Did anyone here not opt for the factory installed car alarm? I'm neck deep into the research for buying my 04 WRX and several buying guides have mentioned not to even think about buying the car alarm from the dealer. Here's one example:Any thoughts? I'm a noob when it comes to car alarms but I'm consistently finding advice such as the one above.Dealers use Code Alarm, Excalibur, and Viper. Code Alarms are typically refurbished and repackaged, often unknown to the dealer. Dealers pay $100 - $150 for Code Alarms. There is even one made by Micro for $38!! They pay maybe $50 and sell them for $400 and up, that's why it is a worthless add on. What makes these cheap alarms trigger all the time? Cheap, improperly placed sensors, thermal sensitivity, parts out of spec, and poor wiring. The alarm needs to be wired to the trunk, sunroof hood and all four doors. It's not uncommon if you ask a dealer to do this, they'll tell you "That's extra". You get what you pay for, nothing better, and usually worse. Dealers use outside installers to install the alarm. Clifford alarms are OK, but are too temperamental and trigger easily. Do yourself a favor, go spend the $300-500 at a reputable Hi-Fi shop for a real car alarm instead. Do it right or don't do it.
One brand I recommend is VSE, starting at about $400 installed. They are reliable, sensors are stable, false alarms are rare, they have zoned outputs, allowing you to determine where the trigger came from. Another decent brand is Delta, with an installed cost from $100-$400. Buy a model in between, as the $100 install is bare bones. Have them wire your alarm to lock the doors and roll up the windows. But don't buy it from the dealer, or your life will be hell. If they force it on you, or tell you it's already on the car, have them remove it, or don't buy the car. It should be easy for them to remove since it's not wired to the hood or trunk, right? "That's extra".