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Factory Alarms vs Aftermarket

NissanToday’s car manufacturers are integrating more technology into their latest models than ever before – automatic windscreen wipers, GPS navigation, keyless entry systems and bluetooth phone connectivity to name a few. Many also come standard with a factory alarm to stop thieves from getting their mits on all of this mouth watering technology on wheels. But is a factory alarm any good? And should you bother spending the money on upgrading it to an Aftermarket Security solution? 

So is a factory alarm any good?

There are two types of factory alarms - one that conveniently uses a remote control and the other, which is activated when the car is locked with the key. Factory alarms are generally of good quality and by in large are pretty reliable (i.e. they don’t often give false alarms). The biggest draw back of a factory alarm is that they are very basic – normally a factory alarm will consist of just triggered door locks, ignition kill, a horn interface and sometimes a remote start feature.

The problem with this is predictability. An experienced thief knows exactly what to do to disable the alarm before even breaking in the car. All factory alarms are installed the same way and in the same location for a certain model car. All they have to do is snip a single wire or remove a fuse.  It only takes an experienced thief a few seconds to disable a factory security system.

What about aftermarket - should you bother?

Car AlarmAftermarket alarms can be pretty robust and are generally customisable – they come in many different flavors, from the cheap 2-wire voltage drop sensing alarm, to high-end custom alarms you can add or remove features as you please. For example, Autowatch alarm products can be installed with a range of different sensors to provide ultimate protection of goods in the cabin/rear as well as the actual vehicle itself.

Back up...

At Autowatch we also provide something called a digital battery back up siren.  Digital Battery Back Up Sirens are connected to the vehicle's alarm module via a data wire. This means they know when the alarm is armed or disarmed, providing some key benefits. Firstly, there is no need for an over-ride key, which means the siren can be hidden well out of the way of thieves. Secondly, if the battery is disconnected when the alarm module is disarmed, the siren will recognise this and won't go off (your mechanic will thank you!)

Autowatch’s aftermarket alarm modules are much smaller than most units, making it easier to hide, and feature security proof housing – making it far more difficult for a criminal to breach the system. 

...and more backup

Autowatch-3-year-warrantyIn fact we're so confident in the product we offer a 3 year warranty on it, paying out the first $1500 of a driver’s insurance excess should their vehicle be stolen due to a system failure. 

The predictability factor is somewhat decreased with an Aftermarket Alarm because installation depends on the installer. Different installers will install in slightly different ways, which means a thief won’t immediately know where to look. ​

Upgrading a modern vehicle

If you’ve got a modern car and would like to upgrade the security functions, you can take advantage of the CAN-BUS system. CAN-BUS or "Controller Area Network BUS" is a two-wire protocol found extensively in new cars and vehicles. This CAN protocol enables communication between internal modules such as the cluster, convenience module & central locking module in order for the vehicle to correctly distribute information.

The advantage of a CAN Bus alarm is that it provides a "plug and play" environment that saves significant installation time and provides a neater, far more integrated solution for these vehicles. Autowatch CAN-BUS systems are extremely innovative in that all CAN-BUS vehicles can be addressed by a single product.

​In summary, Factory alarms continue to provide a basic level of security and may discourage an opportunist criminal to some extent. However a customized Aftermarket Vehicle Security Solution will always be more effective at stopping experienced thieves from targeting your car and its contents.