Investing in your vehicle’s security should be any car owner’s top priority. It is essential to not only protect your belongings in your car but to deter thieves from trying to take it. Car alarms are one of the most common ways to secure your vehicle. Here are five facts you need to know about car alarms.

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How do car alarms work

Car alarms go off when something unusual happens to your vehicle. The science behind it is pretty simple. When activated, the sensors in the vehicle will go off. If the sensor does not record any unusual activity, the alarm will still stay active but will not go off. 

Sensors can be placed on any part of the car

Car alarms go off when a sensor is triggered. These sensors can be placed on almost any part of your vehicle. Here are some types of sensors that can be placed on your car.

  • Car-alarm Door Sensors: This is the most basic alarm system for most vehicles. When you try to open any of the fully protected doors on your vehicle such as the front hood, trunk, or any of the side doors the alarm with will be set off 
  • Car-alarm Shock Sensors: Most advanced alarm systems use shock sensors to deter theft. It works when some hits or moves your car and sends a signal to the sensor. Depending on the severity of the hit, it will either let out a warning honk or set off the full alarm system.
  • Car-alarm Window and Pressure Sensors: When someone is trying to get in your car, they don’t want to waste time trying to unlock the car. Most times they will just break the window. This is where pressure sensors come in. They detect a difference in air pressure from inside the car. If there is a sudden rush of air coming into the car when a window is broken, this will send a signal to the car, causing the alarm to go off.

Your car alarm can go off because of vehicle issues

While the above sensors are good at protecting your car, your car alarm can be triggered by the slightest inconvenience. A faulty key fob can cause your alarm to go off since it is linked to your system. Your alarm system can go off if your car’s battery is low. If your car alarm keeps going off and you don’t know how to fix it, check all of your sensors first before you take it to your local mechanic.

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Active alarms vs. passive alarms

There are two ways to know if your car alarm is activated. An active car alarm is turned on when the driver leaves the vehicle and sets it with the key fob. You will hear a sound to know if and when your alarm is set. Passive alarms, on the other hand, turn on automatically once the key is out of the ignition and all the doors are closed. The driver does not have to worry about having to set it.

Car alarms shouldn’t be your only source of security

While car alarms are a nice start to vehicle security, it should not be the end all be all. You can buy something as simple as a steering wheel lock or a pedal jack to something more complex such as a rear camera or GPS tracking. Car alarms may not deter thieves from taking your vehicle so it is important to look at other ways to protect your car.

Looking for more information on car security? We have a blog for that. Read our blog on remote starters. If you are looking to add a dashcam in your vehicle, read our blog on the topic. If you still aren’t sold on car alarms, read our buying guide on finding the right car alarm system.


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