What is door peeling and how do you protect against it?

Door Peeling, or “Peel and Steal” is a big issue in the UK right now. It’s a very destructive way to break into a van without triggering the factory alarm (if there even is one).

Peeling is the simple act of folding the top of a door open with brute force to see if there are any valuable contents.

It has come to my attention via some of my Twitter feeds, Check out Vans Under Attack twitter page which is a big eye opener!

Here’s a link to a Daily Mail post which has some horrid images and a video showing how the peeling is being done… **

Ford Transit Door Peeled

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!

It’s easy to look on the NZ police website to find out which vehicles are stolen but I’m sure that content theft is a far bigger issue, sadly there is no public data that I know of.

Securing the Obsessive Van from Door Peeling

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.

PIR Sensor with internal sirens

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.

Installed Micro Switch with not new holes drilled

Here’s a video of it in action:

More details on the Obsessive Van security system can be found here…


Foot Note: ** I accept that the Daily Mail is gutter journalism of which 50% of linked content is Cleavage Click bait rather then actual news,  but it’s the best I could find today!

Posted in Alarm Accessories, Car Security News, Obsessive Installs, Obsessive Van, Sensors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Toyota Hilux Tailgate Lock

The Toyota Hilux does not come with a locking tailgate so I’ve developed a locking module that works with the factory remote.

It will work with any current generation Toyota Hilux that uses a handle to open the tailgate.

The module consists of a steel plate that is mounted on factory bolts points inside the lid, upon which is attached a high quality actuator which fires a rod across to prevent the handle from moving.

Below is a video showing how it actually works.

It will work with both the SR-5 and none SR-5 models.

Pricing: $550.00 installed

Optional: Double Tap Module to prevent automatic re-locking: $95.00

Note: Double tap module is wired to unlock the tailgate on the second unlock which also prevents the main doors from re-locking.


Posted in Central Locking, Toyota | 4 Comments

Mazda Demio Topping Theft Lists

The Mazda Demio (also known as the Mazda 2) has been making headlines as the most stolen car in New Zealand.

I’m not going to link to any of the usual over-hyped crap reporting outlets, but it’s a big enough problem for the Wiakato Police issue a warning on their Facebook Page back in February.

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.

Adding an Immobiliser

I recommend the Autowatch 573PPi transponder immobiliser as the easiest affordable option. The Cobra 8510 is also available if you don’t mind using a touch key.

Remote Upgrade Alarm Systems

There are a number of options for the Demio so I suggest contacting me with the vehicle details and I can email the most appropriate options for your needs.

I’ll need to know:

  • Year of the Demio.
  • If the car has a factory immobiliser or not.
  • How many Mazda remote controls you have assuming if you wish to continue using them, or if you’d like an alarm with it’s own remote controls.

CAN-BUS upgrade alarm (works with factory remote)

The CAN-BUS system on the Demio is similar to most Nissan models in that a manual lock/unlock combined with the hazards lights generates the same data as a remote lock/unlock. This can be used to trick most alarms into disarming! Therefor the only CAN-BUS system I’d recommend is the Cobra AK4615 which is protected from this.

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:

LED control panel in the Mazda Demio

Ultrasonic sensors look great in the Demio

The AK4615 also works the New 2014 Mazda 2:

Mazda 2 DJ 2014-

Most of the new Mazda 2/Demio (DJ) models from 2014 come with a factory immobiliser but still lack an alarm.

The Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS alarm is the perfect upgrade alarm for these too.

Older Demio?

I’ve got both the DW Gen 1 Demio (1996-2002) and the DY Gen 2 Demio (2007-2007) covered too so please contact me if you need options for either.


Posted in CAN BUS Alarms, Car Security News, Mazda | Tagged | Leave a comment

e-NV200 Obsessive Van upgrade alarm


Nissan Blog Posts

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.

However it does not have an alarm so the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm was the obvious starting point.

Here are some photos of the install to start off with:

Cobra Ultrasonic Sensors look super tidy in the Nissan e-NV200.

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 🙂

Night Lights

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.

Products used:

*Note: UK Panel Van e-NV200 has deadlocking as standard but the Jap imports I’ve seen seem to lack this feature.


Want to know more about what it’s like running a small business from an Electric Van?

Feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions or want to take a look at it.

More Obsessive Van Posts Below

My Planned route back to Wellington

The new Obsessive work horse: Nissian E-NV200

The Obsessive Electric Vehicle Charging Bay

Auckland to Wellington in an Electric Van

Peel & Steal Door Protection!

Posted in Cobra, Electric Vehicles, Nissan, Obsessive Installs, Obsessive Van | Leave a comment

Cobra AK4698 Movement Sensor Deactivation

New Zealand Product Range

New Zealand Product Range

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.

