Car alarms exist for a purpose – and a very helpful one at that. But if you have a neighbor whose car alarm constantly goes off – especially during hours when you’re supposed to have a deep sleep, that can be really annoying. If a neighbor’s car alarm keeps going off, what can you do?
If your neighbor’s car alarm keeps going off all the time, try politely talking to your neighbor about it first. If that doesn’t work, you can report this to your HOA. As a last resort you can call the cops and report this as a nuisance noise.
If you’re dealing with a neighbor whose car alarm won’t stop going off, this article is for you. We will give you some tips on what you can do to stop it so you can have moments of peace at your own home.
Understanding Car Alarm Nuisance Laws
Car alarms help protect the vehicle from burglary and gives owners a sense of peace when leaving their car out at night. However, for some people, their car alarm goes off longer than it should and for no reason at all.
I’ve even read about a person’s complaint about their neighbors car alarm going off for hours for several days because the car owner wasn’t around. You can just imagine the nightmare of having to deal with that. It’s only good that car alarm nuisance laws exist.
Each state or city has its own ordinances when it comes to vehicle alarms. It might be different where you live so if you plan to file a complaint, research on your local laws first.
An example would be the state of California: the law states that a person can call the cops to report car alarm nuisances. The police have the right to remove the vehicle if they arrive on scene and the car alarm has been sounding for 20 minutes and has not been silenced since.
In New York, car alarms should be silenced within three minutes of going off. If not, a person can call the cops and let them handle the noise problem.
Why Would Someone’s Car Alarm Keep Going Off?
I understand that it can be a real pain having to listen to the annoying sound of a car alarm longer than you can handle. This is especially the case if your neighbor’s car alarm keeps going off at night. I’m pretty sure other people will be annoyed by it too. But before you go on complaining, you should at least try to understand why a car alarm would keep going off.
If the car alarm keeps going off and no one is trying to break in the car or gets near the car to do some damage, there must be a problem. The owner probably doesn’t realize it; perhaps, he does and he refuses to do anything about it.
Regardless, a car alarm that keeps going off could mean that the car’s alert system has a problem. Low battery or dead car battery is one issue that can activate the car alarm for no reason. Another one is if the car’s shock sensor is too sensitive, that even the slightest touch can cause the alarm to go off.
There are different problems in the vehicle that can cause the alert system’s malfunction. And if that happens, it’s the job of the car owner to have it fixed to avoid any nuisance that can disturb the neighborhood’s peace.
Neighbors Car Alarm Keeps Going Off at Night
Do you notice that your neighbors car alarm seems to keep going off only at night? Why would their alarm go off only at night time and not throughout the day?
There could be various reasons for this. The most likely culprit would be nocturnal animals that climb onto the vehicle at night. This could range from raccoons in the yard, possums, or any other creature touching the car and triggering the alarm to go off.
Depending on the vehicle and it’s features, this could also just be a faulty alarm system and the vehicle needs to be taken in for repair.
How Long Can a Car Alarm Go off Before the Battery Dies?
Car alarms usually shut off on their own – usually it’s within 5 minutes. Modern cars now are smarter and the alarms can be shut off really quick, unlike in the past when the sound can go on longer even after the owner has turned it off.
But if the owner had an aftermarket car alarm installed, it could present a problem, especially if not installed correctly. Aftermarket car alarms have the potential to drain out the car battery due to incorrect wiring.
Having said that, yes, a car alarm that keeps going off will eventually drain out the car battery. But it will have to take hours of sounding without any interference from the owner. But no one really wants to endure the sound for hours on days and during late hours or so early in the morning.
In that case, if my neighbor’s car alarm keeps going off, I would immediately think I have to do something. But of course, I’d have to think about legal things that I can do, which I will share in the next section.
What to Do When Someone’s Car Alarm Keeps Going Off?
There are several things you can do to avoid noise problems caused by your neighbor’s car alarm. You can:
- Walk to your neighbor’s house and talk to them
- Leave a note on their car
- Report to HOA
- Ignore and focus on reducing the noise from your end
Try to Observe the Situation
Alarms don’t come off for no reason. It may have been triggered by motion nearby. In that case, it would be a good idea to observe your neighbor’s area from your window or within your home, especially when the alarm went off late at night.
Try to wait out five to ten minutes to see that nothing suspicious is going on.
Talk to Your Neighbor
In any problem you have with your neighbor, the first and best thing to do is to talk to them and do so in a polite manner. Chances are, your neighbor just doesn’t know about the problem. Perhaps, the neighbor is always away whenever that happens.
It could also be possible that the neighbor is aware of the problem but hasn’t taken the steps to fix it or doesn’t have a clue how to fix it. If you’re knowledgeable with cars, you can offer to help your neighbor fix their car alarm.
Leave a Note on Their Car
If you’re not the talking type or you just don’t have the time to talk to your neighbor, you can leave a note on their car. Be polite with your words but be assertive by writing, for example, that they need to fix their alarm or the neighbors will be forced to call the police for the unnecessary disturbance.
Report to HOA
If talking to your neighbor or leaving a note on their car doesn’t work, then you can report to the HOA. If you live in a pleasant community with a proactive HOA, this might just work as the HOA could have rules against nuisance noises. You can even rally the neighbors to make a report.
Ignore the Noise
Ignoring the blaring car alarm sound is easier said than done but some people do it to avoid having to talk to their neighbors. Sometimes, taking matters into your own hands without confrontation or involving authorities is what some people would do.
If you fall into this category, then it’s a good idea to invest in products that can help reduce the noise on your end. For example, you can use noise-canceling headphones to block out the sound, especially when you’re doing something that requires focus.
Only go for products that are known for their noise-canceling capabilities. A good example and an excellent recommendation would be Bose’s QuietComfort35 II.
If the alarm sound keeps disturbing your sleep, then you might want to consider getting ear plugs. They work wonders in blocking the sound so you can get a good quality of sleep even if things get really noisy outside.
The ear plugs won’t bother you since they’re moldable and they can be used even if you sleep on your side. Make sure to go for soft silicone ones, like Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone ear plugs, for instance.
Can I Call the Police for a Car Alarm Going Off?
If any of the options mentioned above doesn’t work for you, of course, you can call the police to report the car owner. This should be reserved as a last resort and should be treated as a non-emergency. In that case, do not call 911 or the emergecny hotline.
You can research your local non-emergency police department’s contact number to call in your complaint.
Can I Turn off Someone Else’s Car Alarm?
This is quite tempting to do and if the thought of “how to disable neighbor’s car alarm” crossed your mind, drop it immediately. If the owner is not around to shut off the alarm, you might immediately think that you have the right to disable the alarm just to give peace to everyone.
We hate to break it to you, but that is just bad news. Physically tampering on someone else’s vehicle is illegal. It might even cause a rift between you and the neighbor. You might have the good intention of silencing the annoying car for everyone’s benefit, but that could easily backfire.
Conclusion: What To Do when Your Neighbor’s Car Alarm Keep Going Off
As mentioned above, there are several legal things you can do to deal with the neighbor’s car alarm. If talking to your neighbor doesn’t work out or you’ve exhausted all other options, the next best thing is to do is call the cops.
There are nuisance noise laws in every state or city so that should give you a peace of mind that authorities in your area can solve the problem for you.
Just keep in mind that whatever you do, however tempting it can be, do not disable the car alarm yourself. This could get you in trouble more than the actual offender who can’t shut off his car alarm.