We’ve all been there — you’re sleeping peacefully when a car alarm goes off, waking you up in the worst way possible. However, when that car alarm belongs to you, the situation goes from annoying to downright embarrassing.
Well, worry not. We’re about to dive in and explain why a car alarm might go off in the middle of the night, what you can do to make it stop, and everything else you need to know. Read on!
Why Do Car Alarms Randomly Go Off at Night?
As you already know, a car alarm is designed to go off at any sign of danger to your vehicle. That includes vandalism, theft, or anything else that puts your vehicle’s safety at risk.
But alarms can also go off all by themselves, regardless of their surroundings. If that keeps happening to you, here’s what might be amiss.
1. Faulty Sensors
Every car alarm is made up of numerous sensors that detect different types of movements and sensations. They can catch any movement near your vehicle, whether near the door, windows, hood, or the rear end.
Ideally, the alarm would only go off when a thief or vandal comes near. However, sometimes a system can get damaged to the point that even the slightest movement can set it off.
For example, a cat could walk by the car and trigger the alarm. Other potential culprits include small animals, moderate gusts of wind, someone walking near the car, a sudden loud noise nearby, and so on.
Even with extra sensitive systems, the alarm should not go off that often and that easily. If it does, you’re likely dealing with faulty sensors that need fixing or even replacing.
Either way, your best bet is to take the automobile to a professional and have them take a look. They’ll need to do a thorough inspection of the sensors, and they’ll likely replace those that are causing you trouble.
2. Battery Problems
In case your battery is dead (or dying), it will most likely trigger your car alarm. So, if the alarm goes off at night without any warning, check your battery indicator. If it says your battery needs a recharge, you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid any nightly noise in the future.
However, if the battery voltage is normal, it’s still smart to check this component anyway. Namely, the alarm might be going off because the battery terminals are damaged or rusty.
To check for that, you’ll just have to take a look at the battery. If you can notice any visible rust, you can use a wire brush and a battery cleaner to fix it. And to avoid the issue in the future, you can buy battery terminal protectors.
But if the rust is extensive or if you see any other signs of damage, you should not try to fix it on your own. That way, you might just make the situation worse. Instead, take the car to a mechanic and have them do an inspection and any necessary repairs.
3. A Malfunctioning Alarm
Naturally, your system might be glitching because of the alarm itself. It might have been installed improperly, or the car shop employee could have missed a step in the installation process.
Whatever the case, you should take it back to the car shop where you bought the alarm system. The employees can take a look and reinstall the system, which should fix the problem altogether.
Of course, if you’re well-versed in cars and alarms, you can reinstall it all on your own. However, it’s always best to leave it to a professional if you’re not too confident in your abilities.
4. Accidental Touches
Do you live in a particularly busy area when it comes to nightlife? If so, your alarm might just be detecting people walking by the car on their way home. That is especially likely if you bought an alarm system labeled as extra sensitive.
In this instance, there isn’t a lot you can do. One solution is to find a new parking spot that isn’t on the way as much. If you can manage that, you’ll decrease the chances of someone walking by the car and accidentally setting off the alarm.
Another option is to get a new car alarm system installed. If you opt for this route, look for models that are more impact-based. Those will not be as easy to set off with just an accidental touch.
What to Do if Your Car Alarm Keeps Going Off at Night
Anyone who owns a car has had its alarm go off without a reason at least once or twice. So, if your alarm blares randomly a few times a year, it’s really not that big of a deal. The alarm probably detects some noise or motion nearby and mistakes it for danger.
However, if it keeps going off every night and nothing seems to be amiss, you’ll have to react quickly. So, take a day to inspect the door sensors, battery, and the alarm system itself.
Plus, check any other internal components you can get your eyes on for any visible damage. You can use the list above for pointers on what exactly to look for, but make sure you check every nook and cranny of the vehicle.
If you notice any trouble, take the car to a mechanic and have them fix or replace any damaged parts. When they’re done, your car should remain quiet throughout the night.
But if the noise persists, the issue is probably linked to the alarm system itself. In that case, go to the car shop where you got it and explain your problem. They will fix it up once again, and you’ll avoid any further trouble and embarrassment.
Can Your Neighbors Call the Police Because of Your Alarm?
Like most people, you probably worry that the alarm noise will disturb all your neighbors every night. After all, if you put yourself in their shoes, you’d probably feel annoyed and upset about being violently woken up every night.
Now, the alarm going off at night definitely breaks noise ordinance laws. So, your neighbors can indeed call the police on you if the situation persists and lasts too long.
The key to avoiding trouble with those living in your close vicinity is simple. You just have to follow these steps.
Turn the Alarm off Quickly
First things first, it is essential to disable the alarm system as soon as possible. Even if it goes off while you’re sleeping, try to be quick about it and stop the noise before it wakes everyone around you.
Of course, check to see whether the alarm is really going off on its own before you do anything. You never know — someone might actually be trying to steal or damage your car.
So, be quick but also careful.
Apologize and Be Nice
If the alarm wakes up your neighbors anyway and they go outside or send you angry texts, you need to be understanding. Try to calmly explain that you’re not sure what triggered the alarm but that you will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In addition, do not dismiss their annoyance or anger. No one likes to wake up to the sound of an alarm in the middle of the night, so it’s important to remember that they have the right to feel slighted.
Although it won’t erase the fact that your alarm ruined their sleep, you should absolutely apologize for it. Doing so will ensure your neighbors know you feel bad and acknowledge their feelings. As a result, they’ll be more lenient and won’t go to the police.
Resolve the Issue Quickly
In case the alarm goes off for two nights in a row, you will have to make sure the third night is quiet. So, either take the car to a pro right away or resolve whatever the issue is on your own.
If you don’t, your neighbors will think that you aren’t serious about the havoc your alarm is wreaking. As a result, they’ll likely report you, leaving you to handle the police and explain yourself to them.
Be Smart When Handling the Police
No matter how nice and apologetic you are, sometimes people simply won’t want to hear it. In other words, your neighbors might report you to the police anyway.
If it comes to that, you need to keep your cool while talking to officers. Explain the situation calmly and say you’re not sure why the alarm went off. Also, make sure to say you’ll be taking it to a mechanic the next day.
Generally, that should be enough for you to get off with just a warning. After all, you can’t do much until someone can check your car and see what’s causing your alarm to malfunction.
And if All Else Fails…
Finally, if the alarm keeps going off even after you turn it off, it’s best to disable the system for the rest of the night. By doing so, you’ll eliminate unwanted noise and keep your neighbors’ goodwill.
Luckily, disabling an alarm is pretty simple and can be done quickly. The easiest way to do it is to disconnect the alarm fuse. It’s usually located in the hood of your car, and your owner’s manual should point you to its exact location and appearance.
When you disconnect this fuse, the alarm will not be getting power anymore. As such, it won’t be able to go off at all until you reconnect it.
Another way to kill your alarm is to disconnect the car battery. However, you should only do that if you can’t find the alarm fuse. If you have to do it, make sure you don’t damage any of the wiring.
If your alarm keeps randomly going off at night, the key is to take the vehicle to a professional as soon as you can. Anything from the car battery to the alarm itself might be causing problems, so reacting quickly is essential.
In the meantime, don’t forget to apologize to your neighbors for the intrusive noise. Being nice and apologetic will get you a long way, as most people won’t want to involve the police in something that’s clearly out of your control.
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