Car Electronics Resource Center
Security System
Car Security Installation Guide
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Average Installation Time: 5-10 Hours
Tools and Supplies Needed:
In This Guide: Vehicle security system installation requires knowledge of
vehicle electrical systems, electronic
components (such as relays, diodes
and resistors), and data interface
modules. This guide provides important information on how to prepare for
a security system installation, general
installation and connections steps,
and helpful resources to guide you
through the process.
Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters
Butt Crimp
Sockets or Open
End Wrenches
Cordless Drill w/ Drill Bits
or Step Drill Bit
Zip Ties
Wire Strippers
Utility Knife
Phillips Screwdriver
or Allen Wrenches
This content has not been verified by Amazon for
accuracy, completeness, or otherwise. Consult
your vehicle’s owner’s manual and the product’s
manual before attempting an installation. Contact
the product’s manufacturer or consult a Mobile
Electronics Certified Professional installer if you
are uncertain about how to properly install your
product. Amazon attempts to be as accurate
as possible, however, because of the number of
vehicles and products available to consumers,
it is not possible to provide detailed installation
steps that apply universally to all vehicles and
products. Amazon does not warrant that product
descriptions or other content of this site is
accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free.
Further, Amazon disclaims any warranties, express
or implied, as further set forth in the ‘Conditions
of Use’ for
Panel Removal Tools
Digital Multimeter (DMM)
Electrical Tape
Blue Painter’s Tape
(protects dash surfaces)
Before You Begin
Product Owner’s Manual
Installation Manual(s)
(protects console)
Read all instructions carefully
Disconnect the negative battery cable
Protect interior surfaces
Note: Additional accessories such as wiring harness adapters, data interface modules, transponder interface modules, external
sensors, and entry point switches may be required to complete the installation and are available for purchase on
Page 1
Security System Architecture – What You Need To Know
There are two types of security system installations. One requires direct wire-to-wire connections and additional components,
such as relays, diodes, and resistors, to interface with the vehicle’s electrical system. The second type of installation uses a data
interface module that connects to and interfaces with the vehicle’s on-board computer control network.
Control Unit
Security System
Security System Input
and Output Wires
Direct Wire-to-Wire Connection
This installation method involves direct wire-to-wire connections between a security system’s wire harness and the vehicle’s wiring. Direct wire-to-wire connection is commonly used in vehicles without on-board engine and body control computers (typically vehicles manufactured pre-1980s). Still, some security system input and output wiring
configurations are not compatible with all vehicles and may require additional electronic components.
Factory Wiring
Soldered Direct Wire-to-Wire
Connection Example
Factory Wiring
Crimped Direct Wire-to-Wire
Connection Example
Security System Input
or Output Wire
The security system inputs control the ‘triggers’ that respond to events, such as a door opening or ignition system activating. The security system outputs control how the security system responds to triggers, such as sounding the siren, flashing the parking lights, engaging a starter interrupt, or activating the power door locks. Input wiring is typically more straightforward to connect than output wiring because it only needs to match the vehicle’s circuit polarity (+12 volts or chassis ground). The outputs of a vehicle
security system must provide the same polarity and electrical current to activate the vehicle’s circuits. Examples of this include the power door locks circuit and parking lights
circuit, which security systems often control.
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 2
Security System Architecture – What You Need To Know (Continued)
Using Relays, Diodes, and Resistors
When the security system’s wire harness and the vehicle wiring are not configured for a direct wire-to-wire connection,
electrical components such as diodes, relays, and resistors may be required.
Common Installation Parts
• Relays – A relay serves as an electrical intermediary between the vehicle’s circuits and the security system’s input
or output, which allows it to change the electrical polarity of a given function from positive (+) to negative (-) or vice
versa. Relays also provide the ability to increase current capacity. For example, a 300mA output combined with a
relay can safely provide up to 20 amps of current.
SPDT (Bosch Type)
Automotive Relay
As an example, a security system may provide a positive (+) 12 volt output for a given function, like the parking lights,
but the vehicle circuit may use a switched chassis ground to complete the circuit path, instead of switching +12 volts.
In order to make the parking lights flash on/off, the +12 volt positive security system output needs to be ‘switched’ in
electrical polarity from positive to negative.
