The Bane of Aftermarket Car Alarms

The humble car alarm has been around almost as long as the car itself, first being developed by an unknown prisoner in Denver, circa 1913. To the security-conscious motorist, they make a lot of sense. The noise of a car alarm draws attention which is the last thing a would-be thief wants, and the in-built immobilizers generally stop the car being moved at all without a time-consuming workaround. Both are a great deterrent to theft.

It may then surprise you to know that I, dear readers, consider the aftermarket car alarm to be one of the most heinous devices ever fitted to the modern automobile. Combining the unholy trifecta of being poorly designed, cheaply made, and fitted by only the most untalented or uncaring people to wield a soldering iron, they are a blight that I myself refuse to accept.

It was my very own Mazda that suffered at the hands of a car alarm system. Two days after purchasing the car, the keyfob died, and thus the car would no longer start. My other car was already out of action due to bent valves, and I needed to get to work, so I figured as a competent hacker, I’d be able to quickly disable it.

In the short term, I was able to find some new keyfobs and get the system back up and running, but in that moment, I knew I wanted it gone forever. Thankfully, this is readily achievable for the average hacker. This guide isn’t intended to help facilitate would-be thieves — the method described is one that takes time and patience, not something that’ll have your car Gone In Sixty Seconds. I primarily write this for the thousands of budding car enthusiasts out there who have bought the second-hand car of their dreams, only to find their beautiful stock wiring has been hacked to pieces by well-meaning fools.

A Tale of Relay Interlocks

The vast majority of car alarms and immobilizers prevent the engine from starting in a very simple way. There are various wires that, when cut, will make running the car impossible. For example, if you cut the wire that runs the fuel pump, the engine won’t get fuel and can’t run. Cut the wire running from the ignition switch to the rest of the car’s electrical system, and the whole car loses power.

Diagrams indicating typical alarm operation in both the armed and unlocked states.

When installing a car alarm, these vital wires are cut. Each end is then connected to a relay, controlled by the car alarm. When the car alarm detects the proper keyfob or other signal, it closes the relay and allows the car to start. If the car alarm instead detects someone trying to start the car without first disarming the system, it will open the relay, no longer allowing current to flow. In the case of my car, with the relays connected to both the ignition switch and the fuel pump relay, the whole car just goes completely dead, save for the now-blinking alarm. Oh, and usually a siren will go off, and your neighbours will hate you.

So, how do we go about removing a car alarm? It’s as simple in most cases as identifying the wires that have been cut, removing the relay, and splicing the cut wires back together. This sounds easy in theory, but the shoddy nature of most installs and the absolute wire spaghetti that results can make it very difficult. Expect to face off against bare wires twisted together with tape, solder joints that are entirely uninsulated, or the dreaded Scotchlok (TM) connector.

This relay was used to cut power to the fuel pump. The green wires were spliced inline with the fuel pump’s 12 V line. The red and yellow wires are the relay’s coil wires, controlled by the car alarm.

RTFM (If You Can) — Then Clip the Wires

I started my job with a Google search. Your results will vary since “security” companies selling aftermarket alarms likely don’t want to details of the systems to be easy to find. I got lucky and turned up a manual for a similar alarm made by the same company, which suggested the alarm would cut the fuel pump power supply and the 12V line from the ON position of the ignition switch. After a bit of digging around, I found exactly these two relays. I disconnected the battery for safety and got down to work.

The relay which cut the fuel pump was buried in the driver’s side kick panel, making an unsightly lump under the carpet. The relay had two fat green leads that were spliced into the blue wire supplying the fuel pump. I took the liberty of cutting the relay out, and twisting the two ends of the blue wire back together.

This nasty fella was tucked up under the steering column, spliced into the circuit coming from the ignition switch in the ON position.

Next, I tackled the second relay, buried under the steering column. Spliced into the ignition switch’s ON wire, it completely shut down the car’s electronics when triggered by the alarm. Again, I cut out the relay and twisted the original wire back together. I was careful to make sure the bare wire wasn’t shorting on anything before I tested my work.

