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TerryDorset

Car Alarms

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I remember - last year I think it was, whilst leaning on the rail at the back of the Armorique overlooking the open car deck, a new BMW with its alarm repeatedly sounding.

 

Eventually an announcement was made and a really smartly dressed guy turns up at the car, accompanied by a member of the crew.

He unlocked the car, retrieved the manual, and started searching through it. His equally smartly dressed wife / lady friend was out on the deck and shouted down to him some helpful instructions. That, of course, started the small crowd who had now gathered to watch to also shout down some "helpful" suggestions. This went on for about half an hour, with him getting more and more frustrated in his effort to turn the alarm off, each time he re-locked the car – off went the alarm, to much merriment and more ribald comments from the now swelled crowd.

 

He never did manage to disable the alarm and he sloped off, leaving the car unlocked I believe, to a loud cheer from the crowd!

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The crew could have fixed that one, just push it off the back, with his next new one he'd find out how to work it when he bought it.

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Its easy on a BMW ,press the lock button twice and watch the light under the mirror go off, on my 2016 Sportage there is a switch by the drivers knee to switch it off.

 

 

Edit to add : On early 1 series (06/07 ) the alarm was an extra although there was a light that did not work below the mirror

 

Edited by 1kerbut1

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Its easy on a BMW ,press the lock button twice and watch the light under the mirror go off, on my 2016 Sportage there is a switch by the drivers knee to switch it off.

 

 

Edit to add : On early 1 series (06/07 ) the alarm was an extra although there was a light that did not work below the mirror

 

​Its a 57 plate, it has motion sensors on the A pillars, The great uses of the forum, there is nothing obvious on how to do that on the documentation I have. Thanks.

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​Its a 57 plate, it has motion sensors on the A pillars, The great uses of the forum, there is nothing obvious on how to do that on the documentation I have. Thanks.

 

I just did a quick survey of the five adult students in my class and only one, driving an Opel/Vauxhall, knows how to turn off his alarm. He said the dealer demonstrated it when he collected the new car from the garage. The others said they were never shown and most have not studied the manual except when trying to find the jack or tyre lever to repair a puncture. Ed.

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I just did a quick survey of the five adult students in my class and only one, driving an Opel/Vauxhall, knows how to turn off his alarm. He said the dealer demonstrated it when he collected the new car from the garage. The others said they were never shown and most have not studied the manual except when trying to find the jack or tyre lever to repair a puncture. Ed.

 

At least I don't have such a problem on the other car (55 plate Peugeot 206SW), it doesn't have an alarm!

 

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Forgive me if I've missed something, but what about my poor dogs in the car trying to sleep through the crossing?

We do sometimes leave the car unlocked, which I believe is noted by the crew - we have been asked by customs on docking whether we locked the vehicle during the crossing!

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On my BMW X3 the three buttons are:

Middle round button to lock the car and if held down all open windows are closed. Pressing this button twice disarms the interior and movement sensors and is confirmed by an extra flas from the red light under the reversing mirror. The bottom button opens the rear tailgate and the top button opens all locks and sensors.

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Amazing how many people don't know how to lock their cars without setting their alarms - having said that, each car manufacturer has a different way usually. My Mercedes, which is a 2014 car has another key that slots into the fob and has a small release. Just a case of locking the driver side lock with that, hey presto, car locked, alarm not set - that easy. My other car, a 1991 300zx Twin Turbo is even easier - it doesn't have an alarm! :)

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Reading the manual is fine....

 

...trying to make sense of it is an entirely different matter!

 

Despite multiple attempts, I never managed to turn the alarm off on the old Saab - not helped by the fact that there isn't a key hole in the drivers door.... and the button on the B-post of the Passat never seemed to do what it claimed in the manual either.

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Amazing how many people don't know how to lock their cars without setting their alarms - having said that, each car manufacturer has a different way usually. My Mercedes, which is a 2014 car has another key that slots into the fob and has a small release. Just a case of locking the driver side lock with that, hey presto, car locked, alarm not set - that easy. My other car, a 1991 300zx Twin Turbo is even easier - it doesn't have an alarm! :)

 

 

I've had 'use the key instead of the remote', 'turn the key in a certain way', 'press the button under the dash' and 'press the button by the sunroof'. Thankfully these days failing to do so when the dog is in the car does result in being notified by the alarm shortly afterwards.

