Chevrolet Equinox Alarm Going Off? (11 Causes & Solutions)

The Equinox is a small, stylish SUV that’s been around since 2005.

Like any vehicle, its not uncommon for faults to occur with the alarm.

If your Equinox alarm keeps going off, this article is here to help.

Why Does My Chevrolet Equinox Alarm Keep Going Off?

The most common cause of a mysterious alarm on the Chevy Equinox is a faulty hood switch or hood latch. Other causes include key fob issues, 12V battery issues, faulty door switch’s, accidental pressing of the panic alarm, aftermarket alarms damaged wiring, electrical interference and animals climbing on the vehicle.

1. Faulty Hood Switch or Hood Latch Assembly

Hood switch issues are a common cause of nuisance alarms. Also known as the hood latch sensor, this component is in charge of detecting the position or status of the vehicle’s hood (shut or open). Similarly, if the hood latch is broken – the catch that holds the hood of the car shut – this can also trigger nuisance alarms.

The hood switch is a simple mechanism – if the hood is “open” when the alarm is armed, then this will trigger the alarm.

However, if the hood switch is faulty it can send the incorrect signal to the car’s computer thus triggering the alarm.

Despite the relative simplicity of the hood switch, problems with it may arise due to dirt, grime, wear and tear and even manufacturing errors.

If you are mechanically inclined we suggest giving the hood latch a clean, clean the hood latch sensor and ensure the connections are tight – if it looks damaged you can buy and fit a new switch.

On one owner reported back, they found the cause of their Equinox alarm going off at random:

“I swapped out the hood latch and the problem went away. It cost me $25 on Amazon and took 10 minutes to replace.”

Here’s what a poster named Rbarrios had to say on in the Equinox sub-forum:

“Many times, the culprit is the hood latch assembly. The hood latch assembly could be causing the alarm to go off. Hood latch assembly also disables Remote start if it thinks the hood is open. When you get in, do you see a message on the display that says hood open?

When this happens, I would unlock the hood, go wiggle it, and close it, then see if the remote start works.”

To which another owner chimed in:

“Rbarrios is right as usual, that is a good place to start. I just wanted to add that if any of the 4 doors or liftgate is not closing properly, or has a bad switch, or bad wiring connection you will have the same problem.”

And lastly another owner reported this was the cause of their mysterious alarms:

“Its definitely the hood latch… same happens to mine on a windy day. I know my latch is broken 100%”

2. Key Fob: Dirty, Damaged or Low Battery

The key fob is an integral part of the Equinox’s alarm system, if it is dirty, damaged or low on battery, the alarm can be triggered at random.

For mysterious, nuisance alarms, the key fob is a good place to start.

The most common reason is usually a flat or weakened key fob battery.

For the sake of a few bucks it’s worth replacing the battery in your fob(s), and it’s also worth spending a bit extra for a good brand of battery.

Whilst you have the fob open to change the battery, give the inside a good clean.

Dirt buildup and dust can cause issues with the electronics.

  • To open your key fob, stick your prying tool into the slit or gap between the two halves of the outer casing and gently apply upward pressure to pop open the device.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Give the key fob a good clean to remove any dirt or fluff – a cotton swap and some rubbing alcohol should do the trick.
  • Check for damage, rust or loose connection (you may need a new key fob depending on what you find)
  • Be sure to insert the new battery facing the right way up.
  • Assemble the outer casing of your key fob by clamping them back together.

3. 12V Battery Issues

A faulty or weakened car battery can cause a myriad of problems, including accidentally triggering the Equinox alarm system. It is one of the most common causes of nuisance alarms.

The best thing to do is take your Equinox for a battery health check, these are usually quite inexpensive or sometimes free such as at AutoZone.

Or you can test it yourself with a multimeter (see the guide at the end of this article).

A battery at full capacity should be about 12.6 to 12.8 volts while a weakened battery reads below 12 volts.

Prior to doing so, you should check that the battery terminal connections are tight and clean of gunk/dirt/grime/rust.

