4 Of the Most Painfully Frustrating Car Alarm Issues Resolved!

1. My Key Triggers the Car Alarm: How to Stop the Alarm and Resolve the Problem

Sometimes a car alarm seems to have a mind of it’s own. Sounding when you (the owner of the car) unlock it with your own proper car key! What is going on? Why does my car alarm trigger when I am opening it using the key not the key fob?

Your own car key will trigger the alarm if you lock the car with the key fob and unlock the car with a regular key. You must use the key fob to unlock the car to disable the alarm. The first thing to check if your key fob is not working is to replace the battery.

My Car Alarm is Triggered When I Use the Key

Modern car alarms give us a peace of mind and add security to our cars to keep them from being broken into, but they can be a real headache when they act up. I will cover the basics of the car key and alarm system to hopefully help you resolve the random alarms when you are in fact not stealing your own car!

The reason your car key triggers the car alarm when you use it to open the car is that key does not have a chip to indicate to the car that it is not a screwdriver or a lock pick opening the door. You must have a chipped key to open the door.

If you have lost your chipped key, order a new one from the dealership.

Pro Tip: Don’t press the lock button twice if you do not want to activate the car alarm.

If you do not have a chipped key and want to be able to open your car door with a standard key after locking the car with the key fob, only press the lock button once or lock the car manually with the interior car door lock button.

By not pressing the lock button a second time, the alarm will not be activated and that will allow you to open your car with a standard key.

2. How do you Disarm a car alarm when you Don’t have a remote key

This can be difficult if you no longer possess the physical key. To have a new remote made, you generally need to have one already. Otherwise you need to have it re-keyed to be able to disarm the car alarm. There are a few other methods you can try before this:

Keep the Key in the Car Door for 30 Seconds

  1. Insert the key in the driver’s side door.
  2. Turn the key to the unlock position and hold the key for 30 seconds without releasing it.
  3. Take the key out and start the engine.

This works for MOST cars. For those that this simple three step process does not work for, try replacing step 2 with:

Turn the key back and forth a few times from the unlocked to locked position.

The point of these steps is the manufacturers have programmed a way for the car to recognize if the right key is being used. Often this will resolve your problem right away!

If it doesn’t, read on. There are several other great strategies ahead.

Disconnect the battery (the power supply)

Disarm the Car Alarm by disconnecting the battery. Leave it disconnected to allow capacitors in the system to fully drain. 15 minutes should be sufficient and by that time the alarm will reset.

This seems overly obvious but can be forgotten when you are in a panic because your car alarm is going off and you cannot get it to stop! Disconnect the battery, wait 15 minutes, then reconnect the battery and the alarm will be reset.

I had this problem with a car that I owned and the chip in the key would malfunction and the alarm would go off at random times. I simply left the battery terminal bolt loose (which you should not always do since a loose battery terminal can cause you all kinds of trouble) and any time the alarm acted up I would simply disconnect the battery and the alarm quit right away.

Activate the Valet Switch

Some cars have a valet switch which will allow the car to be run with a normal key that you would leave with the valet rather than the key fob. Check your car manual to determine if your car has a valet switch

Where is the valet switch located?

If your car has a valet switch it is located on the drivers’ side on the dash usually mounted on the underside of the dashboard as a button or toggle switch. It can also be located near the fuse box. Occasionally there is a toggle switch mounted where it is not visible so try reaching behind the dash through the fuse box.

If the switch is not in either of these locations, consult your car manual to determine if your car actually has a valet switch.

Re-Key the Car

Some locksmiths may offer an at-home re-key service and will actually show up to your house.

To re-key the car you simply will have to provide ownership of the vehicle. Make a few phone calls to local locksmiths to inquire about this service.

Otherwise take it to the dealership and request a new key be made. They can have one made for you in a matter of a couple days.

3. Why Does My Car Alarm Go Off Randomly?

Determine the Cause of the Alarm by Watching the Car Lights

Watch the sequence of blinks of the car alarm LED light when the alarm goes off. The alarm is programmed to indicate the cause of the alarm by the number of blinks, separated by a pause, followed by the same number of blinks. By counting the number of blinks between pauses, and with the manual you will be able to identify the cause of the alarm.

Again this is the small LED light usually on your dashboard that indicates if the car alarm is enabled or disabled. Watch the LED after the alarm is disabled and it will flash a code to inform you why the alarm was triggered.

This will help you to at least identify the problem to be able to resolve the issue.

To determine the sequences for your particular car and if this method even applies to your car, you will have to look in your car manual

The Most Common Reason the Car Alarm Triggers Randomly

Faulty Door Sensor

The most common reason a car alarm is triggered with no cars or people around is due to a faulty door sensor. Each door on your car has a sensor to prevent a break in and if the door is slightly out of alignment or the sensor is faulty, it will trigger the alarm.

This happened to my neighbors car and it would go off at random hours during the night. It was frustrating they would not take it in or resolve the issue themselves but then again they probably didn’t know what we know! It is most likely a door sensor that triggers a car alarm to go off in the middle of the night with no one around.

Aftermarket Alarm Systems

Watch out for aftermarket alarm systems

If you just installed an aftermarket alarm system and are having trouble with it, check the return policy and send it back now if you can. More often than helpful, aftermarket car alarm systems are trouble.

They can prevent your car from starting and often have trouble activating and deactivating properly.

If you are considering purchasing an aftermarket alarm system, I recommend against it. I suggest putting the money towards better car insurance from theft or whatever you are worried about and skip the headache that comes with an aftermarket alarm system.

I have removed an aftermarket alarm system and it resolved the issues the car was having with the alarm system. Just unplug it and throw it away!

Low Key fob Battery

Key fob inside car

A very common cause of random activation of the car alarm is a low key fob battery. The first thing you should attempt to resolve your car alarm trouble is to replace the key fob battery.

Low power in the intricate systems in place in your car can cause havoc and act sporadically resulting in a headache.

Simply remove the one or two screws in the back of your key fob, and get a replacement at the grocery store or online.

4. How Do I Disable My Car Alarm Permanently

You’re fed up with the alarm system. Let’s delete it all together you have decided. Well, this can be trickier than you would like since car manufacturers do not intruders into your car to simply be able to disable the alarm easily.

The easiest quickest method is to remove the car alarm fuse. This fuse generally allows power to pass through to the alarm system and without the fuse, the alarm should be disabled.

If it is an aftermarket alarm system, it is located under the steering column and should be removed entirely.

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