 

Also from experience, I have to say both BF and other operators are very adept at providing jump starts when required.

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It never ceases to amaze me why the BF staff (who I guess undertake work on the car decks while at sea) don't put out a call over the tanoy system identifying those vehicles whose alarms contine to repeat for the whole voyage. The number of times we have been stuck in a queue waiting to disembark behind one of these vehicles with a flat battery after a voyage of twenty hours between UK and Spain or vice versa....

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It never ceases to amaze me why the BF staff (who I guess undertake work on the car decks while at sea) don't put out a call over the tanoy system identifying those vehicles whose alarms contine to repeat for the whole voyage. The number of times we have been stuck in a queue waiting to disembark behind one of these vehicles with a flat battery after a voyage of twenty hours between UK and Spain or vice versa....

 

To achieve what? Just name and shame? The owners would not be allowed to visit the vehicle deck whilst at sea in any case, especially in conditions that would set the alarms off. And even if they did go down to the car deck, what would the owner do when they get there? If they didn't know how to turn their alarm off when they boarded they're not going to suddenly get inspiration while being tossed around on a moving deck are they?

 

So I'm not surprised they don't put the call out over the tannoy. But I am surprised that other steps are not taken. Not sure what they could be.....I guess it would be an unworkable sledge hammer to attempt to fine people who don't turn their alarms off. But it wouldn't be a bad idea, would it, if the ferry companies were to pool together to create a guide for customers on how to turn their alarms off. They could compile a web-based reference where once your vehicle is registered for the booking you could automatically be directed to a page that showed you how your make of vehicle can have its tilt alarm deactivated. Big job for one company to do by itself, but with them all working together and in liaison with the vehicle manufacturers could be possible?

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To achieve what? Just name and shame? The owners would not be allowed to visit the vehicle deck whilst at sea in any case, especially in conditions that would set the alarms off. And even if they did go down to the car deck, what would the owner do when they get there? If they didn't know how to turn their alarm off when they boarded they're not going to suddenly get inspiration while being tossed around on a moving deck are they?

 

So I'm not surprised they don't put the call out over the tannoy. But I am surprised that other steps are not taken. Not sure what they could be.....I guess it would be an unworkable sledge hammer to attempt to fine people who don't turn their alarms off. But it wouldn't be a bad idea, would it, if the ferry companies were to pool together to create a guide for customers on how to turn their alarms off. They could compile a web-based reference where once your vehicle is registered for the booking you could automatically be directed to a page that showed you how your make of vehicle can have its tilt alarm deactivated. Big job for one company to do by itself, but with them all working together and in liaison with the vehicle manufacturers could be possible?

 

No - not to "name and shame" or fine people which achieves nothing. It would just save a driver and family the stress of the problem when arriving. I have seen BF accompanied passengers given access to the car deck while at sea so this would not be different. It wold allow the vehicle owner an opportunity to disable the alarm system and/or just leave the veicle unlocked thereby avoiding the problem at destination and also saving the BF crew additional work trying to start the vehicle.

 

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Reading the manual is fine....

 

...trying to make sense of it is an entirely different matter!

 

 

Exactly. The technical department at Hitachi had the right idea. When they received any new consumer electronics product for evaluation, after opening the box, the first thing they did was throw away the customer instructions. Use the product then rewrite the instruction booklet was the order of the day. Most instructions have invariably been translated from different languages so many times that all sense is lost.

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To achieve what? Just name and shame? The owners would not be allowed to visit the vehicle deck whilst at sea in any case, especially in conditions that would set the alarms off. And even if they did go down to the car deck, what would the owner do when they get there? If they didn't know how to turn their alarm off when they boarded they're not going to suddenly get inspiration while being tossed around on a moving deck are they?

