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Posted: 12/6/2001 8:57:03 AM EDT
Just bought a '98 Ford Expedition. In the past we've driven large American made cars so expensive belongings could be locked up in the trunk. Generally people don't steal what they can't see. The SUV, in my opinion lacks security. I'm thinking of having an alarm installed. I called a nearby car audio shop for a price they told me $260 for what I wanted. After consideration I was also interested in remote start (wife will drive this vehicle) so I went to the shop and found I was misquoted. For an alarm with remote start and a pager alert we're talking SEVEN OR EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS! Be still my heart. Plus the "pager" was only good for about a block or so. Back when our cars had stone wheels and we powered them with our feet I used to be a mechanic. But, I don't think I want to tangle with the electrical system of this vehicle. For example it has rear AC and an astounding total of 3 complete separate heating/cooling controls. One in the dash (normal), another set in the roof between driver and passenger seats to control rear blower/temp and yet another set in the roof for use by passengers in the rear seats. Plus it has some factory anti-theft features that I think would complicate matters. Better to leave this one to the experts. Questions: Am I out of touch, or is $700 + about right? Am I wrong in thinking that no one pays attention to car alarms and that I need the "pager alert"? We live in Colorado so it can get cold and icy. Does anyone have remote start and is it worth it? Thanks for the info. TrickyVic
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 9:02:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 9:09:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/6/2001 9:01:31 AM EDT by acftgrunt]
I have to agree with Paul thats a very top of the line alarm. Even some of the better ones that you can skip the wiring install on are cheaper than that. Look around on the web and find a alarm that you like check the prices. There are some that just plug into one of your vehicles wiring harnesses. But don't spend that much. My .02
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 9:23:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/6/2001 9:29:01 AM EDT by NOVA5]
might want to consider this. the antitheft feature may be a chip or magnet buriend in the key. you would have to trick the computer to let the car start by remote if this was so. this then defeats the key's antitheft protection. my mothers 98 expedition has some sort of magnetic thing(from what i can guess) in the black grip of the key. a copy of it (made at lowes for 2 bucks) doesnt work fully, the car tries to start but its antitheft system robs it of the fuel so it just wheezes(they key turns because its cut right, but the security system doesnt sense the magnet in the key). I was able to start it with the copy by putting the real keys black grip over the other keys grip spot(one on top of the other). after it started and ran for a min, i removed the original key from its position (it was never in the ignition just near enough to make the computer think so.) it promptly died. the firebird/camero line of sports cars has a chip in its key. and a 5 cent item can trick its computer. you just have to get the right one. if you research it on the net you should find a way to bypass fords key based security. best would be to get into a ford expedition newsgroup.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 9:44:35 AM EDT
Back when I was in high school and wasted $2500 on my stereo I decided to get an alarm at the time I had about $500 into the alarm. I had a clifford, which I set up to unlock the doors, start the car, and had a pager, I also wired up up off the isolated battery I installed just for the stereo system, incase anyone wanted to reach up and cut the battery wires it would still do its job it was fun at the time, but I outgrew the phase of driving around and playing the stereo loud enough to set off everyone elses car alarm.... I installed a remote starter on the car I have now, those are great....
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 10:10:50 AM EDT
For $700 you'd better be getting a lot. Personally, I wouldn't spend that much. As for remote start, I wouldn't get that either. Sure, it's nice to have a toasty warm car when you get in, but it is a waste of gas and it will send your engine to an early grave. Idle is one of the most severe engine operating conditions. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 10:38:46 AM EDT
You are paying that much for the remote starter. My GF's parents have one in their expedition. Basically, the shop removed the little chip from the key and stuck an override system right next to the gas pedal (its a little red light and red button, you press the button to disable the override) that makes the computer think the chip is present. The reason you need the button to stop the override is that if you have another key that has the chip inside it, the override and the chip together confuse the computer, and the computer thinks there is no chip, so it wont let the truck start. Kharn
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 11:54:29 AM EDT
Thanks for the replys. Has anyone ever had their car alarm save their vehicle or prevent further theft/damage?
