The Ford Taurus is large, comfortable sedan that was produced from 1990 – 2019.
Despite being a dependable car, it’s not immune from alarm issues.
If the alarm of your Taurus keeps going off, check out the solutions we have listed below.
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Why Does My Ford Taurus Alarm Keep Going Off?
A Ford Taurus alarm is usually triggered by a faulty hood switch or door switch. Other common causes include 12V battery problems and key fob issues.
1. Faulty Hood Switch
A faulty hood switch is a common cause of unwanted alarms for Ford vehicles (Taurus included).
The switch is typically embedded in the hood latch.
The small electronic device is designed to detect whether the hood is open or shut and is an important part of the car’s alarm system – if it is broken, loose or dirty it can send false readings to the car’s computer thus triggering the alarm.
- Pop the hood and locate the hood switch.
- Check for any obvious damage, rust or loose connections.
- Give the hood switch a clean too (use contact cleaner), as dirt and grime can cause issues.
- You can test the switch with a continuity tester.
If you are well-versed mechanically, you can buy a new hood switch online and replace it yourself. Otherwise, we’d advise visiting your local mechanic.
A Ford Mechanic on JustAnswer.com shared the following:
“Once the alarm is fully armed the only thing that can cause the alarm to trigger is a signal stating one of those inputs has gone from closed to open. Since you aren’t getting door or trunk ajar messages it probably is a hood switch…”
“First check the hood pin switch. Sometimes they get bent down and don’t get fully depressed when the hood is closed. Also make sure that the rubber grommet in the hood that contacts the switch is present and not damaged.”
The same sentiment is repeated by one owner at 2CarPros.com:
“A common cause for this is a failing switch in the system, like a door or hood switch. The system arms itself and when the temperatures change or a breeze moves the car the alarm goes off…”
2. Malfunctioning Door Switches
Faulty door switches are another common cause of random alarms on the Taurus, similar to the hood switch, these switches monitor the open/closed status of the door – if damaged, faulty or dirty they can send false readings thereby triggering the alarm.
Door switches are a common point of failure as they are subject to wear and tear due to the doors being continually opened/closed/slammed etc.
The door latches and door switches can get dirty too which can cause issues, so the first thing you should do is give all door latches a good clean and spray some WD-40 on the latch and work it in to see if that helps.
Also check the wiring leading from the body into the door for any signs of damage, it should be in a flexible hose on the hinge side of the door.
If you suspect the alarm issues are linked to the door switch, ask your dealer to run a diagnostic test to try and pinpoint the fault.
Over at JustAnswer.com, Ford mechanics shared the following advice:
“What happens is the switch/sensors send a false signal telling the computer that the door is opened and locked at the same time even though the door is closed. This sets off the alarm. Most common is usually the driver’s door itself as it is used the most…”
“There is an anti-tamper switch attached to the trunk key cylinder. You won’t be able to see if it is faulty, so just unplug it and see if the concern is gone. Attached to the cylinder will be a short cable with an electrical connector on the end, unplug it there…”
“More than likely on your Tarus you have a sticking door switch causing the alarm to go off randomly. It is very common on many Ford vehicles to have this problem. When the switches get stuck, the computer thinks a door is being opened when in reality, It is not. This will cause the alarm to go off…”
3. Drained 12V Battery
A faulty or weakened car battery causes a variety of problems, including accidentally triggering the Taurus alarm.
The best thing to do is take your Taurus 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 healthy 12V battery should be about 12.6 to 12.8 volts while a weakened battery reads below 12 volts.
“These newer cars (OBD/CAN) will do funny things when the battery voltage is low. The dirty battery posts most likely will be your problem. You may want to clean the other ends of both battery cables where they fasten to the engine & starter/solenoid.” – FordTaurus.net
4. Loose or Bad 12V Battery Connections
Loose or bad 12V battery connections can cause a number of problems, including triggering the alarm of your Taurus.
A bad connection can be caused by dirt or gunk buildup.
The terminals may have come loose from driving and vibrations etc.
Make sure the engine is off before doing any work on the battery.
- Inspect the battery and look for any signs of damage, dirt build-up, rust, or corrosion.
- Disconnect the battery and loosen the nuts on the clamps using a wrench.
- Remove the negative clamp, marked with a “-” first.
- Clean the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a mix of baking soda and water, rinse with distilled water and dry with a cloth.
Reconnect the battery, ensuring tight connections.
Here is a tip from an owner on 2CarPros.com:
“I would remove the negative battery cable end and hold it to the positive terminal for one minute to hard reboot the system, this will discharge the capacitors and allow the system to reinitialize…”
Over at r/MechanicAdvice.com, we found this post:
“I got it to work. I tried all the steps I’d already mentioned again, to no avail, but then just wiggled the positive/negative battery connections (they’re on there tight), and then repeated the steps. Then the car started as normal…”
5. Faulty Key Fob
Another reported cause of nuisance alarms on the Taurus is a faulty key fob.
If you have 2 remotes, try taking the battery out of one and use the other for a while.
If the alarm problems persist, and you have tried cleaning the inside of the fob(s) and changing the battery, the best thing to do is speak with your dealer.
Over at the r/MechanicAdvice subreddit, we found this comment:
“ … You may have a key fob going bad. Is there another key to try? If not, call a locksmith that can do mobile repairs. They will have the tools to program two new keys and cut them to work in the cylinder.”
6. Key Fob Running on Low Battery
A common cause of mysterious alarms on the Taurus is a low key fob battery. Similarly, if the fob is dirty or dusty this can also cause alarm issues.
Give the inside of your fob a clean and replace the battery to eliminate this possible cause. It’s worth spending a bit extra for a good brand of 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.
- Give the key fob a good clean to remove any dirt or fluff – a cotton swab 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.
7. Incorrectly Installed Aftermarket Alarm
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.
9. Water Leakage
Water leaking into the door latches and sensors can occur, thus causing issues with the alarm system.
You migth need to take the door apart and remove the trims and dry out the electrics with a hardryer although for a longer-term solution you will need to fix the leak.
10. Rust and Corrosion on Door and Hood Latches
Rust and corrosion can damage the latches and switches, which can send false signals to the cars computer.
If your car is frequently exposed to moisture or other external elements, then you should routinely inspect critical areas of your vehicle for any sign of rust or corrosion.
11. 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.
12. 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.
States such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, and Carolina have large wild raccoon populations.
Have a look for footprints on the hood and the roof.
If you have a CCTV system, examine the footage. These animals usually appear during the night.
13. Not Closing Doors, Hood, or Trunk Properly
Something as simple as not properly closing the doors, hood, or trunk will inevitably trigger the alarm.
Make sure to check if you have closed every point of entry of your vehicle to avoid accidentally tripping your Taurus’s alarm.
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.
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 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 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.