The Chevy Camaro is one of America’s most iconic muscle cars.
But like any other car, it’s not unusual for the alarm to go off for mysterious reasons.
If you’re Camaro alarm keeps going off this article is here to help.
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Why Does My Chevrolet Camaro Alarm Keep Going Off?
A Chevy Camaro alarm is often triggered by issues with key fob. Other common causes include unlocking the car manually, accidentally pressing fob buttons, a broken hood switch, overly sensitive shock sensors, a dying 12V battery or electrical wiring issues.
1. Key Fob Faulty, Dirty or Low Battery
The most common reason for a Camaro alarm going off at random is related to the key fob, if it is faulty, dirty or has a low battery this can trigger the alarm to go off at random.
The first thing you should do is give the inside of the fob a clean, dirt and dust buildup inside the fob can cause issues.
You can use rubbing alcohol and a few cotton swabs to clean the contacts.
Then you can try swapping the battery, it’s better to get a good quality battery, it’s worth the extra few dollars – and be sure to put the battery in the right way up.
If you are still experiencing problems try using the spare fob but make sure that it has a good battery, is clean and the other fob is well out of range.
Some owners have accidentally put their fob in the wash or it gets damaged for whatever reason, in which case you may need to speak to your dealer about getting a replacement.
Avoid carrying big metal objects, electronics or a second coded key on the same keyring as your primary key fob as this can cause problems too.
One owner on the forum camaro5.com shared this workaround when nothing else seemed to work:
“Are you using keyfob to remote lock? If so, try using only the key to lock. I had exact same prob and this was suggested to me and worked…now for the why’s and how to fix… not a clue.. tried new battery in fob…so just been doing this and NO FREAKIN ALARMS…EVER…the 2ams are sh!t…”
2. Unlocking the Car Manually (Not Using the Fob)
If you have unlocked your Camaro manually using the key (if you lost your fob or the battery is dead etc.) then this will trigger the alarm as the car is designed to be unlocked with the key fob.
If you use your fob for lock/unlock this will not set the alarm off.
Here is what owners on Camaro5.com had to say:
“I’m sorry to inform you, but you are opening your car “old school”. Nowadays “everyone” including standard manufacturer programming, has the car set the alarm off if the doors are open by way of not using the keyfob. Their may be something in the manual to change the DIC in the car so it doesn’t do this, but i cannot confirm.”
“This may be the issue…on my 2002 Z28, if you locked the car using the fob, you had to unlock it using the fob or the alarm would go off. But if you locked it using the key, you had to unlock it using the key or the alarm would go off.”
“Yes that is the problem. The cars security system will go off if you lock the door using the electric door button and then open it with a key. Since it is designed to be opened with the keyless entry. When you open it with the key after locking it electronically, the car thinks someone picked the lock or used a slim jim to open it and thus is trying to steal your car. Problem will be solved if you just manually lock it with the locking lever and forget that handy little button next to your power windows is there.”
3. Accidentally Pressing Fob Buttons
A number of Camaro owners have testified that accidentally pressing buttons on the key fob has caused the alarm to go off.
Here’s what owners on the popular forum Camaro5.com had to say.
“Are you keeping the fob in your pocket? I’ve activated my alarm because I had the fob in my pocket and was bending down or some other movement that caused one or more of the buttons to get pushed. I’ve locked it, unlocked it, popped the trunk, set off the panic alarm all because I had the fob in my pocket.”
“If you keep the fob in your pocket, stop. I did that with a previous vehicle when I got remote start. I’d come out from work and the car would be running, or trunk open.”
“Mine only goes off when my keys are in my pocket, I pick something up, and somehow the panic gets depressed… The car’s alarm will not go off for no reason unless the BCM is going bad.”
“I have had the panic alarm go off before when I had my keys in my pocket too.”
4. Broken or Dirty Hood Switch
Another common reason why a Chevy Camaro alarm will go off mysteriously is due to a faulty or dirty hood switch. Issues with a hood switch can simulate a break-in thus triggering the alarm.
Also called a hood latch sensor, this electrical switch reports the state of the hood.
When the alarm is armed, the hood should be shut and the switch will confirm this to the car’s computer.
If the switch is damaged or broken then this can cause the alarm to go off at random, as it will report an open hood when in actual fact it is closed.
Hood latch sensors often get dirty and clogged up with grime so it’s worth giving it a thorough clean and some lubrication first.
If you’re a hands-on type of person, you can replace this sensor quite easily with the help of a YouTube tutorial.
If not, have your local mechanic take a look for you.
Here’s what one owner had to say on the Camaro5.com forum.
“I had the same issue on my Pontiac G8 GT, we traced it back to the hood latch under the hood. The latch somehow went bad causing the alarm to go off at random times.”
5. Shock Sensor Sensitivty
On some Camaro models, shock sensors are fitted. If the sensitivity of these sensors is turned all the way up, then the alarm will go off very easily. Keep in mind these are not on every Camaro model and sometimes they are part of an aftermarket alarm system.
Shock sensors detect hits and impacts around your car, e.g. if someone breaks a window the sensor detects this and sends a signal to the alarm’s computer.
Here is what owners on advised various Camaro forums.
