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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just purchased a used 2008 EX-P with manual transmission. I'm really excited about it. Before I take it around to too many places, I'd like to install an alarm. The Element has remote lock/unlock, but no alarm as far as I can tell.

I've been scouring the forum for a few days now, and I still haven't found anything that totally answers my alarm-related questions. I hate to create another thread about this - and feel free to gently point me in the right direction if I'm missing something - but here goes...

My hope is to find something that basically keeps the car and what's inside as protected as possible. I don't need fancy bells and whistles, but at the same time I plan to use my Element to transport expensive equipment and it may not always be parked in the safest areas. A two-way system does appeal to me, as does window tampering detection. So, in short, I'm looking for something with some advanced features but a system that will not cost me a ton of money (hoping for under $200-$300, including installation).

I know a lot of people here recommend Viper and DEI systems, but these seem to be out of my price range and there aren't any licensed dealers/installers in my area anyway. It seems like opinions are mixed about the Honda OEM alarm, and it does seem relatively basic.

I did find the Prestige alarm system, which is much cheaper than the DEI systems and seems to provide similar features: http://car-alarm-review.toptenreviews.com/prestige-car-alarm-review.html . Does anyone have any feelings about this one? Anyone have it installed?

One last question. I am also concerned about the skylight, since it could theoretically be an entry point for a thief. Is the skylight something that is protected by an alarm system? In other words, if someone tries to tamper with it, would the alarm go off and/or would I be notified? Does the fact the the Element has a two-door gate (as opposed to other vehicles' standard one-door trunk hatch) in the back affect how an alarm is installed?

Thanks in advance for your help on this, and apologies for an essay of a post!
 

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You could buy a basic system online and have somebody install it for you.
Something like this...
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_18470_Viper-350-Plus-P-N-3105V.html

Most alarms come with a motion/shock sensor but many of them get set to be too sensitive, in my opinion. I always recommend a glass-breakage sensor which is basically just a microphone that detects high-pitched frequencies.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_5367_Directed-513T.htmlhttp://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_3684_Directed-506T.html

Another good thing to have is a pain generator which is just an internal siren which emits a loud shrill tone when the alarm goes off. If somebody gets into your car, they won't stay in it for very long.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_5367_Directed-513T.html

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_3684_Directed-506T.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, BigAl205. The only issue with the Viper 350 is that it doesn't appear to be two-way. The appeal of the two-way system for me is that it provides a little more peace of mind. Happen to know of a reliable-yet-affordable two-way alarm?

Good call on the glass breakage sensor and the internal siren. I guess the breakage sensor would cover all of the glass (so I wouldn't have to be as worried about the skylight), and I assume that can be installed separate from a whole alarm system, if it's not included in a given system already. That internal siren must suck if you accidentally set off your own alarm...
 

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Viper, Python, Clifford, Avital, and Compustar are about the only brands I'd recommend.

Prestige is made by audiovox (so is CodeAlarm) and are very cheap alarms, save your money for something better.

2 way alarms are great, personally I use my to check if I remembered to lock my car or not. I wouldn't rely on the paging system, only think of it as an added potential.
You can also add features to an alarm at any time down the road. Any good alarm will offer significant security right out of the box as long as its installed well, so save the money from the added extras to pick out a better alarm.

Windows break louder as they get bigger, a thief that knows anything will break the small side window before anything else. Sunroof can be just as hard to break as a windshield, so fear not about that. Only risk with the sunroof is if you leave it out or open, otherwise the hassle to get through it is too much. Crack the small side window & reach in to unlock the door, far quicker & quieter.

The rear hatch setup does not make protecting via an alarm any more or less difficult, they are just as easy to monitor.
 

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Thanks, BigAl205. The only issue with the Viper 350 is that it doesn't appear to be two-way. The appeal of the two-way system for me is that it provides a little more peace of mind. Happen to know of a reliable-yet-affordable two-way alarm?

Good call on the glass breakage sensor and the internal siren. I guess the breakage sensor would cover all of the glass (so I wouldn't have to be as worried about the skylight), and I assume that can be installed separate from a whole alarm system, if it's not included in a given system already. That internal siren must suck if you accidentally set off your own alarm...
Oops...I thought you said 2-way did not appeal to you.

2-way is where you start getting into some money because it needs good range. Check this out http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_30166_Viper-3203V.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, you two. This is extremely helpful!

Your replies lead me to a couple more questions:

1. Is having an LCD display on the fob for a two-way alarm system worth it at all?
2. What is a reasonable range that I should expect to be charged for installation of a two-way system without remote start?
3. Is it a really bad idea to buy a DEI alarm online and have a non-DEI-licensed dealer/technician install it?

Thanks again.
 

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1. That depends, to me it is absolutely important to have the LCD screen. Instead of counting beeps or seeing what color an LED flashes, the LCD very clearly tells you if its armed or disarmed at a glance, and if something goes off or if a door is open as you lock it. Biggest thing I love about 2 way is I can look at my remote at anytime to confirm I locked the car. Non-LCD 2way remote will not provide confirmation unless you are within range to re-lock & see it confirm locking. I do not rely on the paging for telling me if the alarm is going off, however I do appreciate the remote telling me it was a shock sensor when I disarm the alarm instead of having to remember just how many times it beeped after unlocking & realizing it kept beeping after 2.

2. Install alone can run from $25 to $150 on top of the cost of the alarm. Some places offer free installs, but typically there are hidden fees or "extra" parts you have to pay for, or you pay an inflated retail price which has install padded into it, or they nickle and dime you with every option the alarm offers. Ive seen shops offer free installs, but charge for keyless entry, trunk pop & monitoring, hood monitoring, and even shock sensors. All things an alarm comes with but their "free" install only includes wiring up the siren, starter kill, and light flash regardless of the alarm you bought.

3. A great idea IF you know a trustworthy installer. Typically a shop will rape you on install fees because you didnt overpay on one of their stocked products. Second, if the installer sucks anything done wrong that damages the alarm (during install or anytime after) you will be SOL on getting it fixed cheaply. Ive been installing alarms for too many years, and I can count the number of DEI alarm failures Ive encountered on a single hand (with fingers to spare) that were NOT install related. People do stupid things when installing, including paid installers, so its very important to choose the right place or person.

Where are you located?
 
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