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Cannot Remove FOB/Key from ignition on 2011 RAM 1500 (Battery Not Dead, Gear in Park)

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  #1  
Old 09-08-2011, 06:59 PM
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Default Cannot Remove FOB/Key from ignition on 2011 RAM 1500 (Battery Not Dead, Gear in Park)

Hey Folks,

This is my first post on DodgeForum. I know similar questions on this topic have come up and have been beaten to death, but I think my scenario is a little different from others and I haven't been able to find a explanation or solution just yet.

Here's what happened:

My remote has been acting flaky lately, (e.g., it would take multiple tries to remote start or to unlock the doors). I figured the battery was dying. No biggie, I'll just replace the battery when I get around to it. Well yesterday, as I'm walking to my car about to head home from work, I was unable to start or unlock my doors at all with the remote. It seemed the battery finally died altogether. Again, no biggie, I'll just use the hidden manual key.

So, I unlock the door the old fashioned way using the manual key. Once the door is opened, the alarm goes off. This actually caught me off guard. Well as to not make a scene, I try to hurry and put the FOB in the ignition to disable the alarm. I lean in the truck, put in the FOB, turn, and nothing. The alarm is still sounding off. I turn all the way to start, and still, nothing.

Oh ok. Well, maybe I need to put the hidden key (which is in my other hand) back in the FOB for it to work. I didn't think that should make a difference, but maybe. So I go to remove the FOB from the ignition, and I'm unable to pull it out. WT....? I jump in the truck, turn the FOB all the way from ON, to ACC, to OFF, and notice that it will not go all the way to the OFF position. It stops just short of OFF and therefore cannot be removed. So with the FOB still in the ignition, I slide in the hidden key and try again. Still nothing. The key won't come out, the car won't start, and worse of all, the alarm is still sounding off!

From everything I've read so far, a dead FOB should not prevent one from starting their car. That would be a bad design. A dead FOB only means you're unable to lock, unlock, start, using the remote/FOB. I understand something to the effect that there's a coil or some other electronic device in the FOB that when inserted in the ignition is recognized by the system and that it does not require its own power source.

I've also read that a dead car battery can cause the FOB to become stuck in the way that I've described. However, the car battery is strong. The horn is sounding off very strong, and the headlights show no indication of being weak.

Another explanation is perhaps the gear shifter is not all the way in park. This is not the case for me. The gear shifter is very much in park, and in fact, it's locked in park and cannot be moved to any other position.

I've also heard of others who run into this issue, but they also complained of previous signs or symptoms of problems with removing their FOB before. I've never had such a problem. It would be a strange coincidence that the battery in my FOB would die, and then the FOB itself would become jammed in the ignition on the same day.

No, the FOB itself was not damaged or bent, to cause it to die or to get jammed in the ignition.

The only thing I can think of that maybe I did wrong, is not putting the hidden key back in the FOB before putting the FOB in the ignition. Does anyone know if there is a dependency on the hidden key being present for the FOB to work? When I had my Charger I always thought that by removing the hidden key, you would essentially turn your FOB into a valet key, and that was part of its purpose, so it was not required to be present.

Anyway, any thoughts on what could be causing my key to be stuck in the ignition in this scenario? I already called two Dodge dealers and both claimed they didn't know what could cause this and suggested to have the truck towed in. This may be my next step.

Thanks,
GhostDog
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Last edited by ghostdog; 09-08-2011 at 07:05 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2011, 07:35 PM
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Happen to have the wheels cranked one way? Try leaning on the steering wheel and turning the key
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:07 PM
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Hey oldjeep,

No, the wheels are straight. The steering's not locked or anything like that. Usually, when the steering's locked you have problems turning the key to the ON position. This is the exact opposite. Thanks though.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:51 PM
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Well I just RTFM and confirmed that the hidden emergency key is not required for the keyfob to work. You can remove it for valet parking as I thought. So, I'm stumped. The only thing mentioned in the manual which can prevent the fob from being removed is the gear shifter. So I guess something has malfunctioned. I just find it odd that it occurred when it did.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:29 PM
Nate769 Nate769 is offline
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I know the alarm will not shut off until you hit the unlock button on my 11...I know it sounds like im putting this as a "dumb" scenario, but did you try it? The truck still might think that the truck is in alarm, and when it does NOTHING works, not even the unlock button on the door. So just try hitting the unlock button on the door, if all the doors dont unlock it is still in alarm and needs the unlock button to be pressed on the FOB
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:43 PM
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Have you tried turning the FOB to run, and trying to move the shifter?... If that works go to Drive, then back to park a couple of time, see if that works... Does anything come up in the evic when you turn to start, or run?

