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  #1  
Old 08-31-2003, 07:18 PM
KenSilver's Avatar
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Car alarms - is the SL factory alarm enough?

Hi all,

I'm debating whether to put a commercial car tracker system into my 1993 SL500. This is the kind with a GPS unit controlled from a central office, allowing them to trace or stop the car at will.

Does anyone use these, or is the standard SL alarm system OK? And is it bulletproof?

My concern is that with the soft top up, this car would be an easy target for anyone with a knife. Or they could load the SL into a covered truck or trailer. Some scumbag did this to one of my motorbikes 10 years ago, right off the middle of a busy city street! Couldn't believe there were no witnesses, even with a taxi stand across the road.

So I'm right to be a little paranoid about it.

I suppose insurance would cover any loss. Then again, my SL is a beauty and I may not be able to replace her again with a similar model in such good order.

And there would be some delight in being able to recover the car with the culprits still inside!

However, when I think of the situations where I use the SL, it's pretty rare that it is left alone for any length of time, and it's always in a busy and populated area - never up a back alley out of sight.

And I'm waiting for the time when I can slip a car park attendant $10 to keep an eye on it while we're at the opera! Takes me back to the time when I was a teenager, some 40 years ago. This young kid was hanging suspiciously around a newish Rolls Royce parked on a city street. When I got too close he told me the owner had given him a pound ($US5 - a fortune in those days), to keep people away from it. The owner had been away for an hour... pretty good money.

PS. We actually don't go to the opera - way too highbrow but I do take in the odd flamenco guitar concert and sometimes an aging rock group revival who've been persuaded that New Zealand is financially viable. Think the Stones are coming next year.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening blue-black on black leather, xenons.
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1991 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
~1992 Honda US s/wagon, black/grey
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2003, 12:48 AM
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Just re-read my post here... jeez, what a rambler I'm turning out to be! I was determined not to become one of those old geezers who keep on bringing up the good ole days, but I've got the bug bad! I need serious help

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening blue-black on black leather, xenons.
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1991 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
~1992 Honda US s/wagon, black/grey
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2003, 09:16 AM
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Location: Northumberland, UK
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I think the alarm in my 99 is ok, but I'm thinking about getting a tracker. They're not very expensive. Nothing will stop someone sratching it or slashing the hood. And you can't let the fear of crime rule your life: I quite happily park mine with the top down (what does this do to your insurance) and I'm usually more worried about a change in the weather than malicious people.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2003, 02:11 AM
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And there's always those times when you don't want your car back - maybe the thieves have thrashed the living daylights out of her!

I too have thought about trackers but decided to just install a CatII immobiliser (for insurance purposes) as the 129 isn't approved to insurance levels until '95.

As JJ mention, best not to think about it and just gain as much enjoyment a possible, otherwise you'll be constantly worried!
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2003, 05:32 PM
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I don't know if you having anything abroad like we do with LOJACK. Tracks via a encoded homing device.

I would think instantaneous retrieval of your vehicle with said malicious occupants would spawn a hell-bent car chase...after all they're in an SL just waiting for an opportunity to find an open road...

...and we've watched enough of those "Real TV" videos to see the ultimate demise of the stolen vehicle, haven't we?
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2003, 11:59 PM
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I guess you're right about any car thieves looking for an excuse to open the SL up on a good chase.

In fact, I had the opportunity to do the same today. I was first at the traffic lights on a motorway (100km/hr - 63 mph limit), and needed to see how rapid the acceleration was on a straight, dry road - as most people would do, given half a chance and the right vehicle.

By the time I had reached that speed some 6 seconds later, the following traffic were tiny dots in the distance. I have never had anything on 4 wheels as fast as this baby!

The euphoria continues as I write.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening blue-black on black leather, xenons, fast!
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1991 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
~1992 Honda US s/wagon, black/grey
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2003, 07:01 PM
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I now have an old SL - 1988 -- but even when it was new -- they were never targets.

Back in the 80's -- I was in NY City -- I never locked it on the street -- they did not want the car-- they would cut the top to get in for a quarter on the floor!

I also never lock the glove box in any car for the same reason.

Anyone who has had a few cabs will tell you not to lock them - I am often in Philadelphia for dinner -- on a nice day -- I do not even bother to put the top up.

