The Mazda 3 (Or Axela as it is called in Japan) was first released in 2003. All New Zealand models have a factory immobiliser but some of the early Generation 1 Japanese Axela (BK Shape) imports did not have any form of security.
With all Mazda 3 models adding an alarm to the work with the factory remote controls is possible.
I’ll start off with the GEN 2 (BL) model which is full CAN-BUS and really does need a decent CAN-BUS alarm if it is to be effective.
The only CAN-BUS alarm I am currently aware of that protects against this is the Cobra AK4615. It is the only system I recommend for the BL Mazda 3/Axela if you wish to continue using the factory remote or smart key. The Cobra has that factory look and feel too so it’s simply the best choice. There is also the option to add a Cobra remote control which is far better value then the $300+ that Mazda normally ask for a single remote.
Having said that the model I worked on only came with one factory remote key which left me unimpressed. It does come with a second key, but it has no remote buttons built in. The good news is that the Cobra AK4615 can work with both the factory remote and a Cobra remote, or you could hit LDV up for a second remote key.
LDV V80 Maxus Van 2011 >
If they start coming with two remote keys as standard then please let me know and I’ll update this space.
Cobra AK4615 in PLIP Mode or AK4698 with two Cobra Remote Controls
Both the Cobra AK4615 and AK4698 are good options for the V80. Horn honk along with the Cobra siren make the alarm nice and loud as it should be and ultrasonic sensors cover the internal space.
Only comes with one factory remote key!
Here are some photos of what you’ll see after the install:
I’m not aware of it being a problem in New Zealand as yet, partly because we don’t have many panel vans as most of our vans have glass windows! Arguably this makes them even easier to look and break into, I’ve never understood why so many are sold here, most dealerships don’t seem overly concerned about content security. On the bright side glass is cheaper to fix!
With the Van having factory deadlocks and a partition from the main cab the only way into the back without the remote is by brute force.
The ultimate goal was to minimise the potential for damage being done in an attempted break in. It’s also an attempt to stay ahead of the game and learn new tricks. In my opinion there’s no better way to learn then to keep an eye on what others in the industry are up to, along with experimenting on your own vehicle and living with the results.
It’s all very well having a PIR Sensor or a Microwave Sensor to detect and scare off an intruder, but that’s not really much comfort if your door has been folded in half! It’s much better if the scumbags get warned away before any damage is actually done, or better still catch them in the act.
Keeping things Clean
First off I did not want to drill any holes if possible. I wanted to mount a switch and get a cable into the vehicle without it looking crude. The obvious location was by the rubber door stopper which is held in place with two M6 bolts.
Existing door stopper and M6 fixing bolts
I did some homework and found that I could source some hollow M6 bolts which I could run a cable through.
Waterproof Micro Switch with wires run through hollow M6 Bolt
Next came the micro switch which I made a bracket up for. The hole in the bracket is the mount point which is secured by the other existing M6 bolt.
Micro switch mounted on custom made Stainless bracket
Having the bracket on the top bolt allows for minor adjustment as it can be tilted when fitting. The cable then runs down inside the panel to the factory door switch.
I suggest checking the NZ Police stolen vehicle page where you can download the number of stolen vehicles for each area if you want some solid numbers.
Police warning on Facebook
Anyway now seems a good time to point out what security the Demio comes with and what options there are to protect them.
First off do not assume that your Mazda Demio (or any Japanese car for that matter) has an immobiliser, even if you have a remote key.
I’ve worked on models as late as 2011 that have keyless entry but no factory immobiliser or alarm.
Mazda Demio (DE) 2007-2014
How can you tell if your Demio has an Immobiliser?
Immobiliser Warning Light
Have a look at your instrument cluster and see if it has an immobiliser warning light that flashes when the key is not in the ignition.
All of the generation 3 models (DE) 2007-2014 will have a spot for the immobiliser light. Even cars without an immobiliser have the symbol there but it does not flash! If you look closely you can normally spot it but note that it is not lit up.
A Cobra Remote can also be added to the AK4615 so if you only have one remote key and an none remote key this could be a more cost effective option then getting another remote key from the dealer ship.
Ultrasonic sensors come as standard with the Cobra which protect the cabin along with door, boot and bonnet protection. The Wireless siren can be hidden, plus is loud with horn wired up too so it’ll get noticed if someone does break in.
Here are some photos of what the Cobra AK4615 alarm looks like installed:
The Obsessive Van is the first fully electric vehicle that I’ve worked on. As you’d expect I’ve tried to take it to a new level so it’s been a good learning exercise and I’ve come up with some new tricks as a result.
Good level of factory security
The Nissan e-NV200 actually comes with a reasonable amount of security as standard with Proximity Smart Keys, single press deadlocks, (*see foot note) factory immobiliser and push to start ignition.
The Panel van version which I own also has a solid cargo barrier which prevents you from gaining access to the back of the van, even if the drivers door lock is picked or a front window is smashed.
