No one likes to hear the blaring of a car alarm in the middle of the night — especially when it's their own vehicle. Having your car alarm go off suddenly can be a bit, well, alarming.
Once you’ve reassured yourself that there’s nothing wrong and your vehicle hasn’t been hit or broken into, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief. But when your car alarm continues to go off again and again, it can become incredibly frustrating. Worse, you may even start to disturb the whole neighborhood!
The good news is that many of the more common car alarm issues can be easily diagnosed if you know what you’re looking for. If your car alarm is giving you a headache, check out the possible fixes below or give Mobile Installation a call.
Basics of Car Alarm Design
To understand why a car alarm might start suddenly alerting for no apparent reason, it’s important to understand a few things about car alarm design. At their most basic, most car alarms contain a speaker, a receiver, a computer, and several sensors. Any problem with a sensor will cause your system to alert. Depending on the car alarm model, you can have quite a few of them, including:
● Tilt sensors
● Proximity sensors
● Impact sensors
● Microphone sensors
● Door sensors
● Hood sensor
● And more
Fixing an Overactive Car Alarm
Here are a few things that you can check before driving the car back to the dealership.
1. Park in a Different Location
Car alarms have a tendency to go off when the car is subjected to low noise or rumbling. If you're at work or in your house, you may not notice that your car is being shaken by some environmental issue like the passing of a train or even the sound of large trucks nearby. Before you assume there's something wrong with your car, try parking in a different location.
2. Adjust Your Car Alarm Sensitivity
If your car alarm is still going off despite parking in a different location, your alarm’s sensitivity might simply be set too high. The sensitivity of a car alarm is usually set on the shock sensor, which is going to be a small box that's about three square inches underneath the dashboard on the driver's side. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to find out if your sensors are set too high. Simply give your car a light bump and see if it trips your alarm.
You can adjust this shock sensor by moving the adjustment dial. Turning it counter-clockwise will turn it down. You can then test out the sensitivity to see if it's about right for you. Tuning the sensitivity is always the better option than turning off your car alarm altogether.
3. Check Your Car Battery
A dying car battery can interfere with your alarm signal, causing it to alert unexpectedly. Even if your battery seems like it should last longer, extreme temperatures and other factors can cause it to drain earlier than expected. Additionally, corroded battery terminals can also cause your alarm to alert inappropriately.
If you’ve had to jump your car in the past month or your “check engine” light is on, you should perform a load test to see if your battery is the cause of your trouble. Before you do, take a look at your battery for any signs of corrosion and make sure it isn’t putting off any unusual smells.
You can perform a simple load test on your battery at home, but be sure you’ve got jumper cables handy first. Simply leave your headlights on for about 10 to 15 minutes and then have someone watch them while you start the vehicle. If they appear to visibly dim while your engine is turning over, you need to replace your battery.
4. Check Your Key Fob
When there isn't a problem with your vehicle, your alarm key fob could be the reason for your trouble. Since your key fob connects to your alarm, a problem with your key fob could cause it to send a signal to your alarm when you don’t need it to. This is easily tested: Simply remove the battery from your car fob and wait through the day or night.
Key fob issues generally happen because most modern cars offer an "alarm" feature on their fob that's designed to keep you safe in the event that you encounter danger in a parking lot. If your car fob has been damaged, it may be sending this signal to your vehicle without you knowing.
What to Do If Your Alarm is Still Going Off
If you’ve gone through the above checklist and the alarm on your vehicle keeps going off, then it's probably an actual issue with your wiring. You'll want to get this fixed as soon as possible — otherwise, you could find yourself getting tickets, citations, or complaints from neighbors. Most alarm issues can be fixed in a matter of minutes. To get yours checked out, contact Mobile Install today!
Are you in the market for a new car alarm? Call our car alarm technicians at 612-986-3332 or get your free quote online today. Schedule your car alarm installation services today.
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