• A Simple Guide to Car Alarm Programming

    Car alarm programming is a task that doesn’t require a mechanic, only a little knowledge of programming basics and some time. This means that do-it-yourself alarm programming can save you a lot of money which would have otherwise gone to a mechanic, and you will have a better understanding of auto safety for having programmed the alarm yourself. If you need to program or reprogram your own car alarm, just follow these steps.

    Read the Instructions

    There should be a set of programming instructions that comes with your car alarm, and this is the first and most important manual to which you should refer. Car alarm instructions can vary depending on the brand and model you’ve purchased. The following steps should only be used if you are unsure about the instructions given for your specific alarm, and always defer to the instruction manual if steps are contradictory. Don’t be afraid to call a mechanic if you are having trouble understanding any of the instructions.


    Get into your car and make sure all the doors and the trunk are shut. Lock the doors. Then, insert your key into the ignition and turn it two clicks right (the position just previous to starting the car).


    Check to see if your car alarm fob has an override button. If it does, quickly press that button five times. This must be completed in less than 8 seconds to be successful. If it does not have an override button, remove the key from the ignition. Quickly insert and fully withdraw the key in the ignition six times in less than ten seconds. When this step has been successfully completed, the interior lights of the car should flash twice.


    If your alarm did have an override button, which you used to complete step 3, simply press the “Lock” button. That remote has now been programmed, and additional remotes may be programmed using the same procedure. If your alarm did not have an override button, insert the key into the ignition and turn it two clicks right. Enter the new desired ID code, if applicable. Then, press the Lock button.

    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.


    Test every button on your new remote or remotes to make sure they are functioning properly. If anything isn’t working right, recheck the instructions and attempt to reprogram the remotes. After three tries, you should stop and consult a mechanic so you don’t damage the alarm or trigger some sort of safety lock-out feature.

    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.

    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.