How to Program a Ford Explorer Keyby Leonardo R. Grabkowski
Second, third and fourth-generation Ford Explorers (1995 to 2010) come with Ford's SecuriLock key system. As with many modern vehicles, this system uses a computer chip to reduce the likelihood of theft. There are drawbacks to the system. Not all keys can be programmed to crank the vehicle--only Ford's SecuriLock keys can. Additionally, keys can only be programmed if you already have two working keys. This is helpful for programming a spare key. Up to eight keys can be programmed to your Explorer. If you don't have two working keys, a Ford dealer will have to erase the old codes and program the keys with Ford's scanner and software. According to the Explorer's owner's manual, this can be costly. It's best to program several spare keys, in case you lose the originals.
Purchase a Ford SecuriLock key blank from your Ford dealer. This is the only type of key that can be programmed to your Explorer.
Have the key cut to match your existing keys. Your Ford dealer can cut the key for you, or you can have an automotive locksmith cut the key.
Insert one of your currently programmed keys into the ignition cylinder. Turn this key to the "On" position for at least three seconds (but no longer than 10). Turn the key to the "Off" position and remove it.
Insert your second working key into the ignition. Turn the key to the "On" position for at least three, but no longer than 10, seconds. Turn the key to the "Off" position and remove it.
Insert the key you want to program into the ignition cylinder within 20 seconds of removing the last key. Turn the key to the "On" position for at least three (but no longer than 10) seconds. Turn the key to the "Off" position and remove it.
Re-insert the key and try to crank the engine. If it cranks, the procedure was successful. If it doesn't, wait 20 seconds and try entire the procedure again.