Things To Know Before Buying a Car Alarm

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Car Alarm

There are approximately two million cars stolen every year. With this statistic, there is no reason to postpone buying a car alarm. This device or car accessory will not only protect your vehicle from thieves but will ultimately protect your family, livelihood, and other investments.

However, there is one problem often faced by consumers when buying a car alarm. That is the problem of choosing which type or brand of car alarm they should invest in.

If you are here because you want to find the perfect car alarm for your vehicle, then you have found the right page.

Different Types of Car Alarm

The first step in your search for a car alarm is to understand the difference between each type that is available on the market. There is a long list of products from high-end car alarms to less expensive models waiting for you when you type “car alarm” into the search bar.

There are many ways to choose a car alarm based on added features and enhanced functionalities. Aside from this, many car alarms also fall under several categories. The following are just some of the different types of car alarm.

Passive Car Alarms

One of the best things about passive car alarms is that there is no need for user intervention. You can leave your car, lock the doors and be at peace.

You don’t even have to remember whether or not you have switched the alarm on. This is because you do not have to turn it on or do anything to activate it.

Passive car alarms are automatically activated whenever you lock your car. However, one obvious limitation of this type is your lack of control over the system.

Since there is no user intervention whatsoever, you do not have access to some of its features such as the chips used in the keys for disabling the ignition if you mistakenly used a wrong key.

Nevertheless, the straightforward passive car alarm is still good enough for many car owners.

Active Car Alarms

This type of car alarm is common nowadays in modern cars. It heavily relies on user intervention when it comes to activating the system.

Unlike the passive alarm, you cannot just lock the door and walk away because that won’t activate the alarm.

Clearly, this kind of alarm is not ideal for forgetful car owners. Therefore, activating it every time you have to leave your car should become a reflex.

On the other hand, many people still prefer this type because of the control and access to additional functions it offers.

Remote Start Car Alarms

As the name suggests, the added functionality of this type of car alarm is the ability to start your car from a distance. This is possible because car alarms have always been wired to car ignition systems ever since the first versions in the 1920s.

This car alarm is also classified under the active category, but you may also found passive remote start car alarms. Remote start car alarms bypass the ignition lockout systems and are able to operate the locks independently. This will secure the vehicle and keep it locked until the owner reaches it.

Two-Way Paging Car Alarms

This alarm is one of the most sophisticated car alarms that can effectively deter thieves in two ways. The communication happens between the car alarm and the fob of the driver’s key ring.

Despite being expensive, many car owners prefer this type because of the higher level of security it provides. A two-way paging car alarm alerts the driver when an intruder breaks into the car by creating a loud, constant noise. Thus it draws attention when someone tries to open your car door.

Indeed, it is more effective than other types that can only flash the headlights. Aside from this, it can also notify the driver when the car alarm suddenly goes off when you did not deactivate it yourself.

GPS Car Alarms

GPS car alarms are not a standalone type. Rather, GPS is an added functionality that helps the owner locate his or her stolen vehicle. This is not a common feature, perhaps because it is not focused on preventing the car from getting stolen.

Still, it is very useful in assisting the police in recovering your vehicle. GPS allows you to search for the car’s location online or receive a text message containing its location.

Silent Car Alarms

Silent car alarms have both advantages and disadvantages. Car owners buy them because they reduce the number of complaints about alarms being too loud. Instead of making a noise, these car alarms send a silent message to the owner when someone breaks into the car.

On the other hand, is they are less effective when it comes to raising the alertness of owners and bystanders. For this reason, they are less popular than the other types.

Basics Functions and Advanced Features

The best car alarms possess the basic functions as well as cool additional features. For example, the simplest kind of car alarm is made with a sensor that is wired to a siren.

In the early years, this system was often attached to the driver’s door so whenever someone tried to break in, the sensor would signal the siren, causing it to sound.

