Everything About the Ford F150 Theft Codes!

The theft prevention system is a useful security measure. But the headache caused by the false alarms is not something that can be overlooked. So it is important to know what is represented by the codes. 

So, what is the ford f150 theft code

Each of the Ford F15 theft codes represents a different issue and has a different fix. Steering column, PCM, or fuse issues cause Code 16. Code 15 indicates battery, dash, and key fob issues. Unrecognized keys cause Code 13. All the theft codes can be resolved by resetting the system. 

This just brushes over the codes and what causes them. Details about the codes and how to resolve them can be found right in this article. 

What Does the Ford F150 Theft Code Mean?

The Ford F150 theft code is a feature of the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) in the vehicle. PATS is designed to prevent theft by disabling the engine from starting unless the proper key is used.

ford f150 anti theft bypass
Source: vehiclehistory.com

The anti-theft warning light will blink once every two seconds whenever the PATS are active. This serves two purposes: one is to demonstrate that the system operates as intended and the other is to discourage theft. 

The system will prohibit the engine from starting and will set the theft code. That is if it detects an attempt to hotwire the car or if an improper key is used to start the vehicle.

However, the PATS system can trigger a false alarm in some situations. In such cases, the anti-theft indicator light may continue to flash, even if the correct key is used. 

For example, if there are loud noises or vibrations in the environment, the system may mistake them for attempted theft. And activate the anti-theft indicator light. Similarly, if another car bumps into the F150, the system may interpret it as an attempted theft.

In some cases, false alarms may also occur due to technical issues with the system. Such as a faulty sensor or a problem with the PATS module.

Here are the theft codes summarized: 

Code numberCause
Code 16Issue with the steering column, fuse, PCM.
Code 15Issue with the battery connection, connection to the dash, and key fob. 
Code 13Is not recognizing the key.
Code 12Issue with the transponder.
Code 11No connection between the PATS module and coil

Sometimes an issue with the system may prevent the theft light from blinking. This can be seriously risky for the truck, so have it resolved ASAP.

Ford F150 Theft Code 16:

The Ford F150 theft code 16 could be related to a problem with the steering column, specifically the ignition switch. The ignition switch could be worn or damaged, causing the vehicle’s anti-theft system to trigger.

Additionally, a faulty PCM (Powertrain Control Module) could also be a potential cause for code 16 to appear. The PCM controls various systems within the vehicle, including the engine and transmission. And a faulty unit can cause issues with the vehicle’s starting system. 

Similarly, a blown fuse could cause electrical issues, including problems with the anti-theft system. Even having a fuse with the wrong specifications can trigger the system. 

How to Fix:

The solution requires you to look at a few different components.  

Step 1: Check The Steering Column

For Ford theft code 16 fix, check the condition of the ignition switch and wiring within the steering column. If the switch is worn or damaged, it may need to be replaced. 

This can be done by removing the steering column cover and accessing the ignition switch. Replace the ignition switch and wiring as necessary.

Step 2: Check the Fuse

Inspect the vehicle’s fuses to see if any have blown. Replace any blown fuses to restore power to the anti-theft system. 

Also, check to ensure that the fuse is of the right specification. Having a fuse with a lower or higher ampere can trigger the PATS as well. 

Step 3: Inspect the Transceiver

The transceiver is part of the anti-theft system that communicates with the key. Inspect the transceiver and wiring for damage or corrosion. Replace or repair as necessary.

Step 4: Check the PCM

If the PCM is faulty, it may need to be repaired or replaced. This requires specialized tools and expertise. So it’s recommended to take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic or Ford dealer for diagnosis and repair.

Step 5: Visit a Mechanic 

It is possible that it is safer to take the vehicle to a Ford dealership or a technician and let them handle the problem themselves. Having a trained technician reset the system will cost you close to $80. Having the key reprogrammed will cost a little extra.

Ford F150 Theft Code 15:

Ford F150 theft code 15 can have several potential causes, including a faulty connection to the dash, etc. 

A faulty connection to the dash can occur if there is a loose or damaged connection with the PATS system. This can prevent the system from properly communicating with the key fob, leading to the theft code 15.

A faulty circuit board can also cause the theft code 15 on a Ford F150. This can occur if the circuit board in the key fob or the key transceiver is damaged or malfunctioning. When the PATS system is unable to properly communicate with the key, it can trigger the theft code 15.

Not enough power from the battery is also another reason. If the battery in the key fob is low, it may not properly transmit the signal to the PATS. Similarly, if the battery is low or failing, it may not provide enough power to the PATS system.

How to Fix:

Fix mainly concerns the battery, circuit, and connections. 

Step 1: Check the Battery

Ensure that the battery in the key fob is working correctly. You can try replacing the battery to see if this resolves the issue. Similarly, ensure that the battery in the vehicle is not failing and providing sufficient power.

Here is what you should do if the battery of the F150 is not charging.

Step 2: Disconnect the Battery

Disconnecting the battery from your Ford F150 for approximately 60 minutes can reset the PATS system and may help clear the code.