 

So I'm not surprised they don't put the call out over the tannoy. But I am surprised that other steps are not taken. Not sure what they could be.....I guess it would be an unworkable sledge hammer to attempt to fine people who don't turn their alarms off. But it wouldn't be a bad idea, would it, if the ferry companies were to pool together to create a guide for customers on how to turn their alarms off. They could compile a web-based reference where once your vehicle is registered for the booking you could automatically be directed to a page that showed you how your make of vehicle can have its tilt alarm deactivated. Big job for one company to do by itself, but with them all working together and in liaison with the vehicle manufacturers could be possible?

 

That's a great idea. And it wouldn't take a lot of effort: a couple of secretaries with some IT experience could do the job in a couple of weeks (for pity's sake don't get consultants in...).

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It would be similar to the instructions you get when buying Eurolite beam deflectors. You can look up your car (in detail) and it will then refer you to a diagram for attaching them. If your car isn't listed in the package because it came out after the pack you have was produced then you can go online to find the latest update.

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Gareth's idea makes a lot of sense. It could certainly give you the relevant information at the time of the booking. I would also suggest that when you check in at the port for your outbound crossing, and the person at the barrier scans your printed ticket, the system automatically sends you an SMS with the same link enclosed to remind you just before boarding and so you can think to ask a crew member for assistance if needed. Ed.

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Said crew member being equipped with a pair of wire cutters to disable the alarm....

 

Yes, it's not bad idea but in a way it is just another example of pandering to the shortcomings of people who are too pathetically incompetent to understand how their car works and to anticipate that a ship will typically go up and down and that it will inevitably set off an alarm motion sensor.

 

People really do need to take responsibility for these things rather than rely on someone else telling them what to do. This is just another example where people seem to become disconnected from the physical world and common sense. As a result we see more and more accidents because people 'never realised that would happen'. Just look at the recent TV footage of drivers attempting to get through flooded roads. You'd think they might realise that water coming over the top of the bonnet is really not a good sign - but no, they still push on and write off their vehicle in the process.

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Said crew member being equipped with a pair of wire cutters to disable the alarm....

 

Yes, it's not bad idea but in a way it is just another example of pandering to the shortcomings of people who are too pathetically incompetent to understand how their car works and to anticipate that a ship will typically go up and down and that it will inevitably set off an alarm motion sensor.

 

People really do need to take responsibility for these things rather than rely on someone else telling them what to do. This is just another example where people seem to become disconnected from the physical world and common sense. As a result we see more and more accidents because people 'never realised that would happen'. Just look at the recent TV footage of drivers attempting to get through flooded roads. You'd think they might realise that water coming over the top of the bonnet is really not a good sign - but no, they still push on and write off their vehicle in the process.

 

You are right. So many people buy or rent a car without checking a few fundamentals and sometimes barely know how to switch on headlights... I once saw a chap driving a BMW with snow chains fitted on the front axle!!! I think too many people use cars no differently to the way they use a smart phone or a microwave oven i.e. just press a button and go.

 

Most people check-in with sufficient spare time before boarding which can be gainfully used to study the car's handbook.

 

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Hence my suggestion of an SMS while at the port to spur people into action and, as you say, while they have time on their hands. That's assuming they can find the instruction manual in the glove box under the phone chargers, travel pillows and boiled sweets. Ed.

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Said crew member being equipped with a pair of wire cutters to disable the alarm....

 

Yes, it's not bad idea but in a way it is just another example of pandering to the shortcomings of people who are too pathetically incompetent to understand how their car works and to anticipate that a ship will typically go up and down and that it will inevitably set off an alarm motion sensor.

 

People really do need to take responsibility for these things rather than rely on someone else telling them what to do. This is just another example where people seem to become disconnected from the physical world and common sense. As a result we see more and more accidents because people 'never realised that would happen'. Just look at the recent TV footage of drivers attempting to get through flooded roads. You'd think they might realise that water coming over the top of the bonnet is really not a good sign - but no, they still push on and write off their vehicle in the process.

 

That is all very well, but the object of the exercise is to stop alarms going off and disturbing people's sleep, surely? If the owners find their battery is flat, that's a good object lesson, but it might have been a miserable night for other passengers.

 

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