As cars have evolved, so too have car alarms. There are now more advanced features that were not just invented to entice the public but also to increase the level of security. Some of these additional functions are:

  • Detecting motion by adding motion sensors, switches, pressure sensors, and more
  • Allowing drivers to pick from a variety of sound or siren options and choose a distinct car alarm sound
  • Remotely control the car from a key fob through a radio receiver
  • Switching from main battery to an auxiliary battery to continue operation when the main source gets disconnected

Factors to Consider When Buying the Right Car Alarm

Most car alarms today are intelligent and easy to handle. They offer sophisticated options to level up your security inside your car or away from it.

That is why it pays to consider which of the features you want to be present in your car alarm. Below are some of the factors to consider before you purchase one.

Sensors

Car alarms are designed to go off whenever the driver’s door is forcefully opened. But that leaves three or more doors for the thieves. Because of this, you should choose an alarm that will go off when any of your doors are opened.

Aside from this, you might also want to purchase an alarm that comes with an impact sensor that triggers the alarm when the trunk of the car is forcefully opened. A glass break sensor that signals the alarm once it has sensed a window breaking is helpful too.

Remote Control

Remote controls for car alarms provide a keyless entry system. They can lock the door and activate or deactivate the alarm with just the click of a button.

Another good thing about having a remote control is the panic button. The panic button comes handy for many situations for example when you cannot find the car in a busy parking lot, or to prevent home invasions.

Modular Options

A good car alarm is easy to install in your car, but the best kinds of car alarm are customizable. In another term, they are modular.

You should be able to pick the features that you need and install them all at once or uninstall them later on. This way, you will know which one is more effective or important than the other. It saves you money, too.

Top 5 Recommended Car Alarms

The following products are some of the best car alarms available with basic and advanced features. They are all highly rated on Amazon. See if one of them suits your sneed as you read these short reviews.

Viper 350 PLUS 3105V 1-Way Car Alarm Keyless Entry

First in the list is the Viper 350 Plus 3105V, which is a one-way car alarm that allows for keyless entry to your car. The Viper has long been considered as one of the best in the market that sets the standard for high-quality vehicle security and remote start systems.

No wonder why this particular model has been receiving positive reviews from many car owners.

This product is affordable and is perhaps one of the best models in its price range. This model features a 4-button remote control that allows you to manage specific car operation as well as the alarm system from a distance.

Aside from this, it also features essential functions such as the FailSafe starter kill function, anti-carjacking and panic alarm features to increase your security inside or away from your car.

With these amazing features, rest assured that no thieves will be able to break into your vehicle without you noticing them.

Moreover, the car alarm system features a Revenger six-tone soft-chirp siren that is loud enough for drivers to hear. There is also a parking light alarm response and bright blue status LED to warn thieves and notify you about the status of your car. Most importantly, this car alarm is compatible with most kinds and models of vehicles.

Pros

  • Includes advanced safety security features that protect your car with convenience
  • Includes two 4-button 1-way transmitters that work in a 1500-foot range
  • Works well with XpressKit DB-ALL vehicle interface module and other Viper SmartStart smartphone modules
  • Comes complete with a 60-day money back guarantee from Viper
  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Confusing instructional manual
  • Remotes are not durable enough to withstand sudden high-impact shocks

Directed Avital 2 Way LCD Security System

If you want a car alarm that you can control from a distance that will also notify you when something bad happens, consider the Directed Avital 2 Way LCD Security system. This brand is a top-of-the-line car alarm with an amazing security system, one that has been well received by buyers.

This 2-way LCD alarm with 5-button remote can either arm or disarm your security system by just pressing the button of the remote.  This is possible even if you are 1,500 feet away.

Should there be a thief trying break into your vehicle and your siren sounds, the remote will beep or vibrate to let you know. Notifications will be sent to the LCD remote to confirm if you have activated or deactivated something on your system. You only have to look at the large LCD screen on the remote for any updates regarding your car.

Furthermore, this product comes complete with 2 remote controls: a 2-way remote and a 4-button 1-way remote. So if you lose the first one, you still have a backup remote.

The car alarm also comes with relays or switches for door locks, starter kill, parking light, and dome light. This product is available in the aftermarket at around $100 with free shipping.

