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No-Start Condition. Basics Checked, Parts Replaced, Running Out of Suspects


Pirate_W

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Hi Y'all,

Short-time lurker, first-time poster. I'm a long-term gearhead (35+ years of wrenching on American muscle, Euro vehicles from the '70s-90s, many late-model domestic cars & trucks, and various Asian makes, carbed, fuel injected, diesel, etc.) with good diagnostic skills, but I'm out of ideas on the next step in trying to get a friend's '02 (XLT, 3.0 V-6, automatic, 2WD) fixed. Since it's her sole vehicle and also her work truck, getting it going is a priority. As it stands, it will crank, but not start. If given starting fluid, it will start and run for a few moments, but that's it.

Here are the rough steps we've gone through (with who did the work in [brackets]):

  1. Truck was starting/running intermittently, ignition switch seemed iffy, was replaced. This included a new tumbler and two new non-PATS keys (an original coded PATS key is on the keyring). No crank after this. [owner]

  2. New starter installed. Still no crank via the key, but will crank (but not start) if starter solenoid is jumped to positive post on battery. [mechanic]

  3. I come onto the scene. Spark present. Power present to fuel pump relay and PCM relay, relays click, fuel pump whines. No fuel scent at tailpipe after multiple start attempts (no fuel pressure tester on hand at this point). MAF power & grounds good, but can't test signal because the engine won't run. [me]

  4. Owner does research and mentions camshaft position sensor/synchronizer as possible culprit. My research concurs. Age of parts is unknown, but vehicle has 175K on the odometer. Sensor/synchronizer replaced (using the guide on here -- thanks!). Old one was squeaky and had 1/16" lateral play at top of shaft. Still no start (still cranking via jumping the solenoid). [me]

  5. After going through five fuel injection test kits at three different AutoZone locations, finally find one that isn't missing the Ford Schrader valve adapter. Fuel pressure test shows 62 psi (engine not running, of course). [me]
So, there's not a whole lot more to suspect (as far as I can tell).

After doing a good bit of research on teh interwebs, I'm suspecting the PATS because of: 1) the inability to engage the starter via the key, and 2) the lack of fuel. As I said in the list above, the ignition switch/tumbler/keys were replaced and an original coded key is on the keyring. How critical is key proximity to the PATS sensor ring around the lock assembly? Does the coded key now need to be taped/glued/whatnot inside the sensor ring (as seems to be done with many "bypass" threads)?

Am I on the right track in suspecting PATS, or is there something else I'm missing?

Thanks in advance for the assistance on this!

- Shawn
 
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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 70D65189E6D8FF: January 5th, 2022

RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)
The posting part, lol.

PATS failure at Key On will flash the Anti-Theft light on the dash rapidly, with Key Off this light flashes every 5 seconds or so, does this light bulb work?

Take PATS key off the ring and lay on top of the steering column closer to the key slot.
It probably would work from a key ring but it would need to have very few keys on it as the metal of two larger keys sandwiching the PATS key would block the Radio Frequency used.

Yes it does read like a PATS issue, PATS disables fuel injectors, not spark, so if jumping starter relay and then spraying fuel into the intake gets engine to start, Cam sensor is fine and so is Crank sensor, but there is no fuel injector pulses or no fuel pressure, and you say you have fuel pressure, so.............


2002 V6 Ranger will have starter interrupt as part of PATS, but ALL Rangers also have Neutral Safety Switch(NSS), in an automatic is is called the DTR(digital transmission range) sensor, it is on the shift linkage of the transmission, drivers side.
Try Shifting trans to Neutral and see if starter motor works.
DTR sensor only passes the 12volts from ignition switch to starter relay if trans/sensor is in Park or Neutral position, if column shifter is loose(common Ford issue) then DTR may not be in Closed position in Park.

PATS keys can fail, while they don't need batteries they can still be damaged or just fail.
Most auto parts, and all locksmiths, have a machine that can tell you if an RFID Tag key, like a PATS key, is sending out a readable code number.

Any locksmith now-a-days can add PATS keys to any Ford vehicle, via Laptop and program.
And they can also Clone a WORKING PATS key.
If you take the current PATS key and the "new" non-PATS key to a locksmith, he can combine the two.
He will have "blank" PATS keys, Blank in that is has no RFID number yet, and blank because it needs to be cut to fit the lock.
He will read the RFID number from current PATS key, if it is working, then Write that RFID number to the Blank RFID key
Then cut that key by using "new" key that works in ignition cylinder.
So you could take that part(does PATS key need to be closer) off the table as part of or THE problem

And he could make two, lol, so you(she) has a spare
 
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Pirate_W

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Thanks for the welcome, RonD!

