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Thread: Clifford Alarms

  1. #11
    FLAC cproaudio's Avatar
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    I've been installing Clifford alarm for over 9 years now. I'm currently a Clifford/DEI certified installer. My work has been praised by local dealers. This makes me proud of my skills as most dealers tend to blame anything wrong with the car on the aftermarket alarms that was installed elsewhere, even if you go in for a wheel alignment warranty work. They'll try to get out of it by saying something like "Well when you got the alarm installed, they used screws to mount the siren and the drilling sent shockwaves through out the whole car and caused the wheels to misalign and therefore your alignment is not covered under the warranty" or some **** like that.

    I know there are shady installers who have years and years of experience. That's what makes me mad. They have all these years of experience and still do ****ed up installs. I mean c'mon if you cant make it look professional then stop installing and go flip burgers at McD's. My brother just bought an 03 RAV-4 and wanted remote start with full alarm. I kept telling him let me do the alarm. I can hear the salesman in the background telling my brother that their alarm "specialist" can do guranteed professional job. They offered my brother full alarm with remote start for $300 installed. I told me brother that that's a really good deal especially from a dealer. He went ahead and did. The guy came out to my brother's house and did the install. He couldnt get the door locks to work and the car starts up and dies. He mess with the install for 2 days. My brother was all ****ed off and talked a lot of **** to him, "my brother could have gotten it done in 4 hours. why is this taking you 2 days? do you even know how to install?" The installer was ****ed. Finally my brother called me up for advice to get the door locks to work and the remote start to work. It turns out that he didnt use a immobolizer integrater and didnt not integrate child safety lock. I had to talk to him step by step. I told the installer that I've been installing for over 9 years and he came back with "I've been installing for over 12 years" Anyway the guy was a freaking idiot.

    Clifford was recently bought by DEI. All G4 alarms dont come with installation manuals. Thats why all G4 alarms have to be dealer installed. When you become a Clifford dealer, one of the retailer agreement was to sell the alarm WITH installation and perform the installation. The dealers have access to all the color codes of the alarm and the cars and all the tech tips for all the cars out there to get the alarm working. If you think you can do the installation yourself, more power to you. But please realize that clifford alarms are basically a computer with microprocessor built in. If you bought the alarm from a dealer and installed it yourself and fried one of its functions, the dealer wont take it back. You will have no warranty because only dealers can send the alarm back for repairs. Also note that if you catch the wires in the wrong spot, you could cause the check engine light to come on or possibly ABS warning light or airbag warning light or even worst pop the airbag. There are so many cars out there that have none standardized wiring that is scary to think that people acturally think they can install an alarm in those cars.

    Let me give you another true horror story of a self installed alarm. The guy came in our store and demanded to buy a Clifford IG8000 out the door with no installs. He argued with store manager for 3 hours. Finally we gave up and sold it to him without installation for $350. 2 hours later he called and was ****ed b/c it didnt come with install manuals. I told him that the alarm has to to dealer installed. Thats why theres no manual. He got the manual from another dealer. Two weeks later he came back and apologized to the store manager and the installation department and wanted to return the alarm with chopped up wires. We told him no returns. He told us the whole sad story to try to get us to feel bad and return the alarm. This is what happened. He took the dash apart to install the alarm. He needed to move the shifter so he turn the key on. After a few hours into the install he needed to move the car and started the car. The airbag warning light came on. He paniced and put the dash back together and went to Volvo to reset the warning light. Volvo told him that the airbag dianostic found faulty wiring and it has to be replaced. It cost him over 4 grand for parts and labor. After he left our store with the same alarm with no refunds, we laughed our asses off. If you're installing an alarm yourself, I hope its an older Toyota or a Honda. Anyway best of luck to your install.
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  2. #12
    Rob
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    Not Just Clifford

    I was originally going to get a Clifford Alarm put in my car, as I needed something with a Thatcham certificate to keep the insurance happy. Anyway the fitter convinced me to go for a Laserline instead, same price same features, and the all in portance certificate to show the insurance company!

    I can fault the install bar two wires which ran over the top of the engine, which although being far enought away to avoid getting damaged from the heat, they made it a real nightmare getting the engine out!

    No I am going throught the fun process of building up a new loom and the old one has been chopped and has have a lot of extra bits adding making it right mess. Advice to anyone don't tray and change the loom if you've got a decent alarm installed, all the frigging wires are black, and as per the instructions the fitter removed the lables from them! If anyone's got any info on LazerLine Alarms let me know, as I'd greatly apprechiate it.

