How To Reset the Anti-Theft System On a Dodge Journey

To reset the Dodge Journey anti-theft system, you have to get the SUV to recognize your transponder key.
Written by Jennifer Justice
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
You can reset the anti-theft system for your Dodge Journey by putting the key in the ignition, turning the key to the “on” position without starting the engine, and then waiting for the security light on your dashboard to stop flashing. Once the light turns off, which can take up to 10 minutes, turn everything off and remove the key.
While you want an anti-theft system for your SUV to protect it, no system is completely perfect. Sometimes, the system might not immediately recognize your transponder key, the small chip embedded in your key that is programmed to match the security code for your SUV.
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Dodge car insurance costs
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How to reset the Dodge Journey anti-theft system 

There are a couple of options you can try to reset the anti-theft system on your Dodge Journey. If you can unlock the door, but the engine won’t start because the security alarm is still on, use the following steps:
  • Insert the key in the engine and turn it to the initial “on” position to power up the electronics but do not start the engine—this in-between position is called accessory mode.
  • Look for a flashing security light on your dashboard and keep an eye on it.
  • This is where a bit of patience pays off… you’ll have to wait anywhere from two to 10 minutes.
  • Once the security light stops flashing, you’re good to go.
Sometimes, you might get stuck waiting on the outside of your car if the lock doesn’t initially recognize your attempt to unlock the door or the key fob battery is dead. In that case, do the following:
  • Place your key in the driver’s side door lock—you might have to release the physical key from inside your key fob. Look for a release button to pop it out.
  • Partially turn the key as if unlocking the door, but do not turn all the way; hold the key in this position for 30 seconds, but do not open the door.
  • Turn the key in the opposite direction and again hold it in that position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the back and forth with the key several times, then unlock and open the door.
  • Turn the engine on as usual.
If these steps don’t work, then it could be a larger issue with the system. If you can’t get these quick fixes to work, it’s time to get your Dodge Journey checked by your local dealer.

What does the anti-theft system on a Dodge Journey do?

Modern vehicles like the Dodge Journey use a type of system called a Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) since it arms itself automatically. If the car is off, you close the doors, and you remove the keys from the SUV, the security system turns on—the keys have to be outside your Journey as a safety measure so you don’t accidentally lock yourself out.
The PATS sets off an alarm and immobilizes the engine if someone uses a non-coded key on the SUV—this is to keep the vehicle from being stolen since the engine won’t start. 
Your Dodge Journey’s PATS shows it is functioning when you first turn the ignition switch on —you’ll briefly see a large dot flash on the dashboard. If someone uses a fake key, the system is triggered and the engine won’t start. Since you have the key programmed to match your Journey, you’ll see the security system blink briefly, then turn off once the PATS recognizes the key.
Like most manufacturers, Dodge uses transponder keysa chip inside each key is programmed to match a specific vehicle. Each Dodge Journey comes with two keys—if you need an additional spare, the new key has to be programmed to match your SUV so it doesn’t trigger the anti-theft system.

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How to program a new transponder key

Dodge has made it pretty much impossible to create a duplicate transponder key as a safety measure—you won’t be able to create one on your own. You must go to a Dodge dealer or a locksmith if you need a new key.
Dodge Journeys manufactured since 2010 need a special computer to program a new key to match your vehicle. Remember that the anti-theft system is meant to keep your SUV safe, so Dodge made it difficult to replicate the key without special equipment. This is why you need to contact a locksmith or dealer for a spare key.

What can trigger the Dodge anti-theft system?

While the PATS system helps keep your Journey safe, it can accidentally go off, as anyone who’s heard a random car alarm go off in a parking lot knows. The alarm can be triggered if something bumps against your Dodge Journey, for example, like someone being careless when opening a car door. The PATS will kick in if it thinks someone is trying to break into your SUV, so you’ll have to reset it the next time you use your Dodge Journey.
Here are some common reasons the anti-theft system might be set off, such as:
  • You changed the engine battery recently
  • The engine’s battery is dying or died
  • The door lock or handle is damaged
  • The key fob’s battery is dying
You can try to reset the system yourself using the steps mentioned earlier, but if the anti-theft system doesn’t reset, be sure to check with your mechanic. Something might be wrong with the system, such as a broken fuse.

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Can the Dodge Journey anti-theft system lower your insurance rate?

Besides protecting your vehicle, having an anti-theft system can protect your pocketbook—insurance companies offer discounts of up to 25% on your premium. Other factors can also lower those insurance bills.
Dodge Journey repairs cost less compared to other SUVs, which also helps. If you get into an accident, your insurance company won’t have to pay as much for those repairs, so they aren’t trying to make up for any potential future costs on your vehicle by charging more for insurance.
The Dodge Journey model also has pretty high safety ratings overall, both for the crash tests and safety features. A safer vehicle means a lower chance of severe damage if you get into an accident, which means fewer major repairs, which again saves you money on insurance.
You can also take steps to protect your
catalytic converter
to minimize theft, and even things like
regular car maintenance
keep your SUV running more smoothly, which can help reduce the risk of accidents.

How to save on Dodge Journey insurance

Of course, an anti-theft system can help prevent your Journey from being stolen, but it’s not a perfect system. That is one reason you want to consider
comprehensive insurance coverage
since it covers anything not caused by an accident, such as damage from an attempted break-in. 
The added coverage can up the price of your
car insurance
, but it’s a major safety net, from storm damage to vandalism and more. And you don’t have to let your insurance company get away with the theft of your hard-earned money through overpriced premiums.
Fortunately, the
app can help you make sure you have the best deal at the best price. You can get comparisons for over 55 top companies from the app based on your needs, and if you find an option you like, Jerry’s insurance agents can help you with the paperwork for moving from one plan to the next.
Jerry’s customers save more than $800 a year thanks to their services. Check out your
Dodge Journey insurance
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