Tips & Advice
Does installing an aftermarket car alarm void the car warranty?
No. By law, installing an aftermarket car alarm (virtually any aftermarket products) or anti-theft device, provided it is installed correctly, cannot void a warranty. I one is installed incorrectly and it destroys you car’s computer system, that could void the warranty. Generally, aftermarket products cannot void your warranty--within reason. However, installing certain types of alarms can provide a discount on car insurance, and you should check with your agent to see what types of alarm qualifies.
How does a car alarm work?
A car alarm is a series of sensors or trigger devices that, unless disabled, will activate to prevent theft, send a loud warning sound, or initiate a tracking device -- sometimes all three. These can be triggered by touch, like a hit to the body of the car, the opening of a locked car door, breaking of a window, or any attempt to gain access and/or drive the vehicle without using the correct keys or remote control devices.
What is an engine immobilizer?
Engine immobilizers are anti-theft devices that, when triggered, prevent the engine from being started. Unless you have the key or the remote alarm disabler, it won’t allow the car to start, which means it can’t be driven away.
What is a car alarm shock sensor?
A shock sensor, or impact sensor, detects any kind of impact to the body of the car. If someone slams their car door into your car, it can trigger an alarm. Shock-sensor system sensitivity can be adjusted anywhere from mild to extreme. The extremely sensitive systems can be triggered by something as simple as a car driving past.
There are three main types of car alarms, or security systems: alarms, tracking devices, and immobilization. Alarms, as you’ve probably heard going off in your neighborhood, are basic sound warnings. However, a 2016 article in The Atlantic noted that most professional thieves know how to cut and silence those alarms, so it does little to prevent theft. Tracking devices send signals out to a host that checks the location of the car, specifically for use in the event your car is stolen. Immobilization devices are the best forms of anti-theft systems as they prevent the car from being started and driven when triggered.
How much does a car alarm cost?
Most cars now come standard with an alarm or anti-theft system. If yours doesn’t already have one, you can buy a basic car alarm system for a couple-hundred dollars. More complex alarm systems, such as an ignition kill switch, will add more components and labor, so you’ll pay more. Figure out what you want from a system before going in to get estimates, though, as some salespeople will try to upsell you. Also know that an alarm cannot prevent your car from being stolen.
Is it possible to stop a car alarm without the remote?
It's possible to stop a car alarm without the remote. One approach is to disconnect the car's battery, which needs to be disconnected long enough to allow the vehicle's computer to reset. The time required for this to occur varies from vehicle to vehicle, but a safe bet is to leave the battery disconnected for an hour.
Does adding a car alarm impact the automobile warranty?
Adding a car alarm will not impact a automobile warranty, provided the alarm is installed in a way that doesn't cause damage to the vehicle. Vehicle damage can sometimes occur if you install the alarm yourself. To preserve a warranty, it's a good idea to have a car alarm installed professionally.
How difficult is it to self-install a car alarm?
It can be quite difficult to self-install a car alarm if you lack extensive experience in electronic circuitry. Installing a car alarm involves soldering, drilling, wire cutting, and the use of a multimeter. If you are unfamiliar with any of these tasks, it's best to have your car alarm installed by a trained professional.
What is a car immobilizer?
A car immobilizer is a security device that prevents the car's engine from running without the presence of your key or key fob. Advanced car immobilizers will send an alert if an attempt was made to start a car without your key. Car immobilizers are automatic, and they do not require activation.