Here’s a video demonstration:


Posted in Cobra, Trouble Shooting! | Leave a comment

Kia Sportage Upgrade Alarm

Kia Blog Posts

The current shape Kia Sportage was released as a 2016 model and comes with a very high level of equipment.

It shares the same hands free proximity boot opening set up as the Hyundai Tucson where the the boot opens when the remote comes into range.

Despite having  a factory transponder immobiliser, push to start button and proximity remote locking it does not have an alarm as standard.

2016 Kia Sportage (QL)

The good news is that the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS alarm works perfectly with the factory proximity remote set up.

The Cobra uses the factory bonnet switch and integrates with the Kia CAN-BUS system flawlessly.

Here are some photos of the installation (Not much to see other then the LED Control Panel and Ultrasonic Sensors).

Ultrasonic Internal Protection

Ultrasonic Sensors Look funky in Grey matching the door cards. Black is also an option.

Cobra LED Control Panel allows you to disable the Ultrasonic Sensors

Sportage (SL) 2010-2015

Previous Model Sportage 2010-2015

The Cobra AK4615 also works with the previous generation Kia Sportage.

A full list of compatible vehicles can be found here…



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

Cobra Alarm Fault Codes

New Zealand Product Range

New Zealand Product Range

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.

Here is a video explaining what to look for:

Fault Codes:

  1. flash: Door opening detection.
  2. flashes: Ultrasonic Sensor detection.
  3. flashes: Bonnet opening detection.
  4. flashes: Ignition key ON detection.
  5. flashes: Boot opening detection. (Additional Sensor AB3868)
  6. flashes: Door opening detection (Not used on all alarms)
  7. flashes: “Additional Sensor” detection. (such as PIR or Level Sensor)
  8. or more flashes (Technical installation code)

The Control Panel/LED can also be used to disarm the alarm with your over-ride pin number.

Note: The codes are correct for all current Cobra Alarm Systems, but vary on some of the older models.

Check your user manual and consult your installer if in any doubt.


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Alarm Sensors

Here’s a quick run down on what sensors are available and what they actually detect. Click on each link for a more detailed explanation…

Door and Boot Switches

Common type of Door switch found on most vehicles. Some are built into the door latch.

Most vehicles already have these fitted as standard equipment.

Part of my job as an installer is to check that they all work and make sure the alarm is wired up to them.

I make the effort to wire the alarm directly to the doors circuit rather then the interior dome lamp (especially if it is a faded time out type) so the alarm can warn you if you leave one open when arming it.

Bonnet Switch

Stainless bonnet switch

Detects the opening of the bonnet.

Should come as standard with any alarm system and fitted if the vehicle has a bonnet.

Stainless or waterproof switches are best as rusty ones can cause false alarm or simply not work at all.

Some vehicles already have factory switches built into the bonnet latch

More details here…

Micro Switch

Microswitch on custom made bracket

Micro Switches can be used where a traditional bonnet switch is not practical to fit.

These are often used on caravan and motor home doors.

I have them installed on the Obsessive van to protect against door folding!

More details here…

Shock Sensor

False alarm generator!

These things give car alarms a bad name, especially in Wellington where even the wind can cause them to give a false alarm!

Over sensitive impact sensors are the biggest cause of false alarms. The can be set off by large vehicle passing, booming exhaust pipes and the wind.

I do my best to avoid installing them and turn the sensitivity down on systems that have these built in.

Tilt/Level Sensor

Level Sensors protect against this!

Level sensors  learn what angle the vehicle is parked at when the alarm is armed. If it then gets jacked up the alarm will trigger.

Great for protecting wheels from theft or even the vehicle being towed.

Not prone to false alarms like shock sensors.

More details here…

Glass Break Sensor

Glass Sensors are not always effective

A Glass Break Sensor is a microphone that is tuned to detect the high pitched sound that a window makes when it gets smashed.

These are not effective if you have a large vehicle such as a van where the sensor is some distance from the sound source or if the vehicle has aftermarket window tint film.

More details here…

Ultrasonic Sensors

Super clean ultrasonic installation.

Ultrasonic or volumetric sensors monitor the internal space inside a vehicle.

They consist of a transmitter which sends an ultrasonic sound wave around the cabin which in turn is detected by the receiver.

More details here…

PIR Sensor

PIR sensor mounted with custom bracket for a tidy and solid installation.

Passive Infrared Sensors (PIR Sensors) are good for protecting Ute Canopies and internal space in Motor homes and Caravans.

They detect heat movement such as a human body coming into the detection zone.

More details here…

Reed Switch

Magnetic Reed Switch

A reed switch is a turns on and off when a magnet goes in and out of range.

These are useful when fitting a bonnet or door switch is not is not physically practical.

Great for Ute tray lids and caravan doors.

More details here…

Microwave Sensor

Microwave Sensors

Microwave sensors are normally installed on soft top vehicles where ultrasonic sensor are not an option.

