Choosing A Vehicle Security System

Protecting your vehicle, belongings, and car stereo are all excellent reasons to invest in a new security system.  But before you run out and buy the latest alarm special being promoted on late night tv, there are some things you should consider.


Installation.  Probably the most important thing to look for is a good installer.  Even a cheap basic alarm can be effective when installed properly, but find yourself a seasoned security specialist and your new security system will provide years of reliable consistent protection.  A security specialist will also take the time to discuss options with you and make the correct recommendations for your application and having your new system installed by the proper authorized installer will normally increase the length of its warranty.  


“But my new car already has an alarm doesn’t it?”  Most modern vehicles have some level of security.  Maybe it is a simple immobilizer making it difficult to “hot wire” or maybe it can monitor if the doors are forced open but ultimately it is very minimal so it will be reliable and not cause the dealership issues.  That is of course until it starts to fail or you need a new fob, then it’s just an expensive nuisance you have to deal with. In the aftermarket security world this is not an issue as the replacement parts are relatively inexpensive compared to OEM parts and replacing them doesn’t require some special computer or the dealership charging $125 an hour for programming.  Aftermarket security is designed to make replacing parts easy and cost effective.


Some features to look for when choosing a new security system


  • Two-way remotes provide status updates and provide quick long range feedback with your vehicle.

  • Smartphone integration gives you unlimited range to control your security system when you have phone service and can even provide real time tracking of your vehicle.

  • Digital tilt sensors monitor your vehicle looking for a change in parking angle of as little as 1 degree in case someone attempts to tow it away.

  • Impact sensors are the industry standard and are simply that - impact sensors.  If a theif breaks a window or punches out your key cylinder an impact sensor can sense that and trigger the security system.

  • Glass break sensors or microphones are tuned to listen for the sound of glass breaking and are effective even if there is no impact to the vehicle.

  • Proximity sensors or radar sensors are similar to the motions sensors used in home and office security.  These sensors are looking for any mass that invades the area they are installed to protect which makes them great for convertibles since you don’t even have to touch the vehicle to set them off.

  • Remote start is one of the most popular conveniences that can be provided by a security system giving you the ability to warm your vehicle up on a cold day or cool it off on a hot day.  

  • Auxiliary outputs allow for the expansion of your security system to control all kinds of options like remote start, rolling window up or down, popping a trunk or even closing a garage door.  These outputs have unlimited applications so when you’re ready to pick a new security system consider everything you may want to control with it as it may just be possible.


A properly installed and equipped security system not only makes your vehicle more difficult to steal, it can also make it a little easier to live with.  The remote (fob) you pack around not only turns the system on or off but can also lock and unlock the doors, pop open the trunk or hatch and in some cases start the vehicle.  You can also integrate your smartphone to control these features, monitor your vehicles security or even track its location. Several insurance companies will offer discounts when a vehicle has security as well so investing a little money in one can pay for itself.

Jim Hergesheimer