LED over-ride on the e-NV200 (addition LED fitted on top of dash for added visual deterrent)
PIR Sensor with internal sirens and LED light bar
The Niggily Little Details
The e-NV200 is very similar to the petrol NV200 van which it’s based on (The rest of the technology is borrowed from the Nissan Leaf). All of the body electrics still work on a 12 volt system so it’s not radically different from the old gas guzzler. That said it still has some unique features that made the installation interesting.
Nissan e-NV200 smart key with Fan button
First off was the factory remote which has a fan button. This turns on the cabin heater and demists the windows if held down for two seconds. Obviously having air movement in the cabin is not good if you have ultrasonic sensors, fortunately the Cobra AK4615 can be programmed to turn them down to 50% when the fan turns on. This means the alarm can remain armed whilst the van is defrosting.
The e-NV200 even has heated seats and steering wheel which is super luxurious for a van. Silent demisting makes remote engine start in an old combustion engine look seriously primitive!
Overcoming the limitations of the factory remote locking
The biggest issue I had with the van was how the charge port opened (yes I know I’m pedantic!). It comes with a mechanical bonnet type pull lever inside the cabin which I felt was a tad crude. After finding out that the Gen 2 Nissan Leaf could open with the remote I decided that the van need this too.
Come on Nissan, it’s not the 1970’s any more!
The challenge was how to make it work using the factory remote. I’ve not come across any systems that can do this before. After spending to much time searching I gave up and decided to design my own circuit.
I’ve called it the Double Tap Module as it will active a second output if the lock button is pressed twice within 3 seconds. On the van it also activates a timer to turn a LED strip on for 3 minutes so I can see the charging port which helps when plugging it in at night time 🙂
Having already developed the remote double tap module I decided it would be cool if I could turn the headlamps on by pressing the unlock button twice. The video below shows how useful this is at night and also shows the cabin heater turning on (note the blue LED which indicates that the demister/cabin heater is active). When the van is still plugged in it can pre-heat without any effect on the range.
Window Closure and Venting
Next came automatic window closure. I added a Viper 535T module which automatically closes the windows when the alarm arms. It also gives the windows a single press full open or close which the passenger window did not have as standard.
The 535T vent feature is super useful too. Venting simply opens both windows by a pre-programmed level. I’ve wired mine up to work from a double tap of the unlock button on the dash. This will only work when the accessory circuit is on so it does not compromise the security.
The following instruction explain how to disable the ultrasonic volumetric sensors and additional movement sensor on a Cobra AK4698
Note: The Additional movement sensor is an option and is to standard equipment.
The Ultrasonic Volumeteric Sensor protection must be disabled any time you leave somebody or an animal in the vehicle. Also if you want to leave any window opened please disable the protection to avoid false alarms. All other protections remain active.
Normal Arming (1 Press of Button A)
Arm the system pressing the “A” push button of the remote control. The hazard lights will flash twice (the siren will also beep twice if audible arming is programmed) and doors will lock. The alarm has a 28 second delay before it is full active. During this time you can isolate (turn off) the various sensors.
Two Button AK4698 Remote
Ultrasonic Volumetric Sensors Off/Additional Sensor On
Pressing button “A” a second time deactivates the volumetric protection (Ultrasonic sensors)
The deactivation is confirmed by one flash of the direction indicators and one beep.
Ultrasonic Volumetric Sensors On/Additional Sensor Off
Pressing button “A” a third re-activates the volumetric protection (Ultrasonic sensors) whilst deactivating the optional additional sensor (e.g. P.I.R movement sensor or Tilt Sensor).
The deactivation is confirmed by two flashes of the direction indicators and two beeps.
Ultrasonic Volumetric Sensors Off/Additional Sensor Off
Pressing button “A” a forth time deactivates both the volumetric protection (Ultrasonic sensors) and the additional sensor.
The deactivation is confirmed by three flashes of the direction indicators and three beeps.
Optional Padlock Remote
Note: The selected sensors will remain disabled for the one arming cycle. They will be automatically restored at the next arming.
Pressing Button “A” after the 28 Second arm period has ended will either activate Car Finder Mode or activate the Panic Alarm feature depending on programming.
These instructions also work with the Cobra AK4615 with a Cobra Remote Programmed.
If your alarm triggers you’ll probably want to know what has caused it to happen. This way it can be repaired if damage has occurred or be put right if there is an issue with a faulty sensor.
All Cobra alarms will notify you of a trigger when you disarm them by a beeping of the siren. (Note that if you have arm/disarm chirps activated the beeps will be additional to the normal disarm notification beeps).
At this stage open a door to prevent the alarm from re-arming and get into the vehicle to count the LED flashes.
Cobra LED Control Panel
The LED on the control panel will then flash a number between 1 and 7 to notify you what the fault code is. (There are higher numbers but these are rarely seen and are technical installing information)
For example the code for a bonnet sensor is 3. The LED would flash 3 times then pause before flashing 3 times again.
It’s worth mentioning that if there has been more then one code then they will be flashed in turn before repeating.
Note: Turning the Ignition on, or arming the alarm will clear the codes. If your immobiliser is set to auto-arm then make a point to count the fault code number before it kicks in and is lost.