    Rob
    And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
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  3. #13
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    I was a pro installer for 4 years. Even had some magazine cars, maufacture demo cars at Daytone and CES (Streetwires, Xtant). I think it's funny when some installers ad the non-pro years to their resume' (not saying cproaudio is one of them). Sure, I could say I've been installing for 14 years (hmm, lets see, I'm 31, I started with my first car when I was 16....).
    It's hard to find a truely good, trustable installer. And, I'm ashamed to say, my own alarm install isn't near the quality I used to give my customers.
    But, if you search hard enough, you can find a good installer, whom you do trust, someone who acutally screw-mounts the shock sensor on an Alpine alarm, tapes the wiring so it blends in with the factory wiring (though, this is a double-edge sword, makes it harder to add options later), knows that you really need to run the power to the battery on a Clifford (unless Cliffords have gotten better, they used to be flakey when connected at the steering column), knows to never-ever install remote start on a manual transmission (I don't care what modules are out there, I simply won't do it).
    By the way, I've installed lots of different alarms, I kinda like my Alpine 8028 alarms best. I forget what the new model number is, it's getting harder to find, but for the moeny, I think they're a good choice.

  4. #14
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    cproaudio, that's a good story. The first alarm that I had installed by a "Certified Installer", it worked for about two days. After this whenever you disarmed the alarm it would blow a few fuses, turn the headlights on, and reset the power to the radio removing all preset stations. When I had my very first Car Phone installed two weeks later it blew all the fuses at once and did something to the computer. I still don't know how the installers managed this, but you can see why I'm leery about car installers.

    Even though I don't really like the idea of handing my car over to a complete stranger, even I am not arogent enough to think I can install an alarm without at least a wiring diagram. Anybody know a good installer in the Dayton, OH area?

  5. #15
    FLAC cproaudio's Avatar
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    Oh yeah thats right Rob, I think all alarms in Europe are have black wires with the same size and labled at the tip of the wires. Once they're connected, the lables have to be cut. One of the DEI tech told me that he wishes Clifford would do the same for the US market as the Europes. Apparently US installers are not as smart as the Europe installers and require all the wires to be color coded. The new G5 alarms's starter kill and ignition kills are all black wires but with lables at the end of the wire. The rest are DEI color code.
    Jonjon, I know a lot of installers add their non pro years to their resume. I got my first MECP in 94, the first year I got my install job. If I add my none pro years then I've been installing for 16 years. I installed my brother's system when I was 14. Then after that, my friends cars here and there. I cant claim that I've done manufacture demo cars cuz manufacturers dont send their cars to the shop I work for. I was invited to do installs on my company's demo cars but I didnt take it cuz I had to drive 4 hours each way each way.
    DKnight, we only sell alarms and alarm parts with no install to known installers and shop owners. Every store will have customers who refuse to shop that store. They will goto other shops to buy alarms that they dont carry but we do. Other shops would come to my store and buy the alarm and install it at their shop with no warranty of course. We sold alarms to other known installers for their own cars too. I'm not saying that all alarms that we sold without installs turned out to have such horror story but the volvo was the best one.
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  6. #16
    FLAC DodgeCummins's Avatar
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    I am curious...can you define "PRO" installer?

    Is there an installer certification required for all "PRO" installer?

    Are they licensed or bonded?

    How much training are they required to go through?

    How often do they have to be recertified, or go through retraining?

    I am just curious...mechanics at the dealership are trained and certified. Electronics repair shops are qualified in and are authorized to work on a certain brand of equipment.

    The stereo in my truck was installed by a "pro"...I ended up having to fix a lot of it.

    I agree that an alarm install is MUCH more complicated than a stereo install. What kind of guarantee is there that while you are on a cross country trip, your alarm craps the bed, and you are stuck in the middle of nowhere?

    You can take your vehicle to a dealer (unless it is some rare machine) but if it is a problem with an aftermarket alarm...ONLY the installer can fix it, because ONLY he knows where he tapped into circuits and cut wires etc.

    That is my concern with getting an alarm installed...I can get one more expensive, and with less features at the dealer...but at least I know it can be fixed if I am on the road.

    Or I can install it myself, and if it dies, at least I know what wires were cut to immobilize the vehicle.

    Of course I also believe that if someone is wondering if they should install an alarm themselves or have a "pro" do it...the answer is obvious.

    If you knew how to do it, you wouldn't hesitate to do it yourself.

    And since I have completely rewired cars before, etc, I know for a fact that I will not put an alarm into my car unless it mostly ties directly into the wireing harness with only a couple of splices (dome light). If it requires a custom rewiring and cutting of massive amounts of factory harness, you are setting yourself up for a disaster.

    I don't care what company it is...you are adding weak points to the system...increasing the number of things that could go wrong, and leave you stranded.