PATS failure at Key On will flash the Anti-Theft light on the dash rapidly, with Key Off this light flashes every 5 seconds or so, does this light bulb work?
The light bulb does indeed work and it was flashing rapidly with power on. This bit of information is a major clue. :icon_thumby:

PATS keys can fail, while they don't need batteries they can still be damaged or just fail.
Most auto parts, and all locksmiths, have a machine that can tell you if an RFID Tag key, like a PATS key, is sending out a readable code number.

Any locksmith now-a-days can add PATS keys to any Ford vehicle, via Laptop and program.
And they can also Clone a WORKING PATS key.
If you take the current PATS key and the "new" non-PATS key to a locksmith, he can combine the two.
He will have "blank" PATS keys, Blank in that is has no RFID number yet, and blank because it needs to be cut to fit the lock.
He will read the RFID number from current PATS key, if it is working, then Write that RFID number to the Blank RFID key
Then cut that key by using "new" key that works in ignition cylinder.
So you could take that part(does PATS key need to be closer) off the table as part of or THE problem
Excellent info. I will have to get her to get the RFID functionality checked. As for getting another PATS key by cloning one, all of the previous discussions on this I've seen have said that locksmiths/dealers/whoever will not do this unless two PATS keys are present, so as to prevent cloning by an unauthorized person (such as someone who was borrowing the vehicle). She only has the one PATS key, IIRC, but I suppose she could also take her title with her as proof.

ALL Rangers also have Neutral Safety Switch(NSS), in an automatic is is called the DTR(digital transmission range) sensor, it is on the shift linkage of the transmission, drivers side.
Try Shifting trans to Neutral and see if starter motor works.
DTR sensor only passes the 12volts from ignition switch to starter relay if trans/sensor is in Park or Neutral position, if column shifter is loose(common Ford issue) then DTR may not be in Closed position in Park.
I did consider that a possibility and jiggled/worked the shifter back-and-forth in both the P and N locations without success. I considered temporarily bypassing it, but didn't readily see how to do so for a DTR as opposed to a regular NSS.

I'll post an update after the PATS RFID check and other PATS-related steps have been done.

Thanks again!

- Shawn
 

RonD

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It does read like all the problems are failed PATS key read when key is turned on

If you have two working PATS keys you can add new PATS keys yourself, instructions are on line.
Two Cloned keys won't work, because as far as the PATS system is concerned they are the same key, not two different keys.

If current PATS key is not working, then a Mobile Locksmith with Ford software can come to the vehicle and add as many new PATS keys as you(she) likes, and cut them to match new key cylinder, I recommend 3, because if(when) you lose one you can add another yourself because you still have 2 working PATS keys

This is often cheaper than towing the vehicle in to have this done, worth a few phone calls to get prices

As far as I know most locksmiths will cut car keys without proof of ownership, not sure why PATS key would be any different
Now if you showed up at a dealer with just the VIN and wanted a new key you would have to provide proof of ownership, because VIN can be seen in the windshield.
Where having the key, even one, implies ownership, because if you have a working key why would you need another to "steal" the vehicle, and if key didn't work then making a copy wouldn't help, :)
 
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Pirate_W

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Where having the key, even one, implies ownership, because if you have a working key why would you need another to "steal" the vehicle, and if key didn't work then making a copy wouldn't help, :)
Well, you could return the vehicle & key to the owner, then use your own newly-created key to steal the vehicle later at your convenience and in circumstances least likely to implicate yourself.
 

RonD

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Well, you could return the vehicle & key to the owner, then use your own newly-created key to steal the vehicle later at your convenience and in circumstances least likely to implicate yourself.
That would be a stretch, and there would be no legal implications for the locksmith or dealer that made the copy.
Since you had the key in your possession it would be assumed the actual owner gave it to you, whether they did or not isn't relative.

It is not expensive to have "Do Not Duplicate" scribed on any key, that's up to the owner of that key
 

Pirate_W

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That would be a stretch, and there would be no legal implications for the locksmith or dealer that made the copy.
Since you had the key in your possession it would be assumed the actual owner gave it to you, whether they did or not isn't relative.

It is not expensive to have "Do Not Duplicate" scribed on any key, that's up to the owner of that key
Good points -- it would indeed be a stretch. Just postulating a situation. ;)
 


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