Friday, October 7, 2016

How To Find The Keyless Code On A Ford Explorer Or Mercury Mountaineer

Driver leaning over reaching under dash
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It is a five-button numeric keypad that is used to:
  • Eliminate fumbling for your keys
  • Prevent lockouts
  • Provide easy entry to your vehicle
The keyless entry uses a five-digit code to unlock the doors when it is entered correctly. The five-digit code can be changed from the default code set at the factory to a user-defined code. The users can set it to whatever sequence they want, providing better security and a code they will remember.
It can happen that the code you set is forgotten, and you are locked out of your vehicle. It is also a regular occurrence that, once a vehicle has been sold, the code isn’t given to the new owner. If the default code isn’t on hand either, it can leave the keyless keypad useless and increase the chance of being locked out of your vehicle.
On Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, it may be possible to retrieve the five-digit default code manually with a few easy steps.

Method 1 of 5: Check your documentation

When a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer is sold with the keyless entry keypad, the default code is provided with the manuals and owner’s materials on a card. Retrieve your code from the paperwork.
Step 1: Look in your owner’s manual. Flip through the pages to find the card with the code printed on it.
  • If you purchased the vehicle second-hand, check if the code is written on the inside cover by hand.
Step 2: Check your card wallet. Look in the card wallet you were provided from the dealer.
  • The code card may be loose in the wallet.
Step 3: Check your glove box. The code card may be loose in the glove box, or the code may be written on a sticker in the glove box.
Step 4: Enter the code. To enter your keyless keypad code:
  • Enter in the five-digit code in order
  • Select the associated key to press
  • Press the 3-4 button within five seconds of entering your code to unlock your doors
  • Lock your doors by pressing the 7-8 and 9-10 buttons at the same time

Method 2 of 5: Locate smart junction box (SJB) 2006-2010

On Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers from 2006 until the model year 2010, the default five-digit keypad code is printed on the smart junction box (SJB) under the driver’s side of the dash.
Materials Needed
  • Flashlight
  • Screwdriver or small socket set
  • Small mirror on an extension
Step 1: Look at your under dash. Open the driver’s door and lay on your back in the driver’s footwell area.
  • It is cramped for space and you will get dirty if the floor is dirty.
Step 2: Take off the under dash cover. Remove the under dash cover if there is one in place.
  • If there is one, you may need a screwdriver or a small socket set and ratchet to remove it.
Step 3: Locate the SJB module. It is a large black box mounted up underneath the dash above the pedals. There is a long yellow wiring connector that plugs into it 4-5 inches in width.
Step 4: Locate the barcode label. The label is directly below the connector facing the firewall.
  • Use your flashlight to find it under the dash.
Step 5: Find the code on the module. Locate the five-digit default keypad code on the module. It is under the barcode and is the only five digit number on the label.
  • Use your extendable mirror to get a view of the backside of the module to read the label.
  • When the area is illuminated with the flashlight, you should easily be able to read the code in the mirror’s reflection.
Step 6: Enter the code on the keypad.

Method 3 of 5: Locate the RAP Module

The default keypad code for Explorers and Mountaineer for model years 1999 to 2005 can be found on the Remote Anti-Theft Personality (RAP) module. There are two possible locations for the RAP module.
Materials Needed
  • Flashlight
  • Small mirror on an extension
Open trunk bed revealing spar tire compartment
Step 1: Find your tire change compartment. On most 1999 to 2005 Explorers and Mountaineers, you can find the RAP module in the compartment where the tire change jack is located.
Step 2: Locate the cover for the jack. The cover will be on the driver’s rear in the cargo area.
  • It is approximately 4 inches tall and 16 inches wide.
Step 3: Remove the cover. There are two lever-style connectors that hold the cover in place. Lift both levers to release the cover and lift it out of place.
Step 4: Find the RAP module. It is located just in front of the jack compartment opening, mounted against the side body panel.
  • You won’t be able to see the label clearly from this vantage point.
Step 5: Read the default keyless code. Shine a flashlight as best you can on the label, then use a mirror on an extension to read the code off the label. It is the only five-digit code on there.
Step 6: Install the jack cover. Put the two bottom alignment tabs in place, press the panel into its location, and press the two levers down to lock it in place.
Step 7: Enter the keyless code.

Method 4 of 5: Find the RAP module on the rear passenger door

Material Needed
  • Flashlight
Close up of rear seatbelt c pillar
Step 1: Find the passenger seat belt panel. Locate the panel where the passenger rear seat belt enters the pillar area.
Step 2: Pry the panel loose by hand. There are a few tension clips that hold it in place. A firm tug from the top should pop the panel off.
  • Warning: The plastic can be sharp, so you may want to use gloves to remove trim panels.
Step 3: Remove the seatbelt retractor panel. Pull the panel covering the seat belt retractor away. This panel is directly below the one you pulled off.
  • You don’t have to completely remove this part. The module is right below the other panel you removed.
Step 4: Look for RAP module. Shine a flashlight behind the panel. You will see a module with a label on it which is the RAP module.
Step 5: Get the five-digit code. Read the five-digit code off the label, then snap all the panels back in place, lining up the tension clips with their locations in the body.
Step 6: Enter the default keypad code in the keypad.

Method 5 of 6: Use the MyFord function

Newer Ford Explorers may use a touchscreen display system known as MyFord Touch. It controls comfort and convenience systems including SecuriCode.
Step 1: Press the "Menu" button. With the ignition on and the doors closed, press the “Menu” button at the top of the screen.
Step 2: Press the “Vehicle” button. This appears on the left side of the screen.
  • A menu comes up that includes the option “Door Keypad Code.”
Step 3: Select “Door Keypad Code” from the option list.
Step 4: Set your keypad code. Enter the default keypad code from your owner’s manual, then enter your new personalized five-digit keypad entry code.
  • It is now set.