A quick turn of the key, and the car sprang to life! I’d successfully managed to remove the immobilizer part of the car alarm. All that was left to do was to solder the wires back together.

I no longer had to worry about my car being disabled by a failing keyfob or an oversensitive alarm. I decided to leave the rest of the alarm in place for now, sans the control box which went straight in the bin. The next few weeks will see me gently peeling out the rest of the alarm hardware, which interfaces with tilt sensors, brake switches and door locks.

The wires were twisted back together for testing, before being soldered in a linesman splice and covered with heatshrink.

Tackling this job got my car back on the road, and it’s great knowing that my car is no longer at the mercy of a temperamental piece of electronic junk. Check out the video below for more of the gritty details on my own alarm removal. Naturally, we’d also love to hear your stories of auto-electrical nightmares in the comments! Happy hacking.

80 thoughts on “The Bane of Aftermarket Car Alarms

    1. This is often much less of an issue as mounts and connectors are often standardised ( at least in Europe), so it’s usually either a direct plug-in swap, or uses a converter cable.
      Not to say there aren’t bodges out there, but at least there is often a neat way to do,it even for an unskilled person.

      1. I’m am a sticker for standards and I would never normally *hack* a harness to fit something non-OEM.

        Recently I installed a euro-standard stereo into my car and I cut off the original stereo plug on the harness and fitted a euro-standard plug because the euro-standard *is* a standard and the original plug was standard with nothing.

        1. I’ve never understood the need to cut ANY wires when installing an aftermarket stereo. For almost all modern cars you can easily get an OEM to ISO 10487 adapter on the net for less than $10.

          Every time I come across a car where the stereo cables have been cut I shudder and wonder what else they have butchered.

          1. That was most of the problem. My car is a RV/Ute/Pickup/4×4 (depending on where you are) so I couldn’t find a plug for the harness anywhere, including ebay.

          2. Most auto accessory stores here have common vehicle breakout cable to general brands of aftermarket head units, This is a non issue unless the vehicle has portion of the computer in the MediaCenter preventing people changing it completely by pass with slim line unit in the glove box or at an angle in the centre dash tray.

          3. ISO 10487? There is a standard for that? Every aftermarket radio I have ever owned had a proprietary connector and a pigtail. Do you get a standard connector when you buy the really high end stuff? Or is it something that is a benefit of living in some other part of the world?

            With my radios one is expected to get a plug that fits the car which is usually one of one or two possible standards for a given make and year range. Then you connect the pigtail to the adapter, most likely using wire nuts. Or… you can just skip buying the plug, cut off the factory socket and attach the pig tail directly to the wire ends.

            These days, as an adult I do the former. I buy the proper plug. As a young driver with less money to blow on “extra” plugs and driving cars that were older and not long for this world anyway… I went the wire cutting route. in one case I even bought a radio from a garage sale that had no matching pigtail. The pigtail was going to cost me about 10 times what I paid for the radio! Instead I opened it up and soldered wires to the PCB. The electrons still flowed just fine.

            Is it more correct to use a plug? One would think so. But… Another thing I have noticed… the inside of a dashboard used to be quite roomy. In newer cars the “radio hole” is getting shallower and shallower. Cramming that extra adapter in there is getting more and more difficult. Even once one gets it all crammed in and put back together does that mean everything is good? I wonder if that big bundle of wire and adapter is “healthy”. Does it block air flow that should be cooling the radio? Am I loosing audio quality to cross-talk, stray capacitances and inductances?

            If the trend of shrinking inner-dash space continues I will probably return to my old wire-cutting ways. The idea repulses me but each time I cram a mess of wires and a radio into a hole they barely fit in I wonder if I’m being too “correct” and the time to just cut has already arrived.

            Also… how about that illusive single standard that fits everyone’s use case? Cut wires can always be spliced. You can’t really beat that.

