Does My Car Have an Alarm? (Here’s How To Find Out)

If you purchased your car new or used, you may be wondering if it comes with an alarm equipped. After all, don’t most cars come with alarms?

Nevertheless, just because most cars have alarms doesn’t mean yours does. So, to stay secure, keep reading to find out whether your car comes with an alarm or if you need to purchase one!

Does My Car Have an Alarm?

No matter where you purchased your car from, you can always check the user manual to determine if it has an alarm. If you purchased a new car, this will tell you your answer. However, used cars are a bit more complicated, since previous owners may have adjusted the alarm system.

To figure out which cars come with alarms and how to determine if your car has aftermarket pieces, keep reading below for more useful facts!

Do All Cars Come with an Alarm?

Most cars these days usually come with key fobs, which is a good way to determine whether or not they have an alarm. However, just because a vehicle has a key fob, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the car has an alarm.

While these two things usually go hand-in-hand, that isn’t always the case.

With that said, the large majority of cars come with alarms today, despite the fact that they aren’t terribly effective. You would be very hard-pressed to find a car that does not come with an alarm today, as they’re simply that common.

If you purchase a car that’s brand new, then it will likely come with an alarm, though you can always ask the dealership or consult your manual for reassurance.

Similarly, you can also check the manual if you have a used car. However, these cars may have had their original alarm damaged or changed. Even if they didn’t originally come with an alarm, a previous owner might have had one installed.

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Therefore, the best way to check is to ask the previous owner if there is an alarm installed or to have a professional check.

Can You Steal a Car with an Alarm?

Can You Steal a Car with an Alarm? 

A car that has an alarm can be easily stolen, as car alarms are not considered very effective or reliable anti-theft mechanisms.

In today’s world, everyone is quite desensitized to car alarms. Therefore, any time an alarm sounds, most people will simply ignore it. This isn’t helpful if there is actually a thief, as most thieves will not be deterred by an alarm.

In fact, there are some reports of thieves using the car alarm to mask the sound of glass breaking, which is much more likely to draw attention.

Many thieves know how to get around car alarms, and do so all the time. Therefore, this isn’t the best way to prevent theft, as car alarms will only chase off beginner thieves.

How Can I Find Out If My Car has an Alarm or Immobiliser?

Most cars have a factory immobilizer if they were built after October 1998. However, these immobilizers will often differ in quality. Therefore, some people opt to have aftermarket options put on their cars for this reason.

If your car was built before this date, then the easiest way to check is through your owner’s manual. However, if you’ve lost the manual or can’t locate it, then your best bet may be to contact the manufacturer or try to find the manual online.

Additionally, you can ask a mechanic to check for you. However, this is often more expensive and time-consuming than the previous options. Therefore, it’s only recommended to consult a mechanic as a last resort.

Where is the Alarm Located in My Car?

Where is the Alarm Located in My Car?

Typically, the alarm is located on the dashboard by the driver’s door. Specifically, it’s in front of your left knee when you’re driving, and you can usually find the alarm fuse in this location.

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However, different cars may install the alarm somewhere else. For some car models, it’s located under the hood on the driver’s side. Nevertheless, your manual should tell you specifically where the alarm is located.

How Do I Know If My Car Has a Passive Alarm?

A passive alarm is a bit different from an active alarm, which must be armed by the driver. Instead, the passive alarm comes on when the key is removed from the ignition and all the doors are closed.

As you might expect, there is nothing you need to do to arm this alarm, hence why it’s called “passive.”

There are several things you can do to determine if your car has a passive alarm or not. For one, you can test it out by getting out of the car, allowing the alarm to sound, and opening a door without using the key.

If you have a key fob, you’ll have to put it somewhere else so that the car doesn’t know it’s you.

You can also check your car’s manual for information on the type of alarm included. Usually, all the information you need to know is in this book. Alternatively, you can call the manufacturer for information on your car’s alarm systems. If you recently purchased it, reach out to the dealer.

Is an Alarm and an Immobilizer the Same Thing?

Is an Alarm and an Immobilizer the Same Thing?

An alarm is exactly what it sounds like – an device that sounds when something triggers it. Usually, a thief trying to get into your door when it’s locked will trigger the alarm. However, there are plenty of different sensors today that can also make the alarm go off during other situations.

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However, this alarm basically just makes a loud noise, and while this is the most popular security feature around, it doesn’t actually do anything to actively prevent theft.

An immobilizer is different, as the exact mechanics vary from car to car and are kept from the general population to prevent thieves from disabling it.

Simply put, an immobilizer prevents your car from starting without the improper keys. Generally, this is to prevent hot wiring and dummy keys from being used. Therefore, even if someone breaks into your car, they cannot actually start it.

A car that has an alarm may have an immobilizer, but this is considered an “advanced feature,” while alarms are generally considered to be very basic.

What is a Factory Alarm?

A factory alarm is simply the alarm that your car came with. This type of alarm is opposed to an aftermarket alarm, which was purchased and installed after the car was purchased.

Usually, these alarms are very basic, but some more expensive cars may have better systems off the factory floor. You can always ask the dealership or consult the manual for information on the security system.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on what is a passive car alarm, how to turn off a car alarm without a key, how to set off a car alarm.


Car alarms are typically a given for most cars. They are the simplest security component a car can have and quite inexpensive, which means that most car companies install them on all their models.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all cars come with alarms. Therefore, you should always check to ensure that yours comes with one, which can often be done easily by checking the manual.

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