The Ram 2500 is one of America’s pickup kings.
But just like any other vehicle, its alarm can go off for mysterious reasons.
If you’re Ram 2500 alarm keeps going off this article is here to help.
Table of Contents
Why Does My Ram 2500 Alarm Keep Going Off?
The most common reasons why a Ram 2500 alarm goes off is due to low key fob battery, a faulty key fob, truck battery issues, accidental press of the panic alarm, faulty switches, unlocking the truck with the manual key, shifter not in Park, electrical interference, aftermarket alarm issues, and a faulty body control module.
1. Key Fob Issues: Low Battery, Dirty or Faulty Fob
The most common cause of a Ram 2500 alarm going off at random is due to either a key fob with low battery, a dirty key dob or a faulty key fob.
Clean The Key Fob
To start out, give the inside of the fob a good clean to see if this fixes this issue first.
Key fobs can collect a lot of dirt and gunk inside which can cause issues with the electrical contacts.
Simply get a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol and remove any buildup.
Here’s what owners had to say on cumminsforum.com
“Although not the same issue, I would recommend taking the key fob apart to change the battery and clean the contacts. My 12 I had after only 8 months would randomly not lock or unlock. I took the battery out and the contacts were pretty junked up. Everything worked great after that.”
“I took the key fob apart and kind of dusted it out and it hasn’t done it since….your results may vary”
Change the Fob Battery
If the battery on your fob is low or hasn’t been inserted correctly, this can trigger the alarm. To rule out this possibility you can change the key fob battery.
Batteries can be picked up for a few dollars. Its also a good idea to get a reputable brand of battery and make sure the battery is inserted the correct way up.
If you have two key fobs, you should change both batteries or alternatively leave one fob with the battery removed to narrow down which fob might be causing the issue.
Here’s what one owner had to say on cumminsforum.com
“Mine did it the night I took it home from the dealer. It was one of the fobs. I removed battery from both to quiet it for the night and next day put battery in one then the other to determine which one was the culprit but after going off 3 times the night before, my truck has never made a sound since. I’m assuming one of the fobs was misaligned when it was put together and my disassemble/reassemble fixed it…”
Faulty Key Fob
Some RAM owners have found that the root cause of the random alarms was in fact a faulty 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.
2. Poor Condition of Truck Batteries
If your RAM 2500 truck batteries are in bad condition, weak or dying then this can cause a wide range of issues including triggering the alarm.
To rule this out, simply have a battery health test – this can be done by your local dealer or at an AutoZone.
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 2500 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.
On cumminsforum.com, here’s what owners had to say:
“What condition are the truck batteries in? These trucks do strange things when they get low, or one drops out.”
“Load test each battery with them disconnected from each other. Most auto parts stores can do this or simply put 2 new batteries in it. The original batteries will go about 3 yrs, depending on where you live. If one battery is bad always replace both of them.”
“Hopefully the batteries are the issue, and hearing about where you live it sounds like batteries to me. Mine lasted 4 years but my climate is milder, 50 to 90 degree averages. Heat kills batteries the most but really cold starts give em a workout too. I replaced my originals with AGM (glass mat) type batteries which are much better than the stock ones. There have been several guys on this forum with issues like yours and batteries solved them. Take care and good luck!”
3. Accidentally Press of the Panic Alarm
If you have pressed the panic button on your fob by accident, you will need to press the panic button again to disable it.
Across Ram 2500 online forums, many owners have testified that they have triggered the alarm by accidentally pressing the panic button on the key fob.
If you’re wearing tight pants, have other items in your pocket with your fob or are bending or crouching down to pick something up – this can be easily done.
Here’s what one owner had to say on cumminsforum.com:
“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 tried hitting the unlock button and it wouldn’t turn off. Then tried starting it, but nothing. I started hitting all the buttons and it eventually went off.
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.
Here’s what it says in the manual:
The Panic Alarm will stay on for three minutes unless you turn it off by either pushing the Panic button a second time or drive the vehicle at a speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) or greater.”
Other owners on the same forum chimed in with the following responses:
“Thank you!! I actually opened the manual to find the fuse location and saw that. Guess it means I’m getting fat and need pants with more room!”
“I modified my remote to make it very difficult to press the panic button. I used a small ring cut from the nozzle of a tube of RTV sealant. It sits around the microswitch like a little donut and is about the same height. It’s still possible to press that button but almost impossible to do it by accident.”
Owners on ramforumz.com and 5thgenrams.com also shared their experience with the panic alarm:
“I carry the fob in my pocket. If I am within 200 + feet of the truck squat down and it pinches the PANIC button the damn horn starts blowing. PANIC alarm IMHO is worthless. Have heard horns blowing in parking lots & everyone ignores them because they know someone accidentally pushed the button or opened a door with a key when it was locked with a fob.”
“My vote is for the panic button. Done it a few times myself with random button pushes while keys are in my pocket.”
