I got my car back from the repair shop on Friday following it’s run in with the less pleasant residents of Auckland, with all the ignition and dash repaired.
Unfortunately the whole incident costs me at least $500 in excess payments, not to mention future impacts to my insurance premiums, so I’m not exactly a happy camper, even though I had full insurance.
Because I really don’t want to have to pay another $500 excess when the next muppet tries to break into it, I decided to spend the money to get an alarm installed, to deter anyone trying to break in again – going to all the effort to silence an alarm for a 1997 Toyota Starlet really won’t be worth the effort, sending them on to another easier target.
(I did consider some of those fake stickers and a blinky LED, but a real alarm does mean that if you hit the car, you’ll quickly get a chirp confirming there is an alarm present. Plus I get one of those chirpy remote controls to unlook the doors! :-D)
I do really hate car alarms, but it’s worth it to have something that will send anyone messing with my car running before it wakes up half the apartment complex.
I wanted to get a decent alarm installed properly and ended up getting referred to Mike & Lance at www.carstereoinstall.co.nz who do onsite visits to install which was really handy, and totally worth it after seeing all the effort needed to do the installation.
There’s a bit of metal drilling, cable running, soldering, un-assembling parts of the car’s interior and trying to figure out which cables control which features of the car, all up it took two guys about 2 hours to complete.
Cost about $325 for the alarm and labor, plus an extra $40 as they had to run wires and install switches for the boot, which is pretty good when you consider it’s a 4 man hour job, would have taken all day if I’d done it at noob pace.
Would recommend these guys if you’re in Auckland. As an extra bonus, Mike turned out to be an ex-IT telco guy so we had some interesting chats – NZ is such a small world at times :-/
A few years back I had an alarm installed on my Honda VFR400R Motorcycle. It reduced my insurance payments and made everyone feel happier, or something.
Anyway one Saturday evening I was down town in the Christchurch CBD, it was about 11PM but the streets were stock full of Saturday Nightlife everywhere. I clicked the button to turn off the alarm, but it wouldn’t. As soon as I touched the bike, the alarm went off, and nothing I did would turn it off. Clearly I knew what I had to do.
So i started removing the side panels on my bike, fishing through the electronics and eventually finding the wires leading to the speaker from the alarm system. I yanked them out. This process took around 10 minutes. Bare in mind, the entire time I was surrounded by people walking up and down the street looking at me removing the alarm system on the bike, while the alarm was blaring away.
Not one person stopped to ask me what I was doing, nobody called the police. I even had to crash start the bike as the main battery was flat and happily drove off into the night.
I’ve never wasted money on an alarm system for a car/bike since.
I admit, I’m a little dubious about how well alarms work, but it’s really the hope that the presence of the alarm is enough to detour people from trying to break in at all.
I suspect your average car thief will see the alarm and avoid it for an easier target, why risk the increased exposure of what you’re doing for a relatively low-value car?
In theory anyway. I still want a car-bomb based solution.