Q: “My car alarm is being set off whenever I open my own car door with my own key. What the heck is going on?! It seems like my key should be the one thing that DOESN’T set off the alarm. Any insights for me?” Alarmed in Victoria.

If your vehicle’s alarm has a tendency to go off when you use your key to open the door, all you want is to be able to unlock your car without alerting the whole neighbourhood. This is actually a very common problem, and there is a simple explanation for what is going wrong.

Each of your car’s doors is equipped with a lock cylinder, which is the mechanism responsible for locking and unlocking your doors. On the back of each lock cylinder is a microswitch, which is wired to the body control module. The microswitch tells the body control module when you have entered the vehicle, and when to disarm the factory-installed car alarm.

If your alarm is going off when you unlock the driver side door, it means that this microswitch in that door is broken or misfiring. It is possible to replace this switch, but the technician must remove the door panel to access the lock cylinder and the malfunctioning microswitch.

If this is happening to you, just give us a shout, we can have you up and running (silently) in no time.

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