If you’ve ever been the parent of a teenager that made it to driving age, or have worried about an elderly relative and their ability to drive on the roads safely, Ford has a system that can help to ease your concerns. The Ford MyKey system is an option available in most modern Ford vehicles, and provides driver restrictions and controls that are implemented on the car via use of a specific, programmed key, with the programming made possible by a second unprogrammed (administrator) key. Let’s dive into a bit more detail on the Ford MyKey feature, and explain how to program Ford key with only one key, and how to reset Ford MyKey without the admin key.
What exactly is Ford MyKey, and what are the advantages?
The Ford MyKey system was developed by Ford so that vehicle owners could program their car keys with specific restrictions placed on the keyholder, in an attempt to promote and enforce safe driving practices. Some of these restrictions include disabling touchscreen inputs when the vehicle is not parked, filtering satellite radio content and excluding adult content, earlier notification for low fuel levels, automatically enabling driver aids and alerts, the Belt-Minder system which will silence any radio or audio until seatbelts are fastened, and more.
Perhaps the most common feature that MyKey is known for is the ability to set specific speed limits that the operator cannot exceed, in addition to warnings and reminders when the system detects the vehicle is approaching the speed limits imposed. The MyKey system can be used to program all but one key for the vehicle, with the remaining unprogrammed key therefore recognized as an administrator key. The safety restrictions that are placed on the selected driver with the restricted key make the Ford MyKey system an excellent system for parents of teenage drivers to leverage so that they can ensure their child is driving safely.
To program a key (or keys) with the MyKey restrictions, at least two working keys are required – one key must remain unprogrammed and will function as an administrator key, and the second key (as well as any additional keys) will receive the programming restrictions. The administrator key acts like a parent key, and is used to access the ignition and vehicle functions. This allows the user to navigate the display menu to get to MyKey settings, and then specify what restrictions are placed on the second (child) key. Should the conditions change and the decision is made to provide an unrestricted key to the vehicle, the limitations on the programmed key can usually be removed easily by use of the second, unprogrammed administrator key, following the same navigation that was used to program the key initially.
However, there are some expensive repercussions that could happen should any of the keys become lost – specifically, the administrator key. If you have the admin key, it’s relatively easy to disable the MyKey restrictions; you can do this by turning the vehicle on with the admin key, and then navigating the menu in the vehicle to Settings, then MyKey settings. If you want to clear the restrictions from all keys, you can select Clear MyKey, and then hold OK until the system confirms the keys are cleared. However, should you find yourself needing instruction on how to reset Ford MyKey without the admin key, or you need steps on how to program a Ford key with only one key, keep reading.
How to Reset Ford MyKey Without Admin Key
There are two possible solutions for how to program a Ford key with only one key available: the first option will require at least one working vehicle key associated with a vehicle that has the remote start option, and the second option exists for anyone whose Ford does not have a remote start option.
If you have a working vehicle key, and the vehicle has a remote start option
The following steps will clear all MyKey settings, and restore the key(s) back to administrator level.
First, verify that the key you are in possession of has the MyKey restrictions enabled. When you turn the ignition to the On position using the key, you will see a prompt on your dash display for MyKey that reminds you to drive safely.
Now, remove the key from the ignition. While remaining seated inside the vehicle, proceed to lock it using the key fob.
Next, start the vehicle while still sitting inside using the remote start function. The display will briefly cycle through the MyKey screen before returning back to the main page. Navigate through the menu to Settings, then scroll down to the MyKey settings, and look for the option to “Clear MyKey.” Highlight that option, and then hold down the OK button on the steering wheel until the screen confirms that the MyKey features have been cleared. This will restore the remaining key back to an administrator function.
Turn the vehicle off, and then unlock and start the car as you normally would to verify that the updates are in effect.
If you have one vehicle key, but the vehicle does not have a remote start option and the remaining key has the MyKey programming enabled
In most cases, if you were to call your local Ford dealer to inquire what to do next, they would tell you that you would need to go to a locksmith or through your local Ford dealer to request a new vehicle key to be cut and programmed. This new key would not have any MyKey programming attached to it, and could potentially be used as an administrator key on the vehicle once it has been cut and coded by the dealer or locksmith.
Most people are not content with this option, as it can run upwards of $200 or more to have a replacement vehicle key cut and programmed for regular use. As a way to get around this, some Ford owners have discovered a way to reprogram a key by using a program called FORScan. In addition to being able to de-program and reprogram keys, there are other diagnostic functions available by using FORScan, but this tool can be helpful for the purpose of saving some money in labor costs and being able to program new keys in the future should it ever be needed.
Using the FORScan tool, if only one remaining key is available for the vehicle and it still contains MyKey restrictions, then all keys will usually need to be removed from the vehicle’s memory and new ones re-programmed. To complete this, you will need the following:
- An extended license for the FORScan software,
- Two vehicle keys (the old remaining key with restrictions, plus a new replacement key; programming of the replacement key is optional, but it will need to be cut for use with the vehicle), and
- A cable link that can connect via USB to a computer or laptop on one end, and interface into the OBD reader of the vehicle with the other (there is a reference chart at this FORScan forum, which also has a link to this particular connector to use).
There is a thorough walkthrough that has been captured on this particular thread, but in summary: you will use a computer and the FORScan software to interface with the vehicle’s onboard computer and tell it to “forget” the previously programmed keys, and then complete appropriate steps to re-program a new set of keys.
A word of caution: the process to erase and re-program is a very specific and exact process, with little to no room for error. Failure to correctly program a working pair of keys will result in the operator not being able to start the vehicle, so make sure you are following the correct instruction path for programming the new keys as it pertains to your vehicle. One set of instructions will require the use of coded access, and the user must enter the correct outcodes and incodes while programming the keys; the other will rely on timed access, with the user plugging the diagnostic computer into the OBD port of the vehicle and then waiting for a minimum of 10 minutes before being able to access the features needed.
With the appropriate working knowledge of how the Ford MyKey system functions, along with knowing how to utilize software and tools to work around the unfortunate situation of missing or replacement keys, Ford’s MyKey system can be a beneficial option to help monitor and enforce safe driving habits when the ability to monitor their driving or ride along with the driver does not exist. Should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of losing the admin key, these steps should help get you back on the road (and hopefully, back on the road without any of the imposed restrictions from the MyKey system) with relative ease.