View Full Version : New car learning mode: aftermarket alarm seems to be standard? Mine does not function

Greg Elmassian
08-11-2014, 10:57 PM
OK, got my 500e here in Carlsbad (San Diego) on the 6th. Oh, it's a sport.

Pretty darn happy with it, trying to read the manuals online without going online... finally figured out that I could copy the DVD files to my computer and run there... ok, that's a bit better.

Noticed that there was no emergency hex key located in the glove box. Called the dealership, they thought it was not included in the sport... I said, every electric sunroof has to have one, in case it quits (little round button cover on the ceiling to open and put in crank). Nice guy, went through the whole lot, apparently most of them already stolen, found one for me though, and I put it in the cute little "cargo net" pouch in the glove box... on the left side.

Next on my list was what looks like an aftermarket alarm control on the kick panel below and to the left of the steering column.

I've read that it seems nothing comes from the factory but the immobilizer, and many dealerships add a 3rd party alarm system.

Well this little gadget was weird, no blinking light, but a button.. tried it a bit and nothing. Seems that my car originally came from Orange Coast Fiat, dealer swap. I had noticed it was nice and dark inside in the bright sun, and apparently that dealership had tinted the windows, so lucky me, I did not pay extra, bought the car at night and they (Carlsbad Fiat) did not notice.

But apparently Orange Coast Fiat added the alarm, and it seems that a company called Southwest does these installs, and I have read somewhere they have to activate it.

My guess is that the car got transferred to my dealership, and no tracking on the alarm... again the Carlsbad dealership did not notice either.

So now I am curious, I pulled the little unit apart and indeed there is an LED inside.. I tested it, and it worked and it is green (disconnected the gadget from the 3 wire harness and tested it)... funny though, it is behind an opaque front piece, so even if it was on, could not see it...

So now the story begins, we will see what the original dealership says. I'm not sure, but this may be a Karr 4040a system, but no numbers on the pushbutton gadget, and I'm not tearing up the dash to find the rest of the electronics.

Apparently adding some type of "upgrade" alarm that can be triggered from the factory immobilizer system is pretty common on our cars.

I'll add to this, as I learn more... I get the feeling I will wind up learning way more than I want to in order to get this functional.

Regards, Greg

08-12-2014, 02:00 AM
I bought my car from OC Fiat. The install a Karr alarm on all their cars. I didn't pay for it or for the tinting. They left the tinting, which I love but the Karr alarm is not active that I know of.
I am tight with the dealer/salesman if you want me to ask him any questions. I charge there several times a week.

Greg Elmassian
08-12-2014, 03:00 PM
Yes please!

What model is the alarm? Does it cost to activate it? What capabilities does it have?



08-14-2014, 09:06 PM
Ok, I will go in tomorrow.
also I noticed today on the lot, it may not be a Karr. I saw Karr on one sticker when I was shopping, but the car I saw today had a different brand.

Greg Elmassian
08-14-2014, 10:16 PM
Thanks, the front of the little thing screwed to the dash has a surface dimpled in a square pattern, round little divots.

There is a dark green button on the gadget.

I do believe there was some sticker on the window that looked kind of goofy, wish I had left it there.


08-15-2014, 06:23 PM
Ok, He said it is a Karr Alarm installed by Southwest Alarm. He said you should be able to find a Southwest Alarm in your area (Google) and they should be able to activate it.

Greg Elmassian
08-15-2014, 10:20 PM
This is hilarious. The San Diego location is not only close by, but it is 100 feet from where I work!

I guess I will pop over there next week... looking at the site, it seems that these may not really be alarms, but immobilizer/tracker units.