Cannot Remove FOB/Key from ignition on 2011 RAM 1500 (Battery Not Dead, Gear in Park)
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.
Last edited by ghostdog; 09-08-2011 at 08:05 PM.