• Car Alarm Programming Basics

    Car alarm programming can mean a variety of things. If you lose or break a remote, you’ll have to program the replacement. When you install the alarm, you’ll need to decide what sort of audible notifications you want and then program the alarm to respond accordingly. Sensors need to be adjusted for sensitivity. Some alarms have a warn-away feature. You may have to program your custom car alarm for other things as well.

    Programming Your Replacement Remote

    There are two main methods to program your car remote. One method has variations of the following steps:

    • Turn the ignition key on and off a specific number of times and leave it off.
    • Press the remote buttons in a specific sequence until the light blinks a certain way.
    • Press one or both buttons once or twice (up to 5 times) and then release it. There is a time limit for this step, usually under 10 seconds.
    • Press the “Lock” or “Arm” button once and the light on it turns off.

    The other method has the owner performing the following steps:

    • Flip a programming switch either on the remote or on the control unit to the “program” mode. (You may have to open the remote to do this)
    • Turn the ignition key on and off or open and close a door a certain number of times.
    • Press the buttons on the remote in a specific sequence.
    • Put the programming switch back in normal operation. (Close the remote if necessary.)

    Programming the Audible Arm/Disarm Notifications/Warn-Away

    Some people like their lock mechanism to actuate, and for their alarm to beep once for arm and twice for disarm. Others like it the other way around. Some alarms offer other types of audible notifications. Some custom car alarms have a feature known as “warn-away”. This feature has the alarm telling someone they are getting too close to the car. If your alarm has these capabilities, you will find it in the introductory information in the manual. Programming for these features is accomplished in one of three different ways:

    • DIP or slide switch settings.
    • Steps to take when power is first applied.
    • Button press sequences to follow.

    Sensor Programming

    Custom car alarms have two main types of extra sensors: internal or external. Both are programmed essentially in two ways: DIP switches or rotary switches/rheostats (adjusting electrical resistance of the sensor circuit) or a combination of the two. Sensors that are built into the main control unit are internal. Programming for these is usually a DIP switch. This is a type of switch with multiple miniature rocker switches in it. Sensors that mount separately are external and are usually programmed by using a thin screwdriver blade to turn a tiny wheel with a slot in the middle. This is a rheostat. It adjusts the resistance in the sensor, making it more or less sensitive.

    You may even have a car camera for security surveillance, which you can program to record if the alarm is triggered. As long as you carefully read your owner’s manual before you install and before you apply power, programming your alarm should be quite easy.