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Battery dead, fob won’t open door and metal key does not unlock door. Any thoughts short of locksmith? Does not have lock tabs to stick up. Got trunk to open with fob, but can’t get seats down to crawl thru to front. Dart 2016 with extended warranty. Dealership said they would make me new key with my VIN...thoughts?
 

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Do you have another fob? There may be something wrong with the mechanical part of the lock in the driver door. Do you feel any resistance in the lock when you turn the key? If not, another metal key might not help.
 

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Do you have another fob? There may be something wrong with the mechanical part of the lock in the driver door. Do you feel any resistance in the lock when you turn the key? If not, another metal key might not help.
Had to call locksmith to open the door as apparently metal key will not open the door if battery is dead as lock cylinders are electronically released (says the dealership after I drove it there with new battery I put on and had to have the electronics reset to remove power steering service symbol that would not go away) With new battery in metal key worked and we had two key fobs and neither one worked to open the door with battery dead, nor metal key. Bad design with just one key spot on drivers side. So solved problem myself with triple AAA membership to pop the lock and a jump start to go for battery and $135 for battery and reset code $135 at dealership...FYI
 

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Had to call locksmith to open the door as apparently metal key will not open the door if battery is dead as lock cylinders are electronically released (says the dealership after I drove it there with new battery I put on and had to have the electronics reset to remove power steering service symbol that would not go away) With new battery in metal key worked and we had two key fobs and neither one worked to open the door with battery dead, nor metal key. Bad design with just one key spot on drivers side. So solved problem myself with triple AAA membership to pop the lock and a jump start to go for battery and $135 for battery and reset code $135 at dealership...FYI
Woah woah woah reset code? For what?

Also, yeah I have not heard of it being electronically locked. It should just be a simple lock, with an electronic actuator that with push the lock open when the unlock button is pressed.

I could be wrong but @alpinegreenneon have you heard of this? That would make absolutely no sense as the reason that single keyhole is even on the car is for when the car has a dead battery. I know in my car, if you actually use the key it will set the alarm off as it thinks someone is trying the good ol snake trick and unlocking it from cracking the door open enough to pull the lock tab. Essentially what AAA will do too. You also have the regular keys right? So yeah since there exists the regular keys without auto locks on the Dart, the key hole should unlock in all cases. I know OP said it didn't work, and then did after a new battery it did, but his just doesn't make sense to me.

Also I want to know what what reset code they charged her for. Only thing I could think of is the Dart throwing the U1504 code due to the battery, and then them charging her to "reset it" even though it didn't need reset at all.
 

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Woah woah woah reset code? For what?

Also, yeah I have not heard of it being electronically locked. It should just be a simple lock, with an electronic actuator that with push the lock open when the unlock button is pressed.

I could be wrong but @alpinegreenneon have you heard of this? That would make absolutely no sense as the reason that single keyhole is even on the car is for when the car has a dead battery. I know in my car, if you actually use the key it will set the alarm off as it thinks someone is trying the good ol snake trick and unlocking it from cracking the door open enough to pull the lock tab. Essentially what AAA will do too. You also have the regular keys right? So yeah since there exists the regular keys without auto locks on the Dart, the key hole should unlock in all cases. I know OP said it didn't work, and then did after a new battery it did, but his just doesn't make sense to me.

Also I want to know what what reset code they charged her for. Only thing I could think of is the Dart throwing the U1504 code due to the battery, and then them charging her to "reset it" even though it didn't need reset at all.
It gave me a red icon of the steering wheel and an exclamation mark and the message that my power steering needed to be checked, which would not go away after we put in the new battery. When the battery was dead nothing would open the door, not key fob(s) nor metal key(s) as we have 2 sets. I maybe should have said cleared the service messages, rather than “reset codes.” The only way to unlock it was to pull the inside door opening handle, so we could open the hood to replace the battery. This is a 2016 SXT with less than 30,000 miles and we have the extended warranty. The dealership charged us for a hour of labor to remove the alert. The metal key DID NOT WORK. It would turn a quarter turn clockwise, not counterclockwise at all with the dead battery. We tried both keys and the locksmith tried as well and did not understand it either. After we jumped it, we drove it directly to Interstate Battery, they removed the old battery, put in the new one. On a whim we tried the keys and they would both lock and unlock it. That is all we know...
 

