Who actually gets up and looks when a car alarm goes off?

When I hear a car alarm, I don’t jump out of my seat to look. Maybe to yell out the door “turn it off!” If a car alarm persistently activates, I will call a tow truck. Yet people still buy them. There is a person in my apartment complex, whose car loves to go off. Usually it is just a beep or two to warn you. Still pretty damn annoying. Sometimes it goes all out. Get this, I DON’T EVEN TOUCH THE CAR. I finally called the apartment management to complain. It seems to have worked, although sometimes it still beeps.

What is up with insurance companies giving rate breaks to these assholes. The cars are likely better vandalism targets as a result. Some companies have rules against annoying car alarms, either to tow them or disable the alarm. I wish more of them did this.

There are other anti-theft devises. A kill switch. Low-jack. ect…
But who really pays attention when a car alarm goes off? I just accept it as part of living in the big city, except when it wakes me up. Then tow the fucker away.

I work for an insurance company and we do not offer car-alarm discounts. Yet I am sympathetic to your dilemma.

I too never bother to look at a car going off. I actually get shocked at how often people with beaters have the most elaborate security systems…

There’s gotta be a better way.

You have pleasantly corrected me.

My neighbor has a car alarm. The next time it goes off at 3 AM, I will have it towed.

I hate it almost as much as I hate horns. They are there for a purpose…to warn someone. They do not mean “hey, I know you”, or “I’m here, come out your front door which is ten feet away from my car door now”. They mean “Get out of the way”.

And those stupid Astro-Starts. I can understand why someone who lives in the area would want to get into a warm vehicle. But come on. Does the horn really need to blare every time you activate the damn thing?

I looked recently. I wanted to make sure exactly what car it was so I could be sure to leave the following note on the right vehicle:

It’s been over a week and I haven’t heard the thing go off since.

I have a car alarm. It isn’t nearly as sensitive as many though. Most of them have a way to turn down the shock sensor’s sensitivity. I ALWAYS look out the window to see what’s going on when an alarm goes off near my house, or if it’s not too far away, I’ll go investigate an alarm sounding off in a parking lot. I like to think others would do the same if my alarm was sounding. I admit though, that had my car not been stolen from my driveway before, I probably wouldn’t check a damn thing.

Do even the police bat an eye when they hear a car alarm go off, or have they learned to ignore them just like the rest of us?

I check them… I know, I’m weird.

I don’t look when a typical, blaring, car-alarm is going off…but…I do look when I hear some sort of unusual warning. Just the other day I was in the grocery store parking lot and I heard in an even-tempered computerized male voice say, “Excuse me; I’m backing up! Excuse me; I’m backing up!” and I couldn’t help turning around to see what type of car and passenger had such a warning. Now…perhaps if car alarms had more personal, less annoying alarms like, “Help me! I’m being stolen!” I’d be much more willing to listen.

…good grief, just seconds ago one of the neighbours house alarm went off, and I sent my mum outside to investigate…(I followed with my trusty umbrella, honest!) …I then look at the SDMB, and this thread is here!

Well - a note from the other side. I do have an alarm on my car and yes, I do find it useful. My neighbours had their car broken into right outside my bedroom window one night not so long ago. The thieves smashed the window. Guess what? I didn’t hear it. That one quick crack of glass breaking isn’t enough to rouse anyone. If it was a car with an alarm it would have woken me up and I would have been able to do something about it. In fact - just that blinking light on the car will stop people from trying. If I didn’t have it I’m sure I would’ve lost my CD player that night as my car is far easier to break into than theirs was (mine is a rag top).

That being said I have the sensitivity of the shock sensors so low that it only goes off if the car is hit pretty hard by another car, or if the windows are broken. Being hit by a stray basket ball won’t do it.

Oh, and as to the insurance discounts - I get one for my car but not because it makes noise. The discount is for having an ignition shut-off and fuel shut-off system installed too. It means that if the alarm has gone off the ignition system won’t work and even if it is jump-started the fuel injectors won’t do their thing. Makes it tough to drive off with.


ps. Please forgive any spelling and/or grammar errors. It’s 3am and I just got back from a night on the town.

My neighbors have a car alarm that doesn’t seem to work properly, and they don’t seem interested in fixing it. The only reason we pay attention to it is because it goes off a number of times a night.

Literally it goes like this:


At 2 A.M., 3 A.M. and 4 A.M. The police have issued tickets, but that doesn’t bother the neighbors.

I look all the time since, more often than not, it is my car’s alarm that is going off. I try to park close to my bedroom window so that I can deactivate the alarm quickly without having to get dressed and go outside.

My car’s alarm used to go off very frequently, and for awhile I thought it was just overly sensitive. I finally figured out that my battery was near death and the alarm was designed to go off whenever the voltage dipped below a certain point. Supposedly, this is to discourage people from attempting to thwart the alarm by removing the battery first or something.

Anyway, once I replaced the battery the alarm stopped going off every other night. Now it just goes off when somebody smashes a window with a rock…


I can’t hear it so I wouldn’t use one.

I have set a few car alarms off though. One time I started my car & the alarm on the car next to it went off & the parking guy gave me a pretty weird look.

Another time I was spraying a tree & a guy came running out of the hotel next to it cause the alarm went off when I brushed against his car.

That actually happens to me quite a lot. I drive a sports car with a rather loud exhaust, and I have frequently set off car alarms (especially inside parking garages).


Just a follow up to my post above. The funny thing was when we left the note on the guy’s vehicle (a big old Chevy Suburban), his car alarm didn’t even go off. Just shows you how useless it was. Goes off for absolutely no reason in the middle of the night when no one is near the car, but when someone actually touches the car to stick a note on the windshield under the wiper blade, dead silence.

In my condo building, my bedroom is situated right over the parking lot. Once a month, I can count on waking up at 3:00am due to a car alarm. Usually, they turn off after 5 minutes but I hate those suckers. I don’t even get up to see if anything’s happening.