Understanding The Ford “MyKey” System

Feb 6th 2023

The Ford "MyKey" System first debuted in 2008 and was released on the Ford Taurus. In 2010 the MyKey System became standard equipment on the Ford Focus. This system was designed specifically as a parental control device. With the Ford MyKey System, certain settings in the vehicle can be controlled by this feature. Once a key is configured to be a MyKey “Admin” Key, the holder of this key can restrict settings on the vehicle any time a MyKey “User” Key is used to drive the vehicle, These restrictions include but are not limited to, a speed limiter, a stereo volume limiter, radio content limitations, and an early low fuel level warning indicator. Any key programmed to start the vehicle can be made into a MyKey Admin Key so long as the MyKey System is not yet active or if an existing MyKey Admin Key is already available. When the MyKey System is active and a MyKey User Key is used to operate the vehicle a warning is displayed in the DIC/Driver’s Information Center (See Picture 1).

A MyKey Admin key can be used to adjust any of the limitations of the system, using the vehicle’s steering wheel controls or radio-mounted menu buttons. Here is an example of a MyKey Admin Menu (See Picture 2).

At this point, you might be asking yourself why this is relevant to a Locksmith like yourself. If you haven’t already, you will see these vehicles with the MyKey System active and your customer has no idea how to deactivate the system. This usually happens right after a customer purchases a new used vehicle. The MyKey System is either active and the customer doesn’t notice it before the purchase or because the customer is trying to familiarize themselves with their new vehicle and they inadvertently turn on the MyKey System.

Understanding this system can bring an added benefit to the services you provide and can generate some extra revenue for you. So if you are asked to deactivate a MyKey System on these Ford Vehicles there are two ways to do this. If the customer has the MyKey Admin Key you can simply use the steering wheel controls or the radio mounted menu buttons, with the MyKey Admin Key in the ignition, and turn off the system. If the customer does not have a MyKey Admin Key, you can still turn this system off.

What you will need to do is to make sure the customer has two keys to their vehicle. If they do not, you will need to sell the customer a second key. Once you have two keys cut for the vehicle, perform a “clear and erase” on the vehicle. Cycle two keys into the vehicle’s memory. In most cases, this is all it takes to deactivate the MyKey System. In some cases, after a clear and erase, the MyKey System will still be active.

In these cases, both of the keys that you just programmed to the vehicle will be Admin Keys. Use either of the keys in conjunction with the steering wheels controls or the radio-mounted menu buttons and deactivate the MyKey System. Keep in mind the Ford Dealer charges anywhere from 55.00 to 185.00 to “turn off” the MyKey System if the customer already has two working keys. With this in mind, you now have the opportunity to charge the customer a small upcharge for deactivating the MyKey System on their vehicle.