Mitsubishi Express Alarm System

Mitsubishi New Zealand finally has a new van for sale. The Express was released in 2020 and fills the hole that was left when the L300 finally went out of production in 2014.

It’s actually a re-badged Gen 3 Renault Trafic which has been in production since 2014. This post covers that too along with a host of other vans based on the Renault Trafic which I’ll list at the bottom of the page.

It lacks an Alarm

It comes with a factory transponder immobiliser and key-less-entry as standard but lacks an alarm. The Vodafone Automotive AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm is my recommendation.

Mitsubishi Express Alarm Installation

The alarm works with the factory remote key and has Ultrasonic movement sensors as standard to protect the cabin. For vans with a partition, I recommend a PIR sensor to cover the load area.

Ultrasonic movement sensors come as standard with the AK4615

Also works with the following vans which have different badges:

Renault Trafic

Nissan NV300

Fiat Talento

Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro

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Mercedes Sprinter Alarm System

The generation 3 Sprinter has been in production since 2018. It comes with remote locking and immobiliser as standard but does not come with an alarm.

For those wishing to upgrade the security and add an alarm I recommend the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm which works with the factory remote.

I can also configure the alarm to work as