If none of this works, sounds to me like you have a faulty PCM somewhere, leading to a dealer visit...
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:43 PM
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Sounds like the computer is confused. Perhaps it will be better after you disconnect the battery and leave it unplugged for 10-20 minutes. Then reconnect things and see if the system is back to normal and the key fob comes out.

Our 2005 Grand Cherokee went nuts once where it refused to unlock the doors with either key fob and then set off the alarm when I opened the doors with the actual manual key. The alarm would not turn off by any means - hitting the unlock button on the door nor starting it up. And even starting it up left it in theft mode so I couldn't drive it. Had to unplug the battery for a few minutes to reboot things. Was a real clusterfrack because this happened out front of a busy restaurant on a Friday night. Talk about embarrassing. Sometimes these computers just get confused.

Rob
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Last edited by BigBlueEdge; 09-08-2011 at 11:46 PM..
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:11 AM
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Hey Devile, I haven't tried moving the shifter when in the ON position. I can't try it now the cars currently parked at my job. But I did notice that when I put it in the ON and position there was nothing on the display, so you bring up a good point.

BigBlueEdge, your description sounds exactly like what I'm experiencing. I'm going to try your suggestion when I get to work tomorrow. I followup with the results in case someone else runs into the same issue. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:01 AM
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It's a new truck! Let the dealer deal with it.

If you get it to work, it will just fail again, when you least need it to.

Let the dealer have it while it's broken.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:53 PM
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I found this on the issue. It doesn't indicated anything about the FOB not being able to be removed but the other symptoms sound the same. Perhaps it applies to your vehicle.

NUMBER: 08-053-11
GROUP: Electrical
DATE: August 27, 2011

SUBJECT:
Flash: Vehicle Theft Alarm Intermittently Sounds, No Start
OVERVIEW:
This bulletin involves flash reprogramming the TIPM with new software.
MODELS:
2011 (RT) Town & Country / Grand Caravan
2011 (DJ) 2500 Pickup
2011 (DS) 1500 Pickup
2011 (DX) (Mexico) Reg Cab Chassis
2011 (D2) 3500 Pickup
2011 (JK) Wrangler
2011 (J3) (CKD) Wrangler
2011 (J8) (CKD) Wrangler
2011 (KA) Nitro
2011 (KK) Liberty
2011 (K1) (CKD) Cherokee
2011 (WD) Durango
2011 (WK) Grand Cherokee
2011 (W2) (CKD) Grand Cherokee
NOTE: This bulletin applies to RT, DJ, DS, DX, D2, JK, J3, J8, KA, KK, K1, WD, WK,
and W2 vehicles built prior to May 9, 2011 (MDH 0509XX) equipped with
Security Alarm (sales code LSA or LSB) or Premium Security Alarm (sales
code LSC).
NUMBER: 08-053-11
GROUP: Electrical
DATE: August 27, 2011
SYMPTOM/CONDITION:
The customer may complain of following conditions:
The vehicle theft alarm intermittently sounds for no apparent reason.
Multiple attempts are required to start the vehicle before the vehicle will start.
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Last edited by DodgeCares; 09-09-2011 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostdog View Post
Well I just RTFM and confirmed that the hidden emergency key is not required for the keyfob to work. You can remove it for valet parking as I thought. So, I'm stumped. The only thing mentioned in the manual which can prevent the fob from being removed is the gear shifter. So I guess something has malfunctioned. I just find it odd that it occurred when it did.

