Your car’s alarm system provides the security you want, but what if it goes off for no reason at all? A faulty car alarm is not just an annoyance, but it can point to a deeper issue. Here’s how to identify the problem, fix it and regain your peace of mind.
Where do you keep your key fob? In your pants or in a bag? When the key fob is with you, there is a greater chance your alarm will accidentally go off, especially when you brush up against something. Always keep the fob hanging on a key rack or in some other out-of-the-way place when not in use.
2. Replace the Fob Battery
If the alarm still goes off and you haven’t changed the key fob battery since acquiring the car, it’s likely that the battery is losing power and triggering the alarm. A weak battery is a prime suspect if you cannot activate or deactivate the alarm via remote control. When replacing one battery, do the same with the other key fobs associated with this vehicle.
3. Check Your Car’s Latches and Locks
Your vehicle’s security system should connect each door, the trunk or hatchback and the hood. Over time, latches may wear or fail to shut completely, triggering the alarm. Examine each door, hood and trunk or liftgate latch to verify that contact is being made. Then, thoroughly spray each latch with a lubricant such as Liquid Wrench or WD-40. Open and close every contact point multiple times to spread the lubricant and to ensure that each latch closes and stays securely shut. Replace worn latches, if necessary.
4. Inspect the Wiring
If you wired your car alarm yourself, pull out the installation manual to troubleshoot. Review the directions diagram, retracing the steps from the beginning to the end of the installation. One possible cause could be the location where you secured the wires, such as inside the dashboard. If the wires are not held firmly in place, the alarm could discharge unexpectedly. Also, a specific part may have worn out, such as the horn. Replace the failed part and test the security system.
If your car alarm problems are still not resolved after trying these four steps, and the new car warranty is active, the manufacturer may cover repairs. For alarms installed after purchase by a third party, contact the installer about warranty information.
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Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.