At Off-Road Handbook, our unwavering dedication to content quality is evident. Prior to publication, each piece of information undergoes a meticulous editorial process, which not only guarantees accuracy but also elevates the overall user experience.

Jeep Wrangler Red (Security) Light Issue: Easy Fixes!

Have you noticed the flashing red light above the temperature gauge in your Jeep Wrangler? This important indicator, called the Vehicle Security Light, alerts to potential security system issues. What are the primary factors behind this problem?

The vehicle security light (red light flashing above the temperature gauge) on the Jeep Wrangler flashes due to the following reasons:

  • Static Electricity
  • Issue with Fuse
  • Motherboard Malfunctioning
  • Bad Key Fob
  • Wiring issue
  • Battery issue

In this article, I’ll look at why this light is flashing and how you can resolve the issue. So keep reading to learn more about the security system warning light on your Jeep Wrangler.

What is the Red Light above Temp Gauge on Jeep Wrangler:

For Jeep Wrangler owners, the red light flashing above the temperature gauge is a mystery often left unexplained. This mysterious red light is known as the Vehicle Security Light.

Why is Your Jeep Wrangler's Vehicle Security Light Flashing

The Vehicle Security Light is an essential indicator of the health of your Jeep Wrangler’s anti-theft system.

I have created the infographic below explaining the Jeep Wrangler’s Vehicle Security Light Flashing details. (You are welcome to use and share, but please credit back if you do so.)

Why is Your Jeep Wrangler's Vehicle Security Light Flashing

When the light is on, your car may undergo a systems check, and your anti-theft system may have been activated.

What Does it Mean if the Red Light (Vehicle Security Light) is Flashing above Temp Gauge:

If the Vehicle Security Light is flashing, it's essential to pay attention to what it's telling you. Depending on the situation, the light may indicate something is wrong with your car's security system, or it could be a warning that you need to take action to secure your vehicle.

For example, if your car won’t start and the Vehicle Security Light is flashing, it means your car’s security system is activated. Therefore, you’ll need to take extra steps to secure your vehicle, such as disabling the security system, or resetting the security code, before you can start your engine.

On the other hand, if the Vehicle Security Light is flashing and your car is still running, your car's security system may have detected a potential threat. In this case, it's recommended to check the security system for any faults and have it serviced if necessary.

It’s important to remember that the Vehicle Security Light will only tell you so much. If you’re ever unsure about what to do, it’s best to contact your local Jeep dealership or a qualified auto technician for advice.

In summary, the Vehicle Security Light on the Jeep Wrangler is an essential indicator of the health of your car’s anti-theft system. Pay attention to the light and take the necessary steps to ensure your vehicle is safe and secure.

3 Phases of Action:

When you turn on your Jeep, the security light will briefly light up as part of a bulb check. This check ensures you don’t miss any important information:

  1. If the security light is on or flashing when the Wrangler isn’t running, and you have no trouble starting it, you should not worry! That’s a way to show that the anti-theft system is functioning.
  2. You must check the system properly to see if the security light is lit when the Jeep is running.
  3. If you can’t start the Jeep due to the illuminated security light, there’s a problem with the anti-theft system. You need to consider this and take the necessary steps.

Vehicle Theft Security System of Jeep:

The Jeep offers the Vehicle Theft Security System (VTSS) as a factory-installed feature. The VTSS includes two primary components: 

  • Optional Vehicle Theft Alarm (VTA)
  •  Standard Sentry Key Immobilizer System (SKIS). 
While the SKIS is a passive system that prevents the vehicle from being operated without authorization, the VTA acts as an active system that sends audible and visual signals to discourage and alert any unauthorized vehicle tampering.

Reasons Why Red Light (Vehicle Security Light) is Flashing above Temp Gauge:

It is crucial to resolve the gauge or red flashing light. Here we will discuss some common reasons that cause the red flashing light and the ways of fixing them:

1. Static Electricity:

When you start the Jeep Wrangler, the security light should appear for 3 seconds and then go off. If the light stays on longer than 3 seconds, it indicates an issue with the vehicle's electronic system or someone attempting to start the car with an invalid key.

