How to Override the Transponder on a Ford Expedition

Written by susanne koenig
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How to Override the Transponder on a Ford Expedition
Transponders are tiny transmitters in your Expedition keys and can be bypassed with effort (Close up pictures of different tags used in RFID image by Albert Lozano from

If you are installing a remote starter or you want to start your car with an inexpensive key copied at the hardware store instead of a transponder key, there are two ways to override the transponder in your Ford's ignition. Both options will render your car less secure but can be done cheaply and without a professional installation. Rewiring your car is required if you wish to install a remote starter that will bypass the transponder key mechanism, but can be done easily with the purchase of a specialised kit.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Universal transponder bypass kit
  • Transponder key
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pliers

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  1. 1

    Take your transponder key and the pliers. Use the pliers to grasp the black plastic head of the key where the key joins the head. Do not grab it at the top--you will crush the transponder, which is a small glass tube with a circuit inside. Wiggle the head back and forth until it comes free from the key.

  2. 2

    Use your hot glue gun to place a large dot of glue just under your ignition on the underside of the steering column. Place the key's head in the dot of glue and allow to dry.

  3. 3

    Start your Explorer as you normally would. If it does not start, reposition the transponder closer to the ignition.

  1. 1

    Purchase a bypass transponder kit, either specifically made for your Explorer or a universal bypass kit. Make sure you purchase a kit made specifically to accommodate a remote starter if you plan on installing a remote starter. These kits may be different depending on the make and model of your Expedition.

  2. 2

    Bypass the transponder circuitry by following the specific directions for your particular bypass kit. The bypass will match your car's wires by colour. Attach these wires as specified by the manufacturer and test your ignition.

  3. 3

    Call an automotive locksmith if you have difficulty getting your car to start afterward. An automotive locksmith will provide you with advice and if they have to help you with the install will charge you much less than a dealership or a local auto mechanic. Pick a reputable locksmith from an online professional organisation such as the Associated Locksmiths of America.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have a pretty good grasp of electrical wiring, you might want to try and make your own transponder bypass. It will save you a good deal of money, but can be quite a challenge if you are not familiar with electronics.
  • You may choose to take the transponder out of your key's head, but be very careful--once shattered or cracked, your transponder will no longer work and you will need to buy another key from a locksmith or a dealership.

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