How to Deactivate a Factory Car Alarmby Bill Herrfeldt
It may go off in the middle of the night, disturbing people as much as a mile away. Of course, it's the alarm on your car -- and compounding the problem, you may have trouble turning it off. Car alarms were invented to keep others from tampering with or stealing your car, but they can be a nuisance unless you know how to deactivate them, particularly one that comes with a car.
Start your car -- in most cases that will silence the alarm. However, there are some cars that aren't accessible because the door locks are disabled when the alarm sounds. If that happens with your car, try putting the key in either the driver's or the passenger's door, turning it and then waiting a few seconds. The alarm usually will stop.
Raise the hood and find the alarm. The car's operator's manual will tell you where it is. You can stop the alarm by inserting the key that came with the car, assuming you have it. Turn the key clockwise and, in most cases, the alarm will be disabled.
Locate the fuse box and remove the one for the car alarm. Since the car came with the alarm installed, the fuse box is likely below the steering wheel. Once again, consult the operator's manual for the section on your alarm. Open the box -- in most cases there is a schematic drawing that will help you locate the right fuse. Remove it and the alarm will be disabled unless there is an electrical problem where the alarm continues to sound.
Disconnect the battery if all the above solutions are not effective. Using a wrench, remove the negative battery cable to silence the alarm. Once the alarm is off, put the battery cable back on and start your car. Remember that you will lose all your settings on your radio, clock and other accessories unless you invest a few dollars in an automotive memory saver that you can put into the lighter socket on your dashboard.
Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.