The original JK security system is highly susceptible to static electricity. This causes the security light to remain longer than usual, leading many Wrangler owners to think the vehicle is not secure.

Fortunately, this issue was addressed with the introduction of newer models. The newer Wranglers are equipped with a more robust security system that is less likely to be affected by static electricity.

2. The Issue with Fuse:

The J13 and M13 IOD fuses are responsible for powering the vehicle's security system and allowing it to operate correctly. 

Unfortunately, these fuses can become worn or loosened over time, which can cause the vehicle security light to appear.

In addition, the fuses can be blown out or damaged due to various external factors. As a result, the vehicle security light will flash, and the security system will not work correctly.

Why is Your Jeep Wrangler's Vehicle Security Light Flashing

3. Motherboard Malfunctioning:

The key motherboard could cause the vehicle security light to flash.

This issue is prevalent when you change the battery case or key fob on your Jeep Wrangler. When this happens, the motherboard must be checked as soon as possible.

4. Bad Key Fob:

With a key fob operated by a battery or chip, sometimes, you’ll notice that the security light will pop up on the dashboard if the key fob battery runs out, as the car won’t recognize the key or the chip in it won’t be reading correctly.

If you've recently changed the case on a factory key fob, you may encounter problems when trying to start your Jeep.  In these cases, you may find that it idles for a few seconds and then turns off. If this happens, try to start the Jeep a few more times. 
Why is Your Jeep Wrangler's Vehicle Security Light Flashing

You should take the vehicle to the dealership if the issue persists.

There are various reasons behind the damage to the key fob, including:

  • Dropping on the ground regularly
  • Exposure to moisture or damage due to water
  • The weak battery of the key fob
  • Jamming buttons of the key fob

The jammed buttons on the key fob result in scrambled signals that can trigger the alarm. Unfortunately, this thing can drain away the key fob’s battery, and the vehicle’s alarm ends up quickly.

5. Wiring Issue:

Bad connections of wire generate short circuits, which havoc for the alarm system and produce red flashing light above the temp gauge on Jeep Wrangler.

It is advised to check the door pins and connections. You can also seek help from an electrician to detect the point from where the problem is arising.

6. Battery Issue:

A dying battery is a common cause of the flashing security light. The warning light may blink if the battery has low voltage or water levels are low.

In addition, the vehicle security light above the temperature gauge may be triggered as a warning signal when the battery is low on voltage.

In newer Jeep Wrangler models, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) will not allow the system to attempt a start if the battery has a voltage below a certain level.

How to Fix the Red Light Flashing Above the Temperature Gauge Issue:

STEP 1- Unplug Battery Negative Terminal:

If the warning light is flashing on your Jeep Wrangler, try unplugging the battery’s negative terminal for about five minutes.

This should be enough to reset the system and stop the alarm. However, if this does not work, you may need a professional to diagnose the issue and replace the battery if necessary.

STEP 2– Resetting the Anti-Theft System:

If the above step doesn’t work, try to reset your anti-theft system in the vehicle.

To reset the Jeep’s anti-theft mode, 

  • Step 1: Pull the driver’s handle and manually unlock the driver’s door with the chipped key.
  • Step 2: It is also possible to depress the panic lever to disable the alarm.
  • Step 3: If that doesn’t work, you can press the panic button for 5 seconds, then push the lock command twice.

STEP 3- Checking the Fuse:

The issue of red flashing light above the temperature gauge can also arise due to a damaged fuse in the vehicle. You should keep a check on the fuse, which is near your temperature gauge light.

To check the fuse, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the hood of the vehicle and locate the fuse box, which is mainly in the engine’s compartment.
  • Step 2: Check out for loose fuses, especially the J13, M13, and IOD fuses. If they are in good condition, place them back in their position after the gap of 30 seconds.
  • Step 3: If the fuse is blown out, replace them and put the new ones in the same position and start the vehicle.

