If you own a late model Nissan (2005 onwards) and are considering a CAN-BUS upgrade alarm then I suggest you keep reading.
Most Nissan models share the same CAN-BUS platform. The remote lock/unlock commands generated by the BUS network can be replicated simply by pressing the hazard switch and manually locking/unlocking the vehicle.
In other words, most CAN-BUS alarms can be tricked into disarming if the door is manually unlocked when the hazard switch is in the on position.
This is clearly not acceptable for a high-end security system. However, nearly every alarm supplier in NZ that has this weakness, yet claim that their CAN-BUS alarms are suitable for most new Nissan’s.
Which alarms are vulnerable?
With the exception of the Cobra AK4615 (and some other Cobra models not sold in NZ) every CAN-BUS alarm I have tested fails the hazard switch test.
What makes Cobra a better system?
Cobra CAN-BUS alarms programmed with Nissan software have additional inhibit wires. These tell the alarm not to disarm if the hazard switch is pressed.
This works in a similar way to most OEM/PLIP upgrade alarms. The installer still needs to take care that the alarm is correctly installed. A thorough check should be done to make sure that there is not an easy way to defeat the alarm.
Sadly it seems that most alarm wholesalers (many of whom simply re-brand shitty systems that they have imported) have a lack of understanding about how CAN-BUS system work. Either that or they fail to test their CAN-BUS alarms suitability for each vehicle. I get the impression that they simply don’t care!
Nissan is not the only manufacturer where after-market CAN-BUS alarms can be tricked so be warned. There are a number of CAN-BUS vehicles where the alarm can simply be disarmed by unlocking the door without the remote! My advice is to test your alarm as you would with an OEM upgrade alarm.
Systems to avoid if you own a Nissan:
Basically any system I have listed on the CAN-BUS alarm review page other than Cobra. I dare say there are others I do not know about too!
Note: If I have made a mistake about any CAN-BUS alarms affected by this then please let me know. I’ll happily update the post.