My Car Alarm Keeps Going Off. What Should I do?

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If your car alarm keeps sounding off unexpectedly, it’s understandable that you’d want to address this issue promptly. A functioning car alarm is not just a deterrent against theft and vandalism; it can also potentially reduce your car insurance premiums.

However, when it triggers without any apparent reason, it becomes more of a frustration than a benefit. The key is to identify the cause of the false alarms and resolve it as quickly as possible to restore peace and maintain the security of your car.

Why Does My Car Alarm Keep Going Off?

Dealing with a car alarm that frequently goes off without a clear reason can be exasperating, not just for you but for your neighbours as well. Fortunately, identifying and fixing the cause is often straightforward.

Key Fob Malfunction

A common issue is the key fob running low on battery. After extended use, the battery may weaken, leading to poor signal transmission and unintentional alarm triggers.

Key Fob Malfunction

The solution? Simply replace the battery, typically a coin-type, available at most stores selling batteries. Changing the battery is usually a simple process, but if the problem persists, the fob might need resetting or scanning with a code reader, a task for which your local mechanic can assist.

Dirty Bonnet Latch Sensor

In modern cars, the bonnet latch sensor can trigger the alarm if tampered with. Over time, the accumulation of dirt and grease can impair its functioning.

Dirty Bonnet Latch Sensor

Cleaning the latch might resolve the issue, but if it doesn’t, a faulty connection to the control unit might be the culprit, requiring professional repair.

Poor Installation of Aftermarket Alarms

For older cars with aftermarket alarms, improper installation can lead to frequent false alarms. DIY installations, while cost-effective, can be tricky and errors may invalidate your car insurance.

Poor Installation Of Aftermarket Alarms

If you’re unsure about your installation, consider having it checked by a professional.

Low Car Battery

A low-car battery or corroded terminals can also trigger the alarm. A simple jump start might help, but if the issue is persistent, replacing the battery could be the solution. Ensure the new battery is properly installed to avoid similar issues.

Low Car Battery

Faulty Sensors

Cars have various sensors like door lock, proximity, tilt, glass break, and microphone sensors, all designed to detect potential thefts or break-ins. A malfunctioning or overly sensitive sensor can inadvertently set off the alarm.

Some cars allow you to adjust the sensitivity of these sensors, which can be a useful fix. Check your car manual for guidance on adjusting sensor settings.

Faulty Sensors

While a malfunctioning car alarm can be a nuisance, the causes are often identifiable and fixable. Regular maintenance and timely battery replacements for both your car and key fob can prevent many of these issues.

If you’ve tried the basic fixes without success, it may be time to consult a professional to ensure your car’s security system is functioning optimally.

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How Do I Turn Off My Car Alarm?

Dealing with a blaring car alarm, especially at an inconvenient time like the middle of the night, can be stressful. Here are some steps to silence your car alarm quickly.

Lock/Unlock the Car Doors

Often, simply using the key fob to lock or unlock the car can deactivate the alarm. If the fob doesn’t work, use the physical key. Most key fobs have a physical key concealed within them.

Lock Or Unlock The Car Doors

Locate the keyhole on your car’s door handle (sometimes hidden behind a plastic flap) to use this method.

Turn the Car On

If the door lock method is ineffective, try starting the engine or moving the ignition to the ‘on’ position. This action can sometimes reset the alarm system.

Turn The Car On

The ignition could be behind a push-button starter (which can often be pulled off to reveal a keyhole) or located in a less obvious place in your car.

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Manually Turn Off Aftermarket Alarms

For those with aftermarket alarms, there’s usually a manual override. If you’re not sure where the off switch or button is, consult the alarm’s instruction manual for guidance.

Read The After Market Alarm Instruction Manual

Disconnect the Car Battery

As a last resort, disconnecting the car battery can cut off power to the alarm, silencing it. To do this safely, remove the negative (black) battery cable. However, be aware that this method will reset most electronic systems in your car, so it should be used only when other methods fail.

Disconnect The Car Battery

In addition to these steps, it’s also helpful to understand the cause of the false alarms to prevent future occurrences.

Regular maintenance checks, ensuring your key fob battery is in good condition, and keeping an eye on the car’s battery health can go a long way in avoiding unexpected alarm triggers.

If your car alarm consistently goes off without cause, it might be time to consult a professional to check for any underlying issues.

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What Should I Do If My Car Alarm Keeps Going Off?

A constantly triggering car alarm can be more than just an annoyance; it may have legal implications and could even impact your car insurance.

Addressing Statutory Nuisance

If your car alarm frequently goes off without cause, it’s not just a disturbance for you and your neighbours but could also be considered a statutory nuisance.

Addressing Statutory Nuisance

Local councils have the authority to take action in such cases, which might include issuing a notice or, in extreme cases, forcibly removing the car at your expense.