• Diodes – These devices are used to isolate circuits from electrical connections to other circuits, and direct electrical
current to flow in only one direction. Diodes allow multiple vehicle circuits to feed into a single security system wire
without connecting all the vehicle circuits together.
Silicon Diode (1N4001
1amp is commonly used)
As an example, a diode on each door trigger wire is used to ensure that each doors’ courtesy light is unaffected (not
turned on) when other doors are open.
• Resistors – These devices limit current and, thus, reduce voltage. They are used to take a +12 volt positive or chassis ground signal and reduce the voltage delivered to the vehicle circuit. This is often required for +9, +7 and +5 volt
vehicle circuits that are commonly used in year model 2000 and newer ‘computer equipped’ vehicles.
As an example, a resistor is typically used for low voltage circuits, such as when +5 volts, instead of +12 volts, is
required to turn on parking lights or trigger door locks.
Carbon Film 1/2 Watt Resistor (values
of resistance vary by application)
Keep in mind that installing relays, diodes, and resistors requires advanced knowledge in electronics. These components are available for purchase on
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 3
Security System Architecture – What You Need To Know (Continued)
Data Interface Modules
For vehicles with on-board computers and communication networks, aftermarket security system manufacturers offer devices called data
interface modules. These devices ‘talk to’ the vehicle’s communication network and process input triggers and output commands between
the security system and the vehicle. Using a data interface module can simplify an otherwise complex installation; however, this method
requires a vehicle-specific data interface module that connects to the vehicle’s on-board computer network wires.
With the exception of the main security system power and chassis ground, this approach eliminates the requirement for direct wireto-wire connections to the vehicle. Still, some input or output functionality may not operate through a data interface module. If the data
interface module does not recognize certain vehicle data (or there is an unexplained electronic conflict), hard wiring the circuit with a
direct wire-to-wire connection from the security system to the vehicle may be necessary. This may be required for a door trigger input
or ignition input.
Data Interface Module Examples
Data interface modules are vehicle specific and apply only to vehicles with on-board computers. Data interface modules are often
used in vehicles with Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus systems; this includes most 2008 or newer cars and light trucks sold in
the US. However, data interface modules do not operate with every vehicle, including some with on-board computers.
Factory Data Network Wiring
When to Consider Professional Installation:
Before attempting any DIY security system installation, assess your
comfort level disassembling vehicle interior panels, reading vehiclewiring schematics, and testing electrical circuits with a Digital Multimeter
(DMM). Also ensure you have the recommended tools for the job.
Many independent retail installation shops welcome jobs with products
purchased on Always look for a Mobile Electronics
Certified Professional (MECP) installation technician to handle your most
challenging installation needs.
Security System
Data +
Data Interface
Security System Input
and Output Wires
Data -
Vehicle Data Network
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 4
General Pre-Installation Information
This section contains general information about vehicle security system installation, online resources, and connecting security
system inputs and outputs.
Identify Vehicle Circuits
Identify the vehicle electrical circuits to determine whether a direct wire-to-wire installation is necessary or if a data
interface module connection is possible. Depending on the vehicle’s electrical circuit polarity and voltage, and whether the
security system has the ability to configure the input or output electrical characteristics, additional electronic components
such as relays, diodes and/or resistors may be required for direct wire-to-wire connections. Vehicle-specific automotive
wiring schematic resources are located on, and aftermarket web resources like The12volt, Installogy, Modified Life and Commando Security.
The circuits you need to identify and later test with a Digital Multimeter (DMM) include:
• Parking Light Circuit
• Ignition Circuit
• Door Lock/Unlock Circuit
• Starter Circuit
• Door Open/Dome Light Circuit
• Trunk/Hatch Open Circuit
• Hood Open Circuit (if aftermarket pin switch is not used)
AllData and eAutoRepair vehicle
wiring schematics provide detailed
information about the vehicle circuits
into which a security system connects.
Review the Security System Installation Manual(s)
Always review the entire security system installation manual before beginning the installation. An understanding of the
security system’s input and output wiring, along with the vehicle’s specific wiring information (including circuit polarity and
connection locations), is necessary to install the security system safely and correctly.
• Security systems often require additional components such as single pole, double throw (SPDT) automotive relays,
silicon diodes, and resistors to correctly interface into vehicle circuits.
