Honda HR-V Alarm Going Off? (13 Common Causes)

The Honda HR-V is a value-oriented subcompact SUV.

Like any other other vehicle, the HR-V’s alarm may go off at random for mysterious reasons.

If your HR-V alarm keeps going off, continue reading this article...

Why Does My Honda HR-V Alarm Keep Going Off?

A Honda HR-V alarm can be triggered by a faulty hood or door switch, key fob issues, 12V battery issues, water leakage, electrical faults (wiring or BCM), accidental press of the panic alarm and not closing a door/hood/trunk properly.

1. Faulty Hood Switch

A faulty hood switch is a common cause of unwanted alarms on the Honda HR-V.

The switch is usually integrated into 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.

If you’re mechanically inclined you can buy a replacement hood switch online and fit it yourself or the easiest option is to have your dealer take a look.

Here is what owners had to say on hrvforum.com:

“A Honda dealer can interrogate/scan the HRV alarm/security system to determine which sensor is setting off the alarm.
Usually the issue on the HRV is either the engine hood latch sensor or the rear hatch latch sensor.”

2. Faulty Door Switches

Faulty door switches (including the rear hatch) are another common cause of random alarms on the HR-V, 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.

3. Key Fob Low On Battery Or Dirty

A common cause of mysterious alarms on the HR-V 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 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.

4. Faulty Key Fob

Another reported cause of nuisance alarms on the HR-V is a faulty key fob.

Here is what owners had to say on HRVforum.com:

“If I lock the door with the little button on the door handle it never goes off. So I’ve been tracking it.. sure enough, if I use the remote it randomly goes off. If I use the button, it never goes off…” 

“In our case [alarm going off], the primary remote was failing. It was not dead, the battery in the remote was fine, but the remote would not do anything except the LED on the remote would come on and stay on when a button was pushed…”

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.

5. Drained 12V Battery

A faulty or weakened car battery causes a variety of problems, including accidentally triggering the HR-V alarm.

The best thing to do is take your HR-V 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.

6. Loose or Bad 12V Battery Connections

Loose or bad 12V battery connections can cause a number of problems, including triggering the alarm of your HR-V.

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.

  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

7. Water Leakage

Water leaking via the sunroof and rear hatch has been widely reported on the 2016 and 2017 HR-V model years. This can short out electrical components and can lead to complications with the vehicle’s alarm system.

Here’s what owners on HRVforums.com and reddit.com/r/HRV had to say:

“Do you have a Sun roof? Has it been raining a lot where you are? Mine leaked into the cab and down the pillar. Dripped onto the “computer” and was causing the alarm to go off and the door locks to constantly lock and unlock.”

“This is a known issue with the HR-V. If you’re experiencing this, call your dealership and it should be under warranty. Basically there was something installed incorrectly during the vehicle construction that allows water to seep in the trunk and it causes an issue with the latch too (you’ll likely experience the latch sticking when you try to open the trunk). They need to replace the motor and the latch. Good luck…” 

“The trunk is not waterproof and water is getting into the latch area when it rains. When we checked the extra tire area, it was all full of water. Basically what I think happens is that the electronic door in the trunk would get water in it and think the door was ajar. Which caused the lock to lock and unlock…” 

“I don’t know much about cars but, my 2016 HR-V likes to leak water into the cab when it rains. I can see a wet spot where the headliner/upholstery meets the plastic covering the pillar. The water pools on the passenger side at the floor, between the carpet and the frame of the car…” 

8. Accidental Press of The Panic Alarm

Its not uncommon for owners to accidentally press the panic alarm on the fob, if its in their pocket and they crouch down, have on tight pants or other items in their pocket.

Here is what one owner had to say on HRVforum.com:

“I always carry my remote in my pocket and sometimes stooping or sitting will activate a button and set the alarm off.”

9. Faulty Body Control Module (BCM)

A faulty body control module can cause a wide range of issues including nuisance alarms.

  • The BCM is in charge of electrical communication from different electronic systems.
  • This includes the car alarm system, lock-unlock functions, climate control etc.

One owner on Reddit.com/r/HRV pointed out that it was indeed his vehicle’s BCM that was causing their car alarm issues.  

“ … It’s the body computer that’s going bad, it’s basically trying to turn on part of the car which causes the alarm to think the car is being hot wired so it goes off.” 

If you feel that your BCM is the culprit behind random alarm activation, then book an appointment with your local dealership to have it inspected. 

10. Aftermarket Alarm Issues

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.

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.

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

13. Not Closing Doors, Hood or Trunk Properly

Sometimes a false alarm can be caused simply by not shutting a door properly, including the hood and trunk.

Related: Honda HR-V Beeping Problems? (7 Causes & Solutions)

Alternative Suggestions

Check for Recalls or TSBs

By entering your car’s VIN number on Honda’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 Honda Dealership

If needed, take your Honda 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: 8 Common Honda HR-V Locking Problems (Solved & Explained)

Resources

https://owners.honda.com/vehicle-information/manuals

https://owners.honda.com/help/customer-relations

https://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/recalls

Author:

  • 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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