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Key Programming Ford Taurus 1997-2012

Ford Taurus 1997-2012 Key Programming Procedure


The following are the key programming procedures for the 1997, 1998 and 2012 Ford Taurus.

Ford Taurus 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 Taurus 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 Taurus

Ford introduced the third generation of the Ford Taurus for the 1996 model year. The chassis was significantly improved, becoming the DN101 generation, while not being entirely new. The Ford Taurus shared its underpinnings with the revamped Lincoln Continental and all-new Ford Windstar, as well as the Mercury Sable.

Its initial cost was about $18,000 in 1996.

Ford wanted to make the Taurus stand out again for consumers of mid-size sedans, breaking away from the familiar style of the previous two generations (which head designer Jack Telnack compared to a “pair of slippers”) by giving the car a far more comprehensive restyling than its 1992 predecessor. The 1996 Taurus attempted to include rounded lines, moving away from the cab-forward style of the Chrysler LH sedans. Along with the Ford Blue Oval logo, the Taurus replicated the form in many places on its exterior; in a contentious design feature, the Taurus’ rear window, as well as the Mercury Sable’s side windows, were oval. The Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable were given distinct rooflines to provide for greater separation between models, while Taurus/Sable station wagons were equipped with Sable sedan doors.

The inside was completely remodeled. To make manufacturing easier, all Taurus models had bucket seats; six-passenger models had a flip-forward center seat cushion that could also be used as a center console; and five-passenger models had a floor shifter and center console. Radio and temperature settings were placed on an oval-shaped console on the dashboard to enhance ergonomics.

Customers hated the oval-shaped body of the third-generation Ford Taurus, according to Ford. The Ford Taurus was the best-selling vehicle in the United States in 1996. Compared to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which were mostly sold to individual consumers via retail channels, 51 percent of all Taurus sales in 1996 went to rental fleets. The Toyota Camry surpassed the Ford Taurus as the best-selling car in 1997.

Ford Australia imported the Ford Taurus sedan as the “Taurus Ghia” with its locally manufactured Ford Falcon EL in 1996, however owing to low sales, imports were discontinued after just one year. From 1996 to 1998, Ford New Zealand successfully imported both Ford Taurus sedans and station wagons alongside the RWD Australian Ford Falcon/Fairmont/Fairlane.

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