Auto Alarm Systems

Types of car alarm systems

You'll find a variety of car alarm systems, each of which has unique functionality to assist with the vehicle's protection or recovery, if necessary. Some alarm systems have a combination of these features.

Audible. Audible alarms are typically preinstalled in the vehicle and have a panic button on the key fob. These alarms vary from the horn repeatedly sounding to the lights on the vehicle flashing with the horn sounding. This can deter a potential thief due to the attention the alarm causes, but it can become an annoyance if it's set off accidentally.

Silent. Silent alarms page the owner of the vehicle when a break-in occurs. Because the thief does not hear the alarm, this system provides enables the owner to catch a thief in the act of stealing the vehicle. For safety considerations, police should be notified whenever an attempted theft is in progress. Check to see whether the alarm does this automatically or you must do this yourself.

Immobilizing. These alarms require that the vehicle's key be near the car or it will not start, which deters thieves attempting to drive off with the vehicle.

GPS. These alarm systems help locate the vehicle when it has been stolen. GPS alarms assists police in locating the vehicle and in many cases the person responsible for stealing the vehicle.

Passive. These car alarms activate automatically when the car is turned off and the doors are locked. To deactivate a passive car alarm, the driver must unlock the doors.

Active. Conversely, these alarms require that you press a button to activate or deactivate the alarm. Unlike passive alarms, locking the doors and walking away will not activate an active alarm system.

Remote start. With these alarm systems, you can start the vehicle remotely. They have additional security precautions that are active while you are away from the vehicle.

Two-way Paging. These systems provide two-way communication between the vehicle's alarm and the key fob. The paging system notifies you when the vehicle's alarm is activated or deactivated, the doors are locked or unlocked and when the vehicle's alarm is set off by someone attempting break into the vehicle.

Car alarm installation

Installing a vehicle's security system can be a difficult task. Many alarm systems require an installer to work with the vehicle's existing wiring system, which can be a challenge for a beginner.

Deciding whether to hire a professional or self-install the system will depend on the type of alarm system to be installed and the details involved in the installation.

Prior to installing an alarm system, you should plan ahead and know what steps are required to install the system. Because most systems will require hardwiring, the mechanic or person installing the system should know how the vehicle is wired and be familiar with the vehicle's computer system prior to attempting the installation.

An installer should check the auto alarm to determine whether the system is hardwired, wireless or both. Wireless systems are the easiest to install and can be placed anywhere in the vehicle to enable the alarm. Hardwired alarms are installed using the vehicle's wiring system.

Depending on the difficulty involved with installation and type of alarm system, you may choose to hire a professional to install the system rather than self-installing the system. This provides the added security that comes with knowing that the alarm system has been installed correctly and will work when needed.

Hiring an auto alarm professional

Choosing a automotive professional to install the alarm system requires some homework. Prior to hiring a professional, consider these factors:

Compare professionals. Research multiple professionals prior to selecting one to install the system. In addition, compare the prices of at least three professionals by asking for detailed estimates. This way you will know which will be the most cost-effective.

Compare reviews. Check the reviews on Angie's List for information about the professionals, who are highly rated by members. Checking the reviews for great customer service, quality and dependability can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Check the professional's credentials. Make sure the professional's credentials are valid and up-to-date. The professional should also have knowledge about the vehicle's internal systems. If you have any questions about the professional's credentials, choose another professional to install your system.

Ask the right questions. A pro can help you choose the alarm that suits you best and should have first-hand knowledge of different systems.

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