Car Alarms

How to Fix a Broken Car Alarm and Prevent Thieves from Disabling It


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It is important to understand how to fix a broken car alarm and when to it to a qualified service person. Many car alarms are not reliable, and even the most efficient alarm can become the victim of a technological breakdown—or to the cunning of a thief!

Read the Troubleshooting Section of Your Owner's Manual

This may seem obvious however many people overlook this step. Most owners’ manuals have a chart of common problems you may encounter and what to do to resolve them. Without reading the manual, your attempts to fix the problem will be inefficient at best.

Check the Batteries

Car alarms, like smoke alarms, can go off at the wrong time or otherwise malfunction when the batteries need to be replaced. If following the steps in your owner's manual does not resolve the problem, replacing the batteries are in order.

Make Sure There is a Clear Path between the Remote and the Car

Car alarm remotes work on radio waves. If there are obstacles between the car and the remote, the alarm will not respond properly. If you are parked in a carport or other structure, try the remote from different angles in order to determine whether this is the problem.

Contact Your Alarm Dealer by Phone and try to Work Through the Problem

If the above steps do not resolve the problem, you should contact a professional technician. Your alarm dealer should be able to refer you to a technician who can help you. Before bringing the alarm in for service, ask the technician if he can help troubleshoot the problem over the phone. If you can resolve the problem this way, it will save you the inconvenience and expense of bringing the alarm to the repair facility.

Disarm the Alarm until You Can bring it in for Service

If you have to bring the alarm in for service, you may not be able to get an appointment right away. You should disarm the alarm so that it does not disturb others or create other problems within your vehicle. Some alarms can be turned off with the remote; others require you to disconnect the alarm fuse. If you are unsure of how to turn off the alarm, ask your technician.

Allow a Professional to Service Your Alarm.

Go to your dealership or other alarm technician to service the alarm. It is often best to bring a friend along who is knowledgeable about car alarms, especially if you are not overly familiar with them. Your friend can help you evaluate what the technician is saying.

Car thieves are a determined bunch; if they want your car they're going to do everything they can to get at it and one of their primary ways of getting what they want is through a disabled car alarm. The best way to prevent thieves from getting what is yours is to deter them from trying in the first place, and even if they do, taking some simple precautions could slow them down enough to make them realize your car is not worth the effort and jail time they face if they are caught.

Here is a list of preventive measures you can take in order to stop car thieves from targeting your car and disabling your security system.

Alarm Indicators and Stickers

The first line of defense to preventing the disabling of an alarm is to give the thieves fair warning that an alarm is present and the car is secure. Some thieves will walk away when they see the presence of an alarm through stickers or lights. Discouraging them before they try to enter the vehicle is the best way to prevent damage or loss of your vehicle.

Park in a Safe Spot

Thieves love an easy target and they hate to be watched while committing their crimes. So park the car in a well-lighted and highly visible place. The better exposed the car is to public view, the less likely your car will be targeted for theft.

The Right Car Alarm

The last place you want to try to save a little money is with the alarm system you are using to protect your vehicle. If thieves are going to try to disable your alarm and steal the car or any of your belongings within, make it as formidable a system to deactivate as you can. Making sure your alarm is equipped with precautions such as remote fobs with adjustable security codes, motion and pressure sensors, ignition kill switches, and a high-pitched siren will make defeating your security safeguards a timely and threatening proposition. If the thief really wants your car, these are risks he/she is willing to take, but it doesn't mean you need to make it easy for them. The longer they have to devote to disabling your alarm system, the more likely they will be caught and that makes your car a little less attractive to criminals.

The Battery Is your Best Friend

Most car alarms, no matter how sophisticated, have one fatal flaw that makes each and every one of them vulnerable to defeat: the power supply. Usually, car alarms are connected to the car battery, so thieves know all they have to do is cut the cable to the battery and in seconds they've bypassed your highly sophisticated alarm system. The best way to prevent thieves from shutting the system down is to use a second battery. Protecting the power supply of the system is paramount to preventing thieves from disabling your car alarm.

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