Make sure the engine is off before doing any work on the battery.

  1. Inspect the battery and look for any signs of damage, dirt build-up, rust, or corrosion.
  2. Disconnect the battery and loosen the nuts on the clamps using a wrench
  3. Remove the negative clamp, marked with a “-” first
  4. Clean the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a mix of baking soda and water, rinse with distilled water and dry with a cloth.
  5. Re-connect the battery, ensuring tight connections

4. Faulty Door Switch

A very common cause of a false alarm on a Chevy Equinox is a faulty door switch.

  • The door switch is an electrical switch, located inside the latch.
  • It monitors the state of the door, when the alarm is armed the door should be shut.
  • If the switch is dirty, faulty or broken it can trigger false alarms.

It’s a good idea to give all latches a good clean and spray some WD40 to see if that remedies the situation.

Due to the doors being continually opened and closed, the door switch is prone to failure.

If you take your Equinox to the dealership they should be able to run some diagnostic tests to ascertain if you have a faulty door switch.

One Equinox owner asked for advice about mysterious alarm triggering on the, to which they received this helpful advice:

“You may have a bad door, hood, or liftgate switch or it may just be out of calibration. Try to narrow down which of the sensors is setting off the alarm. When the alarm goes off you should see a message on the DIC like “hood ajar”

A wet switch or sensor can give you a false reading so take note if the problem continues when completely dry. Any electrical switch/sensor can go bad at any time, out of calibration is also very common.”

5. Accidentally Pressing the Panic Alarm 

A simple yet common cause of Equinox alarms going off is accidental pressing of the panic alarm.

This can be easily done if you have other items in your pocket with your keys, you bend down to pick something up are wearing tight pants.

Here is what one Equinox owner had to say on

“So I was at the dentist this afternoon and all of a sudden my panic alarm started going off. I didn’t think anything of this as sometimes I hit it with the key ring so I thought maybe that is what it was..”

Related: Chevrolet Equinox Beeping? (8 Causes & Solutions)

6. Manually Unlocking the Vehicle with Key

A number of Chevy owners have reported that manually unlocking their vehicle with the key (as opposed to using the key fob) has triggered the alarm. This is because the vehicle has been designed to be unlocked with the fob.

This is a common feature on Chevy’s and the best thing to do is simply unlock your Equinox using the fob.

7. Aftermarket Alarm Systems

An incorrectly installed or faulty aftermarket alarm system is a common cause of nuisance alarms.

Aftermarket alarms are typically far more complex than any factory-installed equipment which makes them more prone to issues.

They may also have been installed by incompetent individuals.

If you are experiencing issues with an aftermarket alarm, the best thing to do is speak with a reputable auto electrician.

8. Damaged Wiring

The Equinox, like any other vehicle, is prone to damaged electrical components within the vehicle.

Wiring that is damaged, corroded, or faulty may not properly communicate certain codes and signals to the vehicle’s onboard computer, resulting in inadvertent alarms going off randomly.

There is no easy fix for this particular situation. We suggest dropping by your nearby dealer or service center to have your car assessed and scheduled for necessary repairs.

Damage to wiring is typically caused by exposure to external elements (such as weather), water leakage, and/or driving over rough and bumpy roads. 

9. Animals Climbing On The Vehicle

If your alarm has been set off in the middle of the night, it may have been by an animal climbing on the car.

Have a look for footprints on the hood and the roof.

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.

11. Electrical Interference

RFI is Radio Frequency Interference and EMR is electromagnetic radiation, both of which can cause the alarm to be triggered on your Equinox..

For example, parking underneath overhead power lines will expose your car to high amounts of EMR which can interfere with the electronics on your alarm system.

Or perhaps one of your neighbors has a high-powered HAM radio, this can also interfere with the alarm system.

If you suspect this is the cause, try parking somewhere else out the way.

Alternative Suggestions

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.

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 your unit is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.

How To 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.

Related: 11 Most Common Chevrolet Equinox Problems (Explained)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...