The EcoSport is a nicely sized and practical compact SUV.
Despite its ruggedness, it’s not uncommon for the alarm to go off mysteriously.
If you’re EcoSport alarm keeps going off, this article is here to help.
Why Does My Ford EcoSport Alarm Keep Going Off?
The most common causes of the alarm going off on a Ford EcoSport are internal sensors triggered by bugs, a faulty hood switch, door sensor issues, a dying 12V battery, electrical wiring issues, a faulty body control module or a low key fob battery.
1. Internal Sensors
A number of EcoSport owners have reported that their alarm has been triggered by small bugs or insects inside the vehicle which have inadvertently triggered the alarm via the internal sensors.
One way of testing this is to turn off the internal sensors for a week and see if the alarm problems stop.
On some EcoSport models you will be prompted on the display to select “Full Guard” or “Reduced Guard” when you turn off the car.
Selecting “Reduced Guard” will disable the internal sensors, this is great also if you need to leave dogs in the vehicle.
2. Hood Switch Problems
Like most vehicles, the EcoSport utilizes a hood latch sensor which is essentially an electrical switch.
It is designed to trigger an alarm if someone tries to force open the hood, however if it is broken or clogged with dirt this can trigger the alarm.
Dirty Hood Switch
Due to the prominent location of the hood switch, it is very prone to getting dusty, dirty and grimy – the accumulation of which is enough to cause alarm issues. Corrosion and rusting of the hood switch is also very common, which can also trigger the alarm.
Give the switch a thorough clean and make sure it is completely free of dirt and debris.
The hood switch on Ford vehicles often looks like a small black rubber plunger.
Faulty Hood Switch
It’s not uncommon for the hood switch to develop a fault, become loose or get damaged from the bumps of driving, from slamming the hood or from exposure to weather.
If the switch that monitors whether the hood is open or shut isn’t working properly then this will impact the alarm.
If you’re mechanically inclined it’s not too difficult to replace these although you should check to see if it’s just dirty or loose first.
If not have your Ford dealer take a look.
3. Low Key Fob Battery / Faulty Key Fob
As the key fob also has controls linked with your EcoSport alarm system, a faulty, damaged or malfunctioning key fob can send an incorrect signal, which may trigger the alarm. A low key fob battery can cause the alarm on your car to go off at random.
It’s worth spending a few bucks and just getting a couple of new batteries, if this is the solution it will save you a lot of time and money from going to the dealer.
Try using your spare coded key – if the problem goes away then you know you’ll need to replace the battery in your primary key fob.
It’s also advised that you don’t carry big metal objects, electronics or a second coded key on the same keyring as your primary key fob as this can lead to problems also.
It’s worth giving the inside of your key fob a clean as these can get filled with dirt which could be causing the alarm issue.
In summary, if you suspect your problems might be key fob related you can try the following:
- Check and replace key fob batteries
- Clean the key fob
- Reset the key fob
- Reprogram the key fob
4. Faulty Door & Rear Hatch Sensor
A faulty door latch sensor or an electrical short in the sensor is a common cause of Ford EcoSport alarms going off.
Similar to the hood latch sensor, your EcoSport alarm monitors the doors and the rear hatch to make sure no one is opening them.
If the computer that monitors the doors receives an incorrect signal from the faulty sensors, then this will trigger the alarm.
It’s a good idea to give all door latches a clean and some lubrication with WD-40, open and close the doors to work it in.
If you take your car to the dealer, they will be able to hook it up to a computer and run some diagnostic tests.
If the door ajar switch is damaged, replacing it will ensure the alarm won’t go off at random any longer.
This should be done for free under warranty, outside of warranty it shouldn’t cost more than a few hundred dollars.
5. Dying 12V Battery
A dying 12V battery or a battery with low voltage can cause many problems, including activating the alarm of your EcoSport. This should really be the first thing you check as it’s a very common cause and it’s easy enough to check and fix.
Most 12V car batteries last about 3-4 years so it might be time for a new one.
You can check the battery with a multimeter (we’ve included a guide at the bottom of the article) or take your car to any AutoZone which often offers free battery health checks.
It’s always worth cleaning the terminals first though and making sure the connections are tight and free from dirt, gunk, corrosion and debris.
6. Corroded or Rusty Battery Terminals
If your EcoSport has rusted battery terminals it will be unable to deliver the correct electrical power to various parts of the car.
The alarm system will often interpret this as a low-battery scenario and trigger the alarm.
Rusting can be caused by moisture and road salt exposure but also by improper charging.
- When a battery is undercharged it is common to see corrosion form on the negative terminal.
- Similarly, an overcharged battery will see corrosion form on the positive terminal.
Corroded battery terminals and posts can be cleaned by applying baking soda and scrubbing with a wet toothbrush.
If the battery terminals are severely rusted you will need to replace the battery.
7. Faulty Body Control Module
A common reason why a Ford EcoSport 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.
You can buy a replacement online and fit it yourself although if you’re not mechanically inclined it’s probably best to have someone at Ford take a look.
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
8. Damaged Wiring
Damaged electrical wiring can cause a wide range of problems.
Wiring damage can occur from general wear and tear or even from rodents chewing on the wiring.
Broken wires aren’t easy to find and you’ll need to have an auto electrician carry out some basic tests on your vehicle.
A common point of failure for electrical wiring is in and around the doors.
9. RFI and EMR
RFI is Radio Frequency Interference and EMR is electromagnetic radiation, both of which can cause the alarm to be triggered on your EcoSport.
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.
If you suspect this is the cause, try parking somewhere else or a bit further down the road.
Another similar cause might be one of your immediate neighbors using a HAM radio. These can be identified by big antennas or personalized license plates with their call letters on their cars.
Ham operators often transmit very strong signals and that can (and often does) overload poorly shielded alarms and set them off.
10. Incorrect Installation of a New Alarm
If you have recently had a new alarm fitted and it’s going off at random, then there’s a good chance it was installed incorrectly.
Your best option is to go back to the mechanic who installed it and explain your 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.
It may also have overly sensitive sensors which can be triggered by strong wind or even a cat or dog.
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 gauge cluster?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the alarm e.g. ‘Hood Ajar’.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on Ford’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.
Diagnosing Faults With a Scanner
Another possible option if you’re having alarm issues is to use an OBD2 diagnostic scanner tool, this can help narrow down what is causing the alarm.
These are fairly easy to use, you simply plug them into your car – there’s usually an OBD2 port under the steering wheel.
Once you have the scan codes you can research these online specifically for the EcoSport.
There are also OBD apps available so you can connect your car straight to your smartphone (either with a cable or Bluetooth) without even needing a scanner.
Take it to a Ford Dealership
If needed, take your Ford 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 (run computer tests to see exactly what is triggering the alarm) for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If you’re Ford is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
How to Test a Car Battery
A dying battery can cause alarm issues.
Here’s 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.