Chevrolet Traverse Alarm Going Off? (8 Common Causes)

The Traverse is a handsome, family size SUV with a sense of athleticism.

Like any other vehicle, it is susceptible to nuisance alarms for various reasons.

If your Traverse’s alarm keeps going off at random, continue reading this article… 

Why Does My Chevrolet Traverse Alarm Keep Going Off?

A Chevrolet Traverse alarm can be triggered by a drained 12V battery, manually unlocking the vehicle with the key, faulty door/hood switches, key fob issues, aftermarket alarms, damaged wiring and even animals climbing on the vehicle.

1. Drained or Faulty 12V Battery

A faulty or weakened car battery causes a lot of different problems, including accidentally triggering the Traverse’s alarm system. It is one of the most common causes of nuisance alarms.

The best thing to do is take your Traverse 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

2. Manually Unlocking the Vehicle

Traverse 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.

Below are a few posts from owners on in relation to this issue:

“My wife and I have a 12′ Traverse (FWD) LTZ and the wife found something out by accident yesterday about the car. We don’t have an alarm installed on the car (aftermarket or GM) that I know of, but when she locked the doors with the remote and then unlocked the front door manually just to open the door (after all doors had been shut) the horn started honking and lights flashing when she opened the door”

“My wife used the key to unlock the car and when the door was opened the car alarm sounded. Is this normal behavior?”

“Okay I know I am missing something obvious so be gentle. If I unlock the driver’s side door with just the key (i.e. not electronically using the FOB) and then open the door the basic factory alarm will sound i.e. beep..beep..beep and will only stop when I insert the key in the ignition. Is there a way to program it without doing this?”

The solution is simply to use the key fob to lock and unlock the vehicle. 

3. Faulty Hood Switch

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).

It 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.

Alternatively, a trip to the dealer or your local mechanic is the easiest option.

On, one 2014 Traverse owner sought advice because their “alarm randomly goes off constantly out of nowhere”.

The Technician deduced the following:

 “I recommend adjusting the hood ajar switch so that it is tighter applied to the hood when the hood is closed.”

4. Faulty Door Switch

A very common cause of a false alarm on a Chevy Traverse 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.

Here’s what one Chevy owner had to say:

“It’s very possible you may have a door switch that is just starting to go bad. A neighbor of mine had the exact same thing happen, but his was an earlier year. His would go off as soon as the temperature got around 30 degrees which was usually in the middle of the night. Yes, we were all happy once he figured it out.”

If you suspect you have a faulty switch, you can ask your dealer to run some scans on your vehicle to pinpoint the faulty switch.

5. Key Fob Issues

A Traverse key fob that is malfunctioning, low on battery or overly dirty can send incorrect signals to the vehicle that would trigger the alarm.

The first thing to do is clean your key fob(s) using a cotton swab and a bit of rubbing alcohol. 

Bits of dust, fluff and grime can impede the electrical contacts and cause various issues.

For the sake of a few dollars it’s worth changing the battery in your fob(s) too.

You will generally require a prying tool or a flathead screwdriver.

A replacement battery for the Traverse is typically a CR2032 coin battery, but you should double-check with a quick Google search for your specific model year.

How to clean the key fob and replace the battery:

  • 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 (no need to use the prying tool as your fingernails should do the trick).
  • 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)
  • Insert the new battery (facing in the right way up).
  • Assemble the outer casing of your key fob by clamping them back together and you should be good to go!

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

6. Incorrectly Installed Aftermarket Alarm System

An improperly installed aftermarket alarm system may inadvertently trigger the vehicle’s alarm at random.

If you are experiencing issues with your alarm going off and have determined that this problem started to occur after aftermarket equipment was installed, then immediately have your vehicle checked by your local dealer or service center. 

Take note that not all aftermarket alarm systems are compatible with Chevrolet’s software. 

If incompatibility is the issue, then you may have to consider having the aftermarket item uninstalled to prevent any inadvertent alarm triggering. 

If it was simply a matter of poor installation, then an expert car electrician should be able to sort things out immediately. 

7. Damaged Wiring

Damaged electrical wiring can cause a wide variety of issues, especially with the alarm system.

Damaged, corroded or faulty wires aren’t easy to find and you’ll need to have an auto electrician carry out some fault finding on your car.

A common point of failure for electrical wiring is in and around the doors,.

If you’ve had some kind of water leak in your car then this issue is one to investigate.

8. 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.

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.



  • 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...

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