They detect a mass (such as a human body) entering the zone.

More details here…

Closed Loop Sensors

Closed Loop Sensor

Closed Loop Sensors are one of the most effective ways of protecting external items on a vehicle.

Accessories such as LED light bars, spot lights and winches are often easy targets which a closed loop sensor can help secure.

They trigger the alarm when the loop wire is cut so running the loop wire with the main cables is a subtle way to protect expensive equipment.

Wireless External Tilt Sensor

Wireless sensors. Great for protecting external items

These are an easy add on to any alarm and can be used to protect external items carried on a vehicle.

Great for roof boxes, cycles carriers or tool boxes carried on the back of a Ute.

The sensor knows what angle it is placed at when the alarm is armed and triggers the alarm if it changes angle.

More details here…


Posted in Alarm Accessories, Sensors | Leave a comment

Remote Double Tap Module

Remote Double Tap Module

One of the things I’ve always found restrictive about some factory remote locking systems is the lack of any auxiliary options.

If only you could get your existing car remote to control a new function by simply pressing it a second time.

Well I’ve come up with a tidy solution that will work with most vehicles. It simply activates a second function by pressing the lock or unlock button twice within 3 seconds. Hence why I’ve called it a  “Remote Double Tap Module”.

I’ve already kitted the Obsessive Van out with a remote double tap lock function that activates a Boot Release Actuator to pop open the charger door which also actives a 3 minute timer module to turn some LED’s on for better night vision.

Pressing the unlock button twice turns on the headlamps for 30 seconds which is useful when approaching the vehicle in the dark.

There are plenty of other uses for the double tap module. Last week I installed one on a New SR-5 Toyota Hilux to work as a selective unlocking system for the canopy. The second unlock press unlocks the canopy door as well as sending a command to the vehicle so it will not auto re-lock. Without this the vehicles locking system re-locks after 30 seconds unless one of the main doors has not been opened. In turn the alarm would re-arm and then the PIR movement sensor would trigger the alarm!

It makes the alarm easy to use as the alternative is opening a door before accessing the canopy which is a pain and not exactly intuitive.

Double Tap Module

Pricing: $95.00 installed.

Note: Price does not include additional parts such as timer modules, LED’s or locking actuators.

Will work with any locking system that responds to a 2nd press of a factory remote. Can also work with some aftermarket keyless entry systems and alarms.

Double Tap Module can be use for the following:

  • Window closure
  • Boot Pop
  • Tailgate unlock
  • Selective unlock
  • Auto Re-arm/Re-lock disable
  • Headlamp turn on with 2nd unlock
  • Many other functions – Just ask…


Posted in Keyless Entry, Obsessive Installs | Tagged | Leave a comment

My electric vehicle charging bay

No Dinosaur Juice!

It’s been about 3 months since I took ownership of the fully electric e-NV200 van and it’s been super easy to live with so far.

To the best of my knowledge there are 4 of them in the Wellington region to date (I know two of the other owners). I’m puzzled at why there are not more of them around as it makes so much sense for a small business.

I’m getting about 120 KM on a full charge which is enough for what I do on a daily basis.

Charging the Batteries

Nearly all of my charging is done at home via a JuiceBox Worx EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). It provides the van with a 32 amp AC supply which the vans 6.6KW charger converts into DC to charge the batteries. This will fully charge the van from empty in about 4 hours (24KW battery).

It’s not exactly the most stylish unit to look at and in my option would look quite naff if it was bolted onto the side of the garage wall or the fence. Therefor the decision was made to hide it in the retaining wall behind a door.

Recharging bay: So much nicer then visiting a petrol station

Building the charge box

Box built and cables mounted

Door Shut

Door open

I stated off by building a box into the wooden wall that supports the fence.

Tristram from Tristram J Electrical then wired the EVSE up and mounted it to the back of the box (I had dug a trench for the cable in advance).

A sheet of ply was used to hide the EVSE control box and another sheet of ply was then fitted as a door with hinges at the base and a magnet at the top to keep it shut.

After this a notch was cut in the ply to allow the door to close whilst the cable was in use.

I then installed LED lighting behind the top batten facing downwards to act as back lighting which can be turned on with the garage door remote or a switch by the front door. This activates an adjustable timer. The LED strip above the door also lights up the box when it is open so it’s super easy to see in the dark.

Next came the rest of the battens which my mate Jim cut to size and helped fit to finish the clean look. The top batten of the door has hinges as the gap between each batten was to tight for the cable.

There is also a hidden hose reel built into the wall to wash the van, bike, plants etc.

Here’s a video of it in action which includes a couple of functions I’ve added to the vans remote control which I’ll explain soon:


Posted in Electric Vehicles, Obsessive Van | Tagged | Leave a comment