This is not my only cab and I have never had any problems in over 25 years.

Also another nice thing about MB -- everyone knows how bad the audio systems are - they are theft proof -- I remember the sales guy talking about the alarm on the audio system in the 88 - I said something like "what does it do turn on as the guy is about to rip it out of the dash so he will not take it"

My point with all of this is in the US they want common cars -- mostly for the parts

You can make much more from a 95 Honda fender than a MB one!
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2003, 11:50 PM
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I guess that I've just never subscribed to the "let them have what they want" syndrome. I had my conversion van broken into and they took everything they could remove from the vehicle, about $3000 worth of stuff. The TV was behind a piece of wood that was held by four exposed screws. The TV wasn't taken, but the VCR, behind an unlocked door was taken. The only thing that was broken was the window that they entered the van in.

I was talking with the guy at the conversion shop and wondered aloud whether I should put locks on the VCR and Nintendo doors. He said absolutely not, because they'll cause more damage breaking into it than they will taking what's in there. Well, they didn't break anything trying to get my TV out and it was one of the few things left.

Now, I do sometimes leave my top down, but I always roll the windows up and turn on the alarm. That's to keep out the casual folks.

The other thing to think about is anything they take from your car that isn't builtin, gets claimed on your homeowner's insurance. Any damage to the vehicle goes on your car insurance.

The San Francisco Police were of absolutely no help. If they don't "obviously" try to steal the car, they won't even send an officer.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2003, 12:05 AM
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You have made my point -- for the most part they want stuff -- not the car.

Then they want the parts -- usually to fix older cars. I think the #1 is a mid 90's Honda/Toyota/Nissam

I also normally lock the doors if the top is down - although thinking about it now I do not know why?
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2003, 03:48 AM
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I lock the doors when the top is down, too, but I leave the windows down. The doors cannot be opened without the key, even from the inside. So it is not the case that the wannabe thief can simply reach in and pull the door release: it will not open. Also the interior monitor is deactivated when the car is locked with the top down. Finally, on the R129, many of the interior compartments are locked when the car is locked.

I think a thief trying to steal the stereo or smash the glove box open will be much more obvious in a car parked top down than top up.

I know this is a hostage to fortune, but fear of crime is much bigger than crime itself. All but a very few folk are pretty decent.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2003, 10:55 AM
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In the 560SL (107 chassis), you can reach in and unlock the door and then open it. Of course, that sets off the alarm...
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2004, 11:17 PM
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I own this 1989 560SL silver blue on dark blue with 60K miles and new 15" chrome wheels.

The car came with an after market alarm. After some investigation I added a feature that automaticly rolls up the windows when I push the remote key bob alarm button. I really like this when the top is down. It keeps hands out of the car !
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Car alarms - is the SL factory alarm enough?-560sl.jpg  
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Last edited by lynns; 04-04-2004 at 06:31 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2004, 07:39 AM
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Ken, I would never add an aftermarket alarm to a Benz strickly for the effect it might have on the factory wiring. We have seen a ton of cars with aftermarket alarms and they are just usually a royal pain in the ass, going off when you don't want them to and on and on. I took an aftermarket alarm out of my TE when I bought it and put it in the dumpster. I think the factory alarms are pretty darn good, and it's like you say,,, if someone REALLY wants the car, they're gonna get it.
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2004, 11:20 PM
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I lock my 560SL occasionally with the top down, just to set the (factory only) alarm, and usually when the top's up just by force of habit. I actually don't worry about theft significantly, as neither the vehicle or the contents are likely to draw covetous light fingers; anything important I'm carrying goes in the trunk, and the car just isn't that hot for the midnight-auto-supply market. I'm more concerned about simply stopping the occasional idle snooper.

I'd worry more if my tastes ran to a new pickup with blacked-out windows, spinner wheels and a few thousand in boomy boxes..
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2004, 01:13 AM
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Well, you all seem a trusting bunch, and you've shown me up as a paranoid schizo! Maybe I will just leave all the worry to the insurance company.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons: http://www.kensilver.com/SL
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver /black, CD, immaculate (my wife's)
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey / grey leather, best in country!
~ex 350SL, 230E, 280E, MX5 and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice.
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