Thursday, 19 November 2009

Alarm stress

One of the conditions of my insurance (Adrian Flux) was that I upgrade the factory cat 2 immobiliser to a cat 1 Thatcham approved alarm. This is probably because I live in an ex-council flat in North London and only have on-street parking.

After a little research on the VWt4 and Brickyard forums I decided to go for a Toad 850T alarm.
This works off the same factory key fob and I'd heard Miguel at Southern Car Security (he sells a lot via eBay) was good so I gave him a call.

Within a week he'd come to my address and fitted the alarm. All in all it took about 2 hours and came to £230 which seemed a good price. Happy-days I thought.....

Later the next night at band rehearsal (ww.myspace.com/larches) I could hear my alarm going off outside. I went to investigate, nobody was around and the van seemed fine so I re-armed the system and got back to jamming.
About 45 mins later it went off again. Again, I went outside to find the van was fine so re-armed the system and called Miguel. He suggested that if it goes off again, I should look at the LED he installed on the dash. This should flash an error code when I start the ignition and help me identify the source of the problem.

Again the alarm went off so I checked the LED and found it was flashing 3 times. I reported this to Miguel and he got back to me the next day with the fault code (it was pretty late). That night I had to manually lock the door with the key as I didn't want the neighbors to get woken up by the alarm. This was annoying for me as my insurance was invalid while the alarm wasn't in use.

The next day Miguel got back to me to say the fault was with the door circuit (not the Ultrasonics) so that ruled out any movement in the vehicle. The way the system is connected on a T5 means that the 2 cab doors and side slider are wired on 1 circuit, and the rear doors on another. The problem was either with the Cab doors or the slider.

The problem persisted for a few days so I kept calling Miguel to report the issue. He was happy to give advice but insisted that the problem must be with my Van's door circuit and not his alarm as he'd tested it fully on installation. This left me in an awkward place as I'd just forked out £230 for something that didn't work but he wasn't liable. Hmmmmmmm.....

The next day he called me to say he'd spoken to a friend at a VW dealership. Apparently, the problem is with tiny amounts of current in the door circuit. These can happen as the vehicle cools down at night or if any moisture or corrosion is present on the doors micro-switches. His friends suggestion was to put a resistor (2.4Ohm - 2.7Ohm) in the door circuit to stop any of the small currents that were causing the problem but not big enough to alter the function of the door sensors etc.

Miguel agreed to post me a couple of resistors, already attached to bullet clips and I'd place one of them on the wire from the door circuit. So, I did. And it bloody worked!!!!!!

19/02/10 PLEASE NOTE THE FIX DIDN'T WORK, IT JUST REMOVED MY DOORS CIRCUIT FROM THE ALARM SO I NOW HAVE TO TURN THE KEY IN IGNITION BEFORE ALARM TRIGGERS! I'LL ADD A BLOG ABOUT THIS SOON AS SOMEONE IS LOOKING AT IT - Rob

So there is a rather long-winded story about my alarm woes. Hopefully this helps somebody as I couldn't find anything about this issue on the Internet. Thanks to Miguel for the good customer service too.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, although your alarm problem may not be documented on the net, the C/L wiring corrosion problems are. Take a look at the forum, there is a wire junction a little way back from the wires that come from under the drivers seat. This will have corroded i would think and is causing a leak to earth that is upsetting the alarm.... Good news is it's penies to fix!

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  2. just seen the date of your write up, i imagine you might have sorted it by now!

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