A car alarms effective any more?

I’m sitting in my office, listening to a car alarm go off in the parking lot outside our building. I’m sure that our security group will eventually go examine it, but I hear it and don’t think, “someone may be breaking into a car out there!” I think that it is most likely been accidentally tripped by someone walking past the car, or the wind has set it off.

This holds true of cars parked at the mall, sporting events, schools, etc. I will sometimes hear car alarms go off, and see no one expressing concern, running to report the alarm, looking to see if the car is actually being broken into. Most people I know, just view them as noise pollution.

Years ago, car alarms were a premium that you took your car to a specialty store that sold high end car stereos from and had them install. Best buy got into the car alarm business big time. Eventually all automakers began installing them as standard equipment on cars. Although I believe that most of the ones that are standard now, do not include the motion sensors that they once had. But even so, when I hear a car alarm going off, I immediately assume it was accidentally set off and make no effort to check on it.

So can they really be effective any more? Thoughts?

Any more?

I was in college over 20 years ago, and at the time, I think everyone in my dorm loathed some asshole who had an overly-sensitive car alarm and parked outside our dorm. My friends and I half-jokingly suggested we go stake out the parking lot, figure out which car it was, and vandalize it - with no chance of getting caught because apparently no one gave a damn about that car.

I find the kind with a transmitter to be effective.

I hate car alarms with a passion as well (part of that passionate hate may be because I don’t drive). However, thinking about it logically, even if no one even glances at a car when it starts making ungodly noises it will still be somewhat of a disintentive for someone to drive off in that car while it is making a racket.

“stay away from my ride”

They might not help in a mall parking lot or at work, but what about at home in your driveway at night ? Think you might check it out if your car alarm goes off 6 feet from your window at 3am ?

The thing I have wondered is about the panic button on most key fobs.

So imagine you are in a dark parking lot, walking toward your car, when a ne’er-do-well leaps out of the shadows, and you press the panic button. Your car immediately starts honking … over there.
Your car is now providing a nice distraction saying “Hey everybody, look at this car! Don’t pay any attention to whatever is going on in the shadows over there.”

I wonder how many car panic alarms have prevented crimes.

I imagine that if you were a thief and tried to open a door and heard the alarm go off it would still be effective for you to run away

When I hear a car alarm going off, I actually hope it’s because someone is in the act of stealing the car, because at least then they’d remove it from the neighborhood. At best, car thieves usually know how to disable the alarm (unlike the idiotic owners).

When I bought my car several years ago, I declined the dealer’s offer to include an alarm. That way, if I hear an alarm, at least I know it’s not mine.

Why can’t they make a car security system that sends a text message to the car owner when the alarm is tripped (perhaps in lieu of an audible alarm)?

I believe they do.

I don’t think car alarms are particularly effective as a stealing deterrent, either. They are FANTASTIC for making your neighbours hate you, though!

Yeah, and they operate on the “you only have to outrun the other people, not the bear” principle. If a thief starts to work on your car and the alarm goes off, they’ll more than likely move on to a non-alarmed car.

Car alarms sounding in my neighborhood…means that someone from The Big City, like Chicago, just rode into town and activated their alarm while shopping. No one cares, because we know it is a false alarm, and only serves to draw attention to the innocent, out-of-towner. He will be pretty sheepish when he finds out. Please don’t do that again.

The vast majority of cars now have remote keyless entry as a standard feature and an audible alarm is usually included with it. Typically, you press the LOCK button once to lock the car and a second press of the LOCK button will set the alarm (usually confirmed by a short ‘beep’ of the horn).

If the alarm is triggered, the horn honks every few seconds and various exterior lights flash for a few minutes. Most of the keyless entry remotes also have a PANIC (!) button that will cause the alarm to sound. I’ll admit that I have accidentally caused my alarm to sound once in a while, much to my embarrassment! I’ve also had at least one car with an alarm system that would go off once or twice per year for absolutely no reason other than to drive me and my neighbors insane.

Now, when I hear an alarm sounding, I pretty much ignore it altogether. But even if we’re all conditioned to ignore the audible alarm, most cars now have a passive disabling function that prevents the car from being stolen. When the alarm is triggered, the ignition is disabled for a period of time or until a certain reactivation procedure is completed. Most ‘professional’ thieves can get around basic ignition disabling, but it’s enough to stop many less sophisticated criminals.

The future of car alarms and anti-theft technology will be in onboard telematics and navigation/infotainment systems connected to the internet, which are becoming more common every day. They also have the added benefit of allowing stolen vehicle tracking and disabling if they fail to deter the initial theft.

Both of my vehicles still have the old-style audible alarm systems, but neither of them has an actual ignition key. Both have ‘keyless’ ignition, one by push-button and the other by turning a knob on the steering column where the ignition key would normally go. Thieves are having a tougher time stealing cars that don’t have physical keys…for now, that is.

Both of my cars also have Navigation but don’t have the ability to be tracked or disabled if they’re stolen. But in the event of a crash severe enough to deploy one or more airbags, both of them will call 911 and transmit the vehicle’s GPS coordinates. So the tracking and/or disabling capability is already there…and more than a little scary, in my opinion…

Other than the noise distraction (whether it scares away a predator or provides a distraction while he nabs someone), the lights flashing in a dark or poorly lit parking lot could be a life saver! It allows the car’s owner to see anyone or anything around the car before they approach it.

Why would someone park in a place like that if they were not prepared for a after dark return? :smack:

Oh, wait, not prepared, answered my own question. :cool:

Tech is need to replace common sense which is not very common anymore. :wink:

I think they’re still effective. Not in the “oh crap, I just set off the alarm and now everybody is going to come running to see if a car is be stolen” but rather the “oh crap, I just set off the alarm on now the owner is going to be headed this way to shut it off.”

In my experience, some car owners seem perfectly happy to let the damned alarms blare for many minutes before they turn them off, or perhaps they eventually turn off on their own.

Each time I hear a car alarm, I hope it’s the result of someone actually stealing the car and taking it far away from my neighborhood.

If you were a car thief would you continue breaking into a car with the alarm blaring or would you go around the corner and find a different car. Everyone always says “everyone ignores those now” and “no one even looks at them” but if I was in the middle of trying to hot wire a car or jimmy the door, I sure wouldn’t want to do it with the horn honking. I’m pretty sure someone’s going to look over at some point.

I can certainly relate to the sentiment behind that comment. I’ve even said it myself a few times in the past…

But any increase in auto thefts in your neighborhood would result in UNILATERAL increases in auto insurance premiums for your entire city, county or possibly even an entire metropolitan area! :smack:

Even if the stolen car doesn’t have Comprehensive (aka- Other Than Collision) coverage to pay for theft, it doesn’t matter. If it’s reported to law enforcement, the insurance companies can use that data to raise premiums in most states.

They are incredibly evil, as a whole…and I should know, I’m an Insurance Agent! :eek: