Prime alarm system

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Primeinmountains, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Samprocat

    Samprocat Active Member

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    The VIP RS3200 Plus is a complete vehicle security system with an alarm and glass breakage sensor for vehicles equipped with keyless entry. The alarm is immediately activated if the glass is broken or if forced entry of a side door (or rear hatchback) is attempted. Features include automatic rearming/relocking, door ajar warning, interior light activation, panic alarm, rolling code technology and disabling of the starter.

    Requires vehicles equipped with Smart Key System.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.

    That one only reacts on glass breakage....to test read my post from before.....I have found out same way after i read a little ....this is not really proximity....high tech security alarm....
    Well lesson learned....
    I will be installing Viper Security system
    And for the price this is not worth to have with car purchase...there is way better alternative out there in aftermarket

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #21 Samprocat, Mar 23, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2017
  2. Primeinmountains

    Primeinmountains New Member

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    Ok so the Toyota alarm system does work. I locked a friend in my car and walked away. After 30 seconds, he opened the door which set off the alarm. But for those interested, the Toyota system does not provide any warning beeps or chirps if the car is disturbed, shaken, etc.
    The manual says it does have warning chirps, but I haven't seen that in real world experience. Thanks for all the ideas to test the system. At least I know I have something...
     
  3. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

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    Be careful that the power supply for the alarm is a different one than the main battery of the car. I had a crook disable my car battery so that my alarm would no longer function. They went under the car and from there were able to access the battery to cut power to the car.
    Also highly recommend a remote alert that would beep in your house when the car is being accessed by a crook. The last thing you need is a shotgun to blow away the bastard! Don't forget a motion detector so that if they try to use a flatbed truck to steal the car like they did in my case, they won't be successful (Type R in a carport).

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  4. Samprocat

    Samprocat Active Member

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    Aftermarket is way superior to any factory security.....i was expecting more from Toyota....well to late now....
    Viper will be my option soon

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    my smart fortwo didn't come with the alarm system (for some reason, it's not optioned regularly when dealers order it) but for a small, somewhat inexpensive car (same price as a Yaris, remember), it had a pretty sophisticated alarm system. (Probably because it's the same system on MB cars and not a specialized one for smart).


    It had a tow sensor so if the car is lifted (as if it was being towed), it will sound the alarm.

    If you had a convertible fortwo, it will sound the alarm if someone reaches in (just reach in.... not even touching the lock or interior door handles).

    I can't remember if it had a glass breakage sensor.
     
  6. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    I took my new Prime to my stereo/alarm installer for some modifications yesterday. While there, I asked him to look at the KARR system that the dealer had already installed before I bought my Prime. My installer said it's a junk system installed to boost dealer profits. Worse yet, he said the install job was terrible. He said they install these in a hurry (they have a lot of cars to process), so they used taps to install the KARR system. He said that the Prius' wires are too small, like 22 AWG or so, for taps. He sees a lot of cars that develop shorts later as a result of using taps on lightweight wires (this happened to my aunt several times). I'm probably going to have him tear it out and solder the tapped wires on a future visit.

    Do a web search and look at Karr's website. It's full of typos and grammatical errors. That's never a good sign.
     
  7. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    Well, all the dealers wouldn't use it if it was junk and caused them return maintenance problems. Your installer was probably trying to sell you a new system from him. In fact, my dealer subbed out the install to a local alarm system installer.

    Have you actually seen these wire taps? I can't see any in my car. I could be wrong because I can't see all the wiring, but I was told it's installed like the factory system through existing connectors. Looks like a clean job on my car. What's he going to do? Strip the wire mid way, wrap and solder a wire around it, and tape? Sounds worse than a tap.
     
    #27 MikeDee, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  8. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    Yes, dealers would sell junk alarms. They don't know the first thing about alarm systems. They aren't in the business of selling, servicing or installing car alarms. My dealer didn't install mine, either. If you have problems with the alarms, they refer it back to the company that makes and installs them. Go to the website for the company that sells and/or makes Karr alarms (link below) and you'll see how their distribution and installation system works.

    No, my installer is definitely not trying to sell me another system. I had asked him about installing an alarm, but he said with the Advanced's ability to remote start the climate control system (he knows I like Viper's remote start feature on my other car) as well as the ability to locate the car through Toyota's SafetyConnect, he wasn't sure how much functionality an alarm system would offer. On a future visit I'll ask him more about installing an aftermarket alarm (to protect the vehicle's contents), but I'm not exactly anxious to install one on this Prime. If I have any alarm system installed, it will probably be the Toyota one. In any event, we only discussed it at all because I brought it up and he never tried to sell me anything. He is an installer, not a salesman.

    When my last installer moved and I needed a new one, I shopped for an installer, not for equipment. I walked into my new guy's shop and started asking him questions about car alarms and stereos I've had installed over the years, as well as some work I've done myself in the past. After 20 minutes I knew this guy was a pro. He has been doing 12v work for over a decade. The shop he was working at when I met him changed hands and he left for another local shop. I went with him. He is that good. This Prime is the sixth car I've had high-end modifications made to. I would never trust any installer who tried to upsell me on anything.