Security System Installation
• Websites such as WireSheet or The12volt include tutorials on the use and application of these electronic components.
• Plan each connection in advance to determine the components needed and the best method to make a given connection between the vehicle wiring and the security system.
When using a data interface module, review its installation manual and pay close attention to each wire connection. Data
connections may not completely eliminate the need for all hard wired connections in every case. Therefore, even with a
data interface module, you must determine which hard-wired connections are required by reviewing the specific installation
instructions and technical notes available on the module interface manufacturer’s website. Also note any vehicle-specific
limitations that require wired connections for specific features such as flashing parking lights or a hood pin switch. Main (+)
12 volt power and chassis ground connections for the data interface module can also be used for the security system. Data
interface module connections to vehicle wiring should always be soldered.
Review the security system installation manual(s),
along with each wire, to identify which wires need to
connect in your installation. Not all security system
wires are always connected in every installation.
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 5
Security System Inputs
Always refer to the security system’s installation manual to determine the electrical polarity (positive or negative) of an input, as well as whether it is configurable to the vehicle wiring.
Power and Chassis Ground
All security systems rely on a secure, constant +12 volt power and chassis ground
connection. Power connections should be made at the battery or at the large-gauge
wired input to the factory fuse/relay panel, usually found under the hood near the
battery. Chassis ground connections should be made to a solid metal part of the car
body, rather than in the dash area. This ensures a good electrical connection. The
kick panel area is often a good ground area because of its proximity to the security
system control unit, which is often installed under the driver’s side dash area.
Ignition Power
Security systems require +12 volt ignition power
that is switched by the vehicle’s key. This lets the
security system ‘know’ when the car is on and
being started (or attempting to be started). When
the security system is armed, this becomes a
trigger point for the alarm. This must be a ‘true
ignition’ source, not an accessory power source
like that used for in-dash receiver installations.
The difference is that a true ignition source stays
powered while the engine is cranking, whereas an
accessory source loses power while the engine is
cranking. The true ignition source is an important
input for detecting ‘hot wiring’ or other car theft
methods that bypass starting the car with a key.
Security systems are usually configured to only
accept a positive polarity ignition input. Some
systems allow configuration of negative polarity
ignition inputs.
Ignition power is active in the “ON” and
“START” key positions
Vehicle Entry Points - Doors
The door trigger inputs of a security system
connect to the same door pin switch circuit(s)
that trigger interior lighting. A pin switch is an
electrical device that uses a ‘plunger’ that moves
in and out to complete or break an electrical
circuit. Depending on the vehicle, there may be a
single connection available that electrically connects with all doors or each door may require its
own connection. Since the security system only
provides one door trigger input, when multiple
doors are individually wired, diodes must be used
on each connection to isolate each circuit from
the other doors. This individual door trigger circuit
is found in vehicles with ‘door ajar’ indicators and
information messages, or courtesy lighting for
the specific zones that activate when a specific
door is opened. The security system is generally
configurable to accept positive or negative polarity door triggers.
Factory door pin switches are usually
located in the door jambs or at the ends
of the dash
Vehicles with isolated door pin switches
often have a dash indicator or ‘DOOR
OPEN’ message for each individual door
Ignition power is usually found in larger
gauge wiring in the area of the key
If diodes are required
for each door pin switch
connection, use Silicon
Diodes, part number
1N4001 with a 1amp
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 6
Security System Inputs (Continued)
Vehicle Entry Points - Trunk/Hatch
The trunk/hatch trigger is easily connected to
courtesy lighting that illuminates when the trunk
or hatch is open. The trunk/hatch circuit should
be a separate circuit that does not trigger other
interior lighting. An aftermarket pin switch can
be added if the vehicle lacks trunk lighting or an
isolated switch. The security system is usually
preset to accept only negative polarity trunk/
hatch triggers.
These devices use electronic components with solid state logic circuitry to detect a
specific action such as an impact to the vehicle (utilizing a piezo-electric transducer) or the sound of breaking glass (utilizing an interior-mounted microphone). Based
on stimulus, such as impact to the vehicle, the logic circuitry determines if the
sensitivity threshold is exceeded and, if so, sends a trigger to the security system.