The red light flashing issue will disappear if it is due to the fuse of the vehicle.

STEP 4Replacing the Bad Key Fob:

If the above steps don’t work, you can replace or reprogram the problem of the key fob.

You can follow these steps to replace the key fob battery in your vehicle:



Step 1

The first step for replacing the key fob battery is getting a new one for your Jeep Wrangler. Next, you can use a screwdriver to remove and fit the battery.

Step 2

There is a space over the key fob. You can use your screwdriver to push it up and remove the cover.

Step 3

There is a small notch near the battery, which you can remove using a screwdriver. The battery will be removed from the compartment.

Step 4

Place the battery back in its place and join it with the removed part.

The Process of Re-Programming:



Step 1

Close the doors of your Wrangler after you replace the key fob.

Step 2

Insert the key in the ignition of vehicle and press the pedal.

Step 3

Turn the ignition to ON position. The security light turns ON for about 3 seconds.

Step 4

The light indicates the reprogramming of the vehicle key. Lock and unlock the vehicle.

If the above methods don’t fix the issue, check the static electricity problem and motherboard functionality with the help of a technician.

Also Read:

Jeep 2.0 Turbo: Common Problems to Watch Out For
Why Jeep Grand Cherokee USB Port Not Working-How To Fix
Jeep Cherokee Service Shifter Light ON Meaning- How to Fix
How to Fix Jeep Grand Cherokee Suspension Problems?
Why Your Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Move in Gear- How to Fix?
12 Reasons Why Jeep Grand Cherokee Won’t Start- How to Fix

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why do the users complain about blinking the red light on the dashboard of the Jeep Wrangler?

The light flashes on the dashboard at a fast rate. It is estimated that it flashes for about 15 seconds when the security system of the vehicle arms and slows down when it is disarmed.

What does it mean to have a red flashing light on the dashboard?

The red blinking light on the dashboard indicates the anti-theft system. This system is commonly installed in almost all vehicles and is called an immobilizer system.

How can a person reset the anti-theft in a Jeep Wrangler?

A person can reset the anti-theft system in the Jeep Wrangler by following the steps:

  • Closing all the doors of the vehicle after sitting in it
  •  Inserting the key in the ignition
  •  Turning the key on to the start position
  •  Locating the black button, which is below the flashing LED
  •  Pushing the button after holding the key in the On position.

What does it mean to have a red dot light on the dashboard?

A red dot or warning light on the dashboard indicates a problem with the vehicle. For example, red light on the dashboard means an overheated engine, low oil pressure, or a problem with the braking system.

What does it mean to have a red lightning bolt on your Jeep?

Red lightning bolt or electronic throttle control warning light indicates a problem with the electronic throttle control system. It is recommended to bring the vehicle safely to a place and park them for a while.

What does it mean when the red light blinks on the Jeep when turned off?

When the red light still blinks on the Jeep in the off situation, it indicates a problem with a vehicle security system. It means that the vehicle is locked, and the system is activated.

Why does the security light blink?

Security indicator light flashes and indicates that the security system is armed. In addition, the security indicator light blinks when the car is locked and is off.

How can a person reset the anti-theft system in the Jeep?

A person can reset the anti-theft system in the Jeep by following the steps:

  • Insert the key in the door lock, unlock it, and bring it to the lock position again.
  •  Turn it back to the unlock position and disable the alarm.
  •  Run and test the car for at least 10 minutes.
  •  Reset the alarm when the engine cranks and allows it to do so.

What does it mean to have a temperature warning light?

The engine temperature warning light resembles a thermometer. It illuminates a vehicle when the engine exceeds the maximum temperature limit. It is better to take strict action because an overheated engine can cause significant damage.

What are the symbols that light up the dashboard?

The typical warning lights on the dashboard are:

  • Warning light of oil pressure
  •  Warning light of tire pressure
  •  Warning light of engine temperature
  •  Control alert light for traction
  •  Brake system warning light for anti-lock
  •  Traction control malfunctioning light
  •  Warning light for engine