What Is An Aftermarket Alarm System: Is It Worth Your Time and Money?


Nov 12th, 2020

What Is An Aftermarket Alarm System: Is It Worth Your Time and Money?

A car comes with convenience. But for a lot of people, it's more than just convenience; they love their whips! Sadly, the same asset could result in worry – the fear of theft. What you need is an alarm system.

There are several types of car alarm systems available in the market and two major categories – OEM and aftermarket alarm systems.

Note that most auto parts have an aftermarket counterpart. However, this write-up is about aftermarket alarm systems. Is it a worthwhile investment? First, let's differentiate between the two types of alarm systems. 

The Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Alarm Systems

An OEM system is installed by the motor-vehicle manufacturer, alongside other components. On the other hand, the car owner purchases an aftermarket system from a third party.

An aftermarket system is worth your time and money. Interestingly, some aftermarket devices are extra loud (for additional security) and produce different tones. Such features are deliberately added to startle intruders. You can leave your car without worrying about a break-in happening.

While you cannot add more features to a factory car alarm, you can do so on an aftermarket. The additional features include backup batteries, motion sensors, and field disturbance sensors, and they combine to make up a more reliable car alarm system.

Moreover, a technician can hide the components when fixing the car alarm, hindering thieves from finding the alarm and disarming the system. Conversely, factory car alarms are installed uniformly for all vehicles, making it an easy job for robbers to quickly locate and disarm the device.

If you love customised gadgets, then you should get an aftermarket car alarm. There are premium alarm systems that allow you to set the sensor’s sensitivity and even the siren's tone. Take note that you cannot customise OEMs to suit your preferences.

What You Should Know Before Buying a Car Alarm 

You need value, and to ensure that you get what you pay for, take time to weigh in the following points about car alarm systems.

1. Protection against carjacking

The combination of high-pitched sirens, chirp alarms, and kill switches are sometimes considered redundant. However, the same features have helped abort countless robbery attempts.

2. Smart-device integration

Drop that key fob and remote. Instead, consider that alarm system that you can control using your smart-phone. It is more convenient because you can receive emails and text messages about your motor-vehicle security status. Moreover, mobile phone apps come with GPS enabled features. The feature helps to trace your car if stolen.

3. Sensors and alarms

Choose a system that will respond to any significant impact. The ideal siren should be more than 100 decibels. More so, it shouldn't be just direct flashlights and hooting. The more the alarm protection features, the better.

4. Installation

Go for an easy-to-install alarm system. You can effectively install an aftermarket car alarm system. However, you should be careful. Tampering with the gadget voids its warranty terms.

5. Alarm range

There are alarm systems that have a range of up to a mile—however, there is no need for such a long-range device. A medium-range is okay. Additionally, a passive system is better. Unlike an active car alarm, the passive option self-activates. As a result, the alarm system becomes active when you walk away from your car.

6. Displays and remotes

A two-way remote and display feature is better. The feature allows you to arm and to also receive remote notifications. Other systems use an LCD screen to show your car's temperature and even open windows.

7. Encrypted alarm transmission

To be safe from tech-savvy thieves, opt for an encrypted alarm system. It will help to discourage hackers because they can't tamper with your fob signal and remotely control your car.

FAQs About Car Alarm Systems

1. How easy is it to disable or disconnect a car alarm?

The degree of difficulty (or ease) of disarming a system depends on its security features. Additional features such as carjacking features and encrypted alarm transmission will make it difficult for someone to disable your vehicle's alarm system.

2. What should I do when my car is stolen?

The first thing you should do is contact the appropriate authorities. If the car had personal documents such as credit cards, be sure to alert the banks immediately. Also, it is essential to contact your insurance provider.

3. Does a car alarm drain the battery?

Unless the installation was improperly done, an alarm should not drain your car’s battery. However, it is advisable to read the specification of the alarm’s power consumption.

4. What are other anti-theft protective measures available?

You could get modern anti-theft gadgets such as dash-cams. More so, you can have additional features like steering wheel locks.

Final Words

As thieves become more tech-savvy, break-in cases have increased. As a result, it is rare to find a vehicle without a car alarm. A factory car alarm is not enough for your car. The more advanced aftermarket options are better.

Loaded with features to counter car theft, you have every reason to install one. In case you have an old car alarm system, it would help if you upgraded to a modern one. However, a modern alarm system can cost a lot. To get the best price, use the Car Part Finder at Carpart.com.au. Your car's safety should come first!

By Eric Anyega