The Ford MyKey system has received a lot of attention since its inception and subsequent release. It’s just one of the many innovations that have been coming from Ford since the Way Forward strategy was enacted and put into motion. Recently it has been made standard for nearly all new Ford & Lincoln models.
In 2015 AAA implicated distracted teenagers as being the primary cause for 58% of all teen accidents. With the introduction of MyKey, Ford has taken aim at reducing that number. Designed by Ford Safety Manager, Andrew Sarkisian, MyKey is a way to promote safe driving habits in an otherwise unsafe demographic. Originally released for the 2009 Ford Taurus, the Ford MyKey System is a revolution in vehicular parental control. The system only takes effect when a chosen MyKey is in the ignition, meaning the full range of capabilities can still be accessed whenever the primary(Admin) key is in the ignition, meaning that the only one who is affected by the MyKey safety controls are those who need it the most — new drivers.
Ford MyKey Features
The MyKey system has 4 primary features, with some other safety functions kept in mind as well. The primary 4 features are:
- 1) The Belt Minder: This feature effectively provides a six-second reminder chime every 30 seconds and mutes the vehicle’s audio system until the front seat occupants fasten their safety belts.
- 2) Top Speed Settings: Using MyKey, a vehicle’s top speeds can be limited at 4 different settings – 105, 115, 120, and 128 kph. With this setting active chimes will sound at 70, 85, and 105 kph. When activated, young drivers won’t be able to put the pedal to the metal, unless you let them. Technically, they can depress the accelerator as far as they want, but the speed settings prevent the vehicle from reaching the chosen speed regardless of how hard they press. Cruise control is also prevented from overriding the top speed limit.
- 3) Screening Radio Content: The MyKey system can prevent drivers from listening to any and all stations labeled as ‘explicit’ by Sirius Satellite Radio. Additionally, the total volume of the speaker system can be limited up to 45% of the max volume.
- 4) Earlier Low Fuel warning: To prevent younger drivers from ignoring their ever diminishing fuel tank, the MyKey system provides an option to present a warning at 3.14 L/100km til empty, as opposed to the standard warning of 4.7 L/100km to empty.
Additional safety precautions include the prevention of the driver from turning off the Ford Parking aid system, and the Blind Spot Information System that provides cross-traffic alerts. MyKey can also be used to activate the Do Not Disturb feature, which allows concerned parents to block calls and text messages from being displayed in the center touchscreen display while the car is in motion. Restricted areas can even be programmed into the navigation. When questionable-drivers enter into these restricted areas, the navigation screen displays a magenta blip to indicate that the driver is within that area and that they shouldn’t be.
For Fleet managers, the MyKey system presents several advantages. For one, limiting the top speeds of the fleet can promote good driving habits in employees and for customers. Another advantage for fleet managers is that using the Admin key, the total distance a vehicle with MyKey has traveled can be quickly displayed, making it much easier to determine overall wear of a vehicle.
How to Program the MyKey System
Programming the MyKey system is very straightforward — even for the non-technically minded. Using these 3 steps, you’ll quickly be able to program, or reprogram, your MyKey as you’d like.
- 1) Choose which of the two keys your new vehicle came with will be the MyKey, and which will be the administrator key.
- 2) Insert the MyKey into the proper fob slot, then tap through the message center, using the steering wheel controls, until you’ve reached the MyKey section.
- 3) Follow the instructions on the screen and choose the options you’d like. When the MyKey is set up, simply turn the engine off and remove the key fob. The key should now be programmed.
One important note is that when a MyKey is programmed, it’s the same rules or allowances for all other MyKeys. The keys cannot be individually programmed; however, you can have up to 9 MyKeys assigned to a single vehicle. One other note of caution is that on models with push-button starts, when a MyKey remote transmitter and an admin remote transmitter are present, the vehicle will automatically defer to the admin remote transmitter’s settings when the vehicle is turned on.
Settings that can be controlled
There are several applications that the MyKey has control over, and there are several applications that the MyKey cannot be configured to control. For instance, when a key is activated it will contain the default settings, which cannot be adjusted by the admin key:
The safety belt reminder will be turned on, and the audio system will mute when the front passenger’s safety belts are not fastened.
The low fuel or low charge warning will activate earlier, giving the MyKey user more time to refuel or recharge.
Driver assist features, if equipped on your vehicle, will be forced on. This may include parking aids, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert.
If the vehicle is equipped with satellite radio, restrictions on adult content is turned on automatically.
However, the following settings can be controlled using the admin key:
- 1) You can set the vehicle speed limit so that when the driver approaches the speed, the display will show warnings, followed by an audible tone. The driver will not be able to bypass this by flooring the accelerator or by activating cruise control. You can also adjust the vehicle speed minders so that when the driver exceeds the preselected speed, the speed will be shown in the display and an audible tone will be made.
- 2) The audio system can be set at a max of 45% of the total volume. When the diver attempts to exceed this, a message will be displayed. Even speed-sensitive or speed-compensated automatic volume will be disabled.
- 3) The ALWAYS ON setting for Advance Trac or traction control, 911 Assist/Emergency Assist, or the do not disturb feature previously mentioned, can all be adjusted if equipped. When always on is enabled, the MyKey driver will be unable to switch them off.
How to Disable MyKey
Not everyone is guaranteed to like this feature, and for those individuals, we want to be sure that you’re not forced to use the MyKey system if you do not want to. Fortunately, disabling the MyKey system is simple. Just like setting up the MyKey system, disabling the system is pretty straightforward. You can return your MyKey back to its default settings by following these steps.
- 1) With your MyKey in the ignition, access the main menu and select Settings, then MyKey.
- 2) Scroll to Clear MyKey and press the OK button-
- 3) Hold the OK button until the message ALL MYKEYS CLEARED is displayed on the screen.
You will need the admin key to accomplish this.
Learn More with Mainland Ford
Interested in the MyKey system for your, or perhaps your teenagers, next car? Contact Mainland Ford by phone at (604) 239-0323 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more. Visit us today at 14530 104th Ave, Surrey BC, V3R 1L9 for a test drive to see if the MyKey system is right for your teenager.