Step 3: Check the Connection

Check the connection between the PATS system and the dash. Ensure that the connection is tight and not damaged.

Step 4: Replace the Key Fob

If the key fob is faulty, it may need to be replaced. You can get a replacement key fob from your Ford dealer or a qualified locksmith.

Step 5: Replace the Key Transceiver

If the key transceiver is faulty, it may need to be replaced. This is a component of the PATS system that communicates with the key fob. Replacing this component requires removing the steering column cover and disconnecting the wiring harness.

Step 6: Replace the Circuit Board

If the circuit board in the key fob or the key transceiver is faulty, it may need to be replaced. This requires opening the key fob or key transceiver and soldering a new circuit board onto the existing components.

Step 7: Reset the System 

If nothing else works, visit a mechanic or the Ford dealership to have the PATS reset. 

Ford F150 Theft Code 13:

When the theft light on your Ford F150 blinks fast for 45 seconds and then goes solid, it indicates Ford F150 theft code 13

The most common cause of code 13 is using the wrong key. If you have multiple keys for your vehicle, make sure you’re using the correct one. 

However, there can be other causes of code 13 as well. For example, the transceiver may have trouble identifying the key, which can result in the engine being disabled. 

Another possible cause of code 13 is a problem with the fuel supply or spark plugs. If the engine isn’t getting enough fuel or spark, it may not start properly. This can trigger the PATS system and cause code 13 to appear.

How to Fix:

The fix for code 13 mainly focuses on using the right key. 

Step 1: Use the Correct Key

The main cause of this problem is a mismatching key. So make sure you are using the correct key.

Step 2: Use a Spare Key 

Sometimes the key becomes too damaged for the car to recognize it. Use a spare key to start the car and the code should not appear. 

Step 3: Check the Transceiver

If the transceiver is having trouble identifying the key, it may need to be replaced or repaired. This is a job best left to a qualified mechanic or Ford dealer.

Step 4: Check the Fuel Supply And Spark Plugs

If the engine isn’t getting enough fuel or spark, it may not start properly. Check the fuel supply and spark plugs to ensure they’re functioning correctly. If there’s an issue, it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Issues with the fuel supply can cause the engine to die after starting as well. 

Step 5: Reset the System

If none of the aforementioned steps work, you may want to reset the system. Visit a mechanic or the dealership for the best results in this case. 

Ford F150 Theft Code 12:

Ford F150 theft code 12 may appear if there is a problem with the transponder. It is a small chip in the key that communicates with the PATS system.

As mentioned, the main cause of Theft Code 12 is a damaged or faulty transponder in the key. This can occur if the key has been dropped or exposed to water or other environmental factors If the transponder is damaged, it may not be able to communicate properly with the PATS system.

Other potential causes of theft code 12 can include a faulty wiring connection or a problem with the instrument cluster. It’s also possible that the code may appear if the battery in the vehicle.

How to Fix:

Though the main cause is usually the transponder, you should take a look at some other aspects as well. 

Step 1: Check the Battery And The Key Fob

Just like the fix of code 15, check the battery, the connections, and the key fob. Replace any of the damaged components. 

Step 2: Replace the Key Receiver

If you are sure you are using the correct key, the key receiver may be the one causing the problem. Replace it if it is damaged. 

Step 3: Replace the Dashboard Instruments Cluster

If the instrument cluster is faulty, it may need to be replaced. This requires removing the dashboard and disconnecting the wiring harnesses.

Replace the Dashboard Instruments Cluster
Source: carbuzz.com

Step 4: Replace the Transponder

Replacing the transponder in the key is a possible fix for Theft Code 12. A new key with a working transponder must be programmed. It can be done by yourself or by a qualified locksmith or Ford dealer.

Tips for Preventing the Theft Codes

Here are something you should look out for-

  • Keep your key in good condition and avoid exposing it to water or other environmental factors that could damage the transponder.
  • Have a spare key available in case of loss or damage to the primary key.
  • Use caution when purchasing used keys or key fobs, as they may not work properly with your vehicle’s PATS system.
  • Keep the battery in your key fob and vehicle in good condition to ensure proper communication with the PATS system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the Ford theft mode?

Ford theft mode is a security feature that is activated when the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) detects an unauthorized attempt to start the vehicle. The system prevents the vehicle from starting until the issue is resolved by a qualified mechanic or Ford dealer.

How do I get my truck out of theft mode?

The best way to get your truck out of theft mode is to reset the PATS system with the help of a qualified mechanic or Ford dealer. Attempting to reset the system yourself could potentially cause more damage or lead to further issues.

What triggers the Ford anti-theft system?

The Ford anti-theft system is triggered when it detects an unauthorized attempt to start the vehicle, which can be caused by various factors such as using an incorrect or unauthorized key, faulty wiring, or tampering with the system.

End words

And with that, we know what the ford f150 theft code means and how to solve them. 

If any of the solutions seem daunting to you, do not be afraid of seeking help from a professional. 

Good luck!

Similar Posts