How To Program a Ford Transponder Key With Only One Key In 2023

Setting up a transponder key for your ford car will get you out of a lot of trouble in the future. For example, some people love having a transponder key but not setting it up.

This way, if they ever lock themselves out of the car, they have an extra key that will unlock the car but not start the vehicle.

And others love having a transponder key in case the original key ever goes missing.

So, in this guide, we’ll go through a couple of steps on how to program a ford transponder key but only using a single key.


How to Program a Ford Transponder Key with Only One Key: You Need To Know Everything!

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

How Expensive are Transponder Keys?

Transponder keys are incredibly useful. You might not realize until your key goes missing, and the only thing you have inside your pocket is a transponder key to save the day.

But as useful as they are, transponder keys can be expensive. While the key itself is cheap, having someone set it up is what makes this convenient key absurdly expensive.

The price always depends on where you live and who you hire. But, we have seen those types of keys cost about $250-300.

But if you decide to set it up yourself, you find a nice pair of new keys for the vehicle for roughly $20. So, you’d be saving up $280 just by taking a few minutes off your free time to learn a new useful skill.

That is quite the deal, isn’t it?

DIY Guide: How to Set up a Ford Transponder Key Using One Key

So, you got your transponder key, but you only have on hand, and no matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to get it working. So, you end up feeling hopeless.

Many only guides skip over the fact that you might only have a single key on you. And some people will talk you out of it if you bring up the fact that you can program a transponder key using one key.

Don’t worry! We’ll teach you how to set up a ford transponder key if you only have one key on hand. We will also learn how to do it without the original key.

To do this, here is what you need to do:

How to Set up a Transponder without the Master Key

Before we get started, you must know that once you program the new master key, there is no going back. Any old key you have will stop working when we do this.


Now that you know the consequences here is how to program a Ford transponder key without original:

  • Have the new master key cut so that it matches the original
  • Put the key inside the ignition, and turn on the car.
  • Leave it on for about 15 minutes until you notice that the security light is gone.
  • After that, you must wait for about 3 minutes to turn off the car
  • Now turn it back on.
  • After that, you want to repeat that process three times to program the new key.
  • And finally, you should now have a new working master key.

And that is how you set up a transponder key without the master.

Things You Will Need

You now know how to set up a key without the original one. But what if you have the master key and want to set up a transponder key? Then you’re in the right place.

We’ll only need a few things throughout this guide. Here is what you must get to set up your key:

  • The original key—as we said before, you don’t need both the slave and the master key. As long as you have the master key, you will get by just fine.
  • A functional laptop—we’ll download two programs to set up the keys. So, it’s a must you have a computer or anything you can run windows-based programs.
  • A USB OBD2 device—this is the most crucial part as the OBD2 device will allow us to connect the car to the computer when we begin the setup.

Make sure you get all those tools as you won’t be able to follow through this tutorial without the tools above.

01. Cut the keys

To learn how to program a Ford transponder chip key, you first need to cut the transponder keys to match the original. Otherwise, they won’t work, and you will waste your time.

To cut your keys, you will have to find a locksmith. Locksmiths know what they’re doing, so it’s best to hit them up if you need to cut your keys.

When you get your keys cut, if you attempt to put them in the ignition cylinder, they won’t turn on the car. Don’t worry! We still have a lot to do before we get the new keys working.

02. Download the Software

Now that got the keys cut: we need to download software to set up the keys. If we don’t download the software, we won’t be able to get any further, so make sure to download it.

We recommend using FORScan software. It is a pretty straightforward and effective method to install the new software on your transponder key.

If you want to know more about the FORScan software, here is a video that can help you:

03. OBD Software

Once you have successfully activated the ForScan software, we need to download another software for the OBD adapter. Don’t worry! The OBD software is the last software we’ll download to get everything running.

Here is how to program Ford pats transponder key through an OBD device:

  • Every OBD is different, so the process for your OBD might take other steps.
  • Most OBD devices come with a disk that you can run on your computer to install the drivers for your device.
  • If your OBD did not come with a disk to install drivers, you must go to the manufacturer’s website and try to find the download section for the model you bought.
  • Once you download the software, open it up to install the driver.
  • Now you need to follow the instructions laid out on the installation guide.
  • Once you install the drivers, you’re ready to move on to the next part.

