The AVS S Series/RhinoCo RAV3 has been around for a number years now. During that time many changes have been made to the alarm such as new remote designs and extra features. The most recent significant update happened in April 2009 when the S Series was updated to include a Courier function and have built in OEM/MAP so that it can function from a factory remote, the previous model required the extra OEM Module.
In other words the S Series is now capable of working with either the supplied AVS remote controls or the cars factory remote without having to order or pay for additional parts.
Whilst the current Waterproof AVS remote is a nice improvement over the old torch remote I still have some concerns over the build quality.
I have lost count of how many I’ve seen with damaged cases where the flimsy key ring loop has snapped off or worse still, I have had to charge for a needless call out where the remote has fallen off the keyring and been lost leaving the owner stranded.
The Waterproof remote has 4 buttons which are all clearly labelled, the main one being the Lock/Unlock button to go along with boot release, Panic and the rare garage door open button. Personally I would have like to have seen a separate lock and unlock button for ease of use and have to scratch my head why this was overlooked!
More concerning then the flimsy remote shell is how vulnerable the remote is to cloning. Programming of new remote controls really should be pin code protected!
AVS S3 (AVS “3 Star”) Immobiliser
AVS S4 (AVS “4 Star”) Alarm/Immobiliser with shock sensor
AVS S5 (AVS “5 Star”) Alarm/Immobiliser with Glass break & Shock sensor
Vulnerable Data Siren
According to AVS the Data Battery Back-up siren found on the S4, S5 & A4 is more advanced that of most other Battery Back-up sirens. AVS correctly point out that “it can not be fooled into turning of like normal battery back-up sirens.” This may well be true but the AVS Data siren should not be confused with the Digital Battery Back-up sirens found with Autowatch and Cobra which can be hidden. The Data Siren still comes with an over-ride key so needs to be accessible. If the siren is accessible then it is still vulnerable to an attack and can easily be muted, smashed, ripped-out or drowned. It’s worth noting that the siren is not waterproof and even has a sticker on it advising that it should not be exposed to water.
Flimsy siren bracket
The plastic part of the siren that attaches it to the mounting bracket is made of thin brittle plastic that is easy to snap off with one hand, the cables also snap with ease, so the reality is that the AVS data siren is childes play to defeat.
Hyper Blue LED
Come on AVS. It’s just a normal blue LED, lay off the Hype please!
Piss Poor Immobiliser Security
The S Series does not have a security housing to protect the immobiliser circuit which in my opinion is it’s weakest spot: Read the AVS Immobiliser post for details.
None Muppet Proof! * Older models only *
Call me a cynic but I am firm believer of the saying “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong”. Even AVS seem to acknowledge that the S Series has an Achilles heel. Here’s the Link to the AVS Trouble Shooting guide if you are having issues.
What are the issues?
Simply put, the S Series can be put into program mode by mistake **NOTE: This has now been fixed (As I pointed out in the comments section last year) so only applies to old models. Thanks to Brad at AVS for bring this to my attention** if the user goes to disarm the immobiliser with the ignition on and presses the boot pop button instead of the disarm button, the result maybe that the arm/disarm chirps are activated/deactivated, or the remote starts doing strange things such as arming from the wrong button!
My advise is be sure that the immobiliser is off before turning the ignition on otherwise it is only a matter of time before you experience this first hand.
AVS S Series RRP:
AVS S3 $449.00
AVS S4 $549.00
AVS S5 $649.00
Obsessive Rating: Would be great if only the alarm was a strong as the sales spin!
At the risk of sounding crass: A wise man one said you can’t polish a turd. However AVS are skilled in the dark art of marketing. What they have done with the Rinoco RAV3 is to re-brand it and put sprinkles on top. I’ve got to give credit to AVS for the number of these alarms they manage to sell!
- Triple Immobiliser
- Two 4 Button Waterproof Remotes
- Hyper Blue LED
- Built in Central Locking Relays
- Shock Sensor (Not active with S3)
- Data Back-up Siren (Not S3)
- Built in Turbo Timer
- Built in Courier Function
- Built in OEM (to work from factory remote)
- Remote Boot Pop