Chuck

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There's a lot of discussion about the PAAK. Some say it just doesn't work or is not reliable. I say that it just needs to be coaxed into working. To this point I can say that my key fob hasn't left the drawer at home since I got my Mach E in April.

Background: I work in tech. I know that there are many ways to get things to work. I like to tinker and because of that I can get things to work that the rest of my family can't. Actually they could if they were more patient and creative but they know they can just call me for tech support.

Also having been in software development for decades I know that software has bugs. I often tell my staff that any program with more than 3 lines of code in it has bugs, we just haven't encountered them yet. Knowing this allows me to be more tolerant and patient than most.

The PAAK is technology. It requires connectivity between an app on the phone and the car, both of which may be asleep at any time. I'd like walk up to the car with the phone in my pocket the hope is that the two devices wake up and talk to each other then unlock the door. That's the dream. But that doesn't always happen. As a result I have a checklist of ways to get the PAAK to work.

Aside: Ford has a lot of work to do on the FordPass app so that we can avoid all this nonsense. Option 1 should work 100% of the time.

Here's what I do in this order... (Note: My PAAK is a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra)

  1. If I walk up and see the outside lighting turn on I'm golden. I know the door will unlock. I presume this is what we all expect but this happens less than 50% of the time so I can see where people think the PAAK is a failure.

  2. If the above doesn't work I will approach the car and press on the unlock button. Maybe several times. Often I'll hear relays clicking in the car and eventually the circle will glow. This works pretty often.

  3. Next I'll open and unlock my phone. This alone will sometimes cause the two to connect and unlock the car.

  4. Open the app. The app may have been in deep asleep, my phone may have been recently rebooted (in which case the app isn't running) or have been force closed. In that case the two aren't talking at all. Opening the app will cause them to handshake and the car will unlock. Aside: The FordPass app will force close itself at least 2 or 3 times per day. It's the only app on my phone that does this. Ford needs to fix this.

  5. Force close and re-open the app. If #4 doesn't work it may be because the app is in a state that it just won't connect. Force closing it will restart the app and reset it.

  6. Use the keypad on the outside of the driver's door to gain entry. This will wake up the car. Once inside the car the two devices will talk to each other and proceed as normal.

  7. Reboot the phone. This is the extreme measure and I only had to do this once but the car was less than a week old and I didn't know about the items above. I've never had to do this again.

  8. There may be other things that you have done successfully, please comment below..

  9. Caveat: These two devices talk to each other via bluetooth and wifi. There are a lot of other devices that can screw up this communication depending on where you live. I live in a single family dwelling in the suburbs. If you live in a high density housing area you may have more problems..

Using the above list I've never had the PAAK fail. But, of course, fail is a relative term. If your expectation is that #1 should work each and every time then for you the PAAK is a failure to you and you should keep that fob in your pocket or purse all the time. But I'm confident that I can get the PAAK to work 100% of the time, every time without fail.

 

TRP

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PAAK works great for me as well and here's my routine.

iPhone XR. I open the app and leave it showing, car wakes up and entry made. No issues if I do this every time. I don't like the phone in my pocket when sitting so this works for me and has become my standard routine with it.

If the phone is in my pocket, it can be spotty. If the app isn't open and showing on the screen it can also be spotty.

Is this how Ford intended for this to work, I don't know ?‍♂ Could there be an improvement here, probably.

I'm happy with at this point tho
 

eltonlin

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Nice. Pretty much do the same with iPhone.

As TRP states, I often launch the app on the phone as I approach the car. That said, there are times it doesn't work, so I follow similar steps.

That said, with the new PaaK update to the car, I've found that the outside lights turn on automatically way more often then it ever has prior to the update, so that's a good thing.
 

Kamuelaflyer

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PAAK works great for me as well and here's my routine.

iPhone XR. I open the app and leave it showing, car wakes up and entry made. No issues if I do this every time. I don't like the phone in my pocket when sitting so this works for me and has become my standard routine with it.

If the phone is in my pocket, it can be spotty. If the app isn't open and showing on the screen it can also be spotty.

Is this how Ford intended for this to work, I don't know ?‍♂ Could there be an improvement here, probably.

I'm happy with at this point tho
I always have the phone in my hand (iPhone 12 Pro Max) when approaching the car. It may or may not be unlocked with Ford Pass showing. 98% of the time that works fine. Once in a while I actually need to open the phone and ensure FP is running. Only once did I have to use the door unlock code and start code. Fairly pleased with it.
 


65coupe&21mache

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I'm pretty satisfied with PAAK, but the battery drain on my Pixel 5 using FordPass is outrageous. Without FordPass running I'll get 1.5 days of battery life consistently. With FordPass running I'll get 8 hours.

