As we enter the age of autonomous vehicles filled with cloud-sourced entertainment and powered by solid-state batteries, it’s good to know that there are still a few relatively low-tech car features of genuine utility.
One such feature is Ford’s SecuriCode keypad access system. First seen on the redesigned 1980 Thunderbird, the SecuriCode system is a boon to folks who, for whatever reason, can’t (or simply don’t want to) carry their car keys on their person.
The system incorporates a simple keypad that is usually incorporated into a vehicle’s driver-side doorframe or B-pillar. Instead of using a key—or more likely a key fob—vehicle operators can punch in a five-digit code. Though vehicles equipped with SecuriCode come from the factory with a pre-assigned code, owners can also select their own numbers.
Once the correct code is entered, the driver’s door will automatically unlock. For advanced SecuriCode users, a few neat tricks are available. Pressing the “3-4” button within five seconds of the initial code entry will unlock all of the passenger doors. Likewise, pressing the “5-6” button after entering the primary code will unlock or open the trunk. Finally, pressing the “7-8” and “9-0” buttons simultaneously at any time will lock all the doors, even without entering the code.
The SecuriCode system is available—though not standard—on almost all Ford and Lincoln passenger vehicles, as well as Super Duty Ford F-Series trucks. The system was also offered on a number of Mercury products.
It’s worth noting that although there are ten numbers on the SecuriCode keypad, there are actually just five buttons, limiting the number of code combinations to 3125. That’s not quite as secure as an eight-digit password without repeating digits, but it’s probably secure enough.
A Ford Motor Company representative admitted to us that number of Ford customers making use of the SecuriCode system is relatively small. He added, however, that the customers who do use the system absolutely love it, and that SecuriCode has helped bring shoppers back into Ford showrooms.