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Macathes

Remote car starter setting off alarm/not turning engine on

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Hello,

Recently purchased 2009 Ford Fusion with factory remote start. Up till a few days ago, it was working just fine. Now when I first attempt to start the car, the alarm goes off and the lights start blinking. I have to use my key to open the door for the alarm to stop. When I try to remote start it again, it will turn the car on but the engine will not turn over. It’s so frustrating and I’ve been looking for YouTube videos and info to avoid paying exorbitant fees at the dearlership just to look at it. When I try the remote start within the car, the cluster comes up with the engine light, battery light, oil light and the anti-theft light (that one blinks continuously). Funny enough, when I start the car with the key, I can press the remote starter and remove the key out of the ignition to keep the car running. Any ideas/help is much appreciated.

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Are you saying that the alarm stops immediately you open the door with key?

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Yes. The moment I unlock the door with the key, the alarm stops and the car is on-heat, radio are on but the engine is not running. When I press the brake, the car switches off. When I insert the key into the ignition to try and start the car whilst it’s on like that, it doesn’t allow me to do so.

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It sounds like something with the passive antitheft system (PATS) or remote start wiring has gone awry. In a nutshell, there is a antenna ring around where you put your key in that interrogates the chip in your key and verifies it's valid before the car is allowed to start. To get around not having a key in the ignition when remote starting, you glue another antenna ring for the remote start over the existing PATS ring during the install. When the remote start tries to start the car, the PATS interface module (which is a separate little box under the dash) sends a valid key code to the PATS system to allow starting. It has to be programmed to the car just like a third key would.  Once the engine starts there are no further checks for a PATS transponder so you can use the "continue running with key removed" feature since it authorized off your regular key when you started it.

 

Now the fact that the remote start is turning on the ignition means it's partially working. However the PATS light should not be blinking fast (that means there is a fault). The engine should still crank, but not start. To troubleshoot, try holding the plastic part of your regular car key flat right on the ignition (don't put the key in) and then try to use the remote start. That will allow the PATS to use your regular key as authorization. If it starts, then you know it's something with the remote start PATS interface module under the dash, which looks like this. If you remove the lower steering column cover, the ring should be glued around the ignition cylinder, the little box should be under the dash somewhere, and plug into the larger remote start module. Make sure that is all intact and didn't get bumped or the ring fell off the ignition. Try replugging it into the remote start module. If that's all good, I would try reprogramming the PATS for the remote start (procedure in the remote start manual). If you don't have a remote start manual I can find one if you tell me which system you have by describing what your fob looks like (shape, how many buttons, etc).

 

FYI in order for the engine to start, the brake lights must not be on, the interior dome lights must not be on (all doors closed), the hood must be closed, the car is in park, and there is no key in the ignition (key switch works). If there is an error, it should honk at you a certain number of times. Please tell me if there are any other electrical issues with the car. Make sure the key switch works by seeing if it dings at you when you open the drivers door with the key in the ignition, and that it stops when you remove the key.

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-The alarm should shut off when you unlock the door with the key:

Quote

Disarming the system

 

You can disarm the system by any of the following actions:
• Unlock the doors by using the remote entry transmitter portion of
your Integrated Keyhead Transmitter.
• Unlocking the doors using the keyless entry keypad (if equipped).
Unlock the driver’s door with a key. Turn the key full rearward
(toward the rear of the vehicle) to ensure the alarm disarms.

• Turn ignition to the 3 (on) position with a valid SecuriLock™ key.
• Press the panic control on the remote entry transmitter portion of
your IKT. This will only shut off the horn and turn lamps when the
alarm is sounding. The alarm system will still be armed.

-There was no factory-installed remote start in 2009.  There was a Ford-branded kit sold as an accessory for (recommended) dealer installation.  Is this what you have?

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In addition to the excellent functionality description of the autostart process, I would like to add to the point about the doors needing to be closed.

As stated, the remote start monitors the dome lights to determine if a door is open.

If the dome light bulbs are burned out or have been replaced with LED equivalents, the dome light monitoring circuit will assume that a door is open.

 

Excellent writeup by FusionDiffusion!!

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12 hours ago, FusionDiffusion said:

It sounds like something with the passive antitheft system (PATS) or remote start wiring has gone awry. In a nutshell, there is a antenna ring around where you put your key in that interrogates the chip in your key and verifies it's valid before the car is allowed to start. To get around not having a key in the ignition when remote starting, you glue another antenna ring for the remote start over the existing PATS ring during the install. When the remote start tries to start the car, the PATS interface module (which is a separate little box under the dash) sends a valid key code to the PATS system to allow starting. It has to be programmed to the car just like a third key would.  Once the engine starts there are no further checks for a PATS transponder so you can use the "continue running with key removed" feature since it authorized off your regular key when you started it.

