Not Buying the Car Alarm on the 04 WRX?
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This is a discussion on Not Buying the Car Alarm on the 04 WRX? within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Did anyone here not opt for the factory installed car alarm? I'm neck deep into the research for buying my ...

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    Registered User Ibizan's Avatar
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    Question Not Buying the Car Alarm on the 04 WRX?

    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:

    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".
    Any thoughts? I'm a noob when it comes to car alarms but I'm consistently finding advice such as the one above.

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    Registered User CKxx's Avatar
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    I got the alarm....disabled it in 5 min and havend turned it back on since. I wish i still had the money. My friend leaves his on and it went off so much he disabled it also.

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    Registered User Ibizan's Avatar
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    Yeah, unfortunately I've found more information (in another forum) about the alarm and its weaknesses. I've already decided to go with an after-market model.

    Thanks for the input though, pretty much answers my question.

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    If you buy a factory Subaru alarm you will get an alarm that will work all of the time. It will lock and unlock your doors and go off is one of the doors or trunk gets opened. The Remote on mine looks like an Alpine but I've been to busy to pull the brain out and check. In the past Subaru used Code Alarms when you wanted a dealer installed alarm. I have never seen a referb Subaru Dealer alarm in the 15 or so years I was in the business.
    Code alarm made alarms for a small car company - General Motors-you may have seen the name around. They make a ton of alarms. Excalibur, and Viper are not "high end" alarms DEI owns the Viper name and makes a few more lines, Excalibur is just an other smaller brand.
    Is an alarm a worthless add on due to the price? Would it make you fell better if you had to pay $900? In the alarm industry there are a handful of manufactures and everyone buys the alarm from them and re-brands them. Once big brands like Clifford - now DEI (Viper) and Ungo - now Clarion are gone. I haven't heard of VSE since the late 80's and who is Delta- I thought they make plumbing parts?

    If you want an alarm that works and works all the time without any hiccups buy the factory alarm. It has no options but the wiring is built into the car not added on. If you want all kinds of cool add on such as autostart, auto window roll up, sun roof control, find a great- not a good installer and pay the price. Most alarms fail or false do to bad installs not bad alarms.
    For whats its worth I still do a few alarms for friends and friends of friends and I use Crimestopper. I havent had a bad one, the remotes are cheep and Im use to the way they install and work. Every installer will have his favorite. Good luck

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    Registered User 04wrx4keeps's Avatar
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    I second everything in the above reply. I work installing alarms and the factory one is not that bad at all, it does the same basic things that your average aftermarket *alarm* will do withought any of the extras added on. Like carnutsx2 said its a very basic alarm withought alot of bells and whistles. If you kick the tire or bump the car real hard it will go off, if you break a window or open a locked door or anything like that it will go off. The only problems ive had with it are if i leave my a/c on while the turbo timer is running the vibration when the compressor turns on sets it off. If you want something simple that will work go ahead, if you want bells and whistles buy one aftermarket. If the factory one goes off too much, pull out your center console (the trim peace aroud the e-break) and theres the brain, theres a knob on it that u can use to adjust the sensitivity. One misconception that alot of people i talk to have is they think that the factory alarm has no shock sensor but it does, i think most dealers just set it reletively low so people dont come back and complain about it going off all the time, at least where i bought my car.

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    Registered User rgold01's Avatar
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    I have had the factory alarm since last april, and so far no problems with it or false alarms. I was not aware of the vibration sensor though, do you have any more info on the adjustment of the sensitivity?

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    Registered User WShade's Avatar
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    The dealer will do it for free. But, if you still need the info let me know. I was reading up on it in my service manual, it is very easy.

    <<-- life begins and ends at 180 mph - CBR 1000RR


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    My EDM version came stock with keyless entry, no alarm, but immobiliser.
    I bought the best alarm system available where I live and installed myself..

    Stock key will open doors and turn alarm on/off.

    I don't know how the stock usdm alarms are so I can't speek much about that system.
    Silver -02 Impreza WRX

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    Registered User rgold01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WShade
    The dealer will do it for free. But, if you still need the info let me know. I was reading up on it in my service manual, it is very easy.
    if you have the info that would be great, I would rather do it myself then trust the dealership
    thx

  11. #10
    Registered User WShade's Avatar
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    As soon as I get home.

    <<-- life begins and ends at 180 mph - CBR 1000RR


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    Registered User 04wrx4keeps's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly all you need is a flat head screwdriver.

    If you open your center console u will see 2 little slats at the front of the trim piece in front of it (the piece that surrounds the e-break and has the cup-holder in it) use the screwdriver to pry up on the clips on each side, dont worry they will snap when you pop them but I've done it 1000 times and they've never broken. Its easier now if u unplug the Mirror switch so you can take the console piece off now, you will see a box under there, probably like 5x3" (guess) there should be a dial in there with a slat that you can turn w/the flat head.

    I'm not sure exactly which way is more or less sensitive, just experiment, I would go see for myself but my cars at the bodyshop right now . some little punk thought it would be funny to key my car at the mall for absolutely no reason .

    So please excuse if any of this is off a little I'm just going from memory. Oh and I have the 04 model, not sure about the earlier ones. And I do know that there is only a shock sensor if you payed for the alarm option, my friend at work (02 wrx) bought one used and had the factory keyless which does not have the shock sensor but key-fobs are identical and both have a panic button.. Hope this helps somebody

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    Registered User dielectric's Avatar
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    I installed the factory upgrade alarm after I bought the car. It was ~$150 online, and the install was monkey simple. It works well enough and uses the factory fob. I did have the alarm module go out this fall, but it was replaced under warranty, which is a good thing. I haven't had any problems with false triggering, and no one has stolen the car yet.

    I didn't bother adjusting the shock sensor, but it does work. It will go off if I wash the car while the alarm is active (oops!). It will go off if I bump the car moderately hard. The remote distance is adequate. I call it decent.
    ribonucleic acid freakout

  14. #13
    Registered User WShade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04wrx4keeps
    I'm not sure exactly which way is more or less sensitive
    Clockwise = max
    Counterclockwise = less

    <<-- life begins and ends at 180 mph - CBR 1000RR


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