SsangYong Actyon Sports Upgrade Alarm

The SsangYong Actyon was probably one of the ugliest vehicles ever made until it received a face-lift in 2012. Well that’s my humble opinion and it offends me enough not to put a photo up, but feel welcome to do a Google search if you have a sick bag handy!

Anyway it’s a Ute that comes with an immobiliser, keyless entry and a factory alarm. The thing is the factory alarm is rather basic and can be improved.

Facelift Actyon Sports Ute

The factory alarm has door and bonnet protection and a rather muffled horn. The following video shows it in action.

I highly recommend the Cobra AK4615 which gives you a hidden battery back-up siren, a louder horn and Ultrasonic Sensors. Optional Reed Switch or PIR Sensor can be added if the Ute is fitted with a hard lid or a canopy.

It’s one of the more interesting vehicles electrically and took some cunning (head scratching and cussing) to make the Cobra function as it should do. Still with all struggles comes the satisfaction of knowing the alarm work flawlessly, plus it is another vehicle added to my ever growing database.

Here are some photos of the install.

Alarm LED Over-ride pin Switch

Ultrasonic Movement Sensors

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Vodafone Automotive: Cobra ADR (Automatic Driver Recognition)

New Zealand Product Range

By Vodafone Automotive Product Range

Cobra ADR Cards by Vodafone Automotive work with the Cobra AK4615 protect your vehicle from theft by key cloning. This way if a remote key gets cloned the car remains immobilised.

The Cobra System provides the original vehicle keys with an additional passive digital signature. Preventing cloned keys from starting the vehicle without the ADR card being present directly combating the “Hi Tech” theft of a vehicle via key cloning.

Here is how it works:

Three Levels of Protection

The ADR card can be programmed to work on a number of levels. You can choose which options you prefer depending on your requirements.

  • The first level prevents the vehicle from starting unless the card is detected.
  • The second prevents the alarm from disarming with the factory remote unless the card is detected within 15 seconds.
  • The third is an Anti Hijacking option. All are explained below:

Passive Start Inhibition

The vehicle will automatically immobilise 115 seconds after the engine/ignition is turned off. The Passive Start Inhibition will be deactivated upon detecting the ADR card, or if the correct emergency PIN code is entered. The car will then start as normal.

High Security Disarm

When the factory remote unlocks the car the alarm system enters a 15 second stand down period where it waits to detects the ADR card. If the ADR is not detected within this time the alarm will remain armed and becomes fully active.

Anti Hi-Jacking

The Anti Hijacking feature monitors to see if the ADR card is in the vehicle.

Every time the ignition is turned on, or the drivers door is opened with the ignition on the alarm will look for the ADR card. If the card is not detected within 60 seconds the alarm LED will flash for 30 seconds to warn the driver and give them time to enter the over-ride pin number. If the PIN number or ADR card are not detected then the alarm will go off. Once the ignition is turned off the car is then immobilised.

Ideally the ADR card will be kept with the driver if Anti Hi-Jacking is required.

Cobra ADR Card

Turning the ADR Card on and off

To turn the ADR card off press the button until the LED turns off (about 10 seconds).

Press it for 1 second to turn it back on.

Battery: CR2032


Note: Features vary depending on alarm. This post covers how it works with the AK4198, AK4138 and AK4147

ADR Card works with the following alarms:

  • AK4615
  • AK4698
  • AK4138
  • AK4198
  • AK4147

Posted in Alarm Accessories, Car Alarms, Cobra | Leave a comment

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Upgrade Alarm

Mercedes Benz Blog Posts

The Mercedes Benz Sprinter is a popular trade van and motor home. It comes with a factory immobiliser and keyless entry, however it does lack an alarm.

My preferred alarm is the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm which integrates with the factory remote.

The Volkswagon LT/Crafter is a re-branded Sprinter and the Cobra works fine in that too.

Cobra upgrade alarm works with the factory Mercedes remote

Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Cobra Alarm Installation Details

The Ultrasonic Sensors can be placed either side of the sun visors, or in the centre roof pod that houses the internal lamp (see photo below), the later location works well for camper vans where the vision to the back of the van is often blocked by side cupboards. A PIR sensor can also be added to cover the back of the cabin, and reed switches can also be used if additional hatches require protection.

Ultrasonic sensors mounted in centrally to cover the back of the van.

For those wishing to lock the van without arming the alarm (motor homes) the doors can still be locked using the lock switch next to the hazard warning button. This way the doors can easily be locked without arming the alarm when sleeping inside the vehicle.