Thus when heading out to get groceries I'll happily use PAAK/FordPass and just force quit FordPass to avoid battery drain. But if I'm going out for the day and need to be sure that my phone stays charge I'll carry my fob and leave FordPass closed.
 

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PAAK was working all right for me until I had to uninstall and reinstall last night because it wouldn't register Scotty as being plugged in to the charger. Like other users (I'm running a new generation IPhone SE), I kept the app closed until I needed to use PAAK; slightly annoying when it was pouring rain but I prefer to avoid the battery drain...

Now I still have my backup start code and the app shows my phone as paired with PAAK but the app is trying to say I still need to set up PAAK. Thank God for my one programmed fob. Now to get the second programmed...
 

Nklem

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Once I get into the car, I simply put my Iphone XR in the charging tray and PAAK has not failed me once. If I leave it in my shirt pocket, I get the "Key not found message". If I set it on the passenger seat it's 50% reliable. If I sit in the back, it's about 10% reliable. Anyway, I simply put in in the charging tray every time and it is 100% reliable for me.

I also approach the car with the App always running (it has not effected my battery at all so it's running 24x7) and the door buttons light up and I press one to enter. Maybe a half dozen times, they did not, and I press one and there is a slight delay and it opens. Similar at the rear hatch. It's typically in my shirt pocket or pants/shorts.

Sometimes, I have the phone in my hand, and I will say it seems to respond quicker and be more reliable. Most of the time, my phone is on the lock screen , but Ford Pass is always running.

I have zero issues with PAAK (since the update a while ago) and if it's used like this daily, it is 100% reliable for me.
 

Bram12

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Appreciate the write up and the tips.

Most of the time this works for me as well.

One thing I have noticed is that I seem to have more issues with getting PAAK to work when at our cottage than anywhere else. Our cottage has internet but at very low speeds and wondering if somehow the slower wifi is an issue for the connection. Not sure why this would be the case if it is a Bluetooth connection but this has been my experience.

Anyway happy with PAAK and using the keypad as last resort is ok by me.
 

KDub

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Nice. Pretty much do the same with iPhone.

As TRP states, I often launch the app on the phone as I approach the car. That said, there are times it doesn't work, so I follow similar steps.

That said, with the new PaaK update to the car, I've found that the outside lights turn on automatically way more often then it ever has prior to the update, so that's a good thing.
What is the new PAAK update? Was it recent? I got a software update earlier this week on Monday morning (schedule day) that focused on "bug fixes." I noticed that PAAK performance has improved somewhat since the update. Not sure the battery drain on my Pixel 5 is any better.

Agree, nice initial write-up on the PAAK steps. This sequence usually works for me. Delays Connecting are a bit frustrating but not as fatal as many express.
 

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I have done programming jobs since January 1972 on IBM mainframes, and on the Personal Computer since July 1981, so I know when programs have bugs and only about five of my hundreds of programs have given me problems. But for my cars, I prefer a mechanical key or a passive fob where I Inlcialize the communications ( press the unlock key). If I buy a new car, I will not use my phone as a key since I don't depend or live on it. I tend to travel without one on me.

I may instead use the five digit door code and a future numeric code inside if I didn't have a fob. I find the common practice of doing everything on a phone silly and too dependant. What if you lose it or it fails? I have actually lost my phone one day and found it with a shattered screen a week later, yet I lost very little. Would any of you survive or drive your Mach-E if you lost your phone?

Plan your phone use with a replacement or backup instead. Try living without your phone for a week and see what happens.
 

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Paak didn't work for shit for me until the update at the dealer. Worked great ever since. I'm also a network engineer so I know when it's an actual problem vs me doing something incorrectly.
 

leeman

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There's a lot of discussion about the PAAK. Some say it just doesn't work or is not reliable. I say that it just needs to be coaxed into working. To this point I can say that my key fob hasn't left the drawer at home since I got my Mach E in April.

Background: I work in tech. I know that there are many ways to get things to work. I like to tinker and because of that I can get things to work that the rest of my family can't. Actually they could if they were more patient and creative but they know they can just call me for tech support.

Also having been in software development for decades I know that software has bugs. I often tell my staff that any program with more than 3 lines of code in it has bugs, we just haven't encountered them yet. Knowing this allows me to be more tolerant and patient than most.

The PAAK is technology. It requires connectivity between an app on the phone and the car, both of which may be asleep at any time. I'd like walk up to the car with the phone in my pocket the hope is that the two devices wake up and talk to each other then unlock the door. That's the dream. But that doesn't always happen. As a result I have a checklist of ways to get the PAAK to work.

