Car Alarms - Jon Shread
I was on holiday in France recently and visited a local town, I parked in the town square and locked my car using the remote keyfob which locks the doors and turns on the alarm.

On return the car would not open using the keyfob so I got some new batteries, no joy. I could open the car using the key and start it but the alarm was in full swing by then. I phoned the RAC who said that they could not respond as the car would start, they gave the details of a nearby garage.

I then phoned my dealer in the UK who told me which fuse to remove and I then metioned that I was parked near to a Police station with a radio mast on the roof. He said that this was probabaly the problem and that if I drove away a little it may work. I removed the fuses to silence the alarm and drove away but the keyfob still did not work, however, my spare one does, apparently they need to be retuned following such instances of radio interference.

Has anyone had this problem elsewhere?

Also, I recommend that when parking up somewhere you are new to look around for radio masts and if they are evident, move or lock your car with the key (nobody took a bit of notice to my alarm going off).

It may also be worth finding out how to silence your alarm in these instances as finding out when abroad or at night may be tricky.
Re: Car Alarms - Nick Ireland
I can only say that there was a lot of newspaper comment on this subject last year. It certainly mentioned radio masts and the cars pricipally affected seemed to be Range Rovers and Discoveries, if my memory serves me. I totally agree with your input about car alarms - who reacts to them??!!
Re: Car Alarms - Andrew Tarr
Since no-one reacts to the alarm, don't bother to set it. Then no problem with the radio mast.
Re: Car Alarms - andy sampson
If this is affecting car alarms, what is it doing to our health???
Re: Electromagnetic Transmissions - Stuart B
andy sampson wrote:
> If this is affecting car alarms, what is it doing to our health???

You actually have a very good point there Andy.

You often hear of people objecting when planning applications for new transmission masts are proposed, sometimes just for the aesthetics but usually its because of the effects on health of the transmitted energy in the radio spectrum. Its surprising how many of these things there are now, for example the base stations of mobile phones are so common that in town centres you can have quite a surprising number all within a radius of a few hundred metres. Often the town centre ones look not much more than a burglar alarm bell box so nobody really realises just how many there are.

I am not qualified to say whether these are harmful or not, but when radar was being developed, during some of the tests the technicians stood in the way of the transmitted radiation. Eventually they twigged that when they did this they felt nice and warm, rather too much so in fact. Of course the radar was using microwaves and these guys were literally being microwave cooked alive.

Now does the side of your head feel warm when you are on a long call on the mobile? Makes you think?
Re: Health effects of Electromagnetic Transmission - Mark
They don't actually know yet. And it appears we're not going to find out very soon.

"Health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, which are produced by such sources as radio and television transmission towers, portable telephones, and radar, were not evaluated by the IARC working group. These exposures will be reviewed by the IARC Monographs Programme when research that is currently in progress has been published, most likely in 2005. "

They did evaluate EMf from things such as pylons and electricity lines. They came to the conclusion they couldn't prove it one way or the other, but they think is doesn't. (My interpretation)

IARC = International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Re: Car Alarms - Dai Watchalowski
common problem,

sell a few cars to staff a local armed forces base. couldn't understand why we had a cluster of alarm/immobiliser faults with their cars.......til someone mentioned the RAF now use some new fangled radar stuff. now we advise to park as far as they can from any high energy devices, since then no problem. Also found that some radars and hf radio masts de-programmed the alarms and key fobs. The local RAC man says he now has a vehicle pass for the base, as he is there so often.
Apparantly (an urban {or urbane} myth perhaps) a certain Swedish car company with Aerospace links will shield all vulnrable equipment in a car if you ask them nicely and you drive planes for a living.
Re: Car Alarms - Robin Hall
I had a similar experience outside a disused Police Station in Chislehurst with my Vectra. The first time it took 7 or 8 attempts for the alarm to dis-arm then a couple of months later when I parked there again It wouldn't work at all. I ended up calling out the RAC who just opened the door with the car then once inside the keyfob disarmed the alarm. The RAC guy hadn't heard of a problem but this now confirms my suspicion that it was connected to the old Police Sation which I assume still has some Aerials or Radio equipment.
Re: Radio Interference - Stuart B
We were commissioning a new bit of plant and it kept tripping out, wore ourselves to a frazzle looking for the problem. Turned out it was due to fire appliances blasting past the works and transmitting at the time. Ended up have to shield every sodding thing. Problem is that the control wiring acts as an aerial and the signal just causes the systems to go into fail safe overload mode.