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It's possible there isn't a mechanical connection of the lock to the latch if you have the keyless ignition and keyless door locks. I can't imagine why FCA did not forsee this possibility. I know the non-keyless has an actuator rod from the lock to the latch. While keyless is convenient, needing a slim jim to open a door when the battery fails is really dumb.
I am away from home, posting from a phone and don't have access to the FSM. I'll look into this Monday.
 

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Back early to avoid a major winter snow storm here in Wisconsin.
Not much in the FSM about this. Looking at AllMopaParts, there are different part numbers for Passive Entry which is what I think the OP has.
 

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Found stuff on passive entry in the FSM. It's complicated. Why would anyone ever want this?

PASSIVE ENTRY SYSTEM

In the Passive Entry Keyless Go (PEKG) system the doors are unlocked passively; however, they must still be locked actively after exiting the vehicle using the tactile Lock button on either front door Smart handle. When the system senses a hand approaching the capacitive switch in the door Smart handle pull or detects a button press of the deck lid release switch, it sends out challenge messages through the Low Frequency (LF) antennas to authenticate the presence and location of a valid FOB with Integrated Key (FOBIK).

The FOBIK responds by sending a Very High Frequency (VHF) message back to the receiver within the Radio Frequency Hub Module (RFHM) (also known as the RF Hub). If the RFHM determines the FOBIK is valid and that it is located outside the vehicle in the same zone or vicinity as the door handle or deck lid switch being activated, it sends an electronic Unlock Request message over the Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus to the Body Control Module (BCM) to automatically unlock and allow entry to that aperture.

The PEKG system circuits and FOBIK inputs are continually monitored by the microcontroller and software contained within the RFHM. When the RFHM monitors a problem in any of the PEKG system circuits or FOBIK inputs, it stores a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in its memory circuit. The hard wired circuits between components related to the PEKG system may be diagnosed using conventional diagnostic tools and procedures. Refer to the appropriate wiring information. The wiring information includes wiring diagrams, proper wire and connector repair procedures, details of wire harness routing and retention, connector pin-out information and location views for the various wire harness connectors, splices and grounds.

However, conventional diagnostic methods will not prove conclusive in the diagnosis of the PEKG system or the electronic controls or communication between other modules and devices that provide features of the PEKG system. The most reliable, efficient, and accurate means to diagnose the PEKG system or the electronic controls and communication related to PEKG system operation, as well as the retrieval or erasure of a DTC requires the use of a diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate diagnostic information



08 - Electrical / 8N - Power Systems / Power Locks / ANTENNA, Passive Entry / Description

DESCRIPTION

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Vehicles equipped with the Passive Entry (PE) and Keyless Go (KG) systems use Low Frequency (LF), ferrite antenna units (2) located within the vehicle. Each ferrite PE antenna unit is contained within a molded black plastic housing with an integral connector receptacle (3) molded into one end. The connector receptacle contains terminal pins that connect the antenna to the vehicle electrical system through a twisted pair of conductors and a connector that are part of the adjacent wire harness.

Each antenna housing also includes an integral mounting flange or flanges (1) which can be used to mount the unit with screws. However, in some applications the antenna mounting flanges are snapped into a spring steel adapter or retainer, which allows the antenna unit to be securely clipped in place over a body flange rather than being secured with screws. This vehicle platform uses five PE antenna units. One is secured to the underside of the center floor console, one is secured to each rear door hardware module carrier concealed behind the inside door trim panels, one is secured to the forward flange of the spare tire well within the trunk area and one is concealed behind the rear fascia to the right of the license plate lamp.

The antennas are each connected to the Radio Frequency Hub Module (RFHM) (also known as the RF Hub) on dedicated and sequentially numbered circuits. The left rear door antenna is connected through the antenna 1 circuits, the right rear door antenna is connected through the antenna 2 circuits, the trunk antenna is connected through the antenna 3 circuits, the center floor console is connected through the antenna 4 circuits and the rear fascia bracket antenna is connected through the antenna 5 circuits.

