car alarms

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by granny1, Jul 22, 2015.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Jul 22, 2015 #1

    granny1

    g

    granny1

    Guest

    Upon reading as much information that we can on riding the auto train which will be a first. We read that we should dis-arm the car alarms, does everyone do this as we are not sure how this is done. We were to go on our first ride this past spring but had to change plans so it's still on the bucket list. Any insite to this would be helpful. Thanks :unsure:
     
  2. Jul 22, 2015 #2

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,832
    Location:
    LAX
    Rather than "disable" the alarm, wouldn't one just NOT "arm" it?
     
  3. Jul 22, 2015 #3

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,819
    Location:
    Richmond Hill, GA
    That's what I was going to say. All my cars arm when I lock with the remote. If I leave the key in the car and the door unlocked, I don't think the car will arm itself.

    Maybe Tom can chime in here. I don't know exactly what they do with the cars, but they have your keys. I presume they drive it up onto the car carrier and leave the keys in it and the door unlocked for recovery at the destination.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2015 #4

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    16,840
    Location:
    OTN
    That is exactly what happens.

    They don't want alarms both vibration sensors (particularly aftermarket) from going off in transit and killing your battery.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2015 #5

    PVD

    P

    PVD

    Conductor AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,123
    Location:
    NYC/Queens
    Procedure depends on the specific make and model of car and alarm. They suggest disabling because some alarms turn themselves on after a set period of inactivity. If your alarm keeps going off, especially the ones that also turn on lights, it could drain your battery. Not to mention driving passengers nuts if the rack your car is in is close to them, or residents along the route if loud enough. Instructions should be available in the car manual for a factory alarm, otherwise with the paperwork from the installer if aftermarket. Almost always available on line, since many folks can't find this stuff years later. (I just stuff all of it in the glove box)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2015
  6. Jul 22, 2015 #6

    granny1

    g

    granny1

    Guest

    VentureForth, That is what I thought with the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked didn't see the alarms going off and having a dead battery when we reach our destination but read that car alarms should be disabled, was a little confused but I am sure that with all the cars they have hauled on the auto train that not everybody dis-ables them and as long as the drivers that put them into the cars don't mess up..
     
  7. Jul 22, 2015 #7

    BCL

    BCL

    BCL

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,787
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    What kind of car, and what kind of alarm? I suppose the idea is to lock the doors without arming the alarm.

    I've never had an alarm in my own car, but I know how to deal with other ones. My parents have a car with some strange dealer installed alarm. It always arms when the remote lock is used, the manual lock switch is activated (or the driver side door locked from outside with the key), and eventually if all doors are locked without the key. I'm not sure if there's any way to turn off the alarm and have the doors locked, since it always seems to arm eventually once all the doors are locked.

    I know with older Honda models with factory alarms are armed/disarmed solely by the remote. One trick is to lock all doors from inside, unlock the driver side door, and (while open) lock the door with the door opening handle pulled. They have this mechanism supposedly to keep people from locking themselves out of the car, but in the end owners just get used to locking the door this way and still forget the keys.

    I would think that in addition to the battery possibly being drained, the sound would be annoying. However, most alarm sirens do time out to prevent the battery from completely draining.
     
  8. Jul 22, 2015 #8

    PVD

    P

    PVD

    Conductor AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,123
    Location:
    NYC/Queens
    A number of municipalities passed laws requiring them to shut off after a short period of time. Problem is, most of them re-arm and will go off again if something is wrong. On a train, sensitive motion sensors are usually the culprit, and 16 hours of cycling on and off can do in battery.
     
  9. Jul 22, 2015 #9

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    10,670
    Location:
    Америка
    I thought the lights and siren based car alarm market was basically dead at this point. If anything those alarms are likely to get your car keyed for being a perpetual nuisance to everyone else. If you want peace of mind buy Lojack or a GPS based cellular data alarm.
     