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 12:18:18 PM EDT
I own a car audio store in the burnsville area in Minnesota. The price you where quoted is not that outrageous. A Clifford arrow3 alarm with a starter runs about $450 installed. A pager add about $179 installed. $629 totsl plus tax. Paul..I dont know where you are getting your prices from? Those look like low cost prices for junk imported stuff. Also they are much more difficult to install. On average a quality alarm will have 15-25 wires that ned to be installed. Some of our clifford units have over 75 wires. The voltage sensing alarms work ok on old muscle cars with no electronics, but with newer cars will false all the time as computers and circuits turn on and off to check the vehicle. Whatever you do, do not buy a cheap unit, it will not work well and you will regret it! Also make sure the install is the best it can be. Even the best unit installed poorly will not work well. If you want you can contact myself with any question. I will try to help if I can. The remote start is great in the cold..I have had one for over 7 years now. True it does eat some gas, but never had any engine related problems because of it. Actually the worst thing you can do is START the engine. Most police, fire, taxi city vehicles idle for extended periods of time and they last much longer then a lot of "well cared for" cars. Kharn..that overide system sound hoaky as hell. You can install the overide so it automaticly comes on with the start, but doesnt when you use a normally key. Not a very good shop, their overide disables the factory security system and you have to remember to push it? Odd!
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 2:15:13 PM EDT
Variable, thanks for your help. I called around and it seems the best deal is a Directed Electronics mod. 1500 esp with page, remote start, and perimeter sensor for $600 installed. Any comments on this model? Thanks to all for replys.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 2:26:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TrickyVic: Thanks for the replys. Has anyone ever had their car alarm save their vehicle or prevent further theft/damage?
View Quote
Actually I have Neighbor and I had similar stereos and I had a alarm he didn't. They took his and left mine. Funny thing is it happened the night I got my alarm put on.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 5:49:50 PM EDT
Thanks again for everyone's input. TrickyVic
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 6:54:08 PM EDT
Before you cough up a big chunk of cash, check out Crutchfield - http://[url]http://www.crutchfield.com[/url] They have custom wiring harnesses that they sell with their alarms that plug right into the factory electrical system. I wish I'd known about this when I put my first alarm in my GMC S15 several years ago. Tracing down all the wires for stuff like door locks, starter interrupt, dome lights, parking lights, ignition, etc., and splicing into the circuits was a huge pain!!! I spent many hours on my back on the floor of the truck trying to get it all right. But now that my Excalibur is starting to flake out, I bought a new alarm system from Crutchfield and it's all gonna just plug into the GM harness. The bad part is I have to remove the old alarm and return the wiring back to original condition and undo all the damage I did the first time around. So instead of paying some shop several hundred bucks to let some $6/hr. flunky go to town with a pair of wire cutters under your dash, consider plugging it in yourself and getting exactly what you want.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 6:58:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 7:01:41 PM EDT
Variable1: They only have to press the button if they are using a key with the chip installed, the shop removed all the chips from their keys except one they keep at home as a backup. Normally they dont have to worry about the button, unless they are using the backup key. If you think thats screwy, you should see the cruise controls they have had installed on their cars because they bought whatever was on the lot, and didnt want to wait three days for the dealer to install the cruise. The cruise control model they went with seems to have two modes: full gas and idle because they never bothered to have the shop adjust them properly. Kharn
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 7:02:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 7:02:52 PM EDT
A) Viper with remote start totally installed in '95 GMC Jimmy = $400. B) Is is worth it? I live in NY...on occasion it gets chilly here. ABSOLUTELY YES! Heat is on, car is defrosted. I am happy. C) $700 only if there will be some little man following you where you go making sure your car isnt messed with. You should look around this guy is trying to rip you off.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 8:13:18 PM EDT
Thanks again for all the replies. I did go to Crutchfield, but a quick look didn't show any remote start options/units. The prices sure were better. TrickyVic
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 8:26:06 PM EDT
Just a quick funny... a guy I worked with had an '94 Corvette with the remote start, alarm, etc. He was having a problem with the shifting mechanism and neutral safety switch (auto trans). One day he hit he remote start in the parking garage and the car started, jumped into gear, and took off down the main garage throughway. He had to run like hell to unlock the door (using the remote), open it, get in, and stop the car. He did just a couple of feet away from hitting another vehicle. Scary, but we laughed our asses off afterward.
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