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Old 11-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
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Vehicle Security 101

Due to the increase of stolen vehicles lately I've decided to write a little blurb on how to secure your vehicle better and educate people on what options are available. I've wrote this a few years back which seemed to help a lot of people so here I am again with a more up to date version.


Car thieves piss us all off, we can get pissed off, b**ch about it, organize "BEATDOWNS", etc etc but as you're all aware, Cops can't call in the SWAT (or ERT to be exact) team everytime a car gets stolen. When a car gets stolen, you're put on a list and if they find your car they'll call you. It's up to YOU to protect your own car!!! You're obviously here because you want to know more about securing your vehicle. You've spent $400 on a no name 2-way paging alarm installed by some 16 year old kid you met on some Honda TRD Cavalier Type R forum and you think you're safe, then your car gets stolen and you wonder how the hell the thief drove off without you knowing. Keep reading and I'll go over a basic guideline to help teach you what to look for in an alarm. I forewarn you, it will be a LONG read.

Myth 1:
2 Way paging alarms are the best alarms on the market

A: WRONG. Paging alarm systems are ALL essentially VERY similar. You get a paging remote, a starter kill, a shock sensor and a bunch of aux inputs to add more things. Paging systems essentially are not much different than your average $99 boxing day sale alarms from a security standpoint. The potential for a 2 way alarm is enormous, but due to costs, manufacturers skimp out on the security portion and make a cool new toy in efforts to keep the costs lower. So if you must jump on the 2 way band wagon you NEED TO ADD ADDITIONAL devices to secure the car better. Paging alarm systems by themselves are pretty useless and easily defeated with a somewhat experienced thief(will explain in in depth if you read more). You need to remember, the more range your remote has, the further you need to RUN back to the car if the alarm is triggered. So by the time you've run a mile back to your car, the odds are that the cars already been broken into or worse....stolen.

Myth 2:
With my 2 Way Paging Alarm, I will always know when something is happening to my car.

A: WRONG. Paging alarm systems have a VERY limited range. Manufacturers always exaggerate the range to make it appeal to people. In the perfect world of no buildings, towers, concrete, power lines, interference, etc you MIGHT be able to get the range they claim. Lower quality paging alarms run on an AM frequency which is infamous for having poor range (approx 1km or less). Better paging alarms tend to run on an FM frequency which is usually around double the AM range. All in all, I'd say 75% of the time you're out of range, have too much radio interference, can't hear the remote, or can't get to the car in time. Another common problem with 2way alarms is without an antenna they can't send a signal to your remote, there's usually a 2-3 second delay on paging remotes, if someone were to disconnect it within a certain time, odds are you won't get paged. There are MANY ways around a poorly installed alarm.

Myth 3:
All alarms are the same. I might as well buy from the cheapest place

A: WRONG. Most people want the cheapest alarm at the cheapest price from the cheapest shop. You must take into consideration WARRANTY and AFTER SALES SERVICE. What happens 6 months after you get the alarm installed? If you have a problem and the person/business that installed it has packed it in, what happens to you? Basically you'll have to pay another shop/person to TRY and fix it and basically you have NO warranty if the worst should happen. Most reputable shops offer some sort of lifetime warranty on their installs, and most alarms come with 1 year or limited lifetime warranty. We all know installing alarms is time consuming, time consuming equals more money. So do it right ONCE, and you should never need to buy another alarm. I've encountered many customers that buy their alarm from some no name place and end up having to buy and install a WHOLE new alarm due to minor problems. You just wasted another $3-400. Another thing is, make sure to buy an alarm made by an ESTABLISHED manufacturer. Lot of of shops carry crappy no name brands due to the price point thinking people want things CHEAP. You will notice alarm companies come and go like no tomorrow. In business one year, then gone the next. What happens to you when your remote or alarm brain stops working? You have a limited lifetime warranty but now the company is out of business! Another common problem is that people break/lose their remotes but can't get a replacement because the company is out of business and they're forced to buy a new alarm because of it. The lesson here: paying a little more through a trusted shop for a reputable alarm can go a LONG way. That $50 you’re trying to save could end up costing you a new alarm. Don't be a cheap ass. Do your research. What a "salesman" is telling you is one thing, the truth could be another. (I'm incriminating myself. LOL)