Really the only solution is for alarm manufacturers to do their job properly.
Re: Radio Interference - Mark
If it is simple interference (and not caused a rest), and this happens all the bloody time over here, try and stand between the key fob and the offending interference. If you're close enough and shielding the fob and the receiver with your body, it will normally work.
Re: Radio Interference - Mark
not caused a rest ??? I meant not caused a reset - and why is there no delete function ?
Re: Radio Interference - Stuart B
I had a problem with an alarm on my 405 as did a colleague. The key switch under the bonnet was a good idea as you could just disarm the sodding thing till it got fixed. Is that something peculiar to Pugs?
Alarm cut-out switch. - David Woollard
And Citroens of some models. On my Xantia it cuts the siren but the hazards still flash...and you can start it.

Re: Car Alarms - John Slaughter

This is a known problem, as the other have pointed out. Your big mistake was to remove the batteries from the key fob. Pound to a penny that lost the coding for the system and the key fobs will need to be recoded, which depending on the car is either simple and given in the handbook (eg Vectra) or damn complicated.

Usually getting in the car and reducing the key fob to receiver distance will allow the system to work.


Re: Electromagnetic Transmissions - Brian
If you want to scare yourself then get hold of a radio scanner and add up the number of radio transmissions going through you.
Apart from the normal UK radio (BBC and independent) and TV (both relatively high powered, hence the good reception) you have got foreign stations (radio signals are no respecters of national boundaries), mobile phones, aircraft, police and public services, private radio systems such as taxis & couriers, satellites, etc. etc. etc.
Just think over what a large area you can pick up a TV station. Look at where the aerials are pointing. Alexandra Palace, for example, can be picked up over 40 miles away, so its power output is considerable, on a scale of kilowatts compared to mobile phone masts with an operating radius of a few miles and a few hundred watts output (which is why there are so many of them).
It would not be hard to log a thousand different signals in a day, to say nothing of stray radiation from electrical appliances and vehicles, radar guns and speed cameras, power lines and so on.
In that context an extra phone mast or two will hardly affect the overall total.
Re: Health effects of Electromagnetic Transmission - Dai Watchalowski
Having used Mobile Phones for the last 15 years, including the Motorola "Brick"
(which has the same power output as small power station) I have suffered no ill-effects at all

(heads number 2 and 3 nod in agreement.)
Re: Health effects of Electromagnetic Transmission - David Woollard

Had you got the mobile on when you quoted on those two dodgy trade-ins?

You see it does affect you.

Not the chap still going round the auctions with that 10lb Motorola?

Re: Health effects of Electromagnetic Transmission - Darcy Kitchin
Tell us how you immobilise the tractor...
Re: Brick - Dai Watchalowski
Actually I have kept it. It was quite a faithful friend for many years, I use it as a door stop, may be worth keeping it as it may be worth something sometime. In a nice solid black of course,Then again if it was yellow....................
Inoperative Plips - David Lacey
We had a spate of these 'plip' devices failing to work in a local car park. It turned out, upon investigation, that the BT building overlooking the car park had a large satellite-type dish on the side of the building. Move the car away from the dish and everything returned to normal.
A tip I have used with success is to hold the plip below your chin (which improves the signal, using your body as an aerial) and try and unlock the car! Strange, but true - and it works!
Does anybody actually ensure the plip batteries are replaced annually?
We routinely replace plip batteries annually/at every service and do not suffer many plip problems.
Rover have a Key Access Code that is entered via the driver's door lock and that will disable the immobiliser and allow the car to be driven.
The Citroen idea of the key switch under the bonnet is a good one, one that I have used to great effect!
Re: Inoperative Plips - Brian
I have taken the batteries out of a key to clean up the contacts and the code has been retained.

Value my car