How to Adjust a Car Alarm’s Sensitivity

How to Adjust a Car Alarm’s Sensitivity

While car alarms are useful protective tools for your car, they can be a bit of nuisance. They can startle the entire neighborhood, refuse to be turned off, and go off randomly.

The good news is that car alarms are usually built with adjustable settings. You can adjust the volume and other features. This articles shows car owners how to adjust a car alarm’s sensitivity.

When a dog brushes against the car and the alarm goes off easily, it is poorly calibrated. Likewise if it easily goes off when a cat jumps on the trunk or you accidentally slam the door.

It needs to be adjusted so it will become less sensitive. You can do this yourself.

Common ways on how to adjust a car alarm’s sensitivity

There are two types of car alarm sensors: the DIP switch and the rheostat. DIP switches are assembled inside the main control unit of the alarm system.

They control the quantity of electricity that runs through the sensors. To adjust the car alarm sensitivity, you can turn off a few DIP switches.

On the other hand, the rheostat is a sensor built outside the alarm system. To adjust the car alarm’s sensitivity with a rheostat, loosen up one of the rheostat’s bolts.

This modifies the rheostat’s resistance in the car alarm’s sensor. Loosen the rheostat using a screwdriver.

You can also refer to your car alarm manual to learn more about it. This will provide you with useful information about where the shock sensor is built and how to adjust the car alarm’s sensitivity.

It is also worth noting that cars have varying sensor plans. The adjustments in alarm sensors need 60 seconds after adjusting the system to take effect. However, this kind of setup may not be present in newer brands of electronic car alarms.

Easy steps for adjusting a car alarm system

Here are the easy steps for adjusting a car alarm system with just basic tools.

  1. Locate the adjustment dial on one side of the module. Using the tip of a screwdriver or your fingers, turn the dial clockwise to increase the alarm’s sensitivity or counterclockwise to decrease the sensitivity.
  2. Test the sensor by lightly tapping the different parts of your car with flat, open hands. Do this on all four corners of the car. Take out any metals such as rings on your fingers to avoid damagaing the car. Then adjust the sensitivity again if necessary.

Tips for adjusting a car alarm system

Here is some information worth knowing when it comes to adjusting your car alarm system:

  • The shock sensors on cars only react to impact and vibrations, not when you kick the tire or shove the vehicle.
  • Alarm sensors are usually built with two stages: a short alarm sound for light shocks and a full alarm siren for heavier impacts.
  • The specific location of the shock sensor depends on where it is installed.
  • If the process for adjusting the car alarm’s sensitivity seems to be too complicated for you, ask for help from a professional auto detailing service.

Choosing a quality car alarm system

To ensure you get a good working car alarm system, try to purchase a high-quality one.

Here are some features that you might want to consider when buying a car alarm system:

Remote start.

For car owners living in places with cold winters, a remote start function is useful. It lets the car owner start the car with an alarm pager without sitting in the driver’s seat.

It can have coverage from 500 feet up to one mile. This remote start function also comes with a security system.

Motion detector.

Motion detectors are usually add-ons to convertible cars, open jeeps, and other types of cars that have open spaces or are not entirely closed. This feature senses any motion around your car and lets you know about it immediately.

2-way paging.

This security feature allows you to monitor your car within the vicinity of the pager range. It sends you different kinds of alert such as vibration, visual or sound alerts when the car alarm is activated. It also receives your commands sent from the pager.


A car alarm system is a good way to protect your car from thieves and other harm. Make sure that it is properly calibrated so it is effective and functions properly.

However, car alarms that are too sensitive can be a nuisance. Learn how to adjust your car alarm’s sensitivity to ensure its optimal effectiveness.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: