Thanks to advancements in electronic technology over the last several decades, aftermarket car alarm systems have become much more sophisticated - without becoming significantly more expensive. While it's true many modern cars already feature an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) immobilizer system which shuts down the engine control computer and starter unless computer chip keys are inserted in the ignition, there are still a number of reasons why aftermarket security systems are beneficial. For example, the typical new vehicle won't recognize if a window has been shattered or thieves are lifting it off the ground to steal the wheels. And they won't help you track your vehicle's location and use in the event of theft or carjacking.
If you have a more modern vehicle, aftermarket alarm systems will tap into your vehicle's body control module that monitors when any doors, hood, or trunk are opened. If your vehicle is older, the alarm system may use information from switches used to trigger lights when doors are opened. However old your car or truck is, many aftermarket systems take things further by adding microphones to pick up sounds such as breaking glass, shock sensors to detect any vehicle motion that may result from a lock being punched out, tilt sensors to detect if the vehicle is being jacked up or towed, and even proximity sensors that can be programmed to activate the system if there's motion near the outside of the vehicle (or inside it).
And if you do have an older vehicle or classic that's easier to steal, aftermarket alarm systems add a great deal more security where it's needed the most - by disabling the starter motor to prevent an engine from being "hotwired" and started. Because of electronics, the aftermarket alarm system can't be thwarted the way thieves expect when they eye a vintage ride.
In this article, we'll give you a view of what we offer in our Car Alarms & Remote Start Overview Section, as well as what can be found in sub-pages devoted to the alarms themselves, GPS tracking systems, remote start kits, keyless entry & remotes, and related security accessories.
Does any of this equipment affect my new car vehicle manufacturer warranty?
This may be the first question on your mind, and it's a good one. If installed properly, the presence of any of the aftermarket equipment discussed here will not void your new car vehicle warranty. In fact, the U.S. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 states that aftermarket equipment does not void a vehicle manufacturer's original warranty unless the warranty clearly and conspicuously states that aftermarket equipment voids the warranty. Then, a detailed inspection must show that failed OEM parts went bad because the related aftermarket part was faulty, or because the installation was done improperly. Only at this point does the vehicle manufacturer have the right to deny warranty coverage.
Modern alarm systems are designed to incorporate all modern convenience features - and add a few
Typically, aftermarket alarm systems come with key fobs designed to replace factory ones and work in a similar fashion on any vehicle. As a result, these fobs will be fully-functioning ones capable of handling most built-in conveniences new cars and trucks have to offer. Doors will unlock and lock the same way, trunk releases will work with the same button, and Panic buttons will still sound horns and lights. However, modern alarm systems are wired into a vehicle's ignition and/or main engine control computer and take advantage of that setup to add a number of convenience features.
Many alarm systems such as the ScyTek Astra 777 and the Omega R&D K9 Security System will offer remote starting of the vehicle using the system's own key fob. They'll also offer a "Progressive Car Finder feature" should you need help locating your vehicle in a crowded parking lot. A siren might emit a sequence of short chirps at low volume initially, then increase the noise level each time the same button is depressed. A "Valet" setting temporarily prevents the alarm system from arming automatically when the vehicle is being refueled or has been left in the care of others for repairs, parking, etc.
Remote Start-Only Kits
If you are already satisfied with the OEM security system that came with your vehicle from the factory but wish to add the convenience of remote starting, the ScyTek Astra 300 and Omega R&D Omegalink RS Remote Start kits provide great value. They include a self-contained module that will be compatible with any electronics and computer systems. These remote start kits are also compatible with smartphones, making it easy to lock and unlock the vehicle from a great distance away. And if you're travelling but want to start your vehicle parked outside periodically to maintain battery charge, these systems let you do it - all while keeping the doors locked to guard against theft.
Because virtually all modern vehicles cannot be hotwired anymore, thieves have increasingly resorted to hijacking already-running vehicles instead - catching owners by surprise in parking lots or on the street at red lights. In the majority of these cases, thieves simply want the vehicle and police advise to surrender it without resisting.
Some modern alarm systems are equipped with an "anti-carjacking" feature that's designed to thwart the thief after they leave with your vehicle. Depending on the alarm system, this function can be activated in a number of ways such as by touching a button on the interior of the driver's door, by a specially installed switch near the ignition, or by a button on the included remote key fob.
Once the anti-carjacking feature is activated, a timer starts counting but nothing noticeable happens initially - ensuring the carjacker has plenty of time to get in the vehicle and drive away before becoming aware of the alarm system's presence. After a set amount of time, the system can be programmed to kill the ignition as soon as the vehicle slows or stops, flash the lights, and/or sound the vehicle horn along with on-board siren (if included).
GPS Tracking Systems
In our GPS Tracking System section, you'll find great values on the hardware you need to equip any vehicle with this amazing technology. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) allow a transmitter permanently installed in a discreet location on your vehicle to broadcast its precise coordinates anywhere in the world using signal connections to satellites. This lets you monitor the location of your vehicle at any time. If children or employees use the vehicle, the system can record where it's been driven and how fast the driver went at any given point. If the vehicle is driven out of (or into) designated areas, or it's driven faster than a certain speed, you can elect to receive notifications to your smartphone or computer.
If the vehicle has been stolen, systems with a GPS module integrated to the vehicle's body control system let you disable the starter motor and notify the police of the vehicle's location. And if a key gets locked inside the vehicle, some of these systems will allow you to unlock the doors via a computer or smartphone anywhere in the world.
Other Accessories You'll Find In The Car Alarms Section
In our Alarm & Security Accessories section, you'll find individual component such as tilt sensors that detect a change in a parked vehicle's angle of incline, remote start relay packs that allow you to add extra ignition or starter outputs to remote start systems, USB cables for connecting an alarm system main module to a computer for easy online programming updates, keyless entry and remote hardware, and much more.
To help guide you through the selection we offer, we have set up our website to provide you as much information as possible about each product. We understand you may still have questions about what you've seen for sale on CARiD, so we encourage you to contact us seven days a week with any questions you may have before purchasing.