Can I use an OBDII sensor to reset my PATS?

I have been thinking about getting an OBDII adapter for my laptop for a while to be able to look inside my car’s (2003 Ford Focus SVT) brain. This is mostly for identifying check engine codes and for general interest. This is the kind of system I am talking about. Now I have the issue that the key cylinder is shot and needs to be replaced (apparently a common issue with Focuses). This is a quick and easy replacement, but the Passive Anti-Theft System requires that the new key codes be matched to the old ones (which means I need to get the dealer to do it), or that the PATS be reset to the new keys, which apparently requires some sort of J2534 interface device and software to do it. Initial checks seem to indicate that this kind of general device will cost around $1200.

So, is this the kind of job that a laptop-based OBDII device can do as well or do I have to suck it up and pay way too much for the dealer to do a 10 minute job? If this is the kind of job I can do on my laptop, is there a particular device out there you recommend?


Oh, and the second problem that happened at the same time, the driver’s side window is stuck down because the window support clip that attaches the window to the metal cable that brings it up and down and the guiding rail broke. Apparently you have to buy the whole window regulator assembly at once rather than just that part. It has been suggested I could buy the manual window assembly and that it might have the same plastic clip as the power one (I have power windows). Anyone know if that is true?

Sorry, can’t help you on the first question, I’m not really up on the electronic whizz-kiderry they put in modern cars, but if you’re just after a clip, get down your nearest breakers yard and find a similar model car to yours, rip it apart and see if the clip fits. Noone could charge you more than a few quid for a plastic clip that you went to the trouble of removing, would they?

I hope not. That is my next shot, but I haven’t had luck at the local junkyards here before.

I had an idea on the lock I am going to try tonight. You need two things to make the car go:

  1. A key that fits a lock and turns. This I can buy for $80 and install in five minutes.

  2. A key with the transponder code that matches what my car is expecting to see. I already have that in my old keys. This makes me wonder what is stopping me from using the new key in the ignition and keeping the old key on the same chain. Anyone see why this wouldn’t work? The computer would see the transponder codes from both keys, but how would it know that I don’t just have a second Ford key on my keyring and the old key in the ignition?

The other option is to install the new cylinder myself and have a locksmith come and reset the anti-theft system. Apparently the locksmith’s time will cost me about $125. This is better than I would pay for having the dealer do the whole job (over $300).

Oh, and so far all of the companies making OBDII sensors I have called have said that their systems cannot reset a PATS.

Update: I am awesome

For those who may be interested, I found the best way to handle this was to install the new cylinder, wrap the head of the new key in aluminum foil so it couldn’t send a signal, and hold the old key near the ignition when you turn it on. Thus, the new key turns the cylinder while the old key sends a signal to the PTAS. This works fine, but is not a long term solution.

For that I found instructions on how to add keys to the PATS that requires two working keys. You basically use one key to turn the ignition to on (not starting the car) for 1-10 seconds and then back off, within ten seconds use the second old key to turn the ignition to on for 1-10 seconds, and then within 20 seconds use a new key to turn the ignition on for 1-10 seconds. Presto, the new key now works in the car. I did this using a new key wrapped in foil with an old key nearby to simulate the old keys and now I have a perfectly working ignition with two keys. Of course I still need the old key for the door and the trunk (or the old fob).

I will be going to a junkyard on Saturday to try to find the part I need for the window.

In my experience, there is no correspondence between parts of manual window regulators and parts of power regulators. Totally different mechanisms.

I’d be surprised if the clip you seek is detachable (unless it breaks). If you get an entire used regulator, carefully inspect the cable for fraying and any plastic parts for cracks.

Thanks much. I guess I should try and remove the part fully before heading out to the junkyard.