      2. Standard up to a point. Many cars have reverted to large facia that are embedded in the car so removal is impossible. The half embedded variants require a new facia plate to adapt it down to the size of a standard DIN or double DIN size. some car manufacturers use the agreed pin outs on the plug on the rear while others are known to swap the power/ignition detect/lights and even the ground pin so you might have a standard ISO plug, but the wires might need a short adaptor to switch the pins to that standard used by all aftermarket radios. So glad I don’t work selling and fitting them any more. Boy racers know more than the people who fit them all day every day!

      3. I have already seen other “solutions” too often. More often than done correctly I saw connectors cut off and cables spliced togethter with a block of screw clamps. Probably the person was either too greedy to spend 10-20 € on the correct adapter, spend the last money on the expensive amplifier :-) or just forgot it and had no occasion to buy the adapter on Saturday afternoon when he urgently wants to experience his new gear.

        1. I have used the ‘chocolate block’ connectors on occasion when adapter harnesses were not avaliable.
          With a few bootlace ferrules, it is a neat solution that allows for easy head unit replacement in the future.
          Screwing a few terminals is easier than cutting the dashboard wiring harness ever shorter and reaoldering and heatshrinking.

          Mid 90’s Toyotas were nice in that they often used standard plugs with the ‘faston’ style inserts and could be sourced from any auto parts store.
          Fantastic for building custom harnesses to install equalisers and VU meters alongside the head deck.

          Here’s one I bodged together a while back:

    2. if the install was done properly, this is not really that much of a problem, and in fact, can usually be plug and play with NO hacking of wires. There are adapters available for nearly every make of car to a standard aftermarket plug that fits most aftermarket decks. There are also bypass harnesses for cars with separate amps mounted elsewhere in the vehicle to allow direct connection to the speakers. It is worth paying the extra $20-30 to buy the adapter and bypass harness and plugging it right in. Then to go back to stock you simply remove the adapter and bypass harness, and plug the stock deck and amp(if equipped) back in. The only places this becomes a major problem is in newer cars where the deck has to communicate with the ECM (Like Several German Brands who will remain unnamed) requiring you to have the tools to change factory options to disable\re-enable the deck or disable\re-enable certain features dependent on said deck. Most modern cars nowadays don’t really need aftermarket decks though; If you spend a tiny little bit more money to get something above a minimal trim level you can usually get a decent sound system in the stock setup. There are, however exceptions to this as with all generalizations though…There will always be the cheapskate or dummy who DIY’s the install and messes things up. Buyer beware…

      1. Still, people believe it. I was only getting lowball offers for my old car. Removed the head unit I installed (properly, with an adapter), plugged in the OEM I had the foresight to keep, and sold it the next weekend. Suits me just fine, I really liked it and plugging it in to my newer car just required a $10 adapter.

  1. I’ve not seen a car with an aftermarket alarm in so long, I can’t remember exactly when.

    The other insanity is needing to flash the car if you replace the radio with another of exactly the same type. Or the door, because the computer in the door that runs the window/mirror needs to be ‘registered’…Gak.

  2. I recently decided to fix my outback so the fog lights could turn on with the parking lights (because having them on with the low beams like factory settings defeats the purpose)

    I really hate the idea of cutting into my factory wiring harness, so after getting ahold of the manual and digging through the wiring diagram I managed to get some spade connectors and extend the fog light relay out to a new relay, and replace the power in line from that with a power tap on the fuse box for the internal lights (only on with parking lights and headlights)

    I did not cut a single wire on my car, used a relay, and relay socket (with the wires dangling out of it like the photo above) and a fuse tap and the rest was just plugging the wires into the right location.

