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Old 01-13-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
cogitate OP
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Car alarms, anybody know the truth?

Tell me about car alarms. Yes, i just bought a new car (Subaru BRZ), and the dealer talked me into a Karr Security system. It is not installed yet, so tell me what you know I could probably get out of it. It was the only thing I succumbed to at the dealer. I am second guessing it.

The car is the premium model, which is the lower of the two. It "supposedly" does not have an alarm, but just an engine immobilizer. i found out the cars are shipped with any security system turned off. It needs to be turned on by holding and pressing some buttons on the remote, then you get a flashing icon on the dash when the car is off. The factory disables them before they ship so the alarms don't go off in shipping. Or so I read.

I played with the buttons tonight, and lo and behold, there appears to be some semblance of an alarm. I accidentally left a door ajar and there was a weird buzzing, which i noticed at the same time i noticed the alarm icon was flashing. I did not test it, it's kind of late, but when i locked the car up in the garage, the icon that is flashing was definitely NOT flashing the past few days. I will leave a window open tomorrow, lock the car, and reach in and open the door. If it goes off, well, i guess i don't need anything else?
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitate View Post
I will leave a window open tomorrow, lock the car, and reach in and open the door. If it goes off, well, i guess i don't need anything else?

Pretty much. I wouldn't bother with an aftermarket alarm, even if it is dealer installed.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure nobody pays the least attention to car alarms.

When was the last time you went sprinting through a parking lot because you heard one?
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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Do insurance companies even bother giving an alarm discount anymore?
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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I think my insurance gives a discount for garaging and the immobilizer, I have to check on the alarm.

I was weak, I never agree to anything other than the car when I buy.

I turned down lojack, outer body treatment, interior treatment, gap insurance, which were all on the docket when I went from the salesman to the finance.

I went down the list, after giving the guy the stink eye, and said, take this off, this off, this off, this off, this off, this off. This was not what I agreed to with the salesman just a moment ago.

I did extend the warranty, which is something that has paid off will all my cars that I have owned. I got him down in price on that after I told him to take it off.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Better off with the lojack, no one even looks in the direction of a car alarm anymore.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:43 AM   #7
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If you bother with an alarm, get one of the 2-way alarms. At least the only one who cares (you), will know when someone is messing with your car.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #8
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if you can get a alarm that screams FIRE!!!! some one will come looking. people love fire. i once heard a guy tell a self defense class that, expectantly females instead of screaming help or rape scream fire.

but I know of no car alarms that do this.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
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Nobody pays attention to alarms anymore. The money would be better spent on a large car alarm sticker instead. Or theft insurance.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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Don't let the dealership's errand boy crawl around your wiring harness with Scotch-Loks and a drill.

No idea whether you can get your money back, since you already agreed to the worthless alarm. Perhaps you can sell it on CrackList.


Google "Karr Alarm" and you will find nothing but complaints.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitate View Post
The car is the premium model, which is the lower of the two. It "supposedly" does not have an alarm, but just an engine immobilizer.
Recent Subarus have the engine immobilizer standard- at least the two we have had.

On my wife's previous and now her current Outback, pressing the key/remote door lock button a third time gives a different chirp. According to the owner's manual that third press activates the engine immobilizer.

I really only use that feature when we visit friends in the NYC area.

BTW Mark, VERY nice BRZ
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:27 PM   #12
ColinDoyle
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Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
Don't let the dealership's errand boy crawl around your wiring harness with Scotch-Loks and a drill.
This. I've never seen a *clean* alarm (or remote-start) installation by someone who wasn't the loving, caring, and skilled vehicle owner.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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I always got good coverage and said fuck it let 'em steal it, I'll just get another one.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
Don't let the dealership's errand boy crawl around your wiring harness with Scotch-Loks and a drill.
X3

The aftermarket stuff ages poorly. I have often found the biggest problem with new cars is the aftermarket butchery that goes into them. Dealer installed accessory only means overpriced Pep Boys accessory rolled into the financing. I have taken brand new vehicles that had a dealer installed alarm that was so cheap that if you opted not to have it they just turned it off and abandoned it in the vehicle with the butchered wiring anyway. Not enough value to remove, does that tell you how cheap they are? These are a royal pain after the battery goes dead in a few years and the alarm "resets" back into life.

Generally takes me about an hour to track down all the butchered wiring and return it to stock. A lot easier to do when the ride is new instead of after it has aged a few years and the plastics have taken a set. The installations can often be described as creative, security through obscurity. No one has any idea what the hell is going on therefor it can't be defeated. Trouble is repair through obscurity just makes things horrible. Techs get pissed and start running jumper wires instead of looking for some mystery splice in some harness somewhere. Once it starts and runs again they are so far off flat rate they lost their shirt for the day and just kick the car out with a poorly routed jumper wire that later chafes in a couple years. Then the next tech finds a mystery jumper wire and a dead harness and they are even more lost then the prior tech. Oh what a horrible downward spiral. All because the dealers front end wanted to make a quick buck on a POS alarm system.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cogitate View Post
I turned down lojack, outer body treatment, interior treatment, gap insurance, which were all on the docket when I went from the salesman to the finance.

They are still trying the 'outer body and interior' treatments? Buddy of mine used to sell cars. It was Turtle Wax and 3M Scotchbrite.

Definately pass on the dealer installed alarm. Either they will have one of their techs install it (bad). Or they will drive it across town to BestBuy and have them install it, with a 100% markup.
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