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Old 08-14-2012, 02:16 PM
Hawkwynde Hawkwynde is offline
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Factory alarm or aftermarket?

Hello - Brand new to the group!

I'm in the process of building my 2013 Countryman - I won't see it till Christmas! In the meantime I'm looking at the options I should get from the factory vs aftermarket. Right now my question is the alarm system. Is the factory alarm good enough (at $500) or should I consider an aftermarket alarm (they all seem to be less than $500). Aftermarket systems seem to be better for motion sensing and broken windows too, but I wonder if I'm seeing the whole picture of things to consider.

What're y'all doing for the alarm? Any issues with factory? Any recommendations?

I appreciate any insight!
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:31 PM
y8s y8s is offline
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depends on the features you want and the quality of the aftermarket installation.

but more importantly, it depends on who will chase away the thieves when yours goes off versus who will hit your car with a baseball bat when the alarm goes off 10 times at 3 in the morning.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:36 PM
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Maybe save your money all around. If you do some reading the factory alarm isn't super great, adds the possibility to have an audible lock confirmation. I would normally agree that aftermarket installed gives: remote start, alarm, 2-way paging, smart phone integration, etc. But in the case of a MINI the electronics and disarming procedure do not lend themselves to being messed with. Don't get me wrong, you can probably do but but I don;t know of but maybe 1 or 2 cases where I have heard on the forums here where someone had it done, successfully.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:53 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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If you need or want an alarm, I would recommend ordering it with the car.

As stated, the electronics do not lend themselves to being messed with. If you go aftermarket, you need to find the installer who is the least likely to mess up your car and that would not be a gamble I would take. From what I read you can't get the alarm as a dealer accessory on the CM, so you really should order it up front if you want it.

I ordered it because my car is parked outside most of the time and because I was told it is the only way to have the red light on top of the tach flash. I think that flashing light is a deterrent, although it's not always the case since someone broke in via the tailgate not too long ago.

One thing to be aware of is that the motion sensor is super sensitive. If the sunroof or any windows are left open on a windy day the alarm will go off. You basically have to deactivate the motion sensor by hitting the lock button twice.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:56 PM
ghamma ghamma is offline
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There's a lot of discussion about alarms and other anti-theft considerations on the forums - search for alarm - most of the comments are to skip the alarm, but I have friends in the city who won't buy a car without one.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:47 PM
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We have the factory one that was part of a package, can't remember what it was. The only issue I have had is leaving the moonroof popped up, if there is any wind, it goes off. Other than that, no issues.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:47 PM
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IIRC, remote start is a 'no-go" in the Countryman due to the design of the car's ...er...something (I forgot ). I believe theta covered this point in an Modifications::Electrical forum thread.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:49 PM
WayMotorWorks WayMotorWorks is online now
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save yourself the headache and order it with the factory alarm. that way it also will work with the key and you won't need a silly second remote.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:34 PM
blue dragon blue dragon is offline
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We did the factory alarm, can you believe it doesn't come in any package in Canada, we had to special order it. Most expensive flashing light

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:36 AM
Zazoh Zazoh is offline
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May want to check with your local Police Department. A well known alarm installer in San Antonio, where I live, has a posting from the PD. It lists all the vehicles stolen by month, I don't remember seeing any Mini's on the list at all. There was a spot for them but it had 0 in each month.

To a thief an alarm is not much deterrent. I watched a car get towed last week, it was parked illegally, it took the tow truck driver about 30 seconds to drive off. He had an apparatus that slid under the wheels, he picked it up, chained it on and was gone.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:34 PM
Hawkwynde Hawkwynde is offline
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Folks - all great responses and really good advice here across the board. I tend to agree - it sounds like I will save myself some trouble going with the factory install. Yes, there's more effective systems out there, but there's compromises that go with it. I think checking with the local PD on stolen Mini's is prudent as well. Thanks a ton for helping me with the decision! -=k
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkwynde View Post
Folks - all great responses and really good advice here across the board. I tend to agree - it sounds like I will save myself some trouble going with the factory install. Yes, there's more effective systems out there, but there's compromises that go with it. I think checking with the local PD on stolen Mini's is prudent as well. Thanks a ton for helping me with the decision! -=k
Just curious, but why? Most people that ask about alarms seem to be doing it for either piece of mind or to let a lower car insurance rate (only a few bucks every 6 months). Or if they have a convertible and park with the top down and run into a store, the alarm will go off if someone reaches into the car, it will go off.

While I oppose the $500 cost al a carte for the feature, if a package comes it with, so be it. And to be clear, I am not judging...but why do you want it?
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:24 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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In my case it's peace of mind. The CM is parked outside in an area where cars have been vandalized at night and I have personally had my cars broken into in the middle of the night. I am hoping my $500 flashing red light will prevent this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:24 PM
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was told originally that i didn't need to decide right away as they had a retrofit for the 2012.....
well after reading on and on about various alarms figured stick w/ factory called up to have retro fit added before delivery (yeah i know pay more that way but was quoted nearly 1500 for the viper smart start in just labor from local guy as they say its not easy w/ MINI)
well long story short no retrofit for my model.
get the alarm!
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Last edited by noreen99; 08-16-2012 at 03:25 PM. Reason: mis type
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:52 PM
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I dont think an alarm will prevent your car from having something stolen out of it but it may prevent it from being stolen. My understanding is that the Mini brand is a tough one to hot wire and drive off. The alarm just adds to this.

With that being said if you leave your ipod or wallet or any other valuable in the open you are inviting a smash and grab. I typically don't feel too sorry for those people that leave these things in plain view.

Everyone needs to take responsibility and the savings on your insurance is icing on the cake.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:52 PM
 
 
 
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