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(sorry for the bad pun in the title)
Reason for fitting:
I recently had a toad alarm fitted to my little Fiat Seicento. I had originally seen information about remote locking on the owners club website and wondered how much a remote unit would cost. As my Fiat already has central locking, it shouldnt be too much of a problem to get a kit to activate it remotely.
I hadn't really thought about an alarm until a friend suggested that a car alarm should have the remote control feature anyway.
After asking for advice on the 'cento owners club forum again, I was recommended the Toad system, and also a fitter in Wakefield. (Unfortunately this company no longer fitted toad alarms and over £300 for their cheapest was a little too much)
I did find Safe n Sound on Ebay, who were prepared to come and fit the Toad AI606 to my car for £200, so this seemed reasonable - messaged the ebay shop owner and arranged the date.
On the morning of fitting I got a call from the fitter saying he would be late as he was full of cold and things were running slow that day. This wasn't really a problem as I wasn't going anywhere, and sure enough he turned up at the door, full of cold, Infact Iseeing the state of him I wouldnt have been too bothered if he had tried to rearrange for another day. But credit to him, he got on down to work.
Seeing the wiring come out of my car made me breathe a sigh pf relief I hadn't attempted this myself, and indeed alot of work that safe n sound do is call outs to people who have attempted to fit their own alarm and then got stuck..
The car posed few problems, and he may have rechecked over the phone for advice over a particular wire colour. One thing that did throw him was my cars Air conditioning unit. On the seicento it is very rare, and the alarm sensor wire from the bonnet usually routes through this area. Trying to find an alternative method took him alot longer than he expected, and he apologised for his lack of clear head (again due tho his bad cold - I did keep him well supplied with hot drinks)
Towards early afternoon he had finished and the car was back togther again. The only tell tale signs that anything had been done was the now glowing LED mounted infront of the gearstick, and the two small sensors in the windscreen surround at the top corners. nothing intrusive though.
So it's a big thumbs up here to Safe 'n' Sound for the slick job, and in spite of a nasty cold (I did feel a bit sorry for the guy)..
Opinion of the alarm:
The alarm does exactly what I wanted it to do, which was basically to operate the central locking from a remote controller. There are more things to it though. There are tamper switches on the bonnet and doors to sound the alarm if anyone attempts to open them. There are also ultra sonic detectors inside the car to detect any small movement inside. Two sensors for the whole inside of the little Fiat are plenty, as the car is small enough for the front sensors to even detect the boot door being opened. This meant that I could do without a boot sensor switch. (Although the fitter did say that becuase the boot is small, sensors on similar cars tend to get knocked off by placing items in the boot). The alarm also has a "pet" function which turns off the sonics, so if you are say, in a petrol station and lock the doors while you pay, while someone is in the car, it won't set the alarm off. Also the alarm has an anti-jack setting which locks the dorrs about 10 seconds after the igntion is on. Although if you open the doors this function is disabled: so if you start the car, and get out to clear the windows, the car wont lock you out. If you unlock the car, and then leave it - it will lock automatically after a short while (30 secs) but if you open any door, this feature is disabled aswell. Basically it has features to prevent you locking your keys in.
UNless the car is in very high winds, it is doubtful you wil get flase alarms, and it seems that usually the swaying of seatbelts has been known to set the alarm off in high winds, but this is at the extreme. Although someone hitting the wiondows hard - but not to break them can set the alarm off (with the ultra sonics again)..
The alarm has a chirp to say wthere it has armed or disarmed, but this can be silenced by pressing another button on the remote. Also there are other function which can be programmed in, such as remote engine start, even remote roof opening (on convertable cars of course), but I wasn't bothered about these last options.
The remote fobs are pretty sturdy and easy to use. Although they are not classed as waterproof they may withstand being wet to some degree (rain - puddle), but this is more down to the good build quality rather than purpose built, so you are advised to be careful with them.
The AI606 is also Thatcham rated so if your insurance sompany may offer a discount.
TOAD: I was told that Toad may follow up the installation by asking to inspect it. Apparently aftter a poor inspection, they may increase the trade price to a retailer (such as safe n sound). The second time may include a limit on stock types and number. A third poor report will usually cause Toad to remove their licence to fit the Toad alarms. (Apparently this happened to the other fitter I contacted in Wakefiled first)..
THey give a lifetime warranty with the alarm as long as it has been fitted correclty.
Rude Friends Although I am a little annoyed at my mate for spotting the alarm and sneering that no one would nick that heap anyway... I can't be doing with car snobs. But most people I know are quite impressed with the alarm and the price...