U2510 – Received Data Does Not Match (Ford)


By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2022-07-13
Automobile Repair Shop Owner

CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
U2510 Received Data Does Not Match (Ford)
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What Does Code U2510 Mean?

OBD II fault code U2510 is a manufacturer-specific trouble code that is defined by carmaker Ford as, “Received Data Does Not Match”, or sometimes as “Invalid data for Vehicle Security” and is set when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects or receives unexpected data from a defective, malfunctioning, or incorrectly programmed ignition key fob.

NOTE: The different definitions for code U2510 mean the same thing, which is that the PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System) in the vehicle does not recognize the security passcodes and other security-related information being transmitted from a key fob when the key is inserted into the ignition lock.

The security systems in modern vehicles are exceedingly complex to prevent unauthorized access to the vehicle, and in the case of late-model Ford applications, the PATS system is perhaps more complex than similar systems on other vehicle makes. Since limited space precludes a comprehensive discussion of the finer details of the inner workings of PATS systems on Ford applications, we can only provide some details on how this works in general terms. Thus, here is the short version of what code U2510 means-

All Ford applications are programmed with unique security passcodes and other security information during assembly in the factory, so each key fob issued to the vehicle during assembly is programmed to transmit various types of security information that matches the programmed information in the PATS system.

In practice, all control functions, i.e., whether (or not, as the case may be) the PATS system accepts the information transmitted by the key fob is located in the PCM, various other control modules, most notably the TCM (Transmission Control Module) and the ICM (Instrument Cluster Module) are programmed to monitor the transmission of security data by the key fob. As a practical matter, though, these and all other implicated control modules are each programmed with unique security information, and all implicated control modules expect to receive information that matches their unique programming from the key fob.

So, when a key fob is inserted into the ignition, a vast amount of information is transmitted from the key, and much of it is sent back to the key by a transponder as a kind of double-check to verify that the correct key is being used. However, one critically important aspect of all of this information is something called a “checksum”, which can best be described as an audit of the information transmitted by the key fob. In practice, the PCM verifies not only that all the expected information had been transmitted, but also that all of the expected information had been transmitted in the correct order. Put differently, this means that the expected security information contains a specified number of bits (of information, but more importantly, the information is structured in a certain way. Thus, all of the transmitted security information must match what the PCM and other control modules expect to receive from the key fob in the correct order, and if this happens, the checksum will be correct and it will, therefore, be accepted by the PCM and all other implicated control modules.

In terms of practicalities, this is the minimum requirement for the vehicle to start. Only when the checksum is accepted will the PCM and other control modules close the starting circuits to allow the vehicle to start, assuming of course, that no fuel pressure or ignition timing issues are present.

So, should a programming error, corrupted programming, or certain kinds of electric issues occur that causes the PCM and other control modules not to accept the information transmitted by the key fob, the PCM will interpret this as an attempt to gain unauthorized access to the vehicle, and it will set code U2510, illuminate warning light, and disable the starting circuits, as a result.

Where is the U2510 sensor located?

This image shows the inside of a Ford key fob. In this example, the red arrow indicates the combined microprocessor/transmitter that contains all of the required security information, while the yellow arrow indicates the battery that provides power to the microprocessor/transmitter.

Note that in all cases, the security information that is programmed into the microprocessor could be lost or corrupted when the battery in the key fob is damaged or discharged to below a minimum allowable threshold.

What are the common causes of code U2510?

The possible causes of code U2510 are many and varied, and could include one or more of the following-

  • Discharged key fob battery (Common)
  • Damaged, burnt, shorted, disconnected, or corroded wiring and/or connectors in the wiring harness of the PCM or other implicated control modules
  • Corrupted or damaged programming in the PCM, TCM (Transmission Control Module, ICM (Instrument Cluster Module), or other implicated control modules
  • Substituting one or more control modules with different calibration versions than the required version: in this context “calibration versions” is roughly analogous to different versions of a computer operating system
  • Damaged programming in one or more control modules as the result of abnormal system voltages caused by a defective battery, defects in the charging system, or incorrect jump-starting procedures
  • Improper or incorrect battery servicing and/or replacement procedures
  • The use of an unsuitable vehicle battery
  • The use of an unsuitable or incorrect battery in the key fob

Failing to perform a battery integration procedure after a battery replacement

  • Damaged key fob
  • Incorrectly programmed key fob
  • Incorrect or incomplete programming of one or more control modules
  • Failed or failing PCM or other control modules, but not that, unlike most other codes, control module failures are a relatively common cause of code U2510

What are the symptoms of code U2510?

Typical symptoms of code U2510 are largely similar across all Ford applications, and could include one or more of the following-

  • Stored trouble code, and one or more illuminated warning lights, including the CHECK ENGINE and security system warning lights that may or may not be flashing
  • Multiple additional trouble codes could be present along with U2510, depending on the nature of the problem
  • The engine may or may not crank, depending on both the affected vehicle and the nature of the problem
  • If the engine cranks, it will not start
  • In some cases, and depending on the vehicle and the nature of the problem, the engine may start but shut off again after about 2 seconds or so
  • In some cases, the PCM may lose its KAM (Keep Alive Memory), which comprises programming on basic ignition timing settings, idling speed settings, and other information. Note though that once the PATS issues are fixed and the vehicle starts and runs, the KAM programming will usually (but not always) be replaced/relearned automatically after a few completed drive cycles

NOTE: Diagnosing the above issues typically requires both the use of advanced diagnostic equipment and above-average knowledge not only of the PATS system but of several related and closely integrated systems as well. Therefore, we do NOT recommend that non-professional mechanics attempt any diagnostic and/or repair procedures on the PATS system because of the high risk of inadvertently causing more damage to the vehicle’s electrical system.