I could not find any known issues of why the FOB could not be removed. Something to do with the alarm maybe? I agree with another poster on here about letting the dealer look at it. If you want to PM me your VIN I can tell you definitely if the TSB I posted above pertains to your vehicle.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlueEdge View Post
Sounds like the computer is confused. Perhaps it will be better after you disconnect the battery and leave it unplugged for 10-20 minutes. Then reconnect things and see if the system is back to normal and the key fob comes out.
BigBlueEdge hit the nail on the head. The system was confused. I disconnected the battery for just two minutes reconnected while leaving the FOB in ACC and got one honk on the horn, then I could hear my car chimming from inside and see the normal display. I could then immediately remove my FOB. Put my second FOB back in and it started right up. Tested the remotes, both working. Put it the original FOB back in, started right up. It seems that the system was in a failed state before I even opened the door originally that night. I think this was a fluke, but if it happens again, I know what to do and then I'll take it in. If it's going to fail again, it's going to fail within my allotted 100,000 miles.

Thanks everyone for the advice.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:02 PM
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It looks like a fail safe feature in case of a robbery.

On my truck, I tried a few things. When the window is open and I unlock the door from the oustide, the alarm is enabled. Which I beleive simulates a broken window and a robbery... I tried a few other things, with the door open, partially closed and so on. In regards to remote start, My truck will refuse to start if the fuel level is too low. Which I can make sense of.

In the case of a fog getting stuck in the fob holder is interesting. Did you try the second fob? Using the second fob may help by simulating that the real owner of the truck (which is still you in this case) is back. Unlocking the doors with the second fob should disable the alarm.

Did you find more about your problem?

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Old 11-25-2011, 01:29 PM
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Hi bleuet,

I don't think it was a failsafe for robbery since I had both the manual key and fob, which should be sufficient for disabling the alarm. Even when triggering your alarm by opening your door through an open window, even a dead fob should be sufficient for disabling it once it's put into the ignition and turned (provided it is still a valid fob).

However, you brought up a good point regarding the second fob. I didn't mention on the original posting, but I did try that as well. I had my wife bring the second fob, and while in this state, the system didn't even respond to it at all. Door lock/unlock did not register anything. Grabbing at straws, I even tried holding the second fob up to the ignition, while turning the stuck fob, thinking that if the first fob was invalid, the signal from the second one might be picked up. No avail. The system was pretty hosed.

The only thing which resolved the issue was removing the battery for a couple minutes. Simple put, it seemed the computer needed a hard reboot. The problem hasn't occurred again since.

Thanks,
-Jose
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:46 PM
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same thing happened to be twice. I had to literally yank the fricking thing out, i thought I would break something, but nothing. Happened because the negative cable was loose on the battery.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:37 AM
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That might be a long shot but, I found the installation manual for the remote start system. The manual shows where the components are. The one item that would be related to this situation is the hood switch. The switch is located at the hood latch. I would just assume that if the hood is up, the switch needs lube or the switch is faulty, the system may trigger the fob to get stuck or the engine not to run. If not that, is it that the fob can actually get stuck in the fob hole? Plastic wears out I guess.

Off topic. I have a question about the valet key, and keys. Can keys be used to start the engine when inserted in the fob hole? Is it that only the fob can start the engine and the keys are for door locks?


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Old 11-26-2011, 08:35 PM
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Needs win module. Seen many
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleuet View Post
Off topic. I have a question about the valet key, and keys. Can keys be used to start the engine when inserted in the fob hole? Is it that only the fob can start the engine and the keys are for door locks?


Regards

Bleuet
Only the fob can be used for starting the car, you cannot put a metal key in the fob hole. The idea of the valet is that you can lock the glove box using the hidden key, remove it from the fob, and take it with you. This way valet's can park your car while you leave your valuables in the glove box.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:47 PM
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Default 2011 Dodge Caravan Key fob stuck

Temporarily removing the battery cable also fixed my similar problem. Thanks your posts saved me a lot of money.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:18 PM
riktors1 riktors1 is offline
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Default Same issue w/o the horn

I am in the middle of the same thing, except my horn did not sound. I got it towed to the dealer. The battery was bad, i changed the battery, and it started just fine. Have to put this in because i could saved myself a LOT of money if i had known to actually check the battery instead of only taking the cables off.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:18 PM
 
 
 
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