    My installer only commented on the Karr system because I specifically asked him about it. I only asked him about it because I know dealers are given to installing cheap garbage on their cars to inflate sales prices. Dealers have been installing "security systems" since at least the 90s. My aunt had one on a new Pontiac Grand Am she purchased. Within a year or two, her car began to intermittently fail to start. She'd wait an hour or so, and it would start. This went on for weeks before they figured out it was something to do with the alarm system the dealer had installed. She had it removed and there were never any more problems.

    I trust my installer. I don't need to see the tapped connections to know they are there. I would never bring a brand new car, especially one as technologically advanced as the Prime, to an installer I didn't trust. However, when I bring it back to him, I'll try to remember to ask him to take some photos of the taps. I can't say that every Karr system is installed the same way, but I know that is how mine was installed. I don't know how experienced Karr's installers are, but I'm sure they are not the best around, and I know they have to do installs on a very large scale.

    Look at the Karr website (KARR Auto Security | SWDS). The front page of the site has at least five glaring grammatical errors in the equivalent of three paragraphs of text. No decent company is going to allow that. I can't even find information about the alarm system on their website. All I find is information aimed at telling dealers how they can pad their profits with different offerings from SWDS (the company that makes and/or sells Karr systems). They're selling dealer-branded vehicle warranties, paint and upholstery protection, GAP insurance, etc. It's all widgets aimed at boosting profits, with very little information about those products, what they do or why they are beneficial to the consumer.

    Taps are quick and easy. If they were reliable, I'm sure every installer would be glad to use them. On my next visit, I'll ask my installer why he doesn't like taps. The reason he mentioned the other day was that they aren't good with these very thin wires that are in modern cars, and that makes sense. If you've installed taps (and I have used them in the past on older cars), you understand that they can damage wires. The whole discussion surrounding the Karr system was brief. It wasn't the point of the visit. I didn't question him at length about it, but I'll ask him more the next time I see him.

    The Prime a precisely-engineered car that costs over $30,000 and has more electronics in it than just about any car around. I'm not having anything done to it without knowing exactly what is being done and by whom. I wouldn't have allowed them to install this Karr alarm system even if it was free. It was already on the car when I saw it. It was already on all of their Prius Primes. In fact, I'd have paid the cost of the alarm and had them not install it if that was what it would have taken to keep it from ever being installed.
     
  9. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    You asked if I had seen the wire taps used by the Karr alarm installer. I took my Prius in to my installer last week for something I wanted installed. My installer was under the dash. After I picked up my car, I noticed my Karr alarm wasn't working properly. I brought it back today to have him look at it, and he found one of the wire taps was loose (not establishing a reliable connection). He showed me, started tapping it, and it would work and then not work. He pulled off the tap and gave it to me. There is a photo below.

    He said this red tap isn't even the right size for the wiring. It should be black one, but, he said, those cost more. Since it was too big, it pinched the wire less, and was less reliable.

    I asked my installer how he makes connections. He said they cut the insulation without stripping it off, pull it back, wrap a wire around the existing wire, solder it, pull the insulation back up, and then wrap it in Tessa tape. He said that short of physical damage caused to them, these connections do not fail. These are the only connections the owner of his shop allows his installers to use. The owner started in the business as an installer over 20 years ago. My installer did say that earlier in his career, he used taps. He said they are fairly reliable on heavier-gauge wires, but not on the very thin wires in most new cars.

    I know you mentioned a potential profit motive for my installer to bad-mouth the Karr alarm. He fixed the connection for free, and there is not a suitable replacement alarm at this point, so there is no incentive to convince me that there are problems.

    Again, this is not to say that your Karr installer used taps, or that they used the wrong size taps like my Karr installer did. In all likelihood, your installer did use some sort of taps as they are the fastest, easiest connection method.

    The point of all of this would be that if you do begin to have gremlins in your electrical system, especially anything related to the alarm, suspect the connections first. Taps can cause the alarm to malfunction, and they can also cause a short in the wire they pinch. karr-alarm-tap.jpg
     
  10. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I think you mean you can get an open or intermittent circuit with a wire tap. A short is pretty much impossible unless you have an uninsulated wire exposed.

    Obviously not having to use a wire tap is best, but stripping the insulation from a wire mid span is something that is not commonly done and I don't see it being any better.
     
  11. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

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    Yes, that's what I meant. I knew I probably wasn't getting the terminology right. With the thin wiring, these taps can cause enough damage that the wire is eventually broken (in addition to the loose connections I was experiencing).

    Many stereo and alarm shops only do soldered connections because they are more reliable, but it takes longer and drives up the price. Soldered connections are better because they are very certain connections. The wires have a very solid connection that cannot be pulled apart easily and will not fail or become intermittent if shaken or otherwise disturbed.

    There is every chance that an alarm installed with wire taps won't ever give you any problems, especially if the wiring is not disturbed. I've had enough problems with bad installations in the past that I won't risk it. If you start having electrical problems or problems with the alarm, suspect the connections first. I believe that Karr will send someone out to service it.
     
    #31 Insighter, Apr 19, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  12. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    If I had known the KARR alarm uses wire taps, I would have gone for the factory alarm instead.
     
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