Dodge Ram Keeps Locking And Unlocking – Why And What To Do?

Driving your Dodge Ram has been getting on your nerves as of late. The reason behind this annoyance is that the vehicle's doors are locking and unlocking by themselves. What could be the problem and what can you do to solve it? We researched these concerns and here's what we found.

A Dodge Ram may lock and unlock because of an issue with the key fob or its doors. Troubleshoot the key fob and the pickup truck to identify and verify the source of the concern. Then, use the appropriate method to solve the issue.

So continue reading as we talk about these issues in greater detail. We’ll also tackle some possible solutions that may help restore your Dodge Ram’s key fob or doors to their normal functions.

A dodge ram pickup truck with a beautiful mountain view, Dodge Ram Keeps Locking And Unlocking - Why And What To Do?

Why Is My Dodge Ram Locking And Unlocking By Itself?

A Dodge Ram that’s locking and unlocking without human intervention might be experiencing certain technical difficulties and/or malfunctions. Some possible sources of these instances are:

RAM 1500 pick-up next to lake in a sunset

Key Fob Has Low Battery

Dodge Ram key fobs typically use the CR2450 button-type battery. This model generally lasts about 3 to 4 years before it needs replacement. It might show signs of low battery if it makes the key fob glitch, such as locking and unlocking the vehicle’s doors.

Low battery key fob

Key Fob Malfunction

Misuse or a defect from manufacturing may cause the Dodge Ram’s key fob to go bad. You might be able to verify if your key fob needs significant repairs or replacements if it continues to give you errors after replacing its battery.

Damaged remote key fob on wooden table

If so, the culprit could be the connections within the key fob. The wires in the remote might have damages, causing the locking and unlocking functions to fluctuate.

Faulty Door Actuator

Many Dodge Rams have power doors that lock and unlock with the help of the key fob and the vehicles' onboard systems. One of the vital components of these doors is the actuator, which functions by pushing the button for the locking and unlocking mechanism.

Door central locking motor

So if the key fob isn’t at fault for the frequent automatic door locking and unlocking, the problem may lie within the door’s actuator. Frequent use or external forces may cause the actuator to malfunction, causing recurring mechanical movements.

Bad Central Timer Module (CTM)

Also called the body control or gem module, the CTM allows certain automatic functions in a vehicle to work when needed. But this assembly is often a high-failure setup, which means it can be susceptible to harm from relatively light forces.

If the CTM malfunctions, it can create problems like automatically locking and unlocking your Dodge Ram’s door. Otherwise, the assembly may also break down, causing the vehicle to deny entry until you use the spare mechanical key.

How Do I Stop My Dodge Ram’s Door From Locking And Unlocking Automatically?

Dodge Ram TRX drives on a country road

In this section, you’ll learn the possible fixes for your Dodge Ram’s doors. One of the following methods may help you eliminate the frequent automatic door locking and unlocking instances from the vehicle.

Replace The Key Fob Battery

Before continuing with this process, keep in mind that the different Dodge Ram models often have varying key fobs. So check your owner’s manual first to find out your specific key fob model and the battery to use.

Still, here’s a look at the general steps that may help you replace your Ram’s key fob battery:

What You’ll Need

  • Replacement battery

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Press and hold the tab for the emergency mechanical key on the key fob.
  2. Pull and take out the emergency mechanical key from the key fob.
  3. Insert the mechanical key into the newly exposed dent.
  4. Pry open the key fob with the mechanical key.
  5. Remove the old battery and put it in the new model.
  6. Close the key fob and check if the problem persists.

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Watch the video below if you need a visual guide for the steps mentioned above:

Repair The Key Fob

Continue this particular process if you found out that the Dodge Ram’s key fob is malfunctioning because of a short-circuit. This malfunction might come from corrosion to the metal pieces on its control board. So fixing the key fob means removing the dirtied areas on that module.

What You’ll Need

  • Cotton bud
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Press and hold the tab on the key fob to release the emergency mechanical key.
  2. Use the key to pry open the key fob.
  3. Remove the control board carefully.
  4. Dip a cotton bud into the isopropyl alcohol. Then, use it to remove the corrosion from the control board.
  5. Once cleaned, return the control board to the key fob.
  6. Close the key fob’s enclosure and test it to see if the problem persists.

You can also watch the video below to gain additional insight into this procedure.

Keep in mind that this procedure doesn't guarantee that your Dodge Ram's doors will stop locking and unlocking on their own. So you may need to replace the bad key fob with a new model.

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Replace The Door Lock Actuator

Unlike tinkering with the Ram’s key fob, replacing the vehicle’s door lock actuator often demands sufficient confidence and expertise in automotive care and repair. So it might be best to leave this job to the experts if you believe that you don’t possess these traits.

Nonetheless, here's a look at the steps to replace a Dodge Ram's door lock actuator to give you an idea of how to complete this task:

What You’ll Need

  • Replacement door lock actuator
  • Socket wrench
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • Extension pole for wrenches
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Philips screwdriver

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Open the offending door and roll up its window if it’s still open.
  2. Remove the bolt found on the door handle’s edge.
  3. Take out the screws on the door’s inside panel.
  4. Lift and pull the door panel but don’t tug it. Disconnect the wires on the panel afterward.
  5. Set the panel aside on a clean and flat surface temporarily.
  6. Disconnect the latch rod retaining clip. Next, remove the nuts that’s fastening the handle assembly.
  7. Remove the speaker assembly from the door. Remember to pay close attention to the wires.
  8. Disconnect the wire connected to the mirror motor.
  9. Peel and remove the door’s water shield. Then, set it aside.
  10. Remove the newly exposed bolts on the inside edge of the door.
  11. Move the window track to expose the door lock actuator.
  12. Remove the old door lock actuator and install the new model.
  13. Return the removed parts to their original locations.
  14. Test if the new installation works as intended.

Watch the video below if you need a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

How Much Is It To Replace A Dodge Ram’s Door Lock Actuator?

Disassembled electric car door lock is on the gray desktop

Prepare to spend about $211 to $267 to replace your Dodge Ram’s door actuator. Take note that the costs may increase if the vehicle needs additional repairs related to that assembly. If so, you may need to spend an additional $54 to $1,273 for the fixes and/or replacements.

Still, you might be able to reduce expenses if you purchase the replacement parts by yourself instead of relying on the services of professional automotive technicians.

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Final Words

The key fob might be the suspect to your Dodge Ram locking and unlocking without you pressing its buttons. Otherwise, the problem may come from the door’s actuator or CTM. Make sure to troubleshoot the vehicle properly so you can use the correct repair or replacement solution.

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