It wasn’t uncommon to hear the “chirp chirp” of someone arming their aftermarket alarm system in the 1980s and 1990s. And it was even more prevalent here the irritating sonata of sounds produced by an aftermarket car alarm to the dismay of everyone within a square of the car. However, do those obnoxious noises and the alarm-equipped automobile actually help prevent the car from being stolen? Or is it purely a matter of noise pollution?
What use do automobile alarms serve?
Apart from being obnoxious and noisy, the primary purpose of installing an alarm on your automobile is to prevent would-be thieves by drawing attention to the vehicle. Not only is the alarm intended to deter theft of the entire vehicle, but it is also intended to deter theft of the contents within. And, while you may still scoff at the notion of a car alarm being effective, different car alarms accomplish different tasks and so have varying degrees of efficacy.
OEM security systems
You may be asking what the difference is between the factory-installed alarm and keyless entry system and an aftermarket alarm. Typically, the OEM alarm is a one-way system that remotely locks and unlocks the doors, initiates the remote start, initializes the starter/injector kill, and activates the alarm horn. The term “one-way” system refers to the fact that the system can only be armed or disarmed and does not warn the owner of any potential mischief other than the audible horn sounds.
On the other hand, an aftermarket alarm system, provides a plethora of features for arming the vehicle. Not only can these alarm systems sound when someone attempts to get access to the car, but they can also warn people away using a proximity sensor and be triggered if the car is tilted as if someone were to jack up the car to take the wheels.
Due to the fact that many of these alarm systems are “two-way,” they generally include a pager remote key fob that notifies the owner when the alarm is activated. Additionally, the pager will tell the owner the moment the alarm was triggered and whether or not it was a false alert. And, while it may appear that an alarm only generates noise, the majority of alarm installers nowadays will set up the system in such a way that the automobile stops the signal to the fuel pump or ignition system as an added layer of security.
Is it worthwhile to purchase aftermarket car alarms?
While it’s tempting to dismiss an aftermarket car alarm as an overpriced noisemaker – some may cost as much as $300 to $500 – the most critical component of purchasing one is the manner in which it’s installed. A skilled alarm installer will conceal the cables and install immobilizers for an additional layer of security, whereas a sloppy installer will just install the alarm in a haphazard manner that produces noise and unlocks the doors. It would be pointless in that situation.
If you’re considering having an aftermarket alarm system installed on your car, be sure to communicate your intentions to the installer and inform them of any specific settings you may like. While an alarm will not prevent your automobile from being stolen entirely, adding an extra layer of security never hurts.