    I plan on taping the factory relay to the inside of the panel you need to pull off to get to the relay box, so I can go back to factory quickly without having to find parts…

    I did similar on my Volkswagon when I Wanted the day time running lights off… found the connector a little tape over the male end of the wire, and plug it back in…. no more connection no more DRL… simple fix with out chopping and hacking and introducing new failure points into the wiring harness…

    1. Someone used to make a conversion harness that would tap into the headlight and fog light relay wiring, I think it even added a three way switch that you’d either put in a blank in the dash or hide under the dash (They had one style that looked like the factory switches and another that was just a normal toggle) One position was fog with running light, other position was normal operation, third position let you run the fogs with high beams (Not sure why you’d want this though). I’ve thought about swapping the fogs in my Outback (99) with the dual purpose ones and doing a simlar mod, fogs with running light/low beams, and if you flip on the high beams with the fogs it switches over to a driving light for extra light (Also handy for the brodozers with annoyingly bright headlights)

    2. Hi,
      since you’re mentioning VW drl: i didn’t even have to touch any tools to turn off drl on my VW T5… two burned out bulbs easily did the trick. Seems like the drl bulbs aren’t monitored by the on board electronics, so no alarms in the dashboard.

      1. Another tip for VW DRLs is, if you own a MK4. 2000-2005 most models, I believe. Then you can remove your headlight switch from the dash by turning it to off, pushing in, turning right, then pulling out. Disconnect the harness from the back of the switch and locate the pin labelled TFL on the switch. Bend it down or maybe try your luck with taping over it. I bent mine. Reconnect the harness and reinsert the switch into the dash being careful not to pinch any wires.when it is fully inserted turn the knob back to the left and it should pip back up flush with the switch bezel. Enjoy DRL free driving and longer headlamp life

      2. Got an OBDEleven and put in a mod that makes the DRLs show in the computer menu. Just uncheck to turn them off :D
        It is there for the next guy if I get rid of the car and they want to turn them back on.

  3. Used Jeeps are notorious for having poorly executed wiring shenanigans like this. I personally pulled 2(!) of these types of alarms out of my Jeep. Thankfully, neither had been fully wired in, although the relays were there and connected to each other and the boxes by speaker wire and lamp cording. Not a fun discovery, but thankfully it was easy to remove.

      1. I had the opposite luck. My ’02 Tacoma is supposed to have a two stage catalytic converter. One was cut out (stolen). Shop replaces it, passes smog better than before.

        Next smog test, it fails because it lacked a parts number(?!) A law was passed earlier that year requiring parts numbers to be stamped on all cats. Passes smog.

        Next smog test, it fails smog again because that cat was for, no joke, a Cadillac. A law was passed requiring smog stations to check parts numbers on cats and verify their for the vehicle specified. Some bullshit certification process I guess. Took it back (only one shop in the entire fucking city) and got it replaced, this time for 1/2 the cost because the warranty expired, this time with the correct part number. Passed smog.

        Next smog, I literally sprinkled chickens blood in a circle and made a prayer to Cthulu.

        California sucks ass. And all because some dick sauce had to steal my converter for his crack habit.

        1. Wow, bummer. I’ve had great luck with the Cal legal universal cats from summit racing or wherever. About $80-100 a pop, try that next time someone steals yours. (might not work for pre/main cat systems, all my junk is too old for that.)

        2. ” A law was passed requiring smog stations to check parts numbers on cats and verify their for the vehicle specified. ”
          Probably to discourage the use of stolen catconvs.
          The Cadillac dealer near my brother-in-law’s dealership had all the catconvs stolen off the cars in the lot one night.

          1. No, it is not to verify stolen, it is to make sure that the cat is the correct smog legal one that was approved for that car.

            The best part is if the cat is smog legal it cannot be advertised as ‘high-flow’, but the same number will be stamped on cats with inlets from 2-3″ and I’m pretty sure going from 2″ up to 3″ pipe will increase your flow.

    1. Land Rovers are the same – the average Land Rover owner will happily rebuild an engine under a tree with a spoon but wiring a simple work light always leads to a rat’s nest of awfulness that’s a car fire in waiting.