Seek Professional Assistance

It’s advisable to have your alarm system inspected by a qualified professional. If your car is relatively new and the alarm was installed at the factory, it might still be under the manufacturer’s warranty. In this case, you should contact your dealer or the manufacturer for assistance.

Seek Professional Assistance

However, if the alarm was installed post-purchase, either by you or an unapproved mechanic, be aware that this might void your warranty. In such cases, you’ll likely need to seek out a trusted automotive electrician or mechanic to address the issue.

Consider Insurance Implications

Another important aspect to consider is your car insurance. A faulty alarm system can potentially invalidate your insurance, especially in the event of theft or vandalism. Make sure that your alarm system is functioning correctly to ensure that your insurance cover remains valid.

Consider Insurance Implications

If your car alarm is causing frequent disturbances, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly. Not only to avoid potential legal complications and maintain good relations with your neighbours but also to ensure that your car remains secure and your insurance cover is not jeopardised.

Regular checks and maintenance can help prevent these issues, and professional assistance should be sought if the problem persists.

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Improve Your Car’s Security

Enhancing the security of your car not only protects it from theft or vandalism but can also have positive implications for your insurance. Here are some effective ways to boost your car’s security:

Invest in a Quality Alarm System

  • Consider installing a Thatcham-approved car alarm if you’re opting for a post-market solution. Ensure it’s fitted by a qualified mechanic for optimal functionality. Inform your insurance provider about this upgrade, as it might qualify you for a security discount.

Manual Checks

  • Don’t solely rely on your key fob to lock your car. It’s wise to manually check that your car is properly locked each time you leave it.

Visibility of Belongings

  • Avoid leaving any belongings in plain sight inside your locked car. Even small items can tempt thieves.

Key and Key Fob Management

  • Be vigilant about where you keep your keys and key fob. Many insurers offer key-care cover as an additional option, which can be a lifesaver. It typically covers the costs associated with replacing lost or stolen keys and reprogramming your car’s alarm and immobiliser.

Secure Parking

  • Try to park your car in a secure location, especially overnight. This could be a locked garage or a well-lit, surveilled area, which greatly reduces the risk of theft or damage.

Travel Tip

  • It’s worth noting that when travelling by ferry, companies often require you to disable your car alarm. This is because the vibrations from the ferry deck can inadvertently set off alarms, causing unnecessary disruptions during the crossing.
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Implementing these security measures can greatly reduce the risk of theft or damage to your car. Additionally, these practices can provide peace of mind and may even be financially beneficial through reduced insurance premiums or avoiding the costs associated with theft and vandalism.

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Compare and Save on Your Car Insurance

Investing in a high-quality car alarm that’s professionally installed can be a smart way to potentially lower your car insurance premium.

Compare And Save On Your Car Insurance

But don’t stop there in your quest to save money. Another effective way is to shop around for insurance options. Using services like Comparoo to compare car insurance quotes can be a straightforward and efficient method to discover more affordable deals.

By exploring different insurance offers, you could find a policy that not only meets your needs but also fits your budget.

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Frequently asked questions

A Thatcham-approved car alarm refers to an alarm system that has undergone thorough testing and received approval from Thatcham Research. This independent research organisation is recognised by insurance companies as a reliable benchmark for vehicle security standards.

Alarms and immobilisers that earn Thatcham approval are regarded as being of the highest quality. Because of their trusted status, many car insurance providers often offer a discount on premiums for vehicles equipped with these systems.

Installing a Thatcham-approved alarm not only enhances your car’s security but can also be financially beneficial through potential insurance savings.

Yes, you can disable your car alarm in most modern cars. These cars typically come with a specific alarm system shut-off switch. To find this switch, you should consult your car’s owner’s manual, which will provide the exact location.

Commonly, the shut-off switch is positioned near the petrol cap or the bonnet release lever.

Additionally, for many car makes and models, simply using the physical key to lock your car, instead of the key fob, will deactivate the alarm system.

For detailed instructions on how to turn off your car alarm, refer to the alarm deactivation section in your owner’s manual. This section should provide step-by-step guidance tailored to your specific vehicle model.

If you notice a neighbour’s car alarm repeatedly going off, the first step is to assess the situation. If it looks like an attempted theft is in progress, don’t hesitate to call 999 immediately.

However, if it appears to be a case of a malfunctioning alarm, the best approach is to inform your neighbour about the issue. They may not be aware that their car alarm is causing a disturbance.

Should the problem persist despite your efforts, the next step is to reach out to the Environmental Health team at your local council. They are equipped to handle such nuisances and will take the necessary steps to address the issue.

It’s important to handle this situation diplomatically and legally, keeping in mind the peace and comfort of your neighbourhood.

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