How to Fix a Car Alarm That Keeps Going Off

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Your car alarm is going off again, and your neighbors are livid. No thieves are nearby, so why is it sounding off? And how about those poor shoppers who leave the store after a fun day of browsing only to be met with that constant, annoying blaring from your car? If your car alarm is going off for no apparent reason (even though you've pressed the chirper several times) and you don't have the time or funds to take it to your dealer or installer for a check-up, here are a few suggestions for how you can end the noise---at least temporarily.

  • Find the shut-off switch for your alarm system. When your alarm was installed, the installer most likely equipped it with a shut-off switch to allow you to turn off your alarm system at any time. The shut-off switch is usually located below your steering wheel near your feet and is hidden so that thieves can't find it. Your installer should have shown you where it is. You may have to hold it down for three or four seconds for the system to shut down.

  • Disconnect the fuse on the alarm in your fuse box. The fuse for the car alarm should be marked on the box, or you may have to look at your car owner's manual to figure out which fuse to remove.

  • Try resetting the alarm system. One possibility is to put the key in the car door, turn to lock the door, then turn again to open it in order to reset the alarm. Other tricks and processes could help you reset your alarm system, depending on your car model. See the Resources section for another method for resetting your car alarm.

  • Disconnect the battery. This option is a last-case scenario. Turn off your car and remove the keys. Two cords that power your car run up to the top of the battery where they are screwed on (think of the positive and negative connectors you use when you jump start your car). Use a wrench to unscrew the side nut of each connector. (Do the negative side first, and when you reconnect the battery put the negative side back on first.) You should be able to lift the connector up and off of the battery. This method is most helpful when you have a car alarm that is going off at night, or when you are not actively using the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use extra care when handling your car battery's connectors. Wear rubber gloves for added protection. Keep in mind that when you reconnect your car battery, the alarm will probably start to go off again immediately. You also have to be forewarned that disconnecting the battery could affect your car's computer system and possibly create further problems.

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