Car alarms have a bad reputation, due to poor quality equipment, incompetent installation, incorrect configuration, and owners who ignore their own alarm sirens. However, your car alarm doesn’t have to suffer from those issues. You can buy a quality vehicle alarm system and have it professionally installed and configured. You can also refuse to be one of the people who installs a loud siren and then ignores the siren when it activates.
Why Buy a Car Alarm?
The average car theft costs $6,600. This is because car thieves tend to steal older cars to chop them up and sell them as parts. A quality car alarm will cost between $80 and $800 and the very small chance that your car will be stolen does not usually justify the hassle and expenditure to prevent a $6,600 loss.
What does justify the cost of a car alarm is knowing when your vehicle has been tampered with. A quality car alarm will notify you when your vehicle is touched, alerting you to check for items such as location tracking devices and IED’s.
Car alarms utilize various sensors to detecting tampering with your vehicle. Door sensors detect an opening of your car door, trunk, or hood. Ignition sensors detect the activation of your vehicle ignition system. Shock sensors detect impacts to your vehicle. RF motion sensors detect movement near your vehicle or intrusions into your vehicle. Tilt motion sensors detect your vehicle being in motion. Glass breakage sensors detect your vehicles windows being broken.
Simple car alarms sound a loud siren when a sensor is activated. Unfortunately, the preponderance of false alarms has taught almost everyone to simply ignore car alarms. Better systems sound a quiet “chirp” when someone comes near the vehicle or brushes it lightly and only sound the full siren when the vehicle is actually attacked.
I recommend systems which include an LCD remote which notifies you quietly when your vehicle is tampered with. You can then investigate and respond appropriately.
Good car alarm systems also automatically immobilize the vehicle by disconnecting the starter when the alarm is active.
Remote Unlock and Remote Start
I recommend using a remote starting and unlocking system, because this minimizes the time that you will be exposed during vehicle entry. However, these systems also come with the risk that someone else could remotely unlock and start your vehicle. All of these remote systems utilize a rolling code, but those rolling codes can be defeated by a sophisticated attacker.
Vehicle tracking systems utilize the GPS (Global Positioning System) to identify your vehicles location and the GSM (Global System for Mobilecommunications) network to notify you (or the police) of it’s location. Mostly though, if my car is stolen, I don’t want it back. It is no longer trustworthy.