Funny | This Happened To Me

The Day My Car Alarm Went Haywire and Made Me Look Like a Car Thief

It was embarrassing at the time, but it makes me laugh today

Alan AJ
3 min readNov 8, 2023

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A toy car with a siren, car keys and key fobs
Image created by the author using Image Creator from Microsoft Bing, powered by DALL·E 3

In January 1989, two weeks after I bought my fourth car, it was stolen.

I could hardly believe it!

It marked the end of my naive approach to security.

Soon after getting my car back, I installed an alarm and started using a lock over the gear lever and handbrake. And I avoided the public car park from where it was stolen.

Alarm installation

My supervisor at work had his own alarm business on the side, and he recommended a Moss alarm, which was a popular and widely available brand here in the UK back then.

The alarm had an ultrasonic movement sensor mounted on the dashboard, a siren under the bonnet, and a key fob remote control to arm and disarm it.

Installation was not too complex, but running the wires was a bit of a pain.

One of the wires seemed unnecessary. Its purpose was to inhibit the alarm when the engine was running. I saw no reason to connect it, given that you’d switch off the alarm using the remote before entering the car. (I’m not sure if the instructions said it was optional.)

After installation, everything worked correctly.

Pressing the button on the remote resulted in a single beep to indicate the alarm was set. Another press gave three beeps and turned it off again.

However, I would soon find out why that inhibit wire was necessary.

A memorable journey

A few days later, I was driving to work along the usual 70 mph dual carriageway.

Back then, I didn’t hang around, and I was in the outside lane “passing everything”, as Rigsby in Rising Damp might have said.

I’ve set this video to start at 0:22. The opening scene is so funny!

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Alan AJ

Random life stories, opinions, and a dry sense of humour. A 55-year-old former electronics engineer and programmer in England. Previously 'Autistic Widower'.