Pros

  • 2-way LCD 5-button remote control works up to a 1500-foot range
  • Notifies the car owner when the siren sounds when the remote beeps or vibrates
  • Comes with a one-way 4-button transmitter secondary remote
  • Works well with most car models

Cons

  • Remote control’s lock and unlock buttons are not as responsive as they could be
  • Siren does not sound very loud even at full blast
  • Setting up the two-way car alarm system seems to be confusing for some car owners

Audiovox Prestige APS25E Remote Car Alarm Security System

Third on the list is the Audiovox Prestige APS25E. This car alarm combines effective standard security systems with the latest safety technology. Some of its features include intrusion alert with memory and a parking light flasher.

The car alarm also adds a layer of protection to your car with its dual-stage shock sensor that can activate the siren when your car gets bumped by something. The remote control can reach your car alarm from as far as 500 feet.

What’s more is that the manufacturer gives you two of the 3-button metal 1-way remote controls. Both remotes have a panic and trunk release button that comes in handy in busy parking lots.

Aside from this, the remote is also a 3-channel receiver that is capable of accepting up to 4 transmitters. Furthermore, the car alarm system also has a starter interrupt feature for protecting the vehicle against hot-wiring, last-door arming, RF inhibit with ignition on and a multi-tone siren.

With all these features plus a limited lifetime warranty and free shipping, this car alarm is definitely worth it.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use remote control with basic functions
  • Allows user-programmable permanent chirp delete
  • Comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty and free shipping

Cons

  • Lack of advanced features
  • Limited to remotely control the security system within a 500-foot transmitter range

Prestige APS997E 2-Way LCD Remote Start & Car Alarm System

The new APS997E is another model made by Prestige. But this time, it is a 2-way LCD remote start and car alarm system.

This new model has replaced the old APS997C and is said to be more secure. Inside the package, you will see a 5-button metal 2-way remote control with a command-confirming LCD transmitter as well as a secondary remote control which is a 5-button 1-way transmitter.

Both of the remote controls allow you to lock and unlock the car as well as including a panic button. What makes them even more convenient is that you can operate your car in different modes.

These modes are parking meter countdown mode, LCD transmitter additional countdown timer mode and cold temperature start mode.

The glass mount antenna in the primary remote control has a built-in LED light and valet switch that transmits and receives signal to and from the alarm.

Pros

  • Allows one-way or two-way settings through separate control outputs
  • Has a glass-mounted antenna with built-in LED light and valet switch for your convenience
  • Operates in different modes including 24-hour time start mode, cold temperature start mode, two or four-hour automatic start mode, and parking meter countdown timer mode on the LCD transmitter
  • Remote panic in all modes
  • Includes a lifetime limited warranty

Cons

  • The remote is too sensitive so it can easily be pushed in the pocket
  • Too expensive for some car owners

Omega K9 Mundial-4

The Omega K9 Mundial-4 is a convenient and high-quality car alarm system. It is actually an improved version of an older model by K9 that promises to deter thieves while protecting your belongings.

One of the best things about this product is that it is easy to install. The car alarm works fine with most brands and models of vehicles, too. Like other types, it also allows a keyless remote entry by just pressing a button.

Speaking of buttons, this product is complete with two identical 4-button remote controls or transmitters. It has the ability to set off the siren and chirps that can be loud or quiet.

This way, you can choose the volume to avoid disturbing neighbors. Since it is a multi-tone electronic siren, the sound it makes is more ear-catching and distinctive.

Furthermore, the alarm also features anti-carjack features and a dual-zone shock sensor that detects bumps and impacts to your car too.

Pros

  • Easy to install accessories
  • Multi-tone siren and siren control options
  • Good basic car alarm functions

Cons

  • Extra transmitter is hard to program
  • Expensive price for a basic or one-way car alarm

Conclusion

The best car alarm systems are those with uncompromising basic functions. You might fancy the other advanced features but if they limit the performance of the basic functions, then your security might be at risk.

That’s why it is better to read more online reviews about a particular product before purchasing it.

Whether you prefer a one-way or two-way car alarm system, you should find one with the functionality, features and settings that work for you.