04. Connect the device

After you set up the drivers for your OBD device, you need to connect the OBD to your car. By doing this, we will be able to use the PC to configure the keys.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Find the OBD connector on your car and plug it in.
  • After that, connect the USB to your laptop. This way, we will connect to the car through the computer.

Once you have done that: you’re pretty much done.

05. Set up the keys

We’re now getting closer to the final steps. After you have installed the drivers for your OBD adapter on your computer, it’s time to set up the key using the FORScan software.

Setting up the keys takes a few steps. So, you want to read carefully the steps: to get the keys working. Also, take as much time as needed if you find it hard.

With that being said, here is how to program a transponder key ford:

  • First and foremost, when you have plugged in the OBD adapter, do not attempt to drive the vehicle while using your laptop. Instead, head to your computer and open up FORSscan
  • Now you need to click on the plug icon to switch to real mode. If you can’t find the icon, hover your mouse over the plug icon and click on the one that says “connect to the vehicle.”
  • From there, a few windows will pop up to make sure you have everything set up. So, click on “yes” if you have everything on hand.
  • The program will begin to scan your car. This process can take a few minutes. So, don’t worry if it takes some time to load
  • Once everything has successfully loaded, head over to the wrench icon.
  • Now, you want to click on the “PATS programming” section, and then click on the play button so that it can run.
  • Another window will pop up, explaining what you need to do. Click “ok” to continue with the setup.
  • After that, select the “ignition key programming” option.
  • Here, another screen will begin to load. This process could take a few minutes before it loads
  • As the screen loads, another window will pop up, asking you to interset the master key inside the ignition, so make sure to do that.
  • When the screen loads, a window will appear to let you know that the key has been set up.

06. Program the Transponder Key

By using the FORScan program, we registered the master key in the system. But we haven’t programmed the keys we bought. So, that is what we will be doing in this section.

To program the keys, follow these steps:

  • Open up FORScan in case you shut it down.
  • Hover the mouse over the wrench icon and click on it.
  • Select the PATS programming option again, and then click on the play button.
  • From there, the process setting up the transponder key is the same as before. So, make sure you have everything the warning windows tell you to have.
  • At some point, a warning window will pop up. In that warning, the program will ask you to insert the new key inside the ignition. So, go ahead and do that to get the key working.
  • Now you can disconnect, and your keys should be working just fine.

And that’s how you program your keys for your ford vehicle. If you need a video to help you get through all those steps, we highly recommend watching this video:

Ford Transponder Key Recommendations

As you can tell by now, there is a lot that goes behind setting a transponder key using one key.

If you want to program transponder key ford without the original, the process gets a little bit tricky as not all cars allow you to do so without the master key.

So, if you happen to be in a similar situation, we recommend that you go to a Ford dealer and get a new master key.

Not having the original will hold you back from several things. So, you must get a new one.

But if you have the master key, you can set up new transponder keys any time you want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There is a lot to cover about transponder keys. So, we gathered the most common questions about transponder keys. This way, you can learn more about them.

Here are the five most common questions about programming transponder keys:

Can you program a Ford key yourself?

Yes, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to have someone program a transponder key for you.

The process is pretty straightforward, and it’s worth taking the time to learn a new skill.

How much does it cost to program a transponder key?

Some places will go as far as charging you a whopping $300 for a brand new programmed transponder key. However, you can save lots of money if you do it yourself.

Can you program a key with only one key?

You will hear a lot of people saying that it’s impossible to program a key if you only have one. But in reality, you can program a new key as long as you have the master key on hand.


To wrap things up: learning how to program a Ford transponder key only using one key is not as bad as it sounds.

The amount of money you save by taking a few minutes off your schedule is mind-blowing. So, it’s worth the trade-off.

And you will have lots of fun in the process as it does not take much time.

So, next time you want to program a transponder key and someone tells you that you need both the master key and the slave key to program a new one, you can prove to them that you only need one key. is a participant of the Amazon Affiliate program. We may earn a small commission if you purchase through our recommended links. More details.

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