A trunk courtesy light or indicator in the
dash area confirms the presence of a
factory trunk switch
Regardless of sensor type, the wired connections are similar. The sensor has at
least three wires to connect. Those wires include +12 volt power, chassis ground, a
negative trigger, and (in some cases) a warning trigger for smaller disturbances not
intended to trigger the full alarm cycle. Many sensors come pre-wired with ‘plug in’
connectors that attach to the main security system control unit and do not require
additional connections. Some security systems have basic impact sensors built in
to the main control unit and do not require additional wire connections.
Vehicle Entry Points - Hood
It is often easier to install an aftermarket pin switch to monitor the hood, even if a
factory hood pin switch is present. Standard pin switches are typically included with
the security system for this reason. Weather-resistant and sealed pin switches are
ideal for this application and are available on The pin switch attaches
to a metal part of the vehicle where the hood closes, such as the radiator core
support, and provides a negative trigger to the security system when the hood is
opened. The security system is usually preset to accept only negative polarity hood
pin switch triggers, so the connection is direct and requires no additional electronic
components or modules if an aftermarket pin switch is used.
Angled and Straight Pin
Switch Examples
Impact Sensor with pre-warning trigger and plug in harness
Angled Bracket
for Straight Pin
Review the Car Security Basics Buying Guide for details about the function of
each sensor type and their intended uses.
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 7
Security System Outputs
Always refer to the security system’s installation manual to determine the electrical polarity (positive or negative) of the output, as well as whether it is configurable to suit the
vehicle wiring. In cases where direct wire-to-wire connections are used, the output must also support adequate current to supply the circuit.
Flashing Parking Lights
Flashing the parking lights is a visual deterrent when the alarm is activated, but it
is also a visual indicator of receiving (and responding to) remote control commands
from the vehicle owner. This is a convenient way to confirm the armed or disarmed
status of the security system without having to check the LED status indicator inside
the vehicle.
The headlight switch area is usually the location
where the security system’s flashing parking light
output (or relay) connects
Vehicle parking light circuits can be positive or negative polarity. In year 2000 and
newer models, it may be a low voltage +5 volts DC circuit, instead of +12 volts
DC. Low voltage lighting trigger circuits are common in vehicles with automatic
headlamps that turn on when it is dark. Security systems are usually configurable to
output positive or negative polarity flashing parking light commands. Low voltage car
circuits may require one or more resistors to drop the security system’s output voltage to match the vehicle’s circuit operational voltage. Some security systems allow
high current outputs (up to 10a) for direct connection to +12 volt triggered parking
light circuits.
Door Lock/Unlock
Most security systems can be wired to control power door locks. If the vehicle lacks
power door locks, they can be added using retrofit power door lock kits available for
purchase on
Power door locks can be added to a vehicle with complete
retrofit kits, including vehicles with newer cable driven locks
as shown in this example
Vehicle power door lock circuits can be positive or negative polarity, reverse ‘rest
at ground’ polarity, or (in year 2000 and newer models) may use low voltage +5
volts DC for lock and +3 volts DC for unlock on the same wire, instead of +12
volts DC on separate lock and unlock wires. Low voltage door lock trigger circuits
are common in vehicles with factory remote keyless entry and push button ignition
systems. Security systems are usually configurable to output positive or negative
polarity door lock/unlock commands. Positive switching and reverse polarity circuits
often require relays because the current requirement exceeds the security system
outputs. Low voltage circuits require resistors (possibly one or more SPDT relays).
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 8
Security System Outputs (Continued)
Starter Interrupt
This function prevents the vehicle from being started.
This usually requires you to cut a specific wire near
the vehicle’s ignition switch which triggers the starter
circuit when the key is turned to the ‘START’ position. Connecting a relay (either on-board the security
system or externally mounted) to the cut wires enables
or disables the circuit operation, and becomes the
gateway to control the circuit of this feature. When the
security system is sounding, the starter is disabled to
prevent ‘hot wiring.’
