While newer cars are not delivered without insurance papers and few equipped with fancy immobilizers, assuring security for our wheels is one of the most overwhelming jobs for a common Pakistani. Most motorists still relay on promising aftermarket alarm systems flooding the shelves in our local auto stores.
Conventional car security systems, like we mostly come across, are simple electronic gadgets picking up vibrational activity on the structure of your car if someone tries to mess with it and sounds the alarm to alert and prevents the engine from starting. Some latest models are also equipped with added fancy options like anti-hijack triggers. Usually these are satisfactory when your car is parked in a crowded field, however, not that reliable when landing in parking space for ghosts!
These systems work on simple signal tap criteria, cutting the power from reaching the ignition system using a relay, when the alarm is triggered by the opening of the door or trying to turn the engine switch or whatsoever. These promising relays, they are simply added in series with the power line feeding the ignition system, which are then controlled by the alarm system module. The type of circuit used in these modules, use Normally-Closed contact type relays, which in simple terms, allow path to the power delivery line (to the ignition system) when they are NOT TURNED ON.
That means the relay has to be actually energized by the alarm module to turn off the ignition module. That doesn’t sound so sophisticated right? The problem is, as these system are generally placed underneath the steering column by our a-little-less-determined auto-electricians, it makes it really easy to reach the whole setup in seconds when vehicles are parked in less crowded areas, in which a chap with a wire cutter can make your car disappear. You are good to go even by simply pulling the harness connector out of the alarm module. Cut the power, the relay goes off, power to the ignition system is connected back and pooff!! There it goes.
Recently, I was playing around with a shiny Steel Mate Hands-Free car alarm system and the latest two-way type model. Surprisingly, I found that under the fancy new features like passive keyless entry and intelligent highjack sense, the same circuity was used to control the ignition cut feature as present on commonly available models. This got me thinking that it is not the alarm system which is at fault, it’s the cranky technique of how we are used to setting up these systems in our cars.
I was rest assured by installing one myself, that simply by intelligent placement and a little brainy wiring set-up (yeah, I mean the kind our auto-electricians don’t have the time for), these very common siren buzzing systems can be turned into a vital near-foolproof anti-theft system in no time.