  4. I spent 2 days installing my remote starter and immobilizer to what I deem as “properly.”
    Most of the dash was removed so I could get to the wiring harnesses, I was not about to solder or cut wiring harnesses 1/4″ from the connectors.
    All of the new wires were color coded to match the existing wires, and taped into a nice new harness to the control box properly mounted up in the dash, not ziptied to some random bracket to rattle forever.
    The relays and power wires were run to a new “accessory” fusebox in the dash beside the factory one to power fog lights and another 12v socket.
    Everything was soldered nicely and taped with 3m Super88 so someone could get the tape off without leaking old adhesive everywhere…

    All said and done, It probably cost me $40 in parts to do it “right” and I only spent so long because I also cut into the dash to install other switches and sockets, with another fusebox and power lines fused properly.

  5. Both are a great deterrent to theft, umm no. When was the last time you heard a car alarm and jumped up to look to see what was going on? I thought not, more like you carried on doing what you were doing and thought I hope that stops soon.

    1. I’ve seen police officers completely ignore cars driving past with the alarm going off. The only reason my car has an alarm is because Subaru installed it when they built the car. They are useless for anything other than annoyance. For theft protection I lock the doors and carry a good insurance policy (and hope I never need it).

  6. I used to process a lot of jap imports (to the uk) the amount of gadget-wiring was obscene. usually fairly well exectuted as most of the accessories tagged into the engine ECU but the sheer volume made the likelyhood of a problem increase. For example if a car had a SAFC, AVCR, and say an e-mange blue to controll extra injectors, likely all 3 units would intercept the MAF signal. Then when the cars arrived in the UK someone in the UK would fit the alarm, itd be hung upside down so water flowed down wiring into it with the thinnest of wire soldered with a lighter and a nail to the ignition wiring(if you were lucky, twist and tape was fairly common) and the wiring would be routed carelessly thro the pedal box. Solved a lot of running issues by simply removing the alarm lol

      1. I wish it was an exageration. 9/10 times I was removing all this stuff and replacing with a quality standalone ECU but it seems to have been a thing in the late 90’s early 00’s for the imports to have more gadgets more better. That particular combo was actually pretty common, the greddy turbo kits usually came with an emanage all set up to plug and play. So then when the owner wanted to tinker and AVCR/SAFC combo to bump up the boost and fueling was added ontop. Obviosly more flashy things on the dash more better too lol

        Another favourite was apexi power FC (plug and play standalone for those not familiar, very nice ecu for the time!) AVCR, and then one and sometimes even multiple HKS “Aditional injector controllers” to add more fuel at certain boost thresholds.

        1. AAAAnd I just realised who you are .. my own car runs megasquirt lol and I must have fitted 4 mibby 5 mspnp kits to miatas to replace emanage blues / hobbs switches/ safc’s and all the rest :)

  7. I could add to this mess, But I’m not.
    Lets just say I went to try to remove the car alarm.
    Then funny things started to happen.
    After the car being off for five min. the windows and doors would start opening by them self’s.
    It was a good thing I didn’t remove the hole unit.
    OK I lied.
    It was funny as hell.

  8. Reminds me of the old peugeot factory fitted immobiliser – it electronically disengaged the starter motor. It wasn’t very good when in problem towns thieves usually steal a car by pushing it way from where it’s parked so the owners don’t hear it starting, so it did kind of render this immobiliser useless.

  9. ” fitted by only the most untalented or uncaring people to wield a soldering iron”

    Ha ha ha! You wish they had a soldering iron. I only ever get to deal with the aftermath of “Scotchlock” connectors. They go by more names, best described as insulation displacement tap connections installed with pliers. Horrible things, their use should be classified as crimes against humanity. Not only do they provide a crappy connection, they have the bonus feature of damaging the original wire too.

  10. I think it is pretty obvious from movies like Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), that if a professional bad guy wants your car bad enuf’ he’s gonna’ get it. And he probably knows how to deactivate your aftermarket (or HaD) alarm system – usually by cutting the red battery terminal (they then tow your car away). So if you don’t have a hidden back-up battery and/or good comprehensive auto insurance policy you must be insane (or just naive).

