Ford Mustang Key Not Working — What To Do?

The Ford Mustang has been one of the most popular muscle cars since its debut in the '60s.

Its smooth ride, raw power, and sleek body style have been why consumers have remained loyal through all these years.

While this remains true, what happens when the key to your Ford Mustang isn't working?

Don't panic because we have researched and found the different reasons why your Ford Mustang Key isn't working. 

Here is the list of reasons as to why your Ford Mustang key isn't working:

  • Dead car battery
  • Blown fuse
  • Dead key battery
  • Key needs to be reprogrammed

Whether it's your Ford Mustang or any other vehicle, it isn't fun if the key isn't working.

Cars are complicated, and troubleshooting an issue such as a dysfunctional key can be a pain in the rear.

Nonetheless, before you call the mechanic, read on as we talk more about troubleshooting your Mustang key not working and how to address the issue.

Ford Mustang Key Not Working - Diagnosing The Problem

The Ford Mustang was at the beginning of the sports car era and hasn't gone anywhere since.

It may be considered an old-school car, but like its competitors, the Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro, it has been able to keep up with the times when it comes to technology. 

The new technology has come from blind-spot monitoring, land departure assistance, adaptive cruise control, and self-driving technology.

Another thing that has been big in the car tech world is keyless entry and push to start. 

While this type of tech is handy, it can malfunction like any other computer software.

Sometimes, tech issues in cars aren't always the tech itself but a combination of issues within the vehicle. 

Below, we explain why your Ford Mustang key isn't working and how to troubleshoot the issue. 

Red Ford Mustang GT coupe parked in the town center

Dead Car Battery

Your key isn't working on your Ford Mustang because the car battery is dead.

If you try to push-start or insert your car key and the ignition isn't reacting, it could be because the battery has died. 

If you have a battery tester, hook it up to see if it holds a significant voltage.

If you don't have a battery tester, hook the battery up to jumper cables and try jumping the vehicle. 

If that doesn't work, check to see if the interior lights are working in the vehicle.

If you can get interior lights or the headlights to turn on, then more than likely, the battery isn't the issue. 

Blown Fuse

While your Ford Mustang isn't starting due to a blown fuse, it is unlikely.

However, consumers should still check under the hood to see if there isn't any sign of a blown fuse.

A blown fuse to the battery or vehicle's computer could be why the vehicle isn't recognizing the car's key. 

Pull it out of Mustang's fuse box using a fuse puller or needle nose plier to check for a blown fuse and hold it against the light.

The fuse has blown if the metal strip is broken in the middle. You must replace it with one of the same amperages and, therefore, the same color.

If you feel comfortable checking for blown fuses, then do as above.

Still, if you are not comfortable replacing the fuse, then it is recommended that you contact your local mechanic for assistance. 

Dead Key Battery

Car keys are getting advanced like the rest of the vehicle's tech.

Now, they require certain programming to do commands such as lock, unlock, remote start, and open the trunk.

That said, the key's battery may have died, so the key isn't working.

For consumers with a Ford Mustang with a push-to-start, it is recommended to hold the key fob up to the push-start as close as possible and try starting the vehicle again.

If that doesn't work, and you know the car battery isn't dead, then replacing the key battery should be your next step.

Replace the key battery as instructed in the owner's manual and test it again to see if that solves your issue. 

If replacing the key battery didn't work, read on as we continue to troubleshoot your Ford Mustang key. 

Key Needs To Be Reprogrammed

Nowadays, several different frequencies are flying through the air.

Your cellphone, radio, and even car have different frequencies that could cross paths, possibly causing issues such as disconnections.

If you have tried the first three possible causes of your Mustang key not working, then the issue could be due to a disconnected battery.

Key fobs need to be explicitly programmed to the vehicle to work, and times they can disconnect. 

Why would this happen?

Like the transponder car key, when the car key fob is not working, there is an issue with the signaling.

The most likely cause will be low or dead batteries in the car key fob. But if that doesn't solve your issue, you must troubleshoot more electronic matters. 

If you have a spare key fob that works, you are in luck!

Take your vehicle and the key fob that isn't working and have your local dealership reprogram it.

If you purchased the vehicle from them, most dealers will reprogram the key at no charge. 

How Do You Start A Mustang With A Dead Key?

If you know that the key fob battery is dead and you can't get into the vehicle, rest assured that you aren't entirely out of luck. 

In the event of a dead battery and you cannot unlock the doors, you open the key fob and insert the key blade underneath the driver's door handle where there is a lock.

It will unlock the door, and then you can pop your hood and get jumped. Just use the start button as you would a key to turn.

Reference to the video below on how to start your Ford Mustang with a dead key fob:

What Do You Do When Your Car Doesn't Recognize Your Key?

Follow these steps to troubleshoot the issue: 

  • Check the owner's manual to see if the automaker installed a backup solution for starting the car if the key dies.
  • Look for a hidden slot near the steering column that might not be obvious initially.
  • Press the start button with the actual key itself. Some cars can still detect dead key fobs this way in emergencies.
  • If it's a cold day, go indoors and warm up the key fob with your breath. Sometimes, the temperature can mess with the electronics.
  • If you have a second key fob, try using it. This should show you if the problem is the key or the car.
  • Replace the battery in the key fob with a new one (use a coin or screwdriver to open it).

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Mustang Key?

The cost of replacing a key for a Ford Mustang will depend on which model it is. Replacing a Ford Mustang key can range from $140 to $340.

This may seem like a broad price estimate, so it is recommended that you contact your local dealer to get an accurate price quote for a key replacement. 

How Do You Open A Mustang Without A Key Fob?

Even if your key fob isn't working, there are ways you can still open your Ford Mustang.

The key fob on your car will have a physical within it. Take the key out and look for a key entry underneath the driver's door handle.

Insert the key into the entry, and you can open the car doors manually. 

Refrain from putting other objects into the key entry, such as a paper clip or flat-head screwdriver.

Using foreign tools like this can cause more damage to the vehicle and possibly set off the car's security alarm. 

In Closing

As the years pass, technology gets more advanced. While technology in vehicles can be convenient, it can also cause issues in the long run. If your Ford Mustang isn't starting after following this article, contact your local Ford dealer for assistance. 

If you enjoyed this article on the Ford Mustang, then you might also like the following:

21 Types Of Ford Cars [And That's Without Trucks]

What Cars Have Coyote Engines?

We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below!

Use this image to add this article to your Pinterest board:

Black and yellow Mustang car parked in a city street, Ford Mustang Key Not Working - What To Do?

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *