Key Programming Ford Escort 1997-2003

Ford Escort 1997-2003 Key Programming Procedure


The following are the key programming procedures for the 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003 Ford Escort.


Ford Escort 1997


1. Put the new key into the ignition. Turn it to the ON position. The dashboard security light will flash for 15 minutes. Once the dashboard security light stops flashing, you have five minutes to begin Step 2.

2. Turn the ignition OFF and then back to the ON position. The dashboard security light will flash for 15 additional minutes.

3. Repeat Step 2.

4. Once the dashboard security light has turned off for the third time, the key will be able to function in the car. It has been programmed into the car’s computer and has replaced ALL previous electronic key codes — the computer will not recognize any other key.


1. Put the current key into the ignition.

2. Turn the ignition ON and back to OFF.

3. Remove the current key and insert the new key, turning it ON. You MUST do this within 15 seconds.

4. The security light will switch on for two seconds, confirming that the key has been successfully programmed into the vehicle.


Ford Escort 1998 +

ADD KEY (Requires two working keys):

1. Put a current key into the ignition.

2. Turn the ignition to ON, then back to the OFF position.

3. Remove the key and insert a second key. Turn it ON and back to the OFF position. You MUST do this within five seconds.

4. Before ten seconds have elapsed, put a new key in and turn the ignition ON. After one second, turn the key back to the OFF position.

5. The dashboard security light will glow for three seconds. This confirms the programming of the new key has been successful.

About Ford Escort

The Mark I Ford Escort made its premiere at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968, and was introduced in Ireland and the United Kingdom towards the end of 1967. It took the place of the popular and long-running Anglia. In Europe, the Escort was also introduced as the first passenger car developed by the newly combined Ford of Europe (the Transit van having been the first product of this collaboration). Escort manufacture began in the late months of 1967 at the Halewood facility in England, then in September 1968 at the Ford plant in Genk for left-hand drive markets. Under the skin, continental Escorts initially differed differently from those made in the United Kingdom. The front suspension and steering gear were modified, and dual hydraulic circuits were installed on the brakes.

The Escort was a commercial success in several parts of Western Europe, but none more so than in the United Kingdom, where BMC’s Austin/Morris 1100, the national bestseller of the 1960s, was beginning to show its age, and Ford’s own Cortina had grown, both in size and price, beyond the market niche for which it had been designed. It competed with the Vauxhall Viva, and from early 1970 till the end of the decade, it was the only car on the market.

Ford announced the completion of the two millionth Ford Escort in June 1974, six years after the car’s launch in the UK, a milestone unmatched by any Ford model outside the US.It was also claimed that 60 percent of the two million Escorts were manufactured in the United Kingdom. In West Germany, automobiles were produced at a slower rate of roughly 150,000 per year, down to 78,604 in 1974, the Escort Mk1’s final year.

Many of the German built Escorts were exported, notably to Benelux and Italy; from the West German domestic market perspective the car was cramped and uncomfortable when compared with the well-established and comparably priced Opel Kadett, and it was technically primitive when set against the successful imported Fiat 128 and Renault 12.Subsequent generations of the Escort made up some of the ground foregone by the original model, but in Europe’s largest auto-market the Escort sales volumes always came in well behind those of the General Motors Kadett and its Astra successor. (Source Wiki)

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