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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Dreaded WCM Smart Key Issues

    Hiya folks, this is my first post on the forum....

    I've got a 2005 Magnum SXT...the dark green one.....it's been a great car for it's 97,000 miles until just recently, it stalled on me while turning at an intersection briefly...luckily, I was able to restart and continue on my merry way...... I thought nothing of it, except that maybe the huge amount of rain we were having might have caused some problem.....

    Anyway, a couple of weeks later, I tried to open my door with my smart key, and no joy. No keyless entry response....OK, so I think the key battery is dead? I try to start my car, and it does start a couple of times, but dies immediately.....then, no start, no click...nothing.

    I try to jump it...no joy.

    I finally get it towed over to Swift Dodge in Davis, CA and they tell me after a $114 diagnostic that it is the Wireless Control Module (WCM) that is corrupted...and that it has corrupted my key too!

    Cost to replace the module, scan the module and key, and reprogram security codes is over 600 bucks! Oh, I forgot to mention that I have to buy a new smart key for $185 bucks (included in $600+ charge).

    Any of you experience this? I'd love to have another key, but at $185 bucks a pop, it's highway robbery.

    Thanks for any insights, folks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Granbury, TX
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    Hi Geno;

    Ouch is all I can say. I bought an 'extra' key for my car when I bought the car from an Ebay source. I think it cost me $50 if I remember correctly, 5 years ago. I had it programmed for free by my local dealer. But you had a major melt down apparently with the whole kit going. I think Stealerships always charged an arm and a leg for those parts. Unfortunately, though, I don't think you had much of a choice. I told you my Stealershiip issue with getting my sunroof repaired (3 visits and >$350). I think it's like 'dues' that we all get bent over at least once in any car ownership. Sigh.
    Some people are like Slinkies;
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    you push them down the stairs!

    2005 Magnum RT Hemi's - Magnesium Pearl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Hey Jeff! Nice to hear from you on the Forum.....

    Maybe I can get my wifey's uncorrupted key to be reprogrammed so that it works..... They actually want me to buy another key....never even thinking that I could reprogram another unaffected key......

    Lemme grab my ankles.

    Here's something I just saw in a related type of issue regarding the WCM programming and smart key. It must've come from some manual that describes the programming of the WCM to reset and to accept new keys.

    PROGRAMMING
    PCM/SKREEM
    NOTE:Before replacing the PCM, be certain to check the related component/circuit integrity for failures not detected due to a double fault in the circuit. Most PCM driver/control circuit failures are caused by internal component failures (i.e. relays and solenoids) and shorted circuits (i.e. pull-ups, drivers, and switched circuits). These failures are difficult to detect when a double fault has occurred and only one DTC has been set.
    When a PCM and the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM) on vehicles equipped with the SKIS are replaced at the same time, perform the following steps in order:
    Program the new PCM.
    Program the new SKREEM (also sometimes referred to as the Wireless Control Module or WCM).
    Replace all ignition keys and program them into the new SKREEM/WCM.
    NOTE:Be certain to enter the correct country code for the SKREEM/WCM. If the incorrect country code is programmed into the SKREEM, it cannot be changed and the SKREEM must be replaced. NOTE:If the PCM and the SKREEM/WCM are replaced at the same time, all vehicle ignition keys will need to be replaced and new keys programmed into the new SKREEM/WCM.

    The SKIS secret key is an ID code that is unique to each SKREEM/WCM. This code is programmed and stored in the SKREEM/WCM, the PCM, and each ignition key transponder chip. When the PCM or SKREEM/WCM is replaced, it is necessary to program the Secret Key into the new module using a diagnostic scan tool. Follow the programming steps outlined in the diagnostic scan tool for "PCM Replaced" or "WCM Replaced" under "Miscellaneous Functions" for the "WCM/Wireless Control Module" menu item as appropriate.

    SKIM
    Turn the ignition switch to the ON position (transmission in Park/Neutral).
    Use the DRBIII(R) and select THEFT ALARM, SKIM, then MISCELLANEOUS. Select PCM REPLACED (GAS ENGINE).
    Program the vehicle 4-digit PIN into SKIM.
    NOTE:Be sure to enter the correct country code. If the incorrect country code is programed into SKIM, it cannot be changed and the SKIM must be replaced.
    Select COUNTRY CODE and enter the correct country.
    Select YES to update VIN (the SKIM will learn the VIN from the PCM).
    Press ENTER to transfer the secret key (the PCM will send the secret key to the SKIM).
    NOTE:If the PCM and the SKIM are replaced at the same time, all vehicle ignition keys will need to be replaced and programmed to the new SKIM.
    Program ignition keys to the SKIM.

    IGNITION KEYS
    Each ignition key transponder also has a unique ID code that is assigned at the time the key is manufactured. When a key is programmed into the SKREEM/WCM, follow the programming steps outlined in the diagnostic scan tool for "Program Ignition Keys or Key FOB's" under "Miscellaneous Functions" for the "WCM/Wireless Control Module" menu item.
    NOTE:A maximum of 8 keys can be learned to each SKREEM. Once a key is learned to a SKREEM, that key has acquired the Secret Key for that SKREEM and cannot be transferred to any other SKREEM or vehicle.
    If ignition key programming is unsuccessful, the DRBIII(R) will display one of the following error messages:
    Programming Not Attempted
    The DRBIII(R) attempts to read the programmed key status and there are no keys programmed into SKIM memory.
    Programming Key Failed (Possible Used Key From Wrong Vehicle) SKIM is unable to program an ignition key transponder due to one of the following:
    The ignition key transponder is faulty.
    The ignition key transponder is or has already been programmed to another vehicle.
    8 Keys Already Learned, Programming Not Done
    The SKIM transponder ID memory is full.
    Learned Key In Ignition
    The ID for the ignition key transponder currently in the ignition lock cylinder is already programmed in SKIM memory.
    Last edited by eugenedunn; 04-06-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Rahway, NJ
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    There's no reason you should need a new key. The key is just a transponder. The WCM reads it, it does not change anything about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Yeah....that's what you'd expect. Apparently the service tech says that he believes there is some interaction between a WCM and the key such that, when the module goes bad, that particular key is no longer recognized and can't be reprogrammed.

    I suggested bringing my wife's unaffected key in to see if it could be reprogrammed to accept the new WCM. They did confirm that the problem is with the WCM, NOT THE KEY itself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Rahway, NJ
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    If they replace the WCM, ALL keys must be programmed into it for them to work. There is, again, no reason for them to say your existing key(s) are no good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    South Florida
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    When wcms are replaced most of the time old keys can be programed but that service guy is following the book instead of real world. . However there r times old keys will not work. But man 600 bucks for a 80 dollar module. And 25 mins of programming. Glad I own my own tools. Now I know there is diagnostics in there but wcms r not new the replacement signs are common.

    Its like the newer style win(key module) in the 08 plus charger. The module stops working the ignition. No power from anything. And yet they know it needs replacement but still charge diagnostic fees even tho its common issue. And that module is even cheaper us dealers pay like 45 bucks or so. And charge over 100 retail
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