electrons
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

"Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:42 am

If your Focus Electric won't start due to "Key Not Detected", as just happened to us, your Owner's Manual will not help, no solution there.

Recently, the wife was out in the Focus, and "Key Not Detected" puzzled her. It was a bit chilly outside, so she actually warmed the Key FOB & that worked. That is not a great solution though. .......

When she got home and complained to me, I noticed the old Key FOB battery was leaking. Gooey stuff, not much to clean up though, so OK, it happens, no biggie. Needs a new battery. CR 2032 size.

However, it made me think there MUST be a backup to the single-point-of-falure Key FOB battery, right? Of course there is, it is just hidden. Not in the Owner's Manual, oddly.
1. To open a locked door, simply pop the physical key blade out of the Key FOB. Owner's manual explains that part at least.
2. Once inside the vehicle, open up the Center Console Storage Bin and clean out anything in the main part so you can see the bottom clearly. Now lay your dead Key FOB down in the very bottom, button side up, and now you can start the car normally with brake pedal and main start button push. (The reference source on this seemed to indicate Ford only did this on 2016-2018 Focus models, gasoline & electric models, so it may not work on 2012-2015 Ford Focus Electrics, not sure.)

I will add that the bottom of the Center Console Storage Bin is mentioned in the Owner's Manual in the context of introducing a new Key FOB to your particular car, in the "Security" section, page 66 of the 2016 model Owner's Manual.

Technically interesting is the fact that your Key FOB needs no electricity to be detected by the car, as long as it rests in the bottom of the Center Console Bin floor! It must have some kind of passive RFID tag physics going on inside.

tinilk
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:58 pm

electrons wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:42 am
(The reference source on this seemed to indicate Ford only did this on 2016-2018 Focus models, gasoline & electric models, so it may not work on 2012-2015 Ford Focus Electrics, not sure.)
I just took the battery out of my key fob to try this with my 2014. As you mentioned, on 2012-2015 FFEs placing the key at the bottom of the center console compartment doesn't work. At least it doesn't work in my car.

Page 140 of my manual under "Starting your vehicle" says how to start it if the fob doesn't work: hold the key fob against the round cap on the side of the steering column, press brake pedal and push the start button. My car started normally when I did this (except it shows the message "MyKey Active Drive Safely - Speed Limited to 80 MPH").

This is a great tip, thanks for posting it!
2014 FFE - Ingot Silver
2018 Volt (leased)

Heima
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:08 pm

TIP: That gooey stuff probably did not come out of the battery, but rather is a silicone dielectric grease. My fobs had it as well. It helps keep moisture off of the battery contacts, and improves conductivity between the battery and battery contacts. Try to keep it if you can.

electrons
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:39 am

Heima, thanks, OK now I see an Owner's Manual statement on the dielectric grease on the battery. You know, the CR2032 flat batteries could get the conducting-grease blob slowly flowing to the edge of the battery (flows best when hot), allowing current to flow from the "+" side to the "-" side. It looked like the goo was near or on the edges when I looked. .... I've never put dielectric grease inside a Key FOB before. It makes sense. Sparingly, right in the middle.

Another way to avoid getting stranded is to keep a spare CR2032 battery inside the center console, hoping heat won't destroy it there.

Heima, when you said "shows the message "MyKey Active Drive Safely - Speed Limited to 80 MPH"", seems odd. Our cars are speed limited to 84 MPH anyway, so .... not much difference.

Heima
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:23 pm

Sorry Electrons, I think you have me confused with Tinilk.
But I agree, odd it would restrict the speed to only 4 mph less than maximum.
An 80 mph isn't exactly a restriction.

RebaRos99
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:49 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:50 pm

I've had the same problem actually, however I was stuck and didn't know what to do

electrons
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:53 pm

RebaRos99 wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:50 pm
I've had the same problem actually, however I was stuck and didn't know what to do
Few knew about placing the key FOB in the bottom of the center console.

From now on, especially with a 5 year old 12v battery in there, I'm going to put one of those small jump-start batteries in the small compartment in the trunk. Also a "fix-a-flat"or the slime-brand spray can for those times you take a nail while out.

Those 2 things, a failed 12v battery or a flat tire, can make you need a rescue.
Other than that, one can hope the other big systems don't fail. We need luck too. AAA membership is useful too.

walmart has some "car jump starter" small batteries for around $30.
Image

campfamily
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:07 am
Location: Southern California

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:10 am

Don't forget that if your 12v battery is dead, you can't open the hatch. You'll have to access by folding down the rear seat, then reaching over and getting your charger out of the compartment. Might be quite a reach, made worse if you've got a bunch of stuff in the trunk. When I had my FFE, I carried the jumper under the front passenger seat.
GONE - 2015 FFE, Magnetic with leather interior, debadged & tinted
38,500 miles (since May 2015), average 246 Wh/mile

REPLACED WITH - 2018 Tesla Model3, LR RWD, Obsidian Black
20,000 miles (since Nov 2018), average 235 Wh/mile

Edwinsjsu
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:37 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:18 pm

I have a 2015 FFE and I read the manual but the “No Key Detected” still on display. The 12VDC battery died and now it’s fully charged, reading 12.8VDC. Both passive remote keys not working, tried placing in the middle console but NO LUCK. Please HELP. Thank you.

PS. There’s no round cover panel on the steering to place my key against to so I could try to start the car.

electrons
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:22 pm

Re: "Key Not Detected" can strand you, Solution Here

Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:20 pm

Edwinsjsu wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:18 pm
I have a 2015 FFE and I read the manual but the “No Key Detected” still on display. The 12VDC battery died and now it’s fully charged, reading 12.8VDC. Both passive remote keys not working, tried placing in the middle console but NO LUCK. Please HELP. Thank you.

PS. There’s no round cover panel on the steering to place my key against to so I could try to start the car.
Looks like the Center Console placement will work on a '15 Focus Electric when the key FOB battery is dead according to the "Security" section of the Owners Manual at http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_ ... 1_2014.pdf
But this is more complicated than that, and likely not a key FOB battery problem, read on:

At first I'd say just replace the key FOB batteries, but I doubt the FOB batteries are the problem since both are not starting your car. Usually only one CR2032 battery fails at a time.

It's as if the previous 12v battery failure caused the car's internal code it exchanges with key FOBs to be forgotten, as in memory loss or something in a rolling code algorithm is off now.

I read the 2015 owners manual "Security" section (page 64) and it looks like you have to have it towed to a dealership. They do not allow a key FOB to be programmed unless there are already 2 previously working key FOBs. This keeps thieves from easly using any random Ford key FOB on your particular car. Security measure. In fact, I would bring the dealership some proof you own the car. Sounds bizarre, but Security is a thing.

The only Hail Mary play I can think of is to disconnect the 12v battery and reconnect it. That might cause an initialization sequence to happen in the car's computer which might correctly retrieve the stored internal Security codes it exchanges with key FOBs normally. Might work (??).

If you have another Ford car in your fleet, make sure you have the right keys for your particular Focus Electric.

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