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The LF antenna unit cannot be adjusted or repaired. If ineffective or damaged, it must be replaced with a new unit. For applications where it is used, the antenna unit adapter or retainer may be serviced only as a unit with the LF antenna



08 - Electrical / 8N - Power Systems / Power Locks / ANTENNA, Passive Entry / Operation

OPERATION

The Passive Entry (PE) antenna units allow the transmitter within the Radio Frequency Hub Module (RFHM) (also known as the RF Hub) to communicate via Low Frequency (LF) radio transmission with a FOB with Integrated Key (FOBIK) that is located inside the vehicle or, at most, about 0.7 meters (2.5 feet) horizontally in all directions around the outside of the vehicle. The RFHM uses communication through the antenna units to wake up and challenge a FOBIK that is within range in order to authenticate whether that FOBIK is valid (programmed) to the vehicle. The RFHM communication with the FOBIK is on 125 kilohertz using Frequency-Shift Keying (FSK) modulation.

Each antenna unit has two dedicated connections to the RFHM. One connection is the LF antenna output circuit, while the other connection Is the LF antenna return circuit. These circuits to each antenna unit are a twisted pair to help reduce the potential for induced electrical interference. The RFHM microcontroller continuously monitors all of the antenna units and will store a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) for any fault that it detects.

The hard wired inputs and outputs of the LF antenna units may be diagnosed using conventional diagnostic tools and procedures. Refer to the appropriate wiring information. However, the most reliable, efficient, and accurate means to diagnose the LF antenna units requires the use of a diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate diagnostic information.
 

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Found stuff on passive entry in the FSM. It's complicated. Why would anyone ever want this?
I gave a quick read through and it is complicated, I agree. But what is the reasoning on why anyone would ever want this? I didn't read anything that i saw about locking out the mechanical key hole in conditions of a dead batter, unless I skimmed over it. I saw something about the LF antenna needing replaced only and cannot be repaired, but that was about it. Sure it's complicated, it's encrypted wireless technology that is the new standard in car key technology. Both fobs and keyless entry (key in pocket, hand on door to open), like the GT and Limiteds.

I have a GT and I love the tech options. The keyless entry is great and still feels high tech and modern even for a now 7 year old car from production start. I think if you asked any one on the street, 99% of them would say they want this. Do they know how it works? lol Hell no, none of us even know that. But that's not the point. Just because it's not a simple key and lock system doesn't mean it's too much for consumers. I would argue to say why do we even drive cars? Maybe 70% of people driving cars have no idea how an engine works. Probably half of them haven't even seen their own engine bay, did any of their own maintenance, etc. They just know it turns on, and gas means go and brake means stop.

I was watching an interesting video on this topic. Things are definitely not getting any simpler. Computers, cars, houses, electrical, food processing, appliances, TVs, etc. In a consumer world, it doesn't matter if someone knows even remotely how something works, they just need to know how to use it. I watch a youtube channel on computer and phone repair. The youtuber is funny and his conversations are more amusing than the work, but our computers and phones are so overly complicated and becoming more complicated that even me who went to school for computer science engineering - has not a clue what he is doing. I still use my phone though, and if it brakes, I either have the choice of getting a new one or repairing it. Same concept with cars, and same concept with the tech in these cars.

Sorry for the ongoing post, and I hope that was actually what you were referring to in your post. I have my GT with all the bells and whistles so it might sound biased. However, I also have 2004 Blazer who i inherited from my grandfather. He special ordered it, manual windows, manual locks, RWD, it doesn't even have the option for a rear wiper blade! That's what I drive now and commute in most of the time. I appreciate the simplistic nature of it, but I also love being spoiled with features in my car. To top it off with the topic at hand for the post, I still find it hard to believe that the car would do this as OP said. I mean she specifically stated it would not open, and even the locksmith was stumped. However, it's a simple SXT, so it shouldn't be anything more complex than a manual door lock and actuators that can automate the unlock like pretty much every other car. I'd be curious to try this on my Dart and try it, but I don't want to set the U1504 error again. lol
 

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The problem with high tech is that it isn't easily fixed when it does break. It's Murphy's Law that it will break, so why is there no back up simple mechanical fix when it does? The Darts without Passive Entry at least have the option of using the metal key.
There is another thread going where the car won't crank even if he tries to jump it. A fuse to the BCM popped and who knows why but it's dead in the water. If your smartphone breaks, it's no big deal to replace it but your $20,000 car is not so easily discarded and replaced.
 

