Ford Explorer 2011-2015 Key Programming Procedure
The following are the key programming procedures for the year 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Ford Explorer.
ADD KEY (Must have two working original keys):
1. Insert the first previously programmed coded keys into the ignition.
2. Turn the ignition from the 1 (LOCK) position to the 3 (RUN) position. Keep the ignition in the 3 (RUN) position for at least 3 seconds, but no more than 10 seconds.
3. Turn the ignition to the 1 (LOCK) position and remove the first coded key from the ignition.
4. Within 10 seconds of turning the ignition to the 1 (LOCK) position, insert the second previously coded key into the ignition.
5. Turn the ignition from the 1 (LOCK) position to the 3 (RUN) position. Keep the ignition in the 3 (RUN) position for at least 3 seconds, but no more than 10 seconds.
6. Turn the ignition to the 1 (LOCK) position and remove the second coded key from the ignition.
7. Within 20 seconds of turning the ignition to the 1 (LOCK) position and removing the previously programmed coded key, insert the new un-programmed key (new key/valet key) into the ignition.
8. Turn the ignition from the 1 (LOCK) position to the 3 (RUN) position. Keep the ignition in the 3(RUN) position for at least 6 seconds.
9. Remove the newly programmed coded key from the ignition.
If the key has been successfully programmed, it will start the vehicle’s engine and will operate the remote entry system (if the new key is an Integrated Keyhead Transmitter). The theft indicator light will illuminate for 3 seconds and then go out to indicate successful programming. If the key was not successfully programmed, it will not start your vehicle’s engine and/or will not operate the remote entry features. The theft indicator light may flash on and off. Wait 20 seconds and you may repeat Steps 1 through 8. If the failure repeats, bring your vehicle to your authorized dealer to have the new key(s) programmed.
To program additional new un-programmed key(s), wait 20 seconds and then repeat this procedure from Step 1.
About Ford Explorer
The construction of the fifth generation 2011 Explorer is identical to that of the Explorer America concept, with a unibody structure based on the D4 platform, a modified version of the D3 platform. Ford effectively deserted the midsize SUV sector with the transition from traditional SUV to crossover until the sixth generation Bronco launched in July 2020.
The fifth-generation Explorer includes blacked-out A, B, and D-pillars, emulating Land Rover’s floating roof design on its sport utility vehicles; a design that Ford previously employed on the Ford Flex. The fifth-generation Explorer has a contoured body with stepped headlamps similar to those found on the Flex, Edge, Escape, Expedition, and F-150, as well as new stepped tail lamps. The grille is comparable to the sixth-generation Ford Taurus’s three-bar design with upper and lower perforated mesh work.
From February 2008 to October 2010, chief engineer Jim Holland oversaw the development of the fifth generation Explorer. Prior to that, he was a chief engineer for Land Rover, where he oversaw the development of the Land Rover Range Rover (L322) 2005 facelift from December 2001 to December 2004. Holland also contributed to the initial development of the Ford Expedition (U324).
On July 26, 2010, the fifth-generation Explorer made its online premiere. Ford had established a Ford Explorer Facebook page in advance of the vehicle’s introduction. Beginning December 1, 2010, assembly of the fifth-generation Explorer shifted to Ford’s Chicago Assembly facility, where it is built alongside the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS. The Louisville assembly factory that produced the previous generation was repurposed to create vehicles based on Ford’s worldwide C platform (potentially including the Ford Focus, Ford C-Max, and Ford Kuga).  The Explorer, like the Escape, will continue to be marketed as a “SUV” rather than a “crossover SUV.” It went on sale in December 2010, following around 15,000 pre-launch sales by the end of November 2010. The EPA rates the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine at 20/28 mpg city/highway.