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What Triggers your Car Alarm? Read on to Know More!

  • Safety Tips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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Knowing how to disable your car alarm is crucial in the event of vandalism, as the system is a crucial part of keeping your car safe. What, then, are some examples that trigger your car alarm? Keep reading if you’re curious!

What Triggers a Car Alarm?

A car alarm will go off if any activity occurs in or around the car. They can go off upon the touch of a stranger, the tripping of a sensor, the dying of the battery, or the opening of a door, among other things. Bumps or vibrations can trigger your car alarm.

Read on for helpful advice and additional information on what triggers a car alarm.

What events can trigger your car alarm?

Multiple events can trigger a car’s alarm. Undoubtedly, some of the most common facts are the following:

An unintended touch by someone!

The purpose of your car alarm is to protect your car from being stolen. That’s why if your car alarm is set and someone hits your car, the alarm will go off immediately.

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The car alarm triggers when someone walks too close to a car with very sensitive sensors. This can happen in any parking lot, not just in private ones. It can be annoying if the alarm keeps going off if you park your car in a public area.


Cat and dog owners often worry that their pets will accidentally trigger their car’s alarms. This is common if they drive a model equipped with particularly sensitive sensors.

The alarm will go off if your neighbor’s animal touches the tires or any other part of your car. This false alarm is likely very annoying if you live in an area with pets. Shut off the motion detectors and fine-tune your sensors to avoid this problem in the future.

Using a key to unlock the door

Most cars come with a remote key fob to prevent being disturbed by the alarm. Additionally, it can be used to arm and disable the system. Using a key to open the car after locking it with a key fob will activate the security system.

Activated sensors

Each sensor in your auto alarm system serves a specific purpose. Additionally, these are activated differently. This set of sensors consists of the following:

Shock sensors

The most common type of car security system is a shock sensor, which can tell whether someone is approaching your car or trying to break in.

A single-stage shock sensor will alert you when the door is forced open, or a window is broken. False alarms are common with dual-stage shock sensors because they activate at the smallest impact, such as vibrations from a stereo system or an animal jumping.

Voltage sensors

Electrical systems can be monitored for static voltage using voltage sensors. When a door or trunk is opened, the alarm will sound if there is a power loss.

Door sensors

When the door, trunk, or hood is opened, the door sensors are triggered, alerting you to the need to lock up your valuables.

Motion sensors

Some crooks will jack up your vehicle to steal the wheels. On the other hand, motion detectors in your car will sound an alarm.

When the car is turned or tilted, motion and tilt sensors send a signal to the control unit, triggering an alarm. These sensors are less likely to trigger a false alarm if your car is accidentally bumped.

Low battery

Since it is typical for a car’s battery to drain overnight, a car alarm will also go off if it is low or completely dead. Additionally, the car alarm serves a dual purpose of keeping you safe and reminding you to check the battery.

Thereby, your auto alarm will warn if the battery is becoming low. A voltage tester can be used to determine if this is the problem.

Season 4 Episode 4 GIF by Workaholics


Malfunctioning key fob

The doors can be locked and unlocked using a remote key fob. This comes standard with your car. The alarm system sends an erroneous signal when the key fob is defective because of the controls it contains.

In this case, the issue may be with your batteries. Simply changing the batteries or resetting the key fob should fix the problem.

Faulty hood latch sensor

Most newer cars have a sensor built into the hood latch. This will trigger the car’s alarm if the hood is opened. If your hood sensors do their job, you’ll see a warning light on your dashboard if the hood is unlatched.

The accumulation of dust and grime causes these sensors to fail. Motion or movement near a car can set off the alarm. When someone approaches your vehicle, activates the sensors, your key fob malfunctions, your battery dies, or someone tries to open your door, your alarm will go off.

A normal car alarm should go off for about 30 seconds. However, if it's broken or not working right, it can go off for up to 20 minutes. Generally, this can be quite loud and annoying.

How long do car alarms go off for?

A normal car alarm should go off for about 30 seconds. However, if it’s broken or not working right, it can go off for up to 20 minutes. Generally, this can be quite loud and annoying.

A broken key fob or a dead car battery can cause this long alarm. The fob may send repeated signals to the car alarm; if the owner isn’t nearby, they might not even notice. If you know who owns the car, you should call them or leave them a note to let them know their alarm is going off.

Having a car alarm can also mean that someone tried to break into the car. If you think this is the case, call the police station in your area. 

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Even the slightest movements will set off sensitive car alarms. Bumps or vibrations from a music system can trigger your car alarm.

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After you adjust your car alarm, consider adjusting your budget for car maintenance. A high car bill will not bother your neighbors. Instead, it can certainly keep you up at night.

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