This week’s topic is often misunderstood, so we thought it may be a good idea to try and shed some light over it. Hopefully, it will be useful and you may even learn something new along the way.

To kick things off, we need to define some of the basic terms we are going to use today. We will also go through a brief historic overview and then we are going to focus on what Abrites can do to help you cope with PATS module initialization in Ford/Mazda and Jaguar/Land Rover vehicles.

I. A brief understanding of PATS.

Passive Anti-Theft System is Ford’s internal name for their immobilizer system, which was also referred to as SecuriLock®. By most accounts it made its debut back in 1996, when coach Phil Jackson lead the Chicago Bulls to their second three-peat in the NBA, The Macarena was on top of the Billboard 100 and Monica Lewinsky was about to leave her job at the White House… ah, simpler times.

Times were indeed simpler because immobilizer systems were rudimentary at best. In the beginning, there wasn’t much to it – you put your key in, the coil reads it, it takes a second and if all is well, you start the car. If not, then the PATS would cut power to the fuel pump and ignition and hey presto – the car is safe. Much different to what it is today.

Why did they call it a passive system? - Well because most of the time it was just that – passive – you needed to “excite” the PATS using a key or else, it was simply dormant.

Nowadays PATS has grown and evolved and it is at the pinnacle of its more than seven generations. Today PATS extends to modules beyond the one simple module cutting fuel or spark of yesteryear. Instead, PATS is a whole system for protection spanning more than just one simple module. Here are the modules partaking in the PATS system today:

II. PATS modules you can expect to see participating in the initialization process:

•    PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
•    IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster)
•    ABS (Anti Blocking Brake System)
•    BCM (Body Control Module)
•    RFA (Remote Function Actuator)
•    TCM (Transmission Control Unit)
•    Other modules can also be included

III. What do you need to know about PATS initialization using Abrites software and AVDI?

Initialization is a process very similar to a reset of the module in the vehicle. So, the moment the module is reset, most of the time you turn the ignition ON with a working key and the module is immediately “adapted” to the rest of the car.

Here is the problem:

Often times our customers get the wrong module and wait for it to work. Please, check and double check labels on the modules before you reset them, because 99% of the problems you may have are caused by the usage of the wrong module.

Our initialization functionality, in fact, resets all modules absolutely fine, this is why you get a message that the procedure went through, but these modules cannot start operating in a car, because they need to be reflashed in order to start working. IDS, SDD or PATHFINDER do not care about the hardware/software version and for this reason they simply reflash the unit whatever they need and continue.

We need to go through the DTCs of the car and gather them in details, then analyze them. If you are reading this article, you are most probably a diagnostician and you have a deep understanding of how such a process will need to be diagnosed.

Our goal is to be able to bring the initialization process to a level where no external help is needed. However, there is no possibility to reflash a module to “think” it is a different one for each adaptation, so we have to adhere to labels, hardware and software versions.

IV. Additional notes:

Jaguar and Land Rover have had a long-term relationship with Ford, so it is only natural to see some carry-over technology. PATS is one of these examples. A difference is that in JLR you can see door modules (DDR or PDR) also partake in the PATS process.

To conclude, we hope we were at least a bit helpful to people willing to learn more about the history and the current state of PATS.

The Abrites software solution for PATS Initialisation is the FR010 special function, as well as the Complete PATS package, which contains the FR008 special function, as well, and covers ALL Ford vehicles. Order via the online shop or contact our Sales Team at