Aside: Ford has a lot of work to do on the FordPass app so that we can avoid all this nonsense. Option 1 should work 100% of the time.

Here's what I do in this order... (Note: My PAAK is a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra)

  1. If I walk up and see the outside lighting turn on I'm golden. I know the door will unlock. I presume this is what we all expect but this happens less than 50% of the time so I can see where people think the PAAK is a failure.

  2. If the above doesn't work I will approach the car and press on the unlock button. Maybe several times. Often I'll hear relays clicking in the car and eventually the circle will glow. This works pretty often.

  3. Next I'll open and unlock my phone. This alone will sometimes cause the two to connect and unlock the car.

  4. Open the app. The app may have been in deep asleep, my phone may have been recently rebooted (in which case the app isn't running) or have been force closed. In that case the two aren't talking at all. Opening the app will cause them to handshake and the car will unlock. Aside: The FordPass app will force close itself at least 2 or 3 times per day. It's the only app on my phone that does this. Ford needs to fix this.

  5. Force close and re-open the app. If #4 doesn't work it may be because the app is in a state that it just won't connect. Force closing it will restart the app and reset it.

  6. Use the keypad on the outside of the driver's door to gain entry. This will wake up the car. Once inside the car the two devices will talk to each other and proceed as normal.

  7. Reboot the phone. This is the extreme measure and I only had to do this once but the car was less than a week old and I didn't know about the items above. I've never had to do this again.

  8. There may be other things that you have done successfully, please comment below..

  9. Caveat: These two devices talk to each other via bluetooth and wifi. There are a lot of other devices that can screw up this communication depending on where you live. I live in a single family dwelling in the suburbs. If you live in a high density housing area you may have more problems..

Using the above list I've never had the PAAK fail. But, of course, fail is a relative term. If your expectation is that #1 should work each and every time then for you the PAAK is a failure to you and you should keep that fob in your pocket or purse all the time. But I'm confident that I can get the PAAK to work 100% of the time, every time without fail.
Yes I see your points I work in software development as well. I've noticed these hiccups even in older Ford models with sync. Sometimes Apple CarPlay works and sometimes it doesn't even with the cable connected. Sometimes I get in the car and the stereo doesn't come on. Sometimes they get out of the car lock it with the stereo still playing. I've encountered these words offer bucks with devices to connect with Ford products for summer years now generally they work but again the Ford car is looking for something that's on active so your point to making sure the phone is not locked in the app is not put to sleep because it hasn't been used in a long time is important. Ford will put some settings in there to allow it to be more active when the phone is locked. The other thing to be aware of tools if you update your phones OS with her that's macOS or android OS you could run into issues with Ford sync products. Over the years updating your phone could mean that it no longer works with your car so be wary of that as well. It's gotten much better over the years but just keep these things in mind. Me I'm always somebody he'll carry a fob because I've been in the business so long I know these things happen and I will never rely on cutting edge tech to get things where I want them takes a while for it to function as expected over several months sometimes a year.
 

Jimrpa

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My observations (iPhone 12 Pro Max, iOS 14.7.1)
First thing in the morning, it’s a crapshoot as to how the car will respond. I can have the phone in my pocket, app closed, walk into the garage and there are parking lights and ponies on the floor. Other times, I can have the app open, refreshed several times, standing next to the car with the “deep sleep” message and “Bluetooth Disconnected”. Multiple pushes of the open button on the door MIGHT open the door. USUALLY the door unlock button on the app will unlock the door, but then I know it will be a rough start to the day. Drop the phone onto the charging pad with the app ope. (PaaK NEVER works unless it’s on the charging pad, app open - NEVER), press start and the car starts in primitive “8-bit tones” mode. I usually, but not always, have an audio system and voice commands. If I have an audio system, it’s usually tuned to my last station. Sometimes, it’s tunes to the SiriusXM Top Hits or whatever (which isn’t even a preset).

My morning routine involves a run to Starbucks. When I come out of Starbucks, my phone is in my pocket. If I see the parking lights light up as I approach, that’s a good sign. No parking lights means I’m digging my phone out of my pocket, and launching the FordPass app before I can open the car door. Again, put the phone on the charge pad. Now, if I saw parking lights, I can start the car normally and drive away. If I DID NOT see parking lights, I’ll have to hit the start button a few times, even with the no key detected display, then the instrument panel will come up, even though the password prompt is still up on the big screen. I drive away with the password prompt still up. After about a minute, the password prompt goes away, and the regular Sync 4 screen comes up

Am I happy with my Mustang Mach E? I LOVE the car! I am willing to work through the “quirks” of PaaK, but I would not let any of my less tech savvy friends know that there is such a thing as PaaK. I’d hand them a fob.

 

 
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