Vehicle starter circuits can be positive or negative
polarity. Most often they are positive polarity. In year
2000 and newer models, starter circuits may be low
voltage such as +5 volts DC, instead of +12 volts
DC, or a dedicated starter wire may be absent (such
as in certain push button ignition vehicles). Refer to
the vehicle’s wiring diagram to determine which wire
controls the starter circuit. In some manual transmission vehicles, the security system manufacturer may
suggest interrupting the clutch switch, if no dedicated
starter wire is present. Any starter interrupt connections to vehicle wiring should be soldered. Follow the
specific security system installation instructions for
connection of a starter interrupt relay.
Siren, LED, and Valet Switch
The siren should install under the hood facing downward so it does not collect water. The
security system provides a positive or negative output to power the siren. The siren has two
wires. One connects to the output of the system; the other connects to the opposite polarity
of the output (see below):
• If the system provides a positive siren output, connect to the positive siren wire. The remaining siren wire must connect to chassis ground.
• If the system provides a negative siren output, connect to the negative siren wire. The
remaining siren wire must connect to the same source of +12 volts as the main security
system power.
The LED status indicator light is a theft-deterrent feature that confirms the
armed/disarmed status of the security system. The LED can be built into an
extended range antenna that attaches to the windshield or it can stand-alone by
mounting it through a small hole drilled in a dash panel. The LED should be visible from both sides of the vehicle. A stand-alone LED has two wires and usually
has a specific plug-in connector to the security system control unit for straightforward connection. Follow the specific security system installation instructions
for mounting and connecting the LED.
Security System Siren
LED indicators should be mounted in
switch blanks or other panels that can
be replaced
Many systems include a valet switch that, when combined with the use of the
ignition key, temporarily bypasses the security system. Install the valet switch
within reach of the driver’s left hand, while seated. If the valet switch is built into
an extended range RF antenna, additional wired connections are not needed.
Valet switch location under the left of
driver’s side dash
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 9
Beginning the Installation
Prepare Security System Wire Harness
Follow these instructions to prepare the wiring harness for the security system:
1) Place the security system control unit on a workbench or stable surface.
2) Plug all wiring harnesses into the control unit, except sensors with pre-terminated plug-in connections.
3) Separate the wires into groups based on where the wires will be routed and the location of the control unit (typically under the driver’s side dash). Common examples of wire groups are:
a. Wires routed under the hood – siren, main +12 volt power, hood pin switch
b. Wires routed to the ignition switch harness area – primary ignition and starter interrupt
c. Wires routed to the kick panel area – flashing lights, door pin trigger(s), door lock/unlock, chassis ground for
the security system
d. Wires routed to the trunk – trunk pin switch, possibly other door triggers (such as side doors in a van or isolated doors in a 4 door vehicle)
4) Every six inches, tape or zip tie the wires together to keep the wiring organized. You can wrap wires in a group
with electrical tape to completely hide the wire colors and give them a factory-like appearance.
Separate wires into groups that route to specific areas
where they will connect to vehicle wiring
5) The wire length supplied with the security system is typically sufficient to make connections in and around the
dash area where the control unit is installed. For wiring extending into the engine compartment or the rear of the
vehicle, security system harness wires can be extended by soldering or crimping extra wire, 18 AWG or larger
(available on, as needed. The length required can be estimated with a measuring tape between the
dash area and the final connection point of the extended wire(s).
Additional wiring needs depend on the specific security system but may include:
• LED (generally placed in the center of the dash area)
• Valet Switch (generally placed under the dash near the driver’s side kick panel)
• Extended Range RF Antenna (generally placed on the windshield, if present)
• External Sensors (refer to the sensor installation manual for suggested placement and wiring)
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 10
Beginning the Installation (Continued)
Disassembly Guidelines
Observe these guidelines when removing panels under the dash, kick panels, door sill panels, ‘A-pillar’ windshield
trim and/or trim panels on the dashboard:
•Clear and unobstructed access to the area under the dash (below the steering wheel) is required to make most
connections. This often requires removal of plastic or leather cosmetic panels, as well as metal sub-dash structural
•Always use a plastic pry tool to remove panels. Wedge the pry tool into the panel seam and gently pry to release
the panel clip(s).
•Do not use screwdrivers to pry off plastic or upholstered panels. This will scratch or gouge the panels.
•If there are multiple panels that interlock, determine which panel is underneath, or on top, or if the panels are fit
together with hidden clips. Look for seams between panels where one panel ends and another begins. This may
require disassembly of one or more surrounding panels before you can remove the main dash panel(s).
