August 10, 2017

Add On Car Alarms, Are They Worth It?

By e-mDot

So you bought an brand new, hi tech, example of automotive technology and your wondering how to protect your investment. Well the truth is the cars security system is most likely all you really need to keep your wheels safe. Many manufacturers are using security key systems that use a chip embedded in the key (transponder), and a receiver usually at the ignition key cylinder.

Quite frankly, these systems are not new, if fact they are required in most countries in Europe so many manufactures have developed systems that integrate with the car seamlessly. Most systems have the capability to disable the fuel system and the starter motor when an attempt is made to start the car without a programmed key or by breaking the lock cylinder. Some do include intrusion systems (door, hood and trunk security) that work when the system is armed.

The problem arises when a “piggy back” system is installed to the original system the most common being a motion or glass break sensor. Many times the installation may cause the base system to malfunction or even become inoperative. There are some factory add on accessories that are designed to work with the factory system. Use of approved factory add on units are the best way to go if you want to avoid problems in the future since they are designed to work with the base system not against it.

One of the most common add on units are system that interrupt the circuit from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. The total cost of a system like this to the dealer (parts and labor) can be as little as 25 dollars.

Of course the system is offered as an add on for as much as 300 dollars and if the customer declines the system is still left on the car and a “by-pass” chip is installed in the receiver where the owner would use a security chip. Since the system is still on the car, it can still malfunction and cost the owner of the car labor to have it removed.

To sum it all up, the factory system is all you really should ever need. If you feel the factory system is not sufficient, then ask for factory approved add on units and make sure they are covered by the new car warranty, they should be if they are installed at the time of sale, or soon thereafter. If car theft is a problem in your area, the extra money may be better spent on more insurance coverage when you apply the discount given for having an alarm on the car.