How to Turn Off a Car Alarm That Won't Stop

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Car alarm (Photo: @musiena via Twenty20)
It’s frustrating when your car alarm won’t stop. The noise is deafening, and you gain the (unwanted) attention of everyone around. The pressure turn off the car alarm system is on, and if you don’t know how to shut off a car alarm that won’t quit, you may start to feel a bit stressed.

How to Shut Off a Car Alarm That Won’t Stop

Oftentimes, a car alarm that has been set off will stop on its own after a few minutes, even when there’s no access to the key fob to turn it off or the fob does not work. If you don’t want to wait that long or it keeps going beyond the time it should (or people look at you like you’re trying to break into the car), do your best to stay calm and try the following to restore peaceful silence to the neighborhood.
And rest assured that while it may be stressful, having a car alarm system that won’t turn off now and then is a relatively common problem, not unlike a car horn that won’t stop blaring.
  • Step 1: Unlock the door. Provided you have your car’s keys in your possession, sometimes the easiest way to stop a car alarm is by unlocking the driver’s side door. If it is already unlocked, lock and then unlock it again. Many vehicles are programmed to shut the alarm off once the proper key is inserted into one of the car doors or the unlock button is used on the key fob.
  • Step 2: Turn the key in the ignition. While some vehicles cannot start when the anti-theft alarm is active, you may try turning the key to signal the computer that this is not a theft situation. Usually, this action of turning the ignition key (even just to the accessories position) will reset the car alarm and stop the commotion.
  • Step 3: Disconnect the battery. A car alarm requires power to operate, and removing the source of power should effectively shut off the alarm until you can contact a repair professional for a more permanent fix. Open the hood to your car, and disconnect the negative terminal on the car battery marked with a “-”, placing the terminal where it will not accidentally touch the battery and reestablish a connection.
  • Step 4: Remove the fuse to the alarm. An alternative to disconnecting the battery is to remove the fuse that controls your car alarm. Refer to your car owner’s manual for a fuse box diagram, locate the position of the car alarm fuse, and pluck the correct fuse using the tweezer-like tool in your fuse box.
Shutting off a car alarm that won’t quit could fall under roadside assistance through your car insurance company, depending on your coverage. Bear in mind that these may be temporary solutions to your car alarm problem.
If your key fob has quit working to shut off the alarm, you may need new batteries or even a new fob. Once you have handled the immediate need to silence your persistent alarm, call your dealership or a qualified mechanic for assistance in repairing the car alarm for good or selecting a new car alarm system.
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