  7. #17
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    There are some very darn good and talented installers out there but there are also some fu<k up guys try to make a living. In general, I don't trust anyone working in my car unless I don't know how to work on the problem or I don't have access to the equipment.
    Couple month ago I have to redo a radio installation job that a Best Buy "pro" installed on my sister car. Best Buy installed it for her because it's a free installation if you buy a car radio cost more than 100 buck or so I don't know. The car was a 98 Honda Civic. I installed the alarm/w remote starter on that car couple year ago (DEI Viper 300+ESP and Viper remote starter add on). After Best Buy pro installed the radio, the alarm and remote starter no longer work, the doom light is fu<k up. She come over and asked me why the alarm doesn't work? And I ask her back is it work before you give Best Buy the key? She said yeah. I just told her go ask them. Best Buy give her an anser that they didn't install the alarm so they don't know why it didn't work. As for the doom light, they said it probably a blown fuse.
    Guest what? Those engineer at Honda are soo genious that they integrated the so called "factory alarm system" into the radio. The old radio in my sister car doesn't have an alarm but the wiring are all there and ready. The door/doom light circuit is routed into the radio so that "alarm ready" radio can be swap to provide "full alarm" for the car.
    The guy at Best Buy didn't know that. So after he remove the alarm, he must have to short one of the connector that is part of the radio but not being use by the car radio. Without shorting the connector, the door/doom light circuit is NOT complete. The alarm that I installed doesn't work because the module keep think that the door is "not open", the remote start doesn't safely shutdown because the door is "still close".
    After I fixed the problem, brought it back and complain to the store manager. I had a print out from the internet regarding to the Honda radio circuit. I explain to the store manager that the guys didn't know the car he is dealing with. The radio he installed can be remove without any tool. He just push the radio in the slot and thats it. No screw or anything to hold it back. The Civic radio slot/bracket is NOT ISO standard so it must be secure by the strap on the back of the radio.
    The guys was disappear the next day. I feel bad for the guy to loose the job but well you gota know what you doing before you can make a living.
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  8. #18
    Raw Wave Confused's Avatar
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    I just got an AutoWatch alarm fitted in my car. It already had a stock immobiliser (Thatcham Cat 2), so only had to have the "2-1 upgrade".

    My dad, who works for Mitsubishi, has been installing all their alarms for a few years now. He had no training, just read the instructions the first few times. He now of course knows exactly how to install these AutoWatch alarms.

    There is a story here... A few months ago, he had installed an Alarm in a Mitsubishi Galant, but it wasn't working properly. He couldn't pinpoint the problem, but the central locking wasn't working right. So, he called up AutoWatch, and they sent an engineer round to the dealership, adamant that it was a problem with the installation. The engineer came round, had a look at the install, and couldn't find any problems at all. Replaced the main box, and it all worked, and the engineer actually said something like "Almost all our problems come from the installation going wrong. However, this time, the installation was perfect, no problems at all. It was just the main box."

    A couple of weeks later, a letter arrived at the dealership from AutoWatch, saying something along the lines of "We apologise for the inconvienience caused by the alarm system. After sending our engineer round, it was found that the alarm itself was faulty. Please pass on our thanks to your technician for one of the best installs we have ever seen. If half of the installs were as good as the one your technician did, we would have nowhere near as many problems" or something along those lines

    If I need any more alarms, my dad is the first I would go to, and the first I would recommend to anyone I know


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  9. #19
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    Guys, this is exactly why I've learned everything I know (car audio, computers, and everything else). I don't trust too many other people and their work.

    I've worked with guys who I had to go behind and fix their installs. Yeah, it cost them some labor dollars.
    Some shops, like HiFi Buys (part of Tweeter, Bryn Mayr, Sound Advise), work on labor dollars. The installer is paid a percentage of the labor dollars the job is worth (the money you paid to have it done). When an installer screws up, the installer who fixes it can inform the manager, and also take some labor dollars away fromt he original guy. I've work with good installers, and I've worked with bad ones.
    MECP doesn't mean much, but it is the only real mobile electronics certification available. And just because an installer has it, doesn't mean he's good. It also doesn't mean a do-it-yourselfer isn't good (I've met some who were really on top of things and very good).
    As for the Honda radio, yes that Best Buys installer should have known about the raio. I usually used a diode to jusmper the pins over int he harness. The factory alarm was a small box that sat on top of the radio. The radio actually has a square spot for the alarm to sit piggy-back. No backstrap is needed to install an aftermarket, but there's a trim peice needed, and the aftermarket radio sleeve should secure the radio fine. It's a very basic install, should be hard to screw up. The alarm install is ease too, but I never used the wiring at the radio (not everything is actually there).

    I encourage people to learn as much as they can about everything. I think 12v electronics is really not that hard. I also think that a really sofisticated alarm is asking for trouble (hence, no eleborate starter kills for me, anything goes wrong, pull the fuse and keep driving).

  10. #20
    FLAC robiewp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonjonr6
    I encourage people to learn as much as they can about everything.
    Cheers!
    I think 12v electronics is really not that hard.
    you mean 13.8v (jk)
    I also think that a really sofisticated alarm is asking for trouble (hence, no eleborate starter kills for me, anything goes wrong, pull the fuse and keep driving).
    I'll have to remember that good advice.
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