  10. Jul 22, 2015 #10

    PVD

    P

    PVD

    Conductor AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,123
    Location:
    NYC/Queens
    NYC law is 3 minutes. If it keeps going, or keeps going off, it is legal for NYPD to disable it. Of course, that could mean entering the car to pop the hood which may an unpleasant experience for the car owner. If they can not locate the siren, it can also mean cutting a battery cable. It is extremely rare, but not unheard of.
     
  11. Jul 22, 2015 #11

    Alice

    A

    Alice

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    933
    Location:
    California
    You do not lock your car on the auto train. Unless you have an after market alarm, you do not need to do anything, the person who drives your car onto the train will know what to do. If you have an after market alarm that automatically arms itself, you could put a note on your seat. At worse, you'll arrive with a dead battery, and they know how to handle that, too.
     
  12. Jul 22, 2015 #12

    granny1

    g

    granny1

    Guest

    Thanks for all the replies, our car is a 2009 Mercury Sable Premier and the alarm is factory installed so here's hoping that it travels well. I figured the car would have to remain unlocked with the keys in it so upon reaching the destination it can be unloaded. Thanks again for all the replies.
     
  13. Jul 23, 2015 #13

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    16,840
    Location:
    OTN
    If it's factory installed, don't worry about it. It's the random aftermarket crap that causes problems.
     
  14. Jul 23, 2015 #14

    FormerOBS

    F

    FormerOBS

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Maryland, but a native of Ohio
    I don't know what systems are susceptible to this problem. Many times I've heard an alarm going off at the destination station while auto carriers are being positioned for unloading. Presumably, it's been going for the entire trip! It may not happen on every trip, but often enough. If you aren't sure about it, I'd check the owner's manual and/or ask your dealer or auto service guy.

    Worst case: Your battery is dead and the Auto Train Mechanical Dept. will give you a jump. They have what they need for that.

    The key stays with the vehicle and the car remains unlocked so the driver at the destination can drive your car off the carrier for you.

    Whatever great crisis you can imagine, the A-T folks have probably encountered and solved it before, so you can rest easy. There's not much new under the sun. ;) They've been doing it for over 30 years.

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2015
  15. Jul 23, 2015 #15

    BCL

    BCL

    BCL

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,787
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Most won't self-arm as long as it's not locked. If the key is in the ignition, most cars won't self lock.

    And yeah - some of those aftermarket alarms installed by the dealer are total junk. The one I've dealt with will often (but not always) eventually arm itself even with the doors unlocked. It also has a problem if the doors are locked and the key is in the ignition. So I can get in, lock the doors (I do this all the time in my car), and once I turn the key the siren goes off.

    Some of the more old-fashioned car alarms were separate from the locking system and had to be manually armed/disarmed. A friend of mine had one and his car didn't have a power central locking system. That should be easy to disable if the alarm is never armed and won't arm unless someone presses the button on the remote.
     
  16. Jul 23, 2015 #16

    PVD

    P

    PVD

    Conductor AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,123
    Location:
    NYC/Queens
    Most of the better aftermarket stuff also came with what they used to call a "valet switch", a little hidden button (usually up under the dash somewhere) you would push with the key in the ignition to stop the alarm from enabling. Don't know if the still do that.
     
  17. Jul 30, 2015 #17

    RampWidget

    RampWidget

    RampWidget

    OBS Chief AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Conn. & Fla.
    Many are the 52s & 53s I recall watching by in the Carolinas in the early 1990s that had a vehicle alarm going off inside one of the auto carriers. According to the operating crews, it was hardly an unusual occurrence at that point in time.
     
  18. Aug 6, 2015 #18

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,819
    Location:
    Richmond Hill, GA
    Heck - it's been nearly 45 years!
     
  19. Aug 6, 2015 #19

    FormerOBS

    F

    FormerOBS

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Maryland, but a native of Ohio
    Actually, you're right. I was counting the years the Auto Train has been run by Amtrak. But the old Auto Train Corp. under Eugene Garfield started many years before that, and some folks from the Garfield operation stayed on well into the Amtrak years. In fact, on July 23, I went to a retirement celebration for one of the Auto Train's Mechanical Dept. supervisors. He may have been the last veteran of the Garfield years.

    Tom
     

Share This Page

arrow_white