Locking the van from inside without arming the alarm

Posted in Cobra, Mercedes Benz, Upgrade Alarms | Tagged | Leave a comment

Respecting Work Hours

Chained to Cell Phone? Not Me….

The curse of having a cell phone…

I actually miss the the old days of only having a landline phone, not because I’m nostalgic, but because people understood that you’ve left the premises and that they could not contact you until working hours resumed.

Now most people respect that I, along with most other small business owners actually need to have time off and have a life. Thank you, I’m genuinely grateful for your custom and support.

Sadly not everyone gets it. I’m not sure if the select few are just selfish and thoughtless, or simply a victim of modern 24/7 society. Either way, I’m not impressed when my voicemail message that clearly states my work hours gets ignored and they phone again and again, or a demanding needy message is left.

Let me explain why I need time off: (For those who don’t get it!)

My spare time is precious to me, like most healthy souls, I enjoy doing none work stuff outside of work hours.

Time off is really important to reduce stress levels, it is also beneficial for both mental and physical health. Don’t take my word for it, do a Google search and understand just how detrimental excessive work hours and not switching off can be for you.

Having time off keeps me fresh, invigorated and performing at the top of my game. You want great service right?

On top of this I enjoy plenty of activities where having a cell phone, or reception is simply not possible. I often choose to leave the phone at home, say I go for a run or a ride, stopping to find my phone simply kills the moment so I don’t have it on me. There are other places like cinemas or restaurants where it’s simply rude to use one.

Hopefully, you’ve got the point by now. If you haven’t then I suggest that you need to learn to respect others and take a good look at yourself. An attitude change will probably improve your relationships with others too!

Sending a SMS starting with Hi sorry to bother you out of hours but…. translates to: I have no respect for you or your time….

But my car alarm is going off!

Read your alarm user manual, find out how it works and use your over-ride pin code if you have it. Check the trouble shooting section of the blog. If that does not work then flick me an email or fill in the contact form and I’ll respond when I can. Or wait until I’m open to make that call.

Remember, I’m not the AA, you don’t pay me annual membership fees to be “on call”.

Finally… I get it, I know you want your car working as quickly as possible, but please be respectful. If I get annoyed about being hassled you’ll end up at the back of the queue. I know you are stressed out, but you can still be nice as super pushy people are ones I’d rather not deal with.

Note: If you’ve sent you this post as an email or sms link it is because you have contacted me outside of hours. Please don’t be offended, but note that my work hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

Posted in Obsessive Website, You really should know... | Tagged | 1 Comment

Alarm won’t disarm!

There is never a good time for your alarm to fail, but this mornings job was one of the most classic…

The phone rings, my distressed customer is a courier driver and her van is illegally parked on Willis Street (No judgement made here as it’s part of being a courier), it’s rush hour and her alarm remote will not disarm her Cobra alarm. The van is immobilised and the siren is wailing!

Now this is exactly why you need to know what your alarms over-ride pin number is and how it works. It’s there to disarm the alarm so you can drive away.

To be fair this lady did actually have the PIN code card with her, and was sure that her PIN number was 9736, however the code would not disarm the alarm!

Ermmmm, somethings not quite right here…..

Card sellotaped to instruction

The real pin code

So it turns out that the dealership who had the alarm installed sellotaped the card to the instructions so it did not get lost. I’d probably make the same assumption looking at how well placed the card was!

Anyway, I disarmed the alarm, with the correct code. Got the van off the street, repaired the old remote (battery terminals needed to be re-soldered), programmed a new remote and changed the PIN number to one of my customers choosing. Job done.

I also noted that a lass who worked at a cafe on Willis Street spotted that my customer was in distress and came over with a free coffee. Some people are awesome 🙂

Job #2

On to the next job. Another alarm where the owner does not have his over-ride pin number. He had called the AA and had tried disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes in an attempt to re-set the alarm (I’m not sure where some of the technicians come up with these hair brained ideas but it happens all the time!)

Of course this did not work so I then get the call to come to the rescue…

Just another Monday morning!

Posted in Alarm Remotes, Cobra, Courier alarms, Trouble Shooting! | 2 Comments

Nissan Qashqia Upgrade Alarm

The Nissan Qashqai comes with a factory fitted immobiliser and keyless entry, but not an alarm.

My recommendation is the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm which works flawlessly with the factory remote.

Expect a hidden digital battery back-up siren and horn honk as standard.

