Alarm went off while driving tonight

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by JaymzB0nd, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    After buying my Prius III, the dealer installed a Karr alarm system which has a blue LED light underneath the steering wheel which blinks when it's armed and, if the alarm goes off, blinks once to three times to tell you what set off the alarm.

    Tonight I was at dinner and afterward entered my car using the SKS. When I started driving the car I noticed that the LED was blinking making me think my alarm had gone off. After the alarm was first installed, the installer showed me how to reset the LED by holding or clicking the button behind it (I didn't remember how exactly) so I tried pushing and holding the button but nothing worked and it kept blinking.

    I continued to drive home and all of a sudden my alarm started going off while I was driving. I pulled over, turned off the engine, and with the key fob locked and unlocked the car. I started driving again and would hear intermittent honks before the alarm went off again for 20 seconds before it stopped on its own.

    Finally when I got home I again turned off the engine, locked and unlocked the car, and the blinking LED finally went away. As I was walking around the car inspecting it to see if it had been hit to start all of this in the first place, the car beeped and locked itself automatically as if I held the door handle for the SKS or pushed the lock button on the key fob. I unlocked the car, tried to recreate it, and everything went back to normal.

    Sorry for the novel but tonight was crazy and I don't know what the heck happened. Does anyone have an idea or has anyone experienced something similar? I'm afraid of the alarm going off again while I drive.
     
  2. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Sounds like the alarm was installed improperly. Take it back to the dealer to have it fixed. If they can't fix it, get rid of it and your money back. The Prius doesn't really need an alarm.
     
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  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Alarms in general are a waste of money. With all the lock/unlock commands in the Prius that are sent over multiple in car network systems as well as parallel signals under the dash (where the alarm is probably tapping), an alarm will always give problems unless Toyota makes one or somebody makes one specifically for it.

    Just get them to rip it out.
     
  4. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Have the dealer remove the useless alarm. It's not needed with the Prius.
     
  5. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I have the same system (KARR) but kept it. There are some advantages to it:

    It will disable the engine which is what insurance companies ask if you want a discount for an alarm system.
    The fuel flow is also disabled.
    There is a motion detector if the car is bumped or hit. If your car is vandalized, it should go off.

    Two things you should never do with the KARR is:

    Use the power door lock control button in the car - it will mess it up (maybe that's what you did)
    Don't ask the dealer to change the remote so "one click opens all doors" - that feature is not compatible with the KARR. I found that out the hard way.

    If your remote won't stop the alarm from sounding, use the sensors in the driver's door handle - that worked for me until I could get the dealer to reset it.
     
  6. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking about having it removed. Greg, are you saying not to lock the doors while in the car using the lock button next to the window controls? Sometimes, especially at night, I don't like to wait for the car to be put into reverse or drive to automatically be locked.
     
  7. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Yes, but if the KARR system was setup properly, the instant you press the Power button, the doors should automatically lock. The same is true when you power off - the doors will unlock. You can still open any door manually while power is on, but do not use the PDL controls on the armrest.
    If pressing the power button doesn't lock your doors immediately, have the dealer fix that. By the way, they don't remove the system if you decline to purchase it - they just remove a small control module near KARR button
     
  8. Salsawonder

    Salsawonder New Member

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    No one pays attention to an alarm going off anyway so I would want to get the money back because the Prius is not high up on the theft scale and insurance savings are not significant based on the cost and annoyance of the alarm.
     
  9. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input. Who should I contact at the dealership about this? The salesman or finance guy who sold me the alarm with the extended warranty? I foresee having difficulty getting them to remove it and refund me, especially since I've never had to do anything like this before. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  10. IROC-Z

    IROC-Z New Member

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    Yeah remove it or disable it, no one's going to steal a Prius
     
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I severely doubt the Prius can be "hotwired" anyways. With all the networked systems including the key system being completly digitized, a theif would need to carry network packet injectors and some pretty advanced software to hack the Prius into Ready mode.

    So really it is just for breakins to steal valuables. Dont keep stuff in the car, and it shouldnt be an issue. :)
     
  12. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    I locked the doors again manually after entering the car and the alarm went off again so Greg, I guess you're right. When I spoke to Karr, they said something is really wrong and that the alarm should never go off while driving. They wanted to schedule an appointment to check out the alarm but at this point I think I'd rather have it removed.

    Again, who should I contact at the dealership about this and what should I say? I'm pretty sure they're gonna give me a hard time and won't want to refund me/remove the alarm.
     
