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A plea to all car alarm users (abusers?)...

If your vehicle is worth protecting (I use the term loosely) with an alarm, don't be cheap. Spend a little more cash and purchase a model with adjustable sensitivity. Yes, they do exist and they're not all that exclusive either - if you can't find one I suggest you stop looking in discount automarts and go to a reputable security business. If there isn't a specific Auto security shop in your area try somewhere that does Car audio installations as they often provide both.

An even better idea would be to buy a pager alarm instead. These little gems offer all the security (read: insurance benefits) of your average blaring siren without the need for a, um, blaring siren. Basically when something sets off the alarm the pager (it fits on a keyring in your pocket) vibrates/beeps to alert you. It doesn't wake the neighbors with persistent wailing and if you're not in the immediate vicinity of your car you're more likely to take notice of it anyway. These devices can be had from about $400 Australian (ie. bugger all US Dollars) upwards. Trust me, you get all of the good points and none of the bad.

If your car has an alarm as standard and you wish it didn't - you could try muting the siren. It couldn't be easier, just duct tape a piece of foam (you can control the volume by experimenting with varying density foam) over the mouth of the siren, making sure to seal it completely. This way it won't be AS annoying to the rest of your street and if something happens to your car you can just remove it - the insurance company doesn't need to know (I won't go into the ethical issues invlolved with this - that's up to you).

So there you have it, following the above easy steps you too can be a responsible alarm user. You will be vastly more popular with the neighbors, you will doubtless save heaps of dosh on windscreen repairs and you can rest easy knowing that your car is always safe and secure (again I generalize). Happy motoring!

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