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Electrical 4th Gen Dodge Ram Electrical Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default Entry Alarm Malfunction

Okay guys and gals, I finally have a little bit of time to ask for some help here. I'm a cop (an investigator; I don't do all that TV trick driving) and my work ride is a new 09 quad cab half ton with the 4.7 (I know, I know, but I didn't get to spec it out. I needed a new truck and the dealership made the city a sweet deal on this one). Anyway, I ran a six gauge wire from the battery to a fuse block in the cab, and the lights, siren, switchbox, radio, and locking gun rack are powered through the fuse block. I ran a common frame ground with pigtails for everything; I am not intruding on any circuits. The truck has a keyless entry with an entry alarm from the factory. Other than the emergency equipment, there are no aftermarket mods.

The problem is that intermittently, the entry alarm goes off. It may go three or four days between trips and it may go off several times in one night. Did I mention that the bride, the neighbors, and I are getting a little fed up with it? I took it back to the dealership where we purchased it. The service writer told me that I don't have an entry alarm. When I asked him what was waking me up all week long he said that I must have put an aftermarket alarm in. That kinda aggravated me but I let it go.

I left it with them for three days. They said it had sat in the shop the whole time and nobody heard it go off so they couldn't do anything. I needed my truck and leaving it there obviously wasn't doing any good so I picked it up, pretty disappointed with the caliber of the service department.

I called another dealership down in the big city and asked to speak to the service manager. I'm not sure who they put on the phone. I ran it down to him and he told me that he has never seen an entry alarm malfunction that wasn't attributable to the faulty installation of aftermarket equipment. He said that warranty wouldn't cover it, and that I was looking at somewhere between $800 and $1300 to have one of his ace wizards diagnose and repair what could only be my monumental screwup.

I understand that I'm not perfect, but I don't see how my installation would affect the entry alarm. I have a dog that assures me that no one is setting it off at night. Three times it has gone off in the daytime with me standing right there; no one was yanking on the doors or dropping the tailgate. I doubt it's radio signals; my personal truck (Chevy) has a keyless entry and entry alarm that doesn't go off all the time. Just the Dodge.

If there is a way to deactivate the alarm without deactivating the keyless entry, I'd do it in a second. I could even do without the keyless entry if I have to, but I hate to leave the truck unlocked with all of that equipment (and an NFA weapon) inside. If there's a way to troubleshoot the system I'd love to know that. I am not real sharp on advanced electronics, but I have no problems reading diagrams and doing installations. I just can't tell you how a diode works or how ohms ohm.

Any suggestions and/or instructions are welcome. Please don't private message me; I can't figure out how to open those (computers don't like me, but it's a reciprocal arrangement). Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:43 PM
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BTW, I forgot to add that all of the equipment is turned off at night when I park it, so no feedback or vibration from the radio is occurring.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:23 AM
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I would start by disconnecting the 6 gauge wire going to the battery when you can do without the truck for a day or two and just let it sit to see if it still does it. At least then you can definitevely tell the service department that it's not related to the things you've installed for work.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:33 AM
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Did the second dealer actually look at the truck to see that you didn't cut any wires before they blamed you?

I found this article that might you some ideas to bring up to the dealer.

http://www.justanswer.com/questions/...-goes-off-once
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:19 AM
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I agree with Randy . Disconnect your set-up and see what that does . If the problem continues , theres a problem with the truck .
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:53 AM
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lamateo, I appreciate the link. The one difference I've found is that mine has gone off with the doors manually locked; after reviewing the owner's manual I had thought that I could lock the vehicle manually without the alarm activating. No joy; it still went off.

I considered disconnecting the power feed as suggested, but sometimes the alarm won't go off for several days. If I did it over a weekend I couldn't be sure if I had isolated the problem or not. Additionally, I am subject to callout for tactical responses and I'd hate to have to hook everything up again while the clock is ticking, and I'll certainly need the lights, siren, and radio on a tactical callout.

That may end up being the route I have to take, as much as I hate to. I guess I should have put in the original post that the guy who normally does our installations charges a hefty price for sloppy work, and because I have rigged out quite a few vehicles in the past the chief let me do this one. I've never had an issue with an installation before, and I can't think of anything I've done in this one that should affect the alarm.

We are transitioning our patrol fleet over to Chargers. Although the handling and power are impressive, we are spending an awful lot of money on brakes and suspensions, along with a few other issues. A few years ago one of our environmental officers tried a 3/4 ton four wheel drive Dodge pickup for work, and had a lot of maintnance and warranty issues. He had a Chevy before that Dodge and is in a Chevy again now, with nowhere near the problems. I'm beginning to wonder if the dealership we are using has some issues, or if Dodge as a company has issues. I'm certainly beginning to get a bad taste in my mouth about this truck, and the apparent lack of knowlege about their product the dealers display..................

Anyway, I didn't come here to slam Dodge, I just want to get the truck fixed. If anybody has any other ideas or info that might help, it will certainly be appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:14 PM
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Is there a fuse in line with the 6 gauge that you could pull loose instead of disconnecting the wire from the battery? That would certainly make your response time quicker and still allow you to leave it disconnected to try and isolate the problem. Does this just happen at home or other places as well? If it just happens at home, I'm thinking there could be an RFI problem.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:52 PM
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Even install a switch . Would make things simple if you have that emergency .
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toms Blue Ram 1500 View Post
Even install a switch . Would make things simple if you have that emergency .

That's a great idea, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I'll pick up a switch next week and pop it in. I'll let you guys know what happens. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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That's going to have to be one helluva switch to control all that stuff. You're better off using a switch to activate a relay.
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