Most people probably think that once they buy a car alarm, there is nothing they need to do to maintain it. Wrong! There are things you need to be concerned with even before you leave the retail specialty store that installed it.
After you’ve paid the bill and received your keys back, ask the salesperson to walk you through the use of the system. The demonstration will allow you to better understand how everything works and it will also give you or the salesperson an opportunity to determine if you got all the features you paid for. Today’s alarm systems are very complicated.
One module includes many features and those features can be turned on or off as it is being installed. So you need to make certain that a feature you expect is on does work and features you didn’t want are turned off. Don’t take anything fore granted during the walk around. Be sure to ask the salesperson questions to assure that you understand everything and that you are receiving everything you should.
You also don’t want to leave the shop before you ask the salesperson to explain the warranty and/or guarantee to you. For example, there is a warranty if something goes wrong with the alarm brain within a certain time frame. Knowing this, you will quickly understand that if anything happens, you can bring the car back so that the alarm can be serviced. Moreover, many auto alarm manufacturers cover a theft from a car protected by one of their systems. If something is taken from the car while the alarm is active, you may be entitled to a reimbursement. So, again, take nothing fore granted. Read the guarantee and warranty and ask the salesperson questions about it.
Next, ask the salesperson about the shop’s guarantee. The length of the guarantee may vary but many shops offer a 30 day guarantee. Others offer 90 days. And some may offer a guarantee of up to one year.
The alarm will also have to be maintained. And how it operates can be influenced by the electronics of the car. Make certain that the battery contacts are clean and that there is no corrosion on the terminals. Moreover, make certain that the voltage level of the battery does not drop below 10-1/2 volts. An unmaintained battery can cause loss of power to the alarm and cause it to do all sorts of strange things.
The more sophisticated alarms have a number of components and many of them are in areas of the vehicle where they can be affected by extreme heat, cold, water and a service mechanic. Many of the pinswitches may be made of metal and are susceptible to rust. Keep them rust free with a spray of WD40 or something like it. To assure that the range of the alarm’s remote is good, change its battery once every eight months to a year.
Finally, many of the more upscale alarms can “tell” you if something is wrong. For example, if there is a faulty switch or sensor, it may emit an extra chirp and the LED will blink. On some systems the number of blinks tells you what zone is effected so that you can get it fixed. That is why it is imperative that you read the alarm manual to fully understand how it works and what its signals mean.
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to ask your salesperson questions before you leave the shop, keep the battery maintained and understand how the alarm works so that you can listen and watch for potential problems.