How to remote start Ford Explorer with key fob or mobile device

Ford Explorer supports remote start feature that allows you to remotely start the engine of your vehicle for the purpose of cooling or preheating the interior before the passengers gets to it.

Ford Explorer – (photo by Ford)

The remote start feature on Ford Explorer has many benefits. You can start your vehicle in advance when the weather is too hot or cold outside. The system turns on the air conditioning or heating, making inside cabin temperature more tolerable when you get to your vehicle.


Before you start your Explorer remotely, ensure that the vehicle is parked in a well ventilated area. Starting your vehicle in an enclosed space, like a garage, introduces risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Remote start procedure for Explorer

You can remotely start your Ford Explorer easily by following these simple steps:

  1. Press the lock button on the key fob of your Explorer.
  2. Within three seconds, press the remote start button twice on the key fob.
  3. The exterior lamps flash twice and then the engine starts.
  4. Once started remotely, the engine will run for 5, 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the setting, and then shut off.

The horn sounds if the system fails to start, unless quiet start is on. Quiet start runs the blower fan at a slower speed to reduce noise. You can switch it on or off in the information display.

The power windows do not work during remote start and the radio does not turn on automatically. The parking lamps remain on.

After you get in your Explorer:

If you have remote started your vehicle with an integrated keyhead transmitter, you must switch on the ignition before driving your vehicle. With an intelligent access transmitter, you must press the brake pedal before driving your vehicle.

Remotely stop Explorer’s engine

You can remotely stop the engine of your Explorer by pressing the remote start button on the key fob one time. This only works if the engine is running after a remote start.


You may have to be closer to your vehicle than when starting due to ground reflection and the added noise of your running vehicle. You can switch this feature on or off in the information display.

Extend engine running time

After you have remote started your Ford Explorer, press the lock button on the key fob and then press the remote start button two times with the vehicle still running to extend the run time for another remote start period. If you have the duration set to 15 minutes, the duration extends by another 15 minutes. For example, if the vehicle has run from the first remote start for five minutes, the vehicle continues to run now for a total of 30 minutes. You can extend the remote start up to a maximum of 35 minutes on Explorer.

Remote start system not working on Ford Explorer

If the engine on your Explorer does not start when you perform the remote starting procedure, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Your vehicle is low on fuel.
  • The hood on your Explorer is not fully closed.
  • One or more of the vehicle doors are open, make sure they are securely closed.
  • The transmission is not in park mode (P).
  • The 12v battery voltage has gone too low.
  • The service engine light is turned on in the instrument cluster.
  • Your Ford Explorer may not have the remote start feature. Get your vehicle checked by an authorized dealer to confirm if it is equipped with a remote start system.

Climate control

If your Ford Explorer has automatic climate control, you can configure it to operate when you remote start your vehicle. A manual climate control system runs at the setting it was set to when you switched your vehicle off.

Engine idling law

There are laws against car idling with no passenger or driver inside in many states to protect the environment. It does not mean its completely illegal to use remote start, some states have time limit on how long you can keep the engine running. So check with your local state laws before using the remote start feature on your Ford Explorer.

Video Demonstration

Watch this video to see how to remotely start Ford Explorer.

Remote start Ford Explorer with a mobile device

You can remotely start your Ford Explorer with your Apple or Android mobile device by following these simple steps:

  1. Download FordPass app from Google Play or App Store on your mobile device.
  2. Open the app and accept any terms and conditions that may appear.
  3. Login to your Ford Owner account or create one by pressing the Create Account button.
  4. Add and activate your Ford Explorer in the FordPass app.
  5. Start your vehicle and confirm the prompt to complete the pairing process.
  6. Now press and hold the Start Engine button on the home screen of FordPass app.
  7. The turn signal lights flash twice and the engine starts.
  8. Once started remotely, the engine will run for up to 15 minutes, depending on setting, and then shut off.

Video: Setting up FordPass app

Watch this video to see how to set up FordPass app.
Author: Nabeel K
Email: nabeel@wheelsjoint.com



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