    So what can a person do to combat car thieves? Well here in USA we have a TV show or truTV network called Bait Car (TV series). It seems to be very effective in getting the message out that they (bad guys) will never know when L.E.O. will invite the Bait Car team to their town. The premise is simple, active hidden-surveillance, man-traps, and GPS TRACKING. If you can afford to leave a iPhone in a very hidden non-metallic sun-proof box on the dashboard (for the GPS) with the smartphone plugged into the cigarette lighter plug to recharge constantly, you can track the iPhone ergo your car too. The best hidden configuration pretty much guarantees no discovery by the thief. You can use the iPhone as your permanent car phone too – just use Bluetooth to access it for regular phone calls.

    You could also have some sort of iPhone web cam and audio feedback function to monitor the jerk live, and even talk to him (not recommended). You can program it to sense movement with the built-in seismic sensor. It can send you emails or SMS text when the car is being moved and you are not doing the movement. You can send LEO to the coordinates where they invariably leave your car under a remote overpass to “cool off”. That means they watch your car from a hidden location to see if they have been spotted. After let’s say 2-3 days they will fgo back and get it to send to “chop shop”. Android phones can do all this too.

    But in summary the BEST Car Alarm system was depicted in the James Bond movie series For Your Eyes Only (1981). You only get one chance to try and steal this car. Once the message gets out on the street, NO ONE will ever touch a car like this with a innocuous car alarm sticker like that. :-D

      1. Martin – I totally agree with you. However iPhones are popular these days. But I did say ANDROID can replicate any of those functions I mentioned.HaD’ers can even hack together an Arduino project that exploits GPS and cell phone technology. What the end game is here is to outsmart the car thief without his knowledge – remember he’s operating on adrenaline and can only think within his own paradigm or get caught (aka nicked). If he doesn’t know he’s being tracked you are ahead of the game. You just need to add seismic sensor to detect initial intrusion. Also some sort of surge detection to see the interior lights drain to detect a door being ajar. But if he cuts the battery mains then light drain detection is useless. Putting in those hot-rod hood (aka bonnet) locks could possibly mitigate that issue. Anything to slow him down makes your ride (aka car) low-priority target. Just don’t be a Honda Accord as our FBI says that is #1 on the criminal wish list for chop shops (aka stolen car criminal recyclers).

      1. Annie – That’s if they know what to jam. Yes you can jam GPS (American version). However, there are OTHER GPS’s less known to the world. Also there is other ways to remote track other than GPS. Jamming cell phones is a “thing” – yes. But it is system specific. But by using technologies like DSSS you can avoid bad-guy countermeasures like this. And even your most sophisticated chop shop gangs can not afford equipment like this. Sure they can waste money buying the latest and greatest but what happens when it breaks down or becomes obsolete due to good-guy ECM? Do you think the gang leader wants to keep up a DARPA like think tank to outsmart the good-guys? Guys like that are funded by nation-states with a hidden agenda to steal cars – not your car – just a VIP’s car. If you work at a US Embassy somewhere then yes your car may be on their radar.

        Ever heard of Active IR tagging? If LEO comes up to speed maybe they can exploit this unique tracking technology.

  11. A few years ago, I installed a Holden VS Statesman dash into my VP Commodore. It mostly bolted up perfectly. Even used the VP dash cluster in the VS dash. As for the various switches and whatnot, I made harness adapters for everything. In fact I believe I made three adapters:

    1. For the rear demister, hazard lights, and analogue clock
    2. For the headlights (required a relay and one small splice from a 12v line to run, since the polarity for the headlights reversed between the VP and VS)
    3. the windscreen wiper stalk (the VP had the controls built into the dash, while the VS used an additional stalk on the steering column).

    The wonderful thing about this was that I could test the individual harness adapters before doing the actual dash swap, and fix anything as necessary. The other great thing about this method was I could easily swap back to the stock VP dash if I really wanted to, since nothing (aside from that one splice into the 12v line) was modified on the stock VP dash harness.

