Car alarms are an essential tool for keeping your vehicle safe from thieves. However, making sure you understand the options available can make a huge difference in how effective it is. Below, you’ll find five essential things to know about car alarms.
Active car alarms are those that the driver activates when he or she exits the vehicle. Typically, this type of alarm is set by hitting the lock button on the key fob or inside the car twice. The alarm will emit a chirp or honk the horn to alert the driver that the alarm is set. If an open door is detected, a different sound is heard so that the issue can be addressed. These are often standard features on new vehicles.
Many car alarms have an LED light that flashes when it is engaged. The light is typically located on the dashboard near the windshield to make sure it is visible to those outside. This type of alarm acts as a deterrent by letting potential thieves know that there is an alarm system on the vehicle.
When an active alarm is set off, it usually makes the horn of the vehicle sound and the lights flash until it is deactivated with the key fob or the ignition key. Some vehicles only have this feature on the driver’s door, while other systems alert if any door or the trunk is opened. It is best to check with the manufacturer or read your owner’s manual to determine which option your vehicle has.
Most car and alarm dealers offer a variety of additional options that can be added to a system. These can include glass break sensors, impact sensors and radar sensors, which detect any movement inside or outside of the car. Radar sensors have sensitivity levels that allow the owner to determine how close the movement should be prior to the alarm sounding.
Car alarms are also available that can send a text message or alert to the owner’s smartphone if it is set off. This is especially useful for those who park their cars longer distances from their homes or offices. It can also be helpful in neighborhoods where car alarms go off frequently to ensure the owner is aware if it is his or her vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Car Alarms and was authored by Valerie Johnston.