Method 5 of 5: Contact your Ford dealership

If none of the options were successful in retrieving your default keyless keypad code, you will have to go to the Ford dealer to have a technician retrieve the code from the computer. The technician will use a diagnostic scanner to retrieve the code from the RAP or SJB module and provide it to you.
Typically, dealers charge a fee for retrieving keypad codes for customers. Ask ahead of time what the charge is for the service and be prepared with payment once the process has been completed.

The Most And Least Expensive Cars To Maintain

The most expensive thing most Americans own, after their house, is their car. On average, Americans spend 5% of their income on purchasing a car. Another 5% goes towards on-going maintenance and insurance costs.
But not every car costs the same to keep it running. And different cars have varying risks of leaving their drivers suddenly immobilized.
At YourMechanic, we have a massive dataset of the make and model of the cars we have serviced and the type of maintenance done. We decided to use our data to understand which cars break down the most and have the highest maintenance costs. We also looked into which types of maintenance are most common to certain cars.
First, we looked at which major brands cost the most to maintain over the first 10 years of a car’s life. We grouped all years of all models by brand to compute their average cost by brand. In order to estimate annual maintenance costs, we found the amount spent on every two oil changes (as oil changes are generally done every six months).
which brands cost the most to maintain
Luxury imports from Germany, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, along with domestic luxury brand Cadillac, are the most expensive. A Toyota is about $10,000 less expensive over 10 years, just in terms of maintenance.
Toyota is by far the most economical manufacturer. Scion and Lexus, the second and third most inexpensive brands, are both made by Toyota. Together, all three are 10% below the average cost.
Most domestic brands, like Ford and Dodge, are in the middle of the pack.
While luxury cars call for the most expensive maintenance, many budget vehicles rank relatively high. Kia, an entry-level brand, surprises with maintenance costs 1.3 times the average. In this case, sticker prices don't represent maintenance costs.
Knowing the relative maintenance costs of brands can be informative, but it’s also important to consider how car costs change with age. This chart looks at the median annual cost of maintenance across all brands.
how do car costs change with age
Maintenance costs increase as the car ages. A stable, consistent increase of $150 per year in costs exists for years 1 through 10. After that, there is a distinct jump between 11 and 12 years of age. After age 13, costs plateau around $2,000 per year. This is likely because people disown their cars if maintenance costs are higher than their cars’ worth.
Even within brands, not all cars are created equal. How do specific models compare directly to one another?
We drilled down by splitting up all cars by model to look at 10 year maintenance costs.
which car models cost the most to maintain
The 20 priciest car models in term of maintenance cost all require, at a minimum, a staggering $11,000 to maintain over 10 years. These estimates include expensive one-off costs, like a transmission rebuild, that skew the mean higher.
According to our data, Chrysler's Sebring is the most expensive car to maintain, which is likely why Chrysler revamped it in 2010. German imports (such as BMW’s 328i and Mercedes-Benz’ E350) along with many manufacturers’ luxury or full-sized models (such as the Audi A4 Quattro) are quite expensive as well.
Now we know which cars are money pits. So which vehicles are a thrifty, reliable choice?
which car models have the lowest maintenance cost
Toyota and other Asian imports are the least expensive cars to maintain, with the Prius living up to its well-known reputation for reliability. Along with many Toyota models, Kia’s Soul and Honda’s Fit hold close to Prius’s low-cost lead. Toyota’s Tacoma and Highlander are also on the low-cost leaderboard, even though the list is dominated by compact and mid-sized sedans. Toyota completely avoids the the most expensive models list.
So what, specifically, makes some brands more expensive than others? Some brands have a higher incidence of routine maintenance. But some cars tend to break down in the same way time and again.
We looked at which brands have maintenance requirements that occur unusually often for that particular brand. For each brand and issue, we compared the frequency to the average across all the cars we serviced.
unusually common car issues
Mercury is the brand that suffered most chronically from a design flaw; in this case, it had fuel pump issues (Ford Motor Company discontinued Mercury entirely in 2011).
We can see some issues cross from brand to brand within the same manufacturer. For example, Dodge and Chrysler, which are both part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) conglomerate, can’t seem to get their exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves working correctly. Their EGRs need to be fixed at roughly 20 times the national average.
But there’s one problem customers care more about than any other: which cars will just refuse to start?
We answer this question in the below chart, which limits the comparison to cars 10 years old or less.
brands most likely not to start
Although this could be a reflection of some owners' diligence just as much as the cars' build quality, the results of this list are quite damning: 3 of the top 5 brands were discontinued in the last several years.
In addition to the now-defunct brands, the premium segment (such as Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, and BMW) is represented in this list. Notably absent are many of the brands from the least expensive list: Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai.
But the brand doesn’t reveal everything about a car. We dove into the models that don’t start with the greatest frequency.
models most likely not to start
The worst cars failed to start 26 times as often as average cars, perhaps explaining why some of these models got the axe: the Hyundai Tiburon, Hummer H3, and Chrysler Sebring (all in the top 10) were discontinued. Some premium models make it into the shameful list as well, including BMWs and several Mercedes-Benz models.
For as long as cars have existed, Americans have debated car ownership and the questions of cost and reliability. This data reveals which companies live up to their reputation for reliability (Toyota), which brands sacrifice reliability for prestige (BMW and Mercedes-Benz), and which models deserved to be discontinued (the Hummer 3).
Still, car maintenance is about much more than the average cost. Factors such as how well a car is maintained, how often it is driven, where it is driven, and how it is driven all affect maintenance costs. Your mileage may vary.