 

Now the fact that the remote start is turning on the ignition means it's partially working. However the PATS light should not be blinking fast (that means there is a fault). The engine should still crank, but not start. To troubleshoot, try holding the plastic part of your regular car key flat right on the ignition (don't put the key in) and then try to use the remote start. That will allow the PATS to use your regular key as authorization. If it starts, then you know it's something with the remote start PATS interface module under the dash, which looks like this. If you remove the lower steering column cover, the ring should be glued around the ignition cylinder, the little box should be under the dash somewhere, and plug into the larger remote start module. Make sure that is all intact and didn't get bumped or the ring fell off the ignition. Try replugging it into the remote start module. If that's all good, I would try reprogramming the PATS for the remote start (procedure in the remote start manual). If you don't have a remote start manual I can find one if you tell me which system you have by describing what your fob looks like (shape, how many buttons, etc).

 

FYI in order for the engine to start, the brake lights must not be on, the interior dome lights must not be on (all doors closed), the hood must be closed, the car is in park, and there is no key in the ignition (key switch works). If there is an error, it should honk at you a certain number of times. Please tell me if there are any other electrical issues with the car. Make sure the key switch works by seeing if it dings at you when you open the drivers door with the key in the ignition, and that it stops when you remove the key.

This was such a wealth of info, thank you FusionDifusion. I definitely have a better understanding of how PATS works. I tried placing the plastic end of my key to the ignition like you suggested but unfortunately it did the same thing. I took a video of what happens when I attempt to remote start the car. I made sure I locked the doors and the windows were all the way up. I tried to attach it on here but the file is too big. I also took photos of my key fob and the remote starter. As far as I know, there aren’t any electrical issues. I took the car for an inspection about two weeks ago and they didn’t alert me to anything but they could’ve missed something.

I noticed that when I attempt to remote start the car, the engine light blinks a few times too before it becomes solid and when I start the car with the key, all the lights on the cluster turn off as normal. This problem started on Monday when we got a cold front (I live in Michigan) so I attributed it to the weather. The next day, I had to jump my car and turns out I had a bad car battery so I replaced it thinking that it may also have contributed to the remote start not working but it still did the same thing. 

C0F1D3DE-7EA1-47B4-BE2C-DDB0661F2237.jpeg

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The attached is probably the installation instructions for your remote start.

I don't think there are any fundamental differences between 09 and 12 models. 

Hope it helps.

2012 Car Remote Series 100.pdf

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52 minutes ago, eGuru said:

The attached is probably the installation instructions for your remote start.

I don't think there are any fundamental differences between 09 and 12 models. 

Hope it helps.

2012 Car Remote Series 100.pdf

Thank you for this. I’m convinced that the PATS is interfering with the remote starter so I would like to try to reprogram that. Could you send me a picture of what the remote start override button looks like and where exactly under the hood I can possibly find it?

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RemoteStartFix_5.jpg

 

There’s a picture of the button (different vehicle). It’s a button in a little cup. There is a red LED on the wires a little further up.

 

If the battery was disconnected that might have something to do with it. You might have to change some of the remote start setting too potentially.

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The remote start override button is found under the dash. Usually to the left of the steering column.

It is just a small pushbutton switch at the end of a  short black (usually) cable.

Often that cable is ty-wrapped to the bracket for the SJB so that it is easy to reach without reaching too far under the dash.

 

Edit - looks like I was composing this while fusiondiffusion was sending his response.

Edited by eGuru

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On 12/30/2017 at 9:20 PM, FusionDiffusion said:

RemoteStartFix_5.jpg

 

There’s a picture of the button (different vehicle). It’s a button in a little cup. There is a red LED on the wires a little further up.

 

If the battery was disconnected that might have something to do with it. You might have to change some of the remote start setting too potentially.

Thank you for this photo. I found the button with ease. I wanted to ask about the PATS keys. I only got one key when I got the car and so I went to get another key made from a local key shop and they programmed it. My question is, is that spare key considered a PATS key too?

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1 hour ago, Macathes said:

Thank you for this photo. I found the button with ease. I wanted to ask about the PATS keys. I only got one key when I got the car and so I went to get another key made from a local key shop and they programmed it. My question is, is that spare key considered a PATS key too?

 

If it works to start the engine, then it's a PATS key.

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