    It look a heap of reverse engineering and comparing my notes with the horrible bits of information left lying around abandoned holden forums, but it works wonderfully!

  12. I have never seen anything aftermarket actually installed nicely – alarms, stereos, phone kits (remember those?), LPG conversions, engine conversions…

    If you’re lucky they at least make it *look* tidy but it’s all scotchloks and incompetence underneath.

    1. Heh yah, if you’re extremely masochistic, to the point where you can no longer get your jollies by powersanding your eyeballs, buy an “engine swap, little to finish” car.

  13. I’ve just been reminded of another really irritating car alarm. It’s the one that has a short loud pip noise every minute that you are supposed to be able to ignore and tune out. but it doesn’t and in the housing block opposite me now there is a worker whose car does this every night all night. It’s not a deterrent and I seldom hear the trains passing by I still hear that alarm all night (even with triple glazing)!

    Does anyone else have a similar alarm near them?

    1. M1DLG – It’s probably not part of the system OS to do that automatically. I’ll bet the wanker is pressing his keyfob from his flat’s window for his own reassurance that everyone in the hood knows he has an alarm system. Yes we here in the states have the same problem with idiots testing it incessantly. Almost as useless as having a rear airfoil on a Toyota that can top-end at 62 mph (100 kmph). And the wanker deliberately (and illegally) modified his cat for maximum noise pollution. Here is a compilation of dick’s showing off their rides. Notice the difference in how Americans and European’s react to such idiocy. Their cars deserve to end up in a chop shop… MORONS!

  14. How to stop folks nicking items from your car: a bit of reverse psychology,
    “AC System and exhaust shielding contains blue asbestos: Caution” labels everywhere.
    Also we have a problem here with swines drilling fuel tanks so I came up with the idea of putting a 3D printed fake second tank under the first filled with magenta inkjet ink.
    Drill that and get a faceful of indelible ink, good luck getting that off!
    Same with drilling batteries to bypass the alarm/etc, there was a rash of this in the UK recently where expensive BMWs were getting removed but not a single alarm was heard.

    1. I’m not so sure about the people drilling batteries to kill alarms – Every alarm I’ve seen (of any value) have their own batteries internally so if the car battery is removed, the alarm still can activate. Also I’ve never seen large potholes with it’s bitchumen component burnt away that is a distinctive sign of battery acid spilt on tarmac.

    2. Kaboom – I like the way you think boy-yo! Here in the states we have a problem with cat-burglars. No not CAT BURGLARS per se but Catalytic Converter thieves who get under your car at an unguarded community parking lot and chop it with a battery operated sawzall. And no LEO in sight to pinch the buggers. And believe me no one in the states cares about your alarm system going off. Invariably they’ll call LEO about noise pollution before calling in a car theft. And no alarm system monitors your very expensive platinum-lined CAT. That’s why they aim at the cat.

      Drilling the bonnet/hood is way too much time wasted and not usually a effective professional car thief’s M.O. If they have to drill they usually just skip your car. Low hanging fruit metaphor comes to mind. You can pop a bonnet from the underside with special tools if you know cars like a mechanic (aka grease monkey). Most speed-thieves pop the bonnet and use bolt cutters on the thick red wire on your battery. If the back up battery goes off, they just fallback and wait for the LEO response or the owner. If nothing happens then the backup battery dies and then they finish the job. If it’s a very hard target (LiPo’s, etc.) they just move on.

      If you want to know anything about stealing cars just ask our US Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Ca) :-D

      LEO = Law Enforcement Officers

      P.S. – installing an self-battery powered AIRT (Active IR Tracker) in your tail light enclosure will allow LEO’s with special equipment to know if your car is in the correct hands (namely you). It transmits a digital ID tag number which can be looked up an a special database. It also allows you to follow a car from a distance undetected by the driver in heavy traffic. Also if “they” install networked remote readers at traffic way-points you can track someone with no field staff at all.

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