding a non-Ford remote starter as it could damage the system. I hope that’s not the problem, but the dealer will definitely blame it and want to pull it out.

Yeah I tried a little something like that - but will remove key just in case and give that a try. Seems like it wants me to reset everything.

Don’t see my reply so I will try again. Could it be that even tho I’ve had remote start since 2006? I wonder if I might have left the hatch open while gone, and that triggered the anti-theft.

Self-inflicted injuries…You have paid good money to render your vehicle useless…

Did you try jumping the neutral safety switch ?

Don’t know what that is but i’m game - can you explain?

If you have an automatic transmission, sit in the car with your foot firmly down on the brake. Turn the key all the way while jiggling the gearshift lever. If the car then starts, it’s (1) a mis-adjusted shift cable, (2) a problem with the shift interlock system, or (3) a worn or mis-adjusted neutral safety switch, or combination of all three.

If you have standard transmission, find somebody with a strong left foot. Put this guy in the driver’s seat. With e-brake on and shifter in neutral, have this person turn the key all the way Then have him push the clutch pedal down to the floor as hard and as fast as

he/she can. Smack it right down to the floor, fast. (Unless he’s Hulk Hogan) If the Ford starts, it’s a worn or mis-adjusted starting safety switch. (Similar to the neutral safety switch on an automatic)

Also, to bypass items 1 through 3, (Automatic) or to bypass the starting safety switch (standard) you can electrically jump from the big terminal on the starter solenoid to the smaller terminal on the solenoid. If you don’t mess with cars, don’t even attempt it, though. Maybe there’s a guy down the street who does some work on his own car, etc, who could help you, or, if the starter is easy to get to, your mechanic could probably do it for free.


With the person in the car, foot on brake, and key turned only to “on” (not “all the way”) the other person under the hood jumps (electrically) from the big terminal on the starter solenoid to the small terminal. If Ford starts, it’s item 1, 2, or 3, or combination thereof, (automatic); or worn or mis-adjusted starting safety switch (standard).

Remember to be safe like I outlined above!!!

Thanks all for your helpful suggestions. I tried them first, and then when the tow truck driver arrived, he tried many of these suggestions himself, but nothing worked. However, you did point me in the right directionn, and you were right on. Ford dealership had to run diagnostics. The computer module had to be reprogrammed. Thankfully it only cost $180. The remote start is now disabled. But Ford suggested we might want to make repairs involving several new modules and tires for a total of $3000 - not doing that, obviously!