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Discussion Starter #1
I know this probably sounds paranoid/OCD, but I just want to get some input before I pursue this project that I am planning. My concern is that these cars are essentially computers on wheels, and computers don't get along well with voltage spikes.

So, I am planning to add an older Viper alarm that I've had in other vehicles (a Viper 500), as well as add a keyless entry module -- not for keyless entry, but instead to use those relays and outputs to control other accessories that I've added to my car. My concern is that these units all have built in relays, which use a coil to activate an electromagnet to engage the contacts. My concern is that, when power is cut to the coil of the relay, then that rapidly de-energizing coil can throw back a voltage spike, and I am concerned that this spike might backfeed to the vehicle's electrical system and damage one of the vehicle's computers.

When I wire up my own relays, I add components to minimize or eliminate this voltage spike, but these alarm and keyless entry modules have built-in relays that I won't have access to, as I do not want to open up these modules and mess with them.

So, does anyone have any input here? I'm sure someone has installed an alarm system with things like parking light flash and other relay-related features. Have any of you had any issues, or heard of anyone having any issues, with vehicle computer systems on a 9th gen Civic after such an installation?


Thanks for any input!
 

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Transient spikes have been around since electricity has been used.Do you really think installing an aftermarket alarm is some kind of revolutionary feat?

Most if not all modules on the vehicle has some type of suppression diode....
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I don't know where I implied that installing an aftermarket alarm is a "revolutionary feat". Quite the opposite -- aftermarket alarms have been around for decades and are hardly "revolutionary." The concern is how they interact with the circuitry in modern cars. I was just asking if the relays in such a product have been known to cause transient spikes that negatively affect the computers in modern cars -- I was not asking for sarcasm or snarky remarks.

As you said, I would also suspect that the computers in the car have suppression circuitry due to possible spikes caused by OEM parts, such as spark plugs and high-current electric blower motors. But I also figure that it is possible that those OEM components are designed to work with the car and that the ignition system and electric motors could also have their own factory-designed suppression.

This is why I was asking if people have direct experience with installing an aftermarket alarm on this type of vehicle -- or installing anything else that uses aftermarket relays, for that matter -- to see if they noticed any adverse affect.
 

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I don't know where I implied that installing an aftermarket alarm is a "revolutionary feat". Quite the opposite -- aftermarket alarms have been around for decades and are hardly "revolutionary." The concern is how they interact with the circuitry in modern cars. I was just asking if the relays in such a product have been known to cause transient spikes that negatively affect the computers in modern cars -- I was not asking for sarcasm or snarky remarks.

As you said, I would also suspect that the computers in the car have suppression circuitry due to possible spikes caused by OEM parts, such as spark plugs and high-current electric blower motors. But I also figure that it is possible that those OEM components are designed to work with the car and that the ignition system and electric motors could also have their own factory-designed suppression.

This is why I was asking if people have direct experience with installing an aftermarket alarm on this type of vehicle -- or installing anything else that uses aftermarket relays, for that matter -- to see if they noticed any adverse affect.
LoL, snarky comes with the wisdom, Sunshine......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I ain't your "sunshine", and with over a quarter century experience installing mobile electronics, I have plenty of knowledge. But as I have not done it professionally since 2009, I have little experience with very modern cars that are much more heavily computerized. And, still, my question remains unanswered, so I'll try again, getting right to the point...

Has anyone here had an aftermarket alarm installed on their own 9th gen Civic, or do you personally know anyone who has had an aftermarket alarm installed on their 9th gen Civic, and if so, were there any adverse effects on the electrical system from installing that alarm? Or, did everything go well?

As for the flyback diode, yep -- I usually install such a diode on the relays that I wire up directly in my car. My concern is the relays that are inside the alarm and keyless entry modules, where I do not have direct access to them. I would think that a reputable alarm company, such as Directed Electronics (who makes Viper, Python, and some others), would consider such factors. I am just asking this question as a precaution, with the idea that anyone who has PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with an aftermarket alarm on a 9th gen Civic, could provide input. If you installed an aftermarket alarm five years ago and everything is fine, then I'd like to hear about it. If you installed an aftermarket alarm and then something acted up in your car, then I'd like to hear about that, as well.
 

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I ain't your "sunshine", and with over a quarter century experience installing mobile electronics, I have plenty of knowledge. But as I have not done it professionally since 2009, I have little experience with very modern cars that are much more heavily computerized. And, still, my question remains unanswered, so I'll try again, getting right to the point...

Has anyone here had an aftermarket alarm installed on their own 9th gen Civic, or do you personally know anyone who has had an aftermarket alarm installed on their 9th gen Civic, and if so, were there any adverse effects on the electrical system from installing that alarm? Or, did everything go well?

As for the flyback diode, yep -- I usually install such a diode on the relays that I wire up directly in my car. My concern is the relays that are inside the alarm and keyless entry modules, where I do not have direct access to them. I would think that a reputable alarm company, such as Directed Electronics (who makes Viper, Python, and some others), would consider such factors. I am just asking this question as a precaution, with the idea that anyone who has PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with an aftermarket alarm on a 9th gen Civic, could provide input. If you installed an aftermarket alarm five years ago and everything is fine, then I'd like to hear about it. If you installed an aftermarket alarm and then something acted up in your car, then I'd like to hear about that, as well.
Well Sunshine, I too have 25 years in the automotive repair industry. Specifically electrical and drivability systems. As such I have intimate knowledge on the electrical architecture on these and just about any other modern automobile . I literally spend dozens of hours a year training on such systems, in order to facilitate a better understanding for diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Point is, I ve already told you the modules have suppression diodes. Most of the time in the modules themselves, sometimes in the wire harness. Additionally the vehicles battery is the biggest buffer on the vehicle, its job is to also absorbs transient spikes.