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The problem with high tech is that it isn't easily fixed when it does break. It's Murphy's Law that it will break, so why is there no back up simple mechanical fix when it does? The Darts without Passive Entry at least have the option of using the metal key.
There is another thread going where the car won't crank even if he tries to jump it. A fuse to the BCM popped and who knows why but it's dead in the water. If your smartphone breaks, it's no big deal to replace it but your $20,000 car is not so easily discarded and replaced.
And that is why my grandfather order the car the way he did. Unlucky for me, everything else is breaking instead :p and I would disagree. I would need to verify this by testing, but there should be a mechanical back up for this. This is the first time I have ever heard of this not working. However, countless times I have heard of people being able to get into their dead cars with the keys or even if their fob dies, get into the car and then even though it's dead, I guess it still gives off the encrypted signal so you can still start it with a dead fob, or if you have push to start, hold the dead fob close to the start button. This is what I have heard people doing in those cases, so I think something funky happened here. Not saying it didn't happen, but unless tested and verified I won't take this single case as facts on how the car would act with a dead battery.

And lets be serious now, while some of the Darts might have been 20k+, not many are even worth more than 10k now... :( soon phones will cost more than what some Darts are even worth 😳 The new Samsung flip phone is something like $2,000, and some of those base model, no option and high mileage Darts are not far from that price. Sadly with the major hit in depreciation, it's getting pretty bad.\

But to add @alpinegreenneon , I totally agree with you on this. If indeed there are these cases that make our + or - 20k cars essentially driveway paper weights over something so simple, it's entirely uncalled for. The engineers should have thought all these cases out, and if a consumer discovers something like this, then it should be an active TSB immediately for the issue, if not a recall. Not being able to use your OWN key to get in the car because the battery died?? Note: the stock batteries on the darts are TERRIBLE - just to add that. This is absurd, and one can then totally argue the simplistic old design being superior. But unfortunately we will always lose that battle. Car companies just want to pack as much tech in and raise the prices of their cars higher and higher. Making their old econobox feel like a 100 year old car with the newest standard tech or easily obtainable options for not much more over starting price. Options like keyless / push to start entry, adaptive cruise control, lane departure, etc.

My friend just got a 19 Accord. I believe standard with adaptive cruise and lane departure. We commute into work together and he lets the car drive most of the time. When it snows and his sensors gets covered, he actually has to drive and I always joke - oh booo hoo looks like you're actually going to have to drive this time. Then he gets really upset when someone (in rush hour traffic so not the nicest people) slide into his gap that the car provides. Like dude you're not even driving the F'ing car. Why are you getting upset?! lol The tech changes people and 9/10 of the people would rather have the features. They are also the same people who will rage up a storm when the functionality goes out, or it brakes and need to pay to fix it. We are spoiled and not many people are left who critically look at a car and don't take for granted the options we have.
 

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Woah woah woah reset code? For what?

Also I want to know what what reset code they charged her for. Only thing I could think of is the Dart throwing the U1504 code due to the battery, and then them charging her to "reset it" even though it didn't need reset at all.
I just replaced a failing battery in my '14 Dart yesterday and it threw the U1504 code afterwards. I couldn't make it go away with a scan tool, but by following online instructions to re-set it (turn steering wheel lock-to-lock 4+ times then shut engine off for 60 seconds) I finally cleared it. Apparently it's something you can expect with any 2014+ Dodge after replacing or disconnecting the battery. And no it would not surprise me the least to see a shop charge $135 to do it. Free money as far as they're concerned and most owners are none the wiser.
 

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@Cntrollerfanboy, can you test to see if disconnecting your battery makes your metal key unable to open the Passive Entry door lock now that you know how to reset the U1504?
 

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I just replaced a failing battery in my '14 Dart yesterday and it threw the U1504 code afterwards. I couldn't make it go away with a scan tool, but by following online instructions to re-set it (turn steering wheel lock-to-lock 4+ times then shut engine off for 60 seconds) I finally cleared it. Apparently it's something you can expect with any 2014+ Dodge after replacing or disconnecting the battery. And no it would not surprise me the least to see a shop charge $135 to do it. Free money as far as they're concerned and most owners are none the wiser.
Yeah I have no idea why they implemented it after 2013. They might have stopped it on 16s.

@Cntrollerfanboy, can you test to see if disconnecting your battery makes your metal key unable to open the Passive Entry door lock now that you know how to reset the U1504?
If I remember this week I can give it a shot. I won't be home today, but I will try to keep it in mind and try this. I hate clearing that darn code though! lol
 

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Yeah i forgot and probably wont be home all weekend lol
I had to top up some coolant and decided I'd see if I get locked out without the battery. Seems to work just fine:
Video
My camera skills are shit and I have the sniffles.
 
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