“Mine used to go off for like 10 seconds moments after I locked my door. Every time. So I unplugged the shock sensor and it stopped. It’s located under the same plastic piece where the jack and spare are. I realize my issue was different from yours, but it wouldn’t hurt to try that anyway.”
“If its aftermarket it could be the shock sensor either going out or needs less sensitivity”
“Yeah, most likely the shock sensor. You can disconnect it temporarily and if it stops you found the culprit.”
“x2 on the shock sensor. My ’99 Camaro would beep twice and the alarm would randomly go off. You can adjust the shock sensor so it’s not very sensitive. If that doesn’t stop the alarm from going off then you could try unplugging it. Like sawblade said it’s under the plastic panel where the spare tire is on the passenger side.”
“You can disconnect the shock sensor and not affect anything else. I had the same problem, but mine would go off like every 10 mins. The alarm will still go off if someone tries to start the car or break in.”
6. Alarm Sensor Water Damage
A common cause of Camaro alarms going off, for models from around the year 2000, was due to water, moisture or rain damage to the alarm sensor module. Located by the rear hatch speaker, passenger side, inside the panel.
Here’s what owners on the forum ls1tech.com had to say.
“I’m not saying its the problem however it could be a possibility. Go take off your alarm sensor out, unplug and take it part. When I took mine apart, the contacts in the circuit were all corroded from the moisture from the previous rain/wash and humidity. I cleaned them up, alcohol/Qtip and put them together, sealed them tight w/ electrical tape and it works again like it supposed to w/o the random alarm going off.”
“Check your alarm sensor module under the hatch speaker, PS. Open it up. Check the connections at the board for corrosion. Clean them up and re-install it. I had this problem last year and I fixed it by doing this.”
“Well you guys answered my question, I appreciate it. Apparently it did get wet at some point. I’m just going to leave it out. – 2001 Z28”
7. 12V Battery Issues
A 12V battery that is failing or has insufficient voltage can cause a wide range of problems, including causing the alarm to go off at random.
If you’ve had the battery for more than 4 years it may be time for a new one or it may just need to be properly charged.
The first thing you should do is test the battery.
You can do this yourself with a voltmeter, we’ve included a step-by-step guide at the bottom of the article, the battery should not have less than 12V.
Alternatively, take it to your dealer or local AutoZone who should be able to do a battery test free of charge.
It is also recommended that you give the battery terminals a good clean using a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture and ensure the terminals are tight and free from gunk, debris, corrosion and dirt.
If your Camaro has rusted battery terminals it will be unable to deliver the correct electrical power to various parts of the car.
One owner on CamaroForums.com had this to say:
“Turned out to be the battery, I replaced it with a new ACDELCO unit and it hasn’t happened since.”
8. Faulty Door Lock Sensors & Sticking Latches
A faulty door latch sensor is a common cause of Camaro alarms going off, in which case the faulty sensor will need to be replaced.
Similar to the hood latch sensor, your Camaro alarm monitors the doors to make sure no one is opening them.
Give all door latches a clean and some lubrication with WD-40 first to see if that solves the problem.
A latch that is sticking can also trigger the alarm.
9. Faulty Body Control Module
A common reason why a Camaro alarm keeps going off is due to a faulty body control module.
The body control module or ‘body computer’ is the electronic control unit responsible for monitoring and controlling various systems associated with the vehicle’s body such as the alarm, immobilizers, power windows etc.
The body control module can develop corrosion on the pins or connections can become loose.
Other common symptoms of a bad BCM include:
- Repeated battery drain
- Starting problems
- Erratic electrical functions e.g. horn, wipers, lights, lights on the dash
- Security and alarm system problems
10. Damaged Wiring
Damaged electrical wiring can cause a wide range of problems, it can often be tricky to pinpoint too and you may need to have an auto electrician run some diagnostic tests.
Here is what one owner on the Camaro5.com forum had to say:
“Sorry, haven’t experienced anything like what you’re describing; but it sounds like something may be shorting out somewhere. Electrical problems can be a real pain to track down and isolate, especially if they are affecting multiple systems. You may need to take it in to find the problem.”
11. Aftermarket Alarms
If the car has an aftermarket alarm fitted (one that did not come as standard with the vehicle) then this may have been incorrectly installed, aftermarket alarms can often be quite problematic.
These alarm systems are often more sophisticated than a basic factory-installed car alarm but are often installed by people who aren’t mechanics.
If you have an aftermarket alarm that’s causing you problems it’s best to have it examined by a trained auto electrician.
Disconnect the Battery
Sometimes mysterious alarm problems can disappear with a simple reboot, there are no guarantees here but it’s worth a try.
Disconnect the battery for 20 seconds and this resets many of the electronics in the vehicle.
Check For Warning Messages
When the alarm occurs can you see any lights or warning messages on the instrument panel?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the alarm e.g. ‘Hood Ajar’.
Take it to a Chevrolet Dealership
If needed, take your Chevrolet to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If you’re Chevrolet is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on Chevrolet’s recall page or the NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page you can determine whether or not there is a TSB or recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it addressed.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Test the 12V Battery
How to Test the Battery
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Simply turn on the headlights for 2 minutes then turn off.
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe:
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
- The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
- Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.