Below is a video and some photos to help show how the alarm functions in the Qashqai:

Current Shape Nissan Qashqia came out in 2014


Cobra Alarm Installation Details

The Ultrasonic Sensors on the AK4615 look great in the Qashqai as does the LED over-ride switch. Here are some photos of how the alarm looks when installed:

Nissan Qashqai Ultrasonic Sensors

Alarm LED mounted on the top of the dash

Alarm works with Factory Nissan Remote


Own an older Model Nissan Qashqai?

If you have the previous generation Qashqia the AK4615 also works.

Nissan Qashqai 2007-2013

Posted in CAN BUS Alarms, Cobra, Nissan, Obsessive Installs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Vodafone Automotive Window Stickers

New Window Stickers

A small part of me died today when I opened up a AK4615 to find Vodafone Automotive window stickers instead of the old Cobra decals.

I’d been hoping this day would never come as I’m not convinced that my customers would be happy about having Vodafone stickers on their cars.

Having said that I have been stock pilling the old stickers so they are still an option.

For those who don’t know, Vodafone purchased Cobra back in 2014 as explained here…

It would be interesting to see how some of you feel about the re-branding as I could be wrong! Feel welcome to share your thoughts.

Other Stickers an Option

The Old Cobra Logo

You can always opt for some Obsessive Vehicle Security stickers or some retro Cobra logos as shown here…

Posted in Cobra | 2 Comments

Holiday dates 22nd December to 15th January

Holiday Time

It’s that time of year again where the tools get put down and the phone gets switched off.

My Summer Holiday starts on the 22nd December and I’m back on the 15th January.

Please do not try to contact me via the phone during this time. I will not be responding to any SMS or voice mails. I’ll be avoiding Facebook too as real adventures don’t involve screens in the great outdoors!

Feel welcome to use the contact form for any enquiry’s and I’ll respond when I can.

Hope you all have a wonderful festive summer break and I wish everyone a fantastic start to 2018.


Posted in Just for Fun!, You really should know... | Leave a comment

You don’t need another bloody immobiliser!

How Transponder immobilisers work

Most modern cars already have an immobiliser with a transponder chip fitted into the head of the factory key. These are unobtrusive and super reliable, so adding an after market one on top of the factory system is both pointless and a waste of money.

It’s also idiotic! Why would you want to have to press the remote again after the second immobiliser has kicked in? It’s old technology designed for old cars!

Car Audio Shops giving poor advice

Sadly this knowledge seems to be lost on most of the pillocks that work for the local car audio outfits in Wellington. I’ve lost count of how many customers of mine have told me that they have been quoted for an AVS S5 which has triple immobilisation cuts that they don’t need!

Roll on two years and the shitty aftermarket remote fails and they are left stranded unable to start the car!

It’s something I find super frustrating. They are misleading their potential customers either by utter incompetence or greed. It’s probably a bit of both to be fair as there is often pressure to make a sale along with a lack of knowledge due to high staff turn over!

Insurance Companies also Incompetent!

I’ve had numerous customers inform me that NAC insurance have told them they need to get an AVS alarm with an immobiliser, even though the car already has a perfectly good factory immobiliser!

The NAC website does not even acknowledge that factory immobilisers exist. It’s crap advice pushing crappy products. The industry needs to sharpen up and move with the times. I’m also baffled why they recommended what I consider to be one of the worst immobilisers going when there are far better systems out there!

Being Upfront

Personally I’d rather give up 10 minutes of my time for free to take a look at the car and confirm if it has an immobiliser or not. It’s about being honest rather then looking for a sale. It feels good to treat people with respect and its the way I like to be treated myself. Whilst I may not get an instant financial return I often get recommendations because of it.

If the car already has an immobiliser I’ll make sure the owner has a spare key and send them to a local locksmith to get a spare if they don’t.

There is also the option of either a OEM upgrade alarm or a Remote upgrade alarm if they want some added security.

Posted in AVS, Immobilisers, Installers, Muppets, NAC Insurance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Away until 26th October

Returning to the UK

I’m returning to the UK for a week to catch up with family and to celebrate the life of my father who past away earlier this month.

It’s been a rather hectic couple of weeks since my last visit to say my goodbyes to him last month but I’m grateful that I got the chance to do this whilst I could.

From a work point of view it’s not been ideal, but then these things never are!

It’s been a struggle keeping up with all the emails and phone calls so if I’ve not got back to any of you please accept my apologies and understand that I’ve simply been rushed of my feet.

Anyway I’ll be back in NZ on Thursday 26th October.

I’ve made the decision to keep the phone off during this time.

Please use the Contact form if you wish to book a job in for when I return.

Again thank you all for your support.

Cheers Julian

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