No, I do not have first hand experience installing an alarm, however I do not need it to know that doing so will not cause any harm at all.(Assuming you have half a brain and install it correctly)


Snarky. Wisdom. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well Sunshine, I too have 25 years in the automotive repair industry. Specifically electrical and drivability systems. As such I have intimate knowledge on the electrical architecture on these and just about any other modern automobile . I literally spend dozens of hours a year training on such systems, in order to facilitate a better understanding for diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Point is, I ve already told you the modules have suppression diodes. Most of the time in the modules themselves, sometimes in the wire harness. Additionally the vehicles battery is the biggest buffer on the vehicle, its job is to also absorbs transient spikes.

No, I do not have first hand experience installing an alarm, however I do not need it to know that doing so will not cause any harm at all.(Assuming you have half a brain and install it correctly)


Snarky. Wisdom. (y)
Well, very good. Some of your information is helpful. It makes sense that Honda, and any other reputable new vehicle manufacturer, would design surge suppression into their systems. As I said, there are factory components, like high-voltage ignition systems and high-current fan motors, that could be capable of generating spikes and surges, so of course the manufacturer is going to take that in to consideration. Not to mention, the manufacturer has no control of what someone may try to plug into their accessory power port (cigarette lighter) plugs, so they would likely want to protect the vehicle's electronics against that. And yes, the battery also helps to smooth out transients, but when a relay coil sends out a spike, there could be many other circuits along the wires between the relay and the battery.

But as you said, you've never installed an alarm, so I would still be curious to hear from anyone who has installed an alarm on their 9th gen civic. Surely someone on this forum has installed, or had a professional install, an alarm on their 9th gen Civic? Over my mobile electronics installation career, I installed hundreds of alarms, and I never had anyone come back and say that a mechanic/technician told them that an alarm relay damaged a factory component. But that was over a decade ago, and on cars often another decade older, so I'm just checking on specifics for these newer cars.
 

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Didn't we use to have a popcorn emoji?
🍟French Fries closest thing I could find lol. Seriously guys you both sound very knowledgeable just keep it down a little bit and you'll be fine.
 

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Well listen, i've been working on vehicles since the were pulled by horses, so I know what I'm talking about.
 

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Well, very good. Some of your information is helpful. It makes sense that Honda, and any other reputable new vehicle manufacturer, would design surge suppression into their systems. As I said, there are factory components, like high-voltage ignition systems and high-current fan motors, that could be capable of generating spikes and surges, so of course the manufacturer is going to take that in to consideration. Not to mention, the manufacturer has no control of what someone may try to plug into their accessory power port (cigarette lighter) plugs, so they would likely want to protect the vehicle's electronics against that. And yes, the battery also helps to smooth out transients, but when a relay coil sends out a spike, there could be many other circuits along the wires between the relay and the battery.

But as you said, you've never installed an alarm, so I would still be curious to hear from anyone who has installed an alarm on their 9th gen civic. Surely someone on this forum has installed, or had a professional install, an alarm on their 9th gen Civic? Over my mobile electronics installation career, I installed hundreds of alarms, and I never had anyone come back and say that a mechanic/technician told them that an alarm relay damaged a factory component. But that was over a decade ago, and on cars often another decade older, so I'm just checking on specifics for these newer cars.
Well since you remain unconvinced, Id say the only options you have at this point are:
1. Email the manufacturer of that alarm system directly and ask.

2. Find a forum dedicated to alarm or aftermarket accessory installations. I do not know of any personally, but Im certain they are out there, there are forums for everything.

Good luck. (y)
 

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Well since you remain unconvinced, Id say the only options you have at this point are:
1. Email the manufacturer of that alarm system directly and ask.

2. Find a forum dedicated to alarm or aftermarket accessory installations. I do not know of any personally, but Im certain they are out there, there are forums for everything.

Good luck. (y)
(y)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I actually already contacted Directed Electronics. They would not provide technical information to anyone who is not currently a professional installer, but they did recommend a local shop I could contact. I did contact them, and they said there would be no problem as long as I'm not trying to hook anything up to computer data lines (which, of course, I am not).

Basically, before taking a chance, I just wanted to get as much input as possible, and so based on everything I have seen here and with the shop that Directed Electronics (DEI) recommended, I feel more confident with installing this alarm/keyless remote module system in my car.

When done, I intend it to be a supplementary alarm to use in conjunction with the factory alarm, as the factory alarm does not have a shock sensor. I know I could likely use the DEI alarm to trigger the factory alarm, but I do not intend to do that at this time. I do not believe that I would damage anything by doing this, but since I have an extended warranty on the car, I do not want to give the dealer and warranty company any reason to deny a claim in case I do have any electrical trouble. Again, I'm not saying that I am concerned that the DEI alarm would cause the damage; just that sometimes, dealers and warranty companies may look for excuses to deny a claim. So, I would just have a second remote on my keychain to use to activate the DEI alarm any time that I wanted the extra protection.

As for the keyless entry system, I intend to use it's outputs not to control door locks, but instead to control the various accessories that I have installed, by remote control, including all of the extra instrumentation that I have added, "Back to the Future"-style flux capacitor props (a project that is almost complete and took WAY more hours of work than I would've anticipated), underbody lights (likely my next project), and possibly a 2-way radio/monitoring system. I intend to take the spare remotes from the alarm and keyless module, take them apart, and incorporate them into my own "master" remote by soldering leads from the switches on the remote circuit boards to my own buttons in the master remote. This master remote, however, would not control the factory alarm. The idea would be to be able to control all of the special effects by remote control if I take the car to a car show in the future.

So, thank you for all your input. I would expect this project to be completed later in the summer -- maybe July or August time frame -- so I will post updates as they occur.

(y)
 
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