Myth 4:
"My alarm has an immobilizer, no one can steal it"

A:WRONG. This is one of the BIGGEST misconceptions. Immobilizers in alarms essentially are run off some sort of relay switching system. You arm the car it engages the immobilizer, you disarm the car it disengages it. What people don't know is there's different kinds of immobilizers. The most common being the "normally closed circuit" which is widely used in 90+% of alarms. What that means is that once the alarm/immobilizer loses power it goes back to its "closed" state. In dummy talk it means if you lose power or pull out the fuse essentially you can start the car. How long does it take someone to find your alarm brain? Look up in the dash, rip out the big black box that says "Compustar" or whatever brand. Not very long. Most of your regular installers install the alarm brain AND valet switch in the same place in EVERY vehicle. It's not very hard to find, especially for alarms that have HUGE alarm brains. With your typical "basic" alarm installation, a thief can easily open the hood through the fender and disconnect the battery, pull out the alarm fuse, connect the battery, jam a screwdriver into the ignition and basically drive off with your ride and your beautiful toy alarm didn't even go off. Lesson: if you MUST have a "toy" alarm, relocate the alarm brain and valet switch. (Valet switch = Emergency override switch) Believe me, thieves knowing where your alarm brain and valet switch is NOT a good thing.

Myth 5:
I use "The Club". Thieves won't be able to steal my car

A: Another sad misconception. Although the MORE you have to deter a thief the better, but the reality of it is that they're easily defeated. Thieves just cut the steering wheel to remove the club. Remember, a club might deter a thief from stealing the car, but doesn't mean they won't break into the vehicle and steal what's INSIDE the car. Insurance does not cover your valuables left in the car. In BC we're only insured up to a MAXIMUM of $1000 after taxes/installation for professionally installed stereo.

Myth 6:
"I don't need an alarm. My insurance company will cover everything"

A: Don't we all wish. Insurance companies are businesses. They're in the business to make money which means they'll charge the most they can charge and give you back as little as possible. Although having an alarm won't guarantee no one will mess with your car, it definitely helps deter theives. Again, no one but yourself will actually do anything about your car. Most people aren't aware of what their insurance will and won't cover. So I'll give you BC residents a little insight on what ICBC will cover. For interior mods and stereo equipment (ie. Steering wheels, shift knob, headunit, amps, speakers, subwoofers, video systems, cd changers, etc) you're only covered for a MAXIMUM of $1000 after taxes and installation. Which basically leaves you peanuts to buy back what you've lost. For exterior/performance mods (ie.engine mods, suspension, wheels, tires, body kits, exhuast, etc) you're covered for a MAXIMUM of $5000 after taxes/installation/repairs. Again, leaving you peanuts to buy back all that you've lost. Remember in order to be covered your stereo needs to be professionally installed and bolted to the chassis of the vehicle. You will also need receipts in your name. Taking pictures of your mods along with keeping the original packaging will help alot also.

Remember it's up to YOU as the owner to protect and secure your vehicle. It's up to YOU to prove to the insurance company what your vehicle is worth along with it's belongings.

If you have any questions of how to better secure your car, contact one of your local RS Sponsors
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:24 PM   #2
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This part of the tutorial I'll explain the different "add-on" accessories in detail since most people aren't aware of what's avaliable at most "specialty" shops. Most big box shops don't carry these due to the fact that their sales people seldomly sell it.

This list is in NO specific order.


Hood/Door/Trunk Pin:
This is basically a pin switch that detects the opening of the hood/trunk/door. Most vehicles come with a factory door pin (turns on dome light when the doors open). This is a VERY important option that doesn't cost much that 80% of people tend to overlook. Most cars have the hood release cable in the fender which is basically covered by a piece of thin plastic. Thieves basically can open the hood from the outside of your car and disconnect your battery therefore bypassing the whole alarm without it even going off.

Battery Backup Siren:
Most thieves will try to kill power to the alarm to kill the siren. A Battery Backup Siren is a self powered siren that can be hidden in a more discreet location. Therefore if the thief kills the primary siren, the backup siren will still go off for about an hour or so itself. Most backup sirens will have an emergency override key in case you ever take your car for servicing. So therefore it still needs to be relatively accessible. Lifespan on a battery backup siren is about 2 years before it needs to be replaced.

