The Ram 1500 is one of America’s most iconic trucks.
But like any other vehicle, it’s not uncommon for the alarm to go off at random.
If you’re Ram 1500 alarm keeps going off this article is for you.
Table of Contents
Why Does My Ram 1500 Alarm Keep Going Off?
The most common reason why a Ram 1500 alarm goes off is due to a faulty key fob or low key fob battery. Other common causes include accidentally pressing the panic alarm button, damaged or faulty sensors, 12V battery issues, and a faulty body control module.
1. Key Fob Issues
The most common cause of a Ram 1500 alarm going off at random is due to either a faulty key fob or a key fob with low battery.
The first thing to try is changing the battery.
However, once you have the fob open you should give the inside a good clean as dirt and dust can accumulate causing issues with the electrical contacts.
If this doesn’t help, try using a spare key fob but make sure that the other key fob is well out of range.
You should also ensure the spare fob is clean and has a fresh battery.
Here’s what one Ram 1500 owner had to say on 5thGenRams.com
“I have had exact same problem with our 2018 Challenger, cause = dead battery inside the key fob. Installed new battery (be sure not to use cheap Chinese battery, pay the extra few dollars for good quality)(make sure to install it right side up, if upside down same problem will occur, yeah I did that once). New battery in key fob and everything works like it should.”
Another owner on RamForum.com had this to say:
“I’m just really suspect of the key fob right now because I think the alarm hasn’t gone off since I disabled the fob. But I’m going to test it some more.”
And lastly, one owner on DodgeForum.com, whose alarm went off randomly in the early morning had this to say after multiple dealer visits:
“Apparently it’s a bad key fob.”
If you suspect your fob is broken you can ask your dealer to repair it, which should work out cheaper than buying a new one.
Avoid carrying big metal objects, electronics or a second coded key on the same keyring as your primary key fob as this can cause problems too.
2. Accidentally Pressing the Panic Alarm
Another common reason why some Ram 1500 owners have experienced their alarm go off at random, is due to accidentally pressing the panic alarm button. Pressing the panic button again will turn the alarm off.
Here’s what owners had to say on the popular forum 5thGenRams.com:
“My vote is for the panic button. Done it a few times myself with random button pushes while keys are in my pocket.”
“I’ve accidentally hit panic many times over years of cars/keys with this function. Usually when I try to carry multiple small things all at once.”
“I’ve set the alarm off a few times when I’m inside my house. It’s kind of annoying, but pressing the panic button again shuts it off.”
Another owner on CumminsForum.com shared his realization:
“Same thing happened to me last week. I was getting out of the truck with the fob in my pocket. I think what happened was the house key was pressed against the panic button… I looked in the manual later and found out you have to hit the panic button again. Every car I ever had with a panic button went off with the unlock button. But the Ram turns it off with the panic button.”
3. Faulty Hood Latch Sensor
Another common reason why a Ram 1500 alarm will go off at random is due to a failed or faulty hood latch sensor.
Often called a hood switch, this electrical device reports the state of the hood.
When the alarm is armed, the hood should be shut and the switch will confirm this to the truck’s computer.
If the hood latch sensor is damaged or broken then this can cause the alarm to go off at random, as it will report an open hood when in actual fact it is closed.
Hood latch sensors often get dirty and clogged up with grime so it’s worth giving it a thorough clean and some lubrication first.
If you’re a hands-on type of person, you can replace this sensor quite easily with the help of a YouTube tutorial.
If not, have your local mechanic take a look for you.
4. Low or Faulty 12V Battery
A low of faulty 12V battery can cause a wide range issues, including triggering the alarm at random times.
To rule this out, simply have a battery health test – this can be done by your local dealer, mechanic or even free of charge at an AutoZone.
You can also do this yourself with a multimeter, we’ve included a simple guide at the bottom of this article.
The battery should not have less than 12V.
It is also highly recommended that you give the battery terminals a good clean using a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture and ensure the terminals are tight and free from gunk, debris, corrosion and dirt.
Similarly, if your Ram 1500 has rusted battery terminals this can cause alarm issues as it will be unable to deliver the correct electrical power to various parts of the vehicle.
5. Faulty Door Lock Sensors & Sticking Latches
A faulty door latch sensor is a common cause of Ram 1500 alarms going off.
Similar to the hood latch sensor, your Ram 1500 alarm monitors the doors to make sure no one is opening them.
Give all door latches a clean and some lubrication with WD-40.
A latch that is sticking can also trigger the alarm.
On some Ram 1500 models, you will be able to ask your dealer to run a diagnostic test to show the last several reasons why the alarm was triggered.
This can help pinpoint the exact cause, especially if the reports show it was coming from one sensor in one of the doors.
6. Faulty Body Control Module
A common reason why a Ram 1500 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.
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
7. Badly Installed Aftermarket Alarms
If your Ram 1500 has an aftermarket alarm installed, then its improper installation may be the root of the problem.
These alarm systems are often more complex than a basic factory-installed alarm but are often installed by people who aren’t competent.
If you have an aftermarket alarm that’s causing you problems it’s best to have it tested by an auto electrician or someone who specializes in aftermarket alarm systems.
It may also have overly sensitive sensors which can be triggered by loud noises, gusts of wind or even a cat climbing on top of it, in which case you’ll need to have the sensitivity adjusted.
8. Electrical Interference
Electrical interference such as parking underneath overhead power lines can trigger the alarm on your Ram 1500.
This phenomenon is caused by electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which can wreak havoc on the trucks electronics.
If you suspect this is the cause, simply park somewhere else out the way.
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 Ram Dealership
If needed, take your Ram truck 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 you’re Ram is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on Ram’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.
Pull the Horn Fuse
Is your horn the alarm on your security system?
If so, pull the horn fuse.
That should keep it from going off all hours of the day and night.
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.