Car Alarm Buying Guide
What is a Car Alarm?
There are hundreds of thousands of cars stolen every year in the United States. Having your vehicle protected from theft and vandalism has become a focus of many vehicle owners.
They want to protect their belongings and the people in the car as well. Although there will be an initial investment in the car alarm system itself, this is an investment that is worth making.
Having a good, reliable car alarm system will deter thieves from breaking into your car because it will be impossible for them to get into the vehicle without detection.
Some car alarm systems can alert you that your vehicle is being tampered with and there are systems that can prevent hot wiring and starting if the car without having the remote.
Before you purchase a car alarm system, you should make sure that you are knowledgeable about the options you have. This will enable you to choose the car alarm that has the features you want.
Important Features to Look For
There are many different options and features that a consumer can choose from when it comes to a car alarm system. The modern systems are very sophisticated and powerful and offer a lot of great features that all work together to keep your vehicle and the contents of it, safe.
With choices such as remote starters, keyless entries, flashing LED alerts and more, you have numerous options to choose from all with the same goal in mind which is to increase your peace of mind.
Before you begin researching, you need to know what features are important to you. Do you want a paging feature that lets you know that your car is being tampered with?
How about the capability to start the car and let it warm up (or cool down, depending on the season) from inside your home or office? Do you want a tracking feature that will let you know where the car is if it gets stolen?
As you can see there are many different options you will be able to choose from. Some models will have a lot of features and other more simple designs may only have one or two. Read below to learn about the different features and decide which ones are the most important for you to have.
- Sensors – One of the most common elements of the car alarm is that when the driver’s door is opened, an alarm goes off. In reality though, a thief can break into a car using any door. Having it wired with sensors that detect when ANY door is opened can reinforce your peace of mind. There are a few different types of sensors that alarm systems can come with
- Impact sensors – triggers the alarm if anyone tries to break a lock to get into the vehicle or the cargo area of a truck or van.
- Glass break sensors –This sensor will trigger the alarm whenever a window is broken anywhere in the vehicle.
- Radar sensors – Will trigger the alarm when it detects movement inside or outside the car. This sensor has a bit of false alarms associated with it because someone could be right next to the vehicle but not intending to do anything to it at all.
- Thief Stoppers – There are some features that a car alarm system will have that thwarts the thief that is trying to get into your vehicle.
- Door deadlock – This stops the thief by preventing the doors from being opened, even if the windows get broken.
- Dynamic codes – Thieves can use code grabbers to detect static coded alarm systems.For this reason, using dynamic codes that constantly change will prevent a thief from being able to grab the code.
- Driver Door Unlock – This feature allows the user to ONLY unlock the driver door and no other door unless they choose to. This is a great feature to prevent anyone from jumping into the car with you that isn’t supposed to.
- Biometric fingerprint reader – This feature allows only the car owner to start the vehicle.
- GPS Tracking – A great feature that will track the vehicle in the event it is ever stolen. It can also be a useful tool for keeping track of anyone else who is driving the car, such as a teen.
- Remote Control – This is also called a keyless entry system. It is used to lock and unlock doors and arm and disarm the alarm. It also has a panic mode option that is really useful if you lose track of your vehicle in a crowded parking lot. One real benefit to the panic button is that you can set off the alarm in the event of a threat or medical emergency. It is recommended that users look for remotes with auxiliary channels so you can add additional sensors if you choose to. If you have more than one driver, you will need 2 or more remotes.
- Interfaces – Interfaces communicate with the car’s computer and the alarm system, and allows the consumer to customize it the way they like. It can also shut down the engine if the alarm goes off which is known as the immobilization feature. Most interfaces can be installed on an array of different vehicles and provides the car owner with control over not only the factory installed alarm system but the added one as well, including all sensors and locks.
- Remote Start – This feature is a customer favorite due to the convenience it offers the car owner. It allows the car owner to start the car from inside during cool or hot weather. The remote start system needs to be installed separately from the alarm system and then connect them together and configure the remote or smartphone. When looking for this feature, it is important that consumers make sure the alarm system they are purchasing is compatible with the smartphone they use.
- Other Options – One of the backup options is the paging option. This option is very good for alerting you that something is amiss with your vehicle when it is out of eyesight, such as being parked in a parking garage or around the corner where you can’t see it. Depending on the alarm, the range may be as far as one mile away. The paging is done by texts that are sent to the user’s mobile phone.
Another useful backup option is to choose the kind of alarm sound your vehicle makes. This is a very good feature when it seems like everyone on the block has the exact same alarm. Last but not least is the battery backup, which will kick in and take care of the vehicle’s battery should it die.
Car Alarm and Security Safety Tips
When it comes to traveling, everything you deem important enough to take with you is going to be in your vehicle. For this reason and even when you are not traveling, there are some safety precautions you will want to take to protect your family, your vehicle and your belongings.
- Always keep your keys safe at home and away– Because of the types of car alarm systems that are available and installed in some cars from the factory, thieves already know that the car won’t work well without the car keys. It is not unheard of for them to simply break into the house and steal the keys which make taking the vehicle easy. Don’t keep your keys in typically places such as by the front door, in a purse or leave them in the car. Put them in a drawer somewhere where you will know where they are but they won’t be obvious and easy for a potential thief. Remember also to never leave your keys in the car when you go into a store or gas station, especially at night. Thieves determined to have a car will take them day or night, but you definitely don’t want to make it simple for them.
- Think About Where You Park – There are some good rules of thumb to follow when it comes to parking your vehicle. Follow these tips for the least chance of having to deal with potential thieves.
- If you are leaving your car at the airport or even just parking it for awhile, park in eye sight of the toll booths or parking office. Close to regular shuttle stops is also a good option. Make sure the area is well lit, and cameras are even better.
- If parking on the street, parking within sight of a busy store, in a well lit area that gets plenty of traffic if possible.
- If you park in a pay lot, don’t leave your ticket in the car. If your car is broken into, they can get the ticket and very easily just drive off with your vehicle.
- Always lock your vehicle. Get into the habit of locking it every time you leave it, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Another benefit to doing this is that anyone watching will see that your car is armed with an alarm and that you always set it.
- Pack and Hide Your stuff before venturing out – Make sure that no one can just look into the windows of the car and see valuable items. Always hide the things that are really important.
- Unload stuff away from the parking garage – Try not to start your vehicle where everyone can see you unload it. It is a very easy way for thieves to notice to your routine.
- If You Lose Your Remote, Delete it – If you lose any remotes, be sure to delete them from the car alarm memory right away. If someone else gets a hold of it and it isn’t deleted, they can gain access to your vehicle.
- Keep your vehicle neat – If you car is super neat and spotless inside, thieves may think that there is nothing of value there since it is so bare. A cluttered, messy care can looking like care is not given or taken.
When it comes to buying a car alarm system for your vehicle, when you know about all the options you can choose from, you will be able to make a choice that will match your needs and personal preferences. Think about what you want your car alarm to be able to do and choose those features accordingly.
Insurance companies like the fact that cars have anti-theft features and notifying them that you are insured against theft can possibly lower your rates with them. Not only do insurance companies like it, it is our hope that YOU will like it and find a lot of value in for later.