Dual Zone Impace/Shock sensor:
This is standard in MOST aftermarket alarms. This is often mislabeled as a glass break sensor. This is a sensor that detects shock/impact upon the vehicle. Most shocks sensors on the market are "dual zone" meaning lighter vibrations/impacts will cause it to send a warning chirp, and on harder impacts will trigger the alarm. This does NOT detect if someone jacks up the car, breaks the glass w/ porecelain, rocks the car, etc. It will only go off if something hits/smashes the vehicle.

Glass Break Sensor AKA Audio Sensor:
This provides pre entry protection by detecting tampering/breaking of the vehicles glass/window. Essentially it's a high tech microphone that picks up ultra high frequencies of glass scraping/breaking/tampering. Thieves often use porcelain which shatters the glass but does NOT create ANY impact, therefore a regular alarm will not be triggered.

Digital Tilt Sensor:
Detects even minor lifting or rolling of the vehicle without any of the false alarms common to all other tilt and motion sensors. A must for vehicles with upgraded wheels and tires. Automatically self-adjusting. Older "tilt" sensors that aren't digital are prone to false alarms, so make sure you're getting a digital one.

Proximity Sensor AKA Field Disturbance Sensor
This digital signal processing (DSP) radar sensor¡¦s outer perimeter warning zone provides an invisible shield up to a foot outside the closed windows and convertible top. The interior zone instantly blasts the full alarm if someone leans into the passenger compartment. Especially recommended for convertibles and other soft-sided or open vehicles. This may be more prone to false alarms due to people/pets/animals walking by, consult with your trusted car security salesman and see if this application is right for you.

Ultrasonic Sensor:
This is used to provide coverage of a vehicle's interior cabin area. The sensors detect movement inside the vehicle by sensing air disturbance. They should trigger the alarm if a thief has gained access to the interior of your vehicle. Basically an interior proximity sensor.

Mechanical Hood Lock
The hoodlock is a effective way to protect your hood. Even if a theif were to pull the hood release cable it wouldn't open the hood. This is basically another key activated hood release cable. This may not work with all vehicles. Again please consult with your car security specialist.

Closed Loop Sensor
If you ever use a bike or ski rack, or tow a trailer, boat or jet ski, then the Closed Loop Sensor is for you! It's designed to hook up to your security system, and trigger whenever it's disconnected.

Mini Piezo Siren
If a thief is brazen enough to sit in your vehicle while the main siren is wailing, then this extra little siren should discourage them! Designed as a pain generator inside the vehicle.

GPS Tracking System
This system can work stand alone as a tracking system or integrated into an alarm to work as the ultimate two way paging system. Can be installed to do many things VIA internet browser. It's similar to what ICBC does with their Bait Cars. Works accross North America, has its own hidden backup battery system, etc.


Keyless Entry
The most common add-on. Basically allows you to remotely unlock the doors from a distance without the hassles of using your key to manually unlock the door.

Remote Start
A very common add-on. Enables you to start your vehicle from a distance. Commonly used to warm up a vehicle during winter time. Most newer cars now require an "immobilizer bypass module".

Universal Voice Module
A universal voice add-on, generates voice in English or Spanish, either generic or Viper-specific, and can produce the warn away message.

Garage Door Interface
Designed to interface with remote control garage door and security gate units, for improved security, convenience, and range. Features two 200mA (-) outputs, and one built in relay for easy connection to normally closed or normally open circuts. Includes an AC/DC adapter, and two dual button remotes, or program extra buttons on your Directed security system remotes via Learn Routine. Now with 66-bit Super Code Hopping.

Trunk Release Solenoid
Pop your trunk open with the push of a button! A significant time-saver, great for shopping. May require some additional labor-consult your sales representative for details.

Window Automation System
Integrate factory power windows with your security system, for convenient remote control operation. Roll up windows upon arming, or use an auxiliary channel to roll down or vent. May require additional parts or labor-consult your sales representative for details
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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Good info. You can buy additional insurance for your stereo based on actual value (i.e. purchase price less depreciation).
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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thanx love the info even though it's been a while
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