Why Is My Ram 1500 Remote Start Not Working?

If your Dodge Ram 1500’s remote start is not working, you’re probably feeling pretty frustrated. The remote start is a useful feature, but only when it works the way you would expect it to, and if it’s failing, you are probably looking for causes and solutions.

Most common reason a Dodge Ram 1500’s remote start stops working is the battery in the key fob is low or dead. Other less common reasons include the fuel levels being too low, or a door being open, the shift lever is not in “park” and the truck battery being low or dead.

It’s really annoying when a vehicle’s features don’t work as they should and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, so let’s find out more about these possible issues and what you can do.

Remote Start Troubles Quick Check List

Key Fob BatteryReplace the battery in the key fob.
Key Fob Not WorkingReplace the key fob. A local dealer will be able to get you a new one.
Vehicle Alarm System Is ONDeactivate Alarm before trying to remote start the truck.
Fuel Level Too LowMake sure there is at least a quarter tank of gas in the truck before trying to remote start it.
Door Is OpenCheck to make sure all the doors are closed.
Shifter Not in ParkCheck to make sure that the shifter is in Park position.
Battery Too LowMake sure the truck battery is fully charged before trying to remote start.

Fob Needs A New Battery

One of the first things to check if your remote start is failing is whether your fob needs a new battery. It may not have enough energy to send the signal to the truck, and this will prevent it from working. You may notice other issues occurring with the fob too.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to address this problem. Simply remove the plastic key fob cover, and remove the battery. Inspect the information on the battery, and then replace it with a like-for-like battery.

Replace the plastic key fob cover, and see if your fob works better now. If not, you can put the old battery back and save the new one to reduce waste.

Test Your Dodge Ram Knowledge!

The Remote Is Malfunctioning

If replacing the battery doesn’t solve anything, it’s possible that your remote is malfunctioning. If this is happening, you probably won’t be able to fix it yourself, because something is going wrong with the electronics inside the fob.

In this case, you may want to take the fob to your nearest trusted garage or dealership, and ask them to reprogram it. They may be able to resolve issues with it.

In some cases, you will need a new key fob, but don’t rush to replace yours until you have looked into the other potential issues on this list – as these may give you a better idea of what’s going on with your remote start.

The Vehicle Alarm System Is On

If your truck’s alarm system is active, your remote start function won’t work. You will need to deactivate the alarm before you can use the remote start option. This can be a simple fix, but that makes it easy to overlook – so make sure you have checked this before you spend too long struggling with potential fixes.

The Fuel Levels Are Too Low

It’s important to be aware that if your Dodge Ram 1500 doesn’t have much fuel in it, the remote start function will not work. It’s been designed this way, and it’s intended to prevent users from accidentally using up the last of their gas while their vehicle is parked somewhere, and possibly some way from a fuel station.

It would be very easy to turn your vehicle on using the remote start function – so you can’t see the fuel indicators – and then not realize you were running low on gas. That’s why the remote start function won’t work if you don’t have much gas in the tank.

Frustratingly, though, it’s not clear exactly how little gas is too little for your truck to start. Some sources say that ¼ of a tank is the minimum that the remote start function will work with.

The best solution to this problem is to keep your tank topped up to over ¼ full, which is generally better for your vehicle anyway. Having the tank too empty can allow condensation to form inside, and may put more strain on the fuel pump.

A Door Is Open

Another condition of the remote start feature is that the doors must all be closed. If you didn’t quite close one of the doors when you last used the vehicle, or if there’s a faulty latch somewhere, it won’t work properly. This is again a safety feature.

Note that this also applies to the hood, which must be closed too.

If you find that your vehicle’s remote start has suddenly stopped working, check whether all of your doors are closing properly.

You can look on your dash indicator for the “door ajar” light, and make sure that this isn’t being displayed. If it is, figure out which door is the issue, and then get it fixed.

Some people have problems with the hood latch in particular, so you may want to get this replaced.

The Shift Lever Is In The Wrong Position

Your shift lever must be in the “PARK” position for the remote start feature to work correctly.

You should get into the habit of checking this before you leave the vehicle, or you will have to go out and physically check when you next want to use the remote start function. This can be annoying, especially on days when it’s cold, so make sure you’re aware of it.

The Battery Is Too Low

A very low battery can also affect the remote start feature on the Dodge Ram 1500. A weak battery could cause the feature to work intermittently, occasionally being successful, but at other times failing for no obvious reason.

It’s worth getting your battery tested if you are having this sort of problem, especially if it seems to be worse in cold weather – which is when you are most likely to want the remote start feature to work reliably.

You should be able to get a battery test done for free or for very little money, and then you will know whether you need to purchase a replacement. This can be a quick and fairly inexpensive fix, and it’s definitely worth pursuing if you live somewhere cold, as this tends to have a big impact on battery functionality.

What Else Should You Look Out For?

There are a few other conditions that your vehicle needs for the remote start feature to work, and it’s worth being aware of these before you spend too much time troubleshooting. If you aren’t able to meet any of these conditions, the remote start won’t work:

  • The hazard lights must be switched off
  • The brake pedal must not be compressed
  • The PANIC button must not be pushed
  • The Malfunction Indicator Light must not be showing
  • The system must not have its remote start option disabled

Run through this list to make sure that none of these conditions apply. If you are still having issues with the remote start or if you think that it may have been disabled for your vehicle, it’s best to go to a reputable garage and ask for assistance.

They should be able to diagnose and deal with the problem, allowing you to use the remote start functionality once more.

Take the HARD Ram Truck Quiz


As you can see, it’s not always easy to immediately determine why your Dodge Ram 1500’s remote start feature isn’t working, as there are quite a lot of potential problems that you might be experiencing. However, if you run through the above checklist and make sure that things like your fuel and battery levels are high enough, you should be able to solve the problem.

Leave a Comment