Plastic pry tools allow safe removal of ‘clipped in’
dash panels required to gain access to the driver’s
side under dash area
•Look for hidden hardware behind switch panels, ashtrays, or in A/C vents. When prying the panel off, be aware of
any panel areas that are still attached. There may be hidden screws in place.
•After removal, use plastic storage bags or containers to keep all hardware organized.
To locate basic disassembly information on your specific vehicle, visit Many vehicle service
manuals with disassembly information, such as Haynes or Chilton, are available on
You may need to remove cosmetic (plastic) and structural (metal)
panels under the dash to view and connect to vehicle wiring.
Vehicle service manuals such as those produced by Haynes and Chilton provide
many disassembly procedures for areas of the vehicle where security system
components are installed and connected
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 11
Security system installation typically involves mounting the main control unit, routing the wire harness to various locations, and making the requisite connections. At some of
those connection points, an additional component such as a pin switch, siren, fuse holder, or specific electronic component (relay, resistor or diode) may need to be installed
to complete the task.
Place Security System Control Unit
Once the lower dash area is disassembled, place the security system control unit
under the dash and secure it to existing wiring harnesses or non-moving parts
with zip ties. Ensure that the control unit and wiring harness are not in the way of
moving parts, such as the steering column, brake, or clutch pedal.
Route Wires to Connection Points
Route the grouped wires to the appropriate locations to make the necessary
connections to the vehicle. Zip tie all wires neatly every six inches, and avoid any
moving parts or heat sources on wire routing paths.
For wiring routed into the engine compartment:
1) Pass the wire group from the interior through an existing rubber grommet by
making a small incision with a utility knife along the unused part of the existing grommet (cut away from factory wires).
a. Use a scrap length of wire or an unfolded wire hanger as a ‘pull-through’
tool when routing wires from the interior into the engine compartment.
b. Temporarily attach the wires to the pull-through tool with electrical tape.
Once the wires have been pulled through the grommet, remove the excess
electrical tape.
2) If a suitable hole does not exist, you will need to drill a hole in the vehicle’s
firewall to route the wire group from the interior into the engine compartment.
Check for obstructions on both sides of the firewall BEFORE drilling. After drilling, place a plastic snap grommet or rubber grommet in the newly cut hole to
protect the wire insulation from any sharp metal edges.
Placing the Security System control
unit and using zip ties to secure to
factory wires under the driver’s side
dash area
3) After routing the wires into the engine compartment, ensure the hole is well
sealed with silicone sealant or water-resistant material.
Note: Cut off the excess length from
the end of the zip tie after mounting
These examples show the
factory grommet, where wires
pass from the interior into the
engine compartment, as a
path for running your security
system wires under the hood
Interior factory grommet side
before wires pass through
Engine compartment side after
wires pass through
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 12
Installation (Continued)
Connect Wiring to Vehicle or Device
Once the grouped wiring is routed to each location, connect individual wires to the
appropriate device (such as an added pin switch, the siren, or main power wire’s
fuse holder) or required electronic component (such as a relay, resistor, or diode),
if not a direct wire-to-wire connection. Then, connect the device or component to
vehicle wiring. Follow the security system manufacturer’s specific instructions for
each wired connection, including vehicle-specific requirements for added relays,
resistors, and/or diodes.
Data interface modules require minimal connections to vehicle wiring. The most
important wired connections are to the vehicle’s data wires, usually located at the
vehicle’s On Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) plug connector. The data interface module
installation instructions indicate the exact connection point of data wires. Solder
these connections to ensure long-term reliability.
Use these guidelines when making security system connections that ‘tap in’ to the
vehicle’s wiring:
Soldered wiretap connections:
1) Strip 1/2” to 3/4” of insulation from the security
system’s wire end.
2) Strip a 1/2” section of insulation from the middle
of the vehicle wire. Do not cut the wire.
3) Separate the copper strands on two sides of the
vehicle wire, creating an opening through which
the security system’s wire can be inserted.
Soldered Connection
4) Insert the security system’s wire into the vehicle
wire opening.
5) Wrap the end of the security system wire around
the exposed vehicle wire.
6) Solder this connection.
