Reprogramming Keyless Entry for a Ford Freestar without Factory Set Code

Published August 8, 2015

Reprogramming Ford keyless entryIf you purchase a used Freestar as I did, the seller might not have the original factory set code that’s needed to reprogram the keyless entry. What the seller failed to realize was the code was right under his nose. Ford places a secondary factory set code within the bowels of the car. Finding the location of the manufacturer’s code is easy, actually reading the digits takes a little ingenuity.

The code for the Freestar (years 2004 through 2007) is located under the driver’s side dash. To view it you have to finagle yourself so that you are lying down under the dash with your head right by the gas pedal. From this position, you’re able to look up into the maze of wires and fuse boxes. Before you put yourself in such an awkward position, I strongly recommend you have the following at hand:

  • A flashlight
  • A smartphone
  • A blanket or towel

Depending on how clean/dirty the Freestar, you might want to place the blanket/towel on the floor near the gas/brake pedals. The best position to locate the code is with your head on the floor of the car. It’s bad enough you’re in an uncomfortable position, no sense in adding fuel to the fire by straining your neck attempting to keep your head off a dirty floor.

Ford Factory Card

Accessing the Factory Reset Code

Make sure to have the flashlight and smartphone accessible. In other words, lay them both on your stomach while you’re on your back (or have someone right there to hand you the tools as you need them). I don’t recommend using the flashlight app on your smartphone because once you locate the code; you need to grab a photo of it immediately. It’s very dark up there in the wired maze. Taking the time to turn off the flashlight app to then turn on the camera is enough time to lose sight of code’s location. An old-fashioned flashlight works best.

In my case, the code was located on the side closest to the engine underneath a protective covering. For earlier model years I’ve heard it’s on the side closest to the driver’s seat beneath the dashboard.

You know you’ve found it when you see a white label, similar to the one shown in this post. The factory code is the five-digit code that follows the dash (-) and precedes the asterisk (*). When you find it, snap the photo then gingerly disentangle yourself from underneath the steering wheel.

Ford Factory Set Card for Reprogramming Keyless Entry

Programming the Freestar's Keyless Entry

From here on it it’s gravy. It’s as simple as 1,2, 3. To program the keyless entry this is what you do:

  1. First, enter the manufacturer’s code. Doing so will unlock the driver’s door.

  2. Next, within 5 seconds depress the 1*2 key on the keypad. This will cause the locks to lock then unlock.

  3. Enter your new 5-digit code. Each digit of the 5-digit code must be entered within 5 seconds of each other. Once entered, give it a second or two for the codes to register. You’ll know they registered once the car locks then unlocks.

Some cars allow you to enter codes for different drivers. If your car is so equipped, after the car has accepted your code, depress the 1*2 key for the first driver. If there is a second driver, repeat steps 1-3 and then hit key 3*4 for the second driver. You can repeat it again for a third driver then depress the 5*6 key.

Once its all programmed, test it to make sure it works as it should.

  • To unlock the driver’s door, just enter the personal code (or manufacturer’s code).

  • To unlock all doors, depress 3*4 within 5 seconds of entering your personal code.

  • To lock all doors depress 7*8 and 9*0 simultaneously. You don’t need to enter your personal code to lock the doors, only to open them.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 13 August 2023


  • Gary McGuinness July 22, 2018, 9:57 pm

    I just bought a used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Track and the card was not in the owners manual with the 5 digit code in it, the owners manual said that the code is on the computer module where ever that is, is this the correct way to find the code?

    • Felicia July 23, 2018, 7:38 am

      Gary, the best advice I can give is to take a flashlight and get up under the dash. Either that or call a Ford dealership and ask the question. I’m sure one of the mechanics there would have the right answer.

  • Melissa Taylor June 11, 2018, 3:10 pm

    Do you know how to delete an old pin

    • Felicia June 29, 2018, 8:46 am

      Reprogramming the keyless entry will override the old pin.

  • Yelhsa March 15, 2018, 12:14 am

    Thank you *so* much for this post!! It was a lifesaver!! I thought we were going to have to take our Freestar into a Ford dealership and have it hooked up to the computer to reset the keyless entry. And I can only imagine how much they would have charged us to do that! You have no clue how grateful I am you made this post and I found it. You saved us lots of hassle, time, and money!! Now…..if only the Freestar had an aux jack and I could figure out how to setup the auto unlock function when the van is turned off and the driver’s door is opened!

    • Low Tech Grandma March 15, 2018, 12:20 pm

      Glad to have helped, Yelhsa.

      I’m not sure I understand about the auto unlock function, but I swapped out the original radio and purchased a new one with an aux jack. In addition to the aux jack, I have USB, Bluetooth and a CD player (my original didn’t have a CD player).

  • Darrell May 13, 2017, 10:24 am

    WOW! IT WORKS!! I tried everything, searched everywhere and could not located this code. Until I followed your suggestion. Thank you so much.

    • Low Tech Grandma May 13, 2017, 10:39 am

      You’re welcome Darrell. I love it when things work out as they should! 🙂

  • Scott May 1, 2017, 10:55 am

    Well done ma’am!

    The label on my 2006 Freestar was above the area where your left foot would be. There was a sheet of white paper like material hanging in front of it. I didn’t even have to put myself in there upside down lol

    Your reprogramming instructions are perfect!

    Bonus button info: after unlocking the doors, press 5/6 to open the driver’s sliding side door, and 9/0 for the passenger sliding side door.

    Thanks again for your post and this information!!

    • Low Tech Grandma May 1, 2017, 6:12 pm

      Scott, I’m glad it worked for you! Also, thanks for the bonus info. I’m sure my readers will appreciate it.

  • John June 14, 2016, 4:53 pm

    This worked like a charm! Thanks!

    • Low Tech Grandma June 14, 2016, 8:39 pm

      Glad it worked for you!

  • Paula April 7, 2017, 7:46 am

    I locked my keys in the car and don’t know the code what can I do.

    • Low Tech Grandma April 7, 2017, 1:25 pm

      Paula, I can’t help you. I’d call AAA, a local mechanic or a Ford dealership. Good luck!

  • roni April 9, 2017, 7:41 pm

    this worked for us as well,,,or got us on the right track and we did eventually find so thank you very much,,,,,,and my husband a mechanic btw

    • Low Tech Grandma April 11, 2017, 7:59 am

      LOL, so glad it worked. It just goes to show that even mechanics need a little help from Grandma every once in a while. 🙂

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