Ford and Lincoln Dead Key Fob Help: Part II, Getting Started

Starting Your Ford or Lincoln

Ford and Lincoln vehicles employ far too many backup methods, with new variations added seemingly each year. For full- and mid-size vehicles, insert the Intelligent Access key in the backup slot, located in the glove box, the center console, or in or under the cup holders, depending on the model. The Ford Escape, Focus and Fiesta models use other methods, which are addressed below. We have a bakers dozen options shown here.

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The backup slot for full- and mid-size vehicles is the same as that used for key programming. In all cases, the slots do not look at all obvious, except that they are the proper size for the Intelligent Access key.

After inserting the key into the backup slot, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. The vehicle should respond normally as long as the Intelligent Access key is in the slot. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish. But first, you will need to locate the slot.

Locating the Back-up Slot

Lincoln MKS backupThe Lincoln MKS is unique in using the glove box as the location for the backup slot. It is to the far right side under the glove box door, and may be difficult to reach. Slip the Intelligent Access key down into the slot with buttons facing out and with key ring up or out. See the image. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

The backup slot is located in the center console in the Ford Taurus, Fusion, Explorer, Expedition and Flex and the Lincoln MKC, MKT, MKX and Navigator. The exact location will vary somewhat. Most consoles are filled with stuff, so you may need to dig a bit.

Ford Lincoln Console backupIn the Ford Taurus, Expedition and Flex and Lincoln Navigator the Intelligent Access key slot is to the rear or the side of the console and points up. The key is slipped in vertically or horizontally depending on the slot’s shape, with the buttons facing out, as in the image shown. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. If it fails to start, turn the fob so that the buttons face back and try again. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

You will find a video of the process here that will help.

Ford Lincoln Front Console backupIn Ford Explorer, Edge and Fusion and Lincoln MKT, MKZ Hybrid (2013) and new (2017) Continental models, the slot is found near the Auxiliary, USB and power ports in the center console, like the one shown. The Intelligent Access key is slipped in with the buttons facing out (in the Explorer we had, the vehicle started with the buttons facing either direction) and the key ring up. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

We have a video for this process as well here.

Lincoln Front Console backupIn the Lincoln MKC and MKX, the backup slot is to the front of center console, also found near the Auxiliary, USB and power ports, as shown. The Intelligent Access key is slipped in with the buttons facing out and the key ring up. The slot is impossible to see and you may want to feel for the ribbing at the bottom of the slot. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

Mustang MKZ backupNew in the 2014 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid, the 2015 Ford Mustang and the 2017 Fusion, the backup slot is hidden under the cup holders. A rubber mat at the bottom of the cup holders will need to be removed (A) to expose the slot (B), as shown. Of course any cups will have to come out too! Look for a tab towards the front or the side of the mat to grab and pull (gently!)*. After inserting the key, buttons up, in the exposed slot, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the car is started, the Intelligent Access key can be removed and the mat, and any cups, replaced.

*Important: If you do not find a pull tab, do not try removing the mat. Simply place the key fob in the rear cup holder and start the car as normal.

Find another video for these models here.

Ford Pick-up OnePush Button Start is new to the Ford Pick-up line in 2015, and it has two back-up start options. If the shifter is on the steering column, look inside the center console to the rear for the slot. Note that there are two console storage areas. The one needed and shown is beneath the center bench seat. Insert the Intelligent Access key with the buttons facing to the back and the key ring up. Then use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

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Ford Pick-up TwoIf the shifter is on the center console, the slot will be under the rubber mat in front of the shifter. Remove the mat and insert the Intelligent Access key with the buttons facing up. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

There is also a video of the Pick-up procedures here.

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Transmitter IconColumn Slot CoverThe compact Ford Focus has five variations alone, with the Ford Escape and C-Max sharing two of them and the Ford Fiesta sharing one. The fifth Focus variation belongs to 2016 models only. All are located on the right side of the steering column near the windshield wiper lever. First, look for either a radiating symbol printed on the column like the image to the left or for a round cover, shown to the right. These locations are where communications from the Intelligent Access key are picked up by the vehicle.

Ford Column Slot backupIf you see the transmitter symbol, which may have a key or tower in between the radiating lines, and you have a three button Intelligent Access key, slip the key into a small slot beneath the symbol, as shown. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

Ford Side Column backupIf you have a five button Intelligent Access key, place the key against the transmitter symbol, as shown in the image, and start the vehicle. The vehicle will recognize the key, even if the key’s battery is dead. Use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual.

Ford Slot Under CoverIf you see a cover, like the one shown above, there are two options. If a small slot or notch is visible, as seen in the image, pry off the cover using the mechanical key and insert the Intelligent Access key, as shown. After inserting the key, use the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal to start your vehicle as usual. Once the vehicle is started, the key can be removed from the backup slot, if you wish.

Fiesta Cover Touch backupIf the covering does not have a slot or notch to pry off the cover, which will include Fiesta models, simply hold the Intelligent Access key against the cover, similar to the five-button process shown above and as shown here, and start your vehicle using the Start / Stop ignition button and brake pedal as usual. The vehicle will recognize the key, even if the key’s battery is dead.

Focus consoleFinally, a change for the 2016 Focus. The back-up slot will be found at the bottom of the center console. With the console open, you’ll need to remove the storage tray, as shown, and everything stored in it!

Place the key fob flat on the symbol at the bottom of the console storage compartment with the buttons facing up. With the fob in this back up location, the car can be started using the Start / Ford console 2Stop button and stepping on the brake as normal.

Note: If you have made an attempt to start the vehicle without success, there may be residual pressure in the brake system and a new warning light may appear (left) or text Engine Start Operation Indicatormessage to Step on the Brake. Press the brake pedal very, very hard when trying to start the vehicle again to be sure that the release switch behind the pedal is engaged. Check out this page for more!

… Return to Part I

Ford and Lincoln Dead Key Fob Help: Part I, Getting In

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* Keep these instruction with you in our Dead Key FOB App. Search “Dead Key FOB” at your device’s store or click here.

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