  13. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Give them an opportunity to fix it. If they still can't fix it, you have a very good case for a refund. You'll have a more difficult time asking for a refund right off the bat.
     
  14. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I dealt with a KARR representative who was really nice about my troubles. They seemed to have a good technical grasp of what was going on. 1-800-395-5277 should get you a rep to assist you with your issues. There is a 3 year 36000 mile warranty so don't worry about coverage. Many times, a service tech will arrange to meet with you at your Toyota dealership - or they also make house calls too. I would go that route first - get it operating to your satisfaction. Then decide if you want to contest the system with your dealer. Unless you are in the first month of ownership, I have my doubts if you can get your money back.
    The best feature of KARR is known as "rolling codes". The standard anti-theft system by Toyota operates on ONE transmitted code for your car. If a thief can duplicate that code, he's in and gone with it. The KARR creates a new code for every instance of entry/exit. They call it "anti-scan microprocessor". BTW, as gas prices go up, you can bet a Prius is a theft target.
     
  15. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    If anyone wants to steal your Prius they'll drag it onto a flatbed and drive off with it. If anyone wants to smash-and-grab some valuable visible in the car no alarm will stop them. If the dealer installed the thing without you asking for it, get a refund.
     
  16. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    Thanks. I'm a week and a half in my ownership of the car. Do you know if there is a way to disable to ridiculousness that is not being able to use the "all" lock unlock button next to the window controls since it makes my alarm chirp?

    Also, when I put the car in drive or reverse all the doors lock but not when I start the engine as you said it would, Greg.
     
  17. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Since you are new to ownership, you have the option to have the system disconnected and maybe get your money back. But if you are uncertain about removing the KARR system, give the dealership and KARR techs a chance to make things right. I can say that when properly set up, the remote will disable the alarm with one press on "unlock". A second press will unlock all doors. Also, when you press the Power button, you should hear all doors lock automatically. Conversely, when you press Power again (to power off), you should hear all doors unlock automatically. As long as you are making a dealer visit, I recommend having the reverse beep disabled along with the seat belt reminder constant beep.

    Once all of this is resolved (assuming the KARR system can be adjusted properly), your experience with the system will improve. Most dealers are happy to assist you so go back to your service rep and discuss what your expectations are. Good luck.
    PS. A dealer's Scantool is required to properly disable the "beeping" I mentioned. Also, changing the PDL system to react instantly to the Power button may require the dealer to use the Scantool.
     
  18. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    Thanks, Greg. I was thinking that the alarm can probably be fixed so that it never goes off again while driving but there's no way I can live with it chirping or going off when I lock the doors manually using the PDL. Call me paranoid but a lot of times the first thing I do when sitting down in the car is lock the doors, before starting the engine.

    I remember when buying the car talking to the salesman about including the elimination of the beeps but he refused and I had a good deal going on the car that I didn't want to pass up. I definitely plan on bringing up the issue again the next time I get service done or get the alarm removed.
     
  19. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I understand your feelings for security. My old car used to have a setting (Cadillac) when you shifted out of park, the door locks automatically engaged. I changed it as I don't live in a bad neighborhood or park in a parking garage. I suggest you call your dealer and get a technical service rep (not your salesman) who knows how to use a Scantool. It's like a PC that hooks into the OBD port under the steering wheel where factory settings can be modified. Make an appointment with him and also arrange for a KARR tech to be on site. They will happily do that for free. Have the following changes made:

    Reverse beeping set to: OFF
    Seat belt reminder beeping set to : OFF
    Power Door Locks set to: Engage with Power button.

    Then have the KARR tech go over your security system to be sure it is compatible with the above settings. Once it's right, NEVER use the armrest PDL again but use of the Power button will lock/unlock all doors. Also, mine does not chirp per se, but there is a brief honk of the horn. One honk when I use the fob to arm and lock. Two honks when I use the fob to disarm and unlock the driver's door (two presses on the fob to unlock all doors).
    Give your service department a chance to make things right. If you are still not satisfied, then request a refund/removal.
     
  20. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

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    Thanks. I spoke with an alarm representative and he said Prius does not allow for an inhibitor cable or something like that to be installed in the car thus my problem I'm having with the locking. The only way around it is to place the alarm in valet mode each time or something else he mentioned I tuned out on which includes carrying the FOB key and another alarm transponder key which I said thanks but no thanks.

    I'm waiting to hear back from the dealer tomorrow to see when I can get it removed. They better not give me trouble for my $450 refund.
     
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