7) Use electrical tape to cover the connection when complete.
Connect Main Power
For +12 volt constant power wiring,
connect directly to the battery or under
hood fuse panel power feed. This ensures
adequate current supply for the security
system. Leave the main power fuse out until the system is ready to program and test.
Main power connects at the battery with a
fuseholder to protect the wire
Connect Chassis Ground
Chassis grounding can be connected to vehicle sheet metal in or around the driver’s
kick panel area. Attach security system,
sensor, and data module wires to the same
ground point. Avoid using factory ground
points for these connections.
The kick panel area is a typical chassis ground
location and where other input and/or output
connections are made
If soldering the wiretap connection is not possible, cut
the factory wires and crimp them back together with
the security system’s wire using a butt connector. To
crimp the wires together, twist the bare copper wires
so they can be inserted into the butt connector. Position
the butt connector in the appropriate gauge setting of
the crimper jaws, then use the crimper to squeeze both
sides of the butt connector (halfway between the middle
and the end) to secure the wire.
Crimped Connection
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 13
Programming and Testing
When all connections are complete, insert the fuse in the main power wire. Have the remote key fobs close at hand as some systems power up in ‘alarm sounding’ mode.
Press the disarm (or unlock) button to disarm the system and prepare for programming. Most security systems have numerous programming steps, and the installation manual provides essential information on the following:
• Duration of siren sounding
• Electrical polarity of inputs and/or outputs
• Active or Passive (self) arming
• Learning multiple transmitters (also called ‘pairing transmitters’)
• Pulse duration of outputs to mimic factory electronics (such as double pulse unlock)
Programming the System
Many security systems require programming to configure the input and output wiring’s electrical behavior with vehicle wiring connections. This allows the system to operate
properly. Main power and ground connections, as well as ignition power and a valet (or ‘programming’) switch, must be connected because entering the programming sequence often involves turning the ignition and pressing or holding a programming button (either the valet switch in the vehicle or a designated remote transmitter button) with
a specific sequence or time duration. Read and follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer’s installation manual to complete this step.
Enter the programming mode and complete the programming of the system according to manufacturer instructions.
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 14
Programming and Testing (Continued)
Testing the System
Once programming is complete, the security system is ready to test. Many systems have a ‘testing’ or ‘diagnostic’ mode that allow you to test the security system’s inputs
without arming and triggering the alarm for each entry point and sensor. Review the security system user’s manual to determine if this capability exists. The default method of
testing a security system involves testing each trigger point in real time and checking that responses, such as the siren and lights flashing, function as intended.
1) Doors – Arm the system and open each door one at a time. If power door locks are connected and lock upon arming, you may need to manually unlock the door with the
key to open the door. As each door opens, the alarm should sound.
2) Hood – Sit in the vehicle, arm the system, and open the hood with the hood release lever. The alarm should sound.
3) Hatch or Trunk – Arm the system and open the trunk or hatch. Like the doors, this may require the key to first manually unlock the entry point. The alarm should sound.
4) Impact Sensor – Arm the system. The impact sensor should respond to a hit on the vehicle’s windshield. Use the heel of the hand or the side of a closed fist on a window
rather than a body panel. Adjust sensors to respond to appropriate impact levels to avoid frequently or unintentionally triggering the alarm.
5) Output Responses – Ensure that when the alarm is sounding the siren works as intended and parking lights flash (if connected).
6) Power Door Lock/Unlock – Ensure that if power door locks are connected, the doors lock and unlock along with arm/disarm commands.
7) Test Auxiliary Disarm Mode – The valet switch can often function as a secondary method of disarming with the ignition key. This is useful if the remote transmitter batteries die. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test this function as the alarm is sounding.
Review the security system user’s manual for any additional features or functions specific to your system and test them to verify correct operation.
Reassemble any parts of the vehicle removed during the security system
installation. Verify that all wiring is tied down securely with zip ties and
routed away from moving parts or heat sources.
Wherever possible, camouflage under-dash and under-hood wiring with
split loom tubing for a more factory-like appearance.
Split loom tubing hides multi-colored wires and provides
a more factory-like appearance to a security system
Add split loom tubing to all wires run under the hood
Car Electronics Resource Center
Car Security Installation Guide
Page 15
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