RAM 3500 Chassis Cab Truck 2WD L6-6.7L DSL Turbo (2010)
Alarm Module: Description and Operation
Sentry Key Immobilizer Module (SKREEM) - Operation
The Sentry Key REmote Entry Module (SKREEM) (also known as the Wireless Control Module/WCM) contains a Radio Frequency (RF) transceiver
and a microprocessor. The SKREEM transmits RF signals to, and receives RF signals from the Sentry Key transponder through a tuned antenna enclosed
within the molded plastic antenna ring integral to the SKREEM housing. If this antenna ring is not mounted properly around the ignition lock cylinder
housing, communication problems between the SKREEM and the transponder may arise. These communication problems will result in Sentry Key
The SKREEM also serves as the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) RF receiver. See: Body and Frame/Locks/Power Locks/Description and Operation/Power
Locks - Description. The SKREEM communicates over the Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus with the ElectroMechanical Instrument Cluster
(EMIC) (also known as the Cab Compartment Node/CCN), the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)/Engine Control Module (ECM) or the diagnostic
The SKREEM and the PCM/ECM both use software that includes a rolling code algorithm strategy, which helps to reduce the possibility of unauthorized
Sentry Key Immobilizer System (SKIS) disarming. The rolling code algorithm ensures security by preventing an override of the SKIS through the
unauthorized substitution of the SKREEM or the PCM/ECM. However, the use of this strategy also means that replacement of either the SKREEM or
the PCM/ECM units will require a system initialization procedure to restore system operation.
The SKREEM retains in memory the ID numbers of any Sentry Key transponder that is programmed into it. A maximum of eight Sentry Key
transponders can be programmed into the SKREEM. For added system security, each SKREEM is programmed with a unique Secret Key code. This
code is stored in memory, sent over the CAN data bus to the PCM or ECM, and is encoded to the transponder of every Sentry Key that is programmed
into the SKREEM. Therefore, the Secret Key code is a common element that is found in every component of the SKIS.
Another security code called a PIN, is used to gain access to the SKREEM Secured Access Mode. The Secured Access Mode is required during service
to perform the SKIS initialization and Sentry Key transponder programming procedures. The SKREEM also stores the Vehicle Identification Number
(VIN) in its memory, which it learns through a CAN data bus message from the PCM or ECM during SKIS initialization.
In the event that a SKREEM replacement is required, the Secret Key code can be transferred to the new SKREEM from the PCM or ECM using a
diagnostic scan tool and the SKIS initialization procedure. Proper completion of the SKIS initialization will allow the existing Sentry Keys to be
programmed into the new SKREEM so that new keys will not be required. In the event that the original Secret Key code cannot be recovered, SKREEM
replacement will also require new Sentry Keys. The diagnostic scan tool will alert the technician during the SKIS initialization procedure if new Sentry
Keys are required.
When the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, the SKREEM transmits an RF signal to excite the transponder in the ignition key. The SKREEM
then waits for an RF signal response from the transponder. If the response received identifies the key as valid, the SKREEM sends an electronic valid
key message to the PCM/ECM over the CAN bus. If the response received identifies the key as invalid or if no response is received from the key
transponder, the SKREEM sends an invalid key message to the PCM/ECM. The PCM/ECM will enable or disable engine operation based upon the
status of the SKREEM messages. It is important to note that the default condition in the PCM or ECM is an invalid key; therefore, if no message is
received from the SKREEM by the PCM or ECM, the engine will be disabled and the vehicle immobilized after two seconds of running.
The SKREEM also sends security indicator request messages to the EMIC over the CAN data bus to tell the EMIC how to operate the security
indicator. The security indicator request message from the SKREEM tells the EMIC to turn the indicator ON for about three seconds each time the
ignition switch is turned to the ON position as a bulb test. After completion of the bulb test, the SKREEM sends security indicator request messages to
the EMIC to turn the indicator OFF, turn the indicator ON, or to flash the indicator ON and OFF. If the security indicator flashes or stays ON solid after
the bulb test, it signifies a SKIS fault. If the SKREEM detects a system malfunction or the SKIS has become ineffective, the security indicator will stay
ON solid. If the SKREEM detects an invalid key or if a key transponder-related fault exists, the security indicator will flash. If the vehicle is equipped
with the Customer Learn transponder programming feature, the SKREEM will also send messages to the EMIC to flash the security indicator whenever
the Customer Learn programming mode is being utilized. See: Accessories and Optional Equipment/Antitheft and Alarm Systems/Service and Repair.
The SKIS performs a self-test each time the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, and will store fault information in the form of a Diagnostic
Trouble Code (DTC) in SKREEM memory if a system malfunction is detected. The hard wired circuits of the SKREEM may be diagnosed using
conventional diagnostic tools and procedures. Refer to the appropriate wiring information. However, conventional diagnostic methods will not prove
conclusive in the diagnosis of the SKREEM or the electronic controls or communication between other modules and devices that provide some features
of the SKIS. The most reliable, efficient, and accurate means to diagnose the SKREEM or the electronic controls and communication related to
SKREEM operation requires the use of a diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate diagnostic information.