4. Faulty Hood Switch
A very common cause of false alarms on the Ram 2500 is a faulty hood switch. It is essentially an electrical switch that will trigger the alarm when the hood is open/opened when the alarm is armed.
If the hood switch 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 switches 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 component quite easily with the help of a YouTube tutorial.
If not, have your dealership take a look for you.
Here’s what owners had to say on ramforum.com
“Does the 2018 have a hood latch sensor? An often common cause of random alarms is the vehicle thinks someone popped the hood, but I am not familiar enough with your truck to know if it applies in this situation. My neighbors truck was an older Ram and his alarm kept going off, replaced the hood ajar sensor switch and that resolved it.”
“Most of the time, its the alarm switch in the hood latch. Disconnect if for a few days. You will know.”
5. Unlocking The Truck With The Manual Key And Not The Fob
On some Ram 2500 models, you will find that the alarm is triggered if you use the manual key to unlock the truck. This is because the truck should be unlocked with the fob.
On dodgeforum.com, one confused owner explained his dilemma.
If I unlock the doors using the remote, never a problem. When I open the door with the key, sets the alarm off every time! The owner’s manual says all you have to do to shut the alarm off is put the key in the ignition, or press the unlock button on the fob, but it never shuts mine off. In fact, I can start my truck and drive down the road (which I’ve done) which is odd because if it’s a security feature, you wouldn’t think the truck would start! Love to find a solution, but in the meantime I just have to remember to unlock the truck using the keyless!
Fortunately another owner was ready to explain the problem:
“The alarm is supposed to go off when unlocking the doors with a key. The door lock cylinders do not have door disarm circuits and the security alarm can only be disarmed with a programmed key registered to the vehicle. Once the alarm is triggered, a valid unlock request is required by the remote or by inserting a programmed key into the ignition and turning it to the run position. This improves the vehicle’s security by allowing only the vehicles electronic system to disarm with a valid programmed key.
Have you tried using a spare key to see if it disarms the alarm? That may help determine if it is the key or something with the vehicle. If you are looking to have this further reviewed with a Dodge dealer please feel free to PM me and I’d be happy to help.”
6. Faulty Door Switches & Sticking Latches
A faulty door switch is a common cause of Ram 2500 alarms going off.
Similar to the hood switch, your Ram 2500 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 2500 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.
7. Aftermarket Alarm: Loose Connection
If you have an aftermarket alarm system fitted, then it may have a loose connection.
One owner on cumminsforum.com shared his insights:
“Do you have an alarm system? Mine just did the same thing, it ended up being the male connector for the alarm was slightly unplugged causing a voltage connection problem. All it took was a new male connector for the wire tap… bada bang bada boom…. no more honking!!
Oh yeah, I have a KARR system put on by the stealership. Hope this helps.”
8. Faulty Horn Switch
A faulty horn switch can cause the alarm to go off at random, if you suspect his is the case speak with your local dealership.
Here’s what one owner on cumminsforum.com had to say:
“Ended up being the horn switch on the steering wheel pad. gonna have to get a new one. its unplugged for now”
9. Electrical Interference
Electrical interference such as parking underneath overhead power lines or parking near a HAM radio can trigger the alarm on your Ram 2500.
This phenomenon is caused by electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which can wreak havoc on the truck’s electronics.
If you suspect this is the cause, simply park somewhere else out of the way.
On dodgeforum.com here’s what one owner had to say:
“Could be where your parking at. Something interfering with the remote. Some sort of radio frequency? I know at my job, a co-worker would park next to me and set off my alarm. Happened almost everytime. Couldn’t figure out why. Had to tell her not to park next to me after a while. I have the same factory alarm. Once in a while it will go off for no apparent reason.”
10. Faulty Instrument Cluster
A faulty instrument cluster can trigger the alarm to go off for mysterious reasons, if you suspect this might be the cause speak with your local dealer and ask them to take a look:
Here’s what an owner on cumminsforum.com had to say:
“I had the same problem and it turned out to be my instrument cluster being bad. I guess everything runs to the cluster and then to the TIPM. Replaced the cluster and now everything works fine.”
11. Shifter Not All The Way In Park
A number of Ram truck owners have reported that not having the shifter all the way in Park has caused the alarm to go off.
Here’s what owners on cumminsforum.com had to say:
“Not sure if it helps, but sometimes if your shifter isn’t all the way into Park, the horn will honk and alarm will go crazy. Mine has done it a few times, even with the P lit up, the selector wasn’t completely seated and my alarm went nuts.”
“To be more specific on this, i put mine in park, release the brake.. and with in 3 seconds, you should hear your shift lock solenoid click.. usually that puts me in the clear.”
12. Faulty Body Control Module
A common reason why a Ram 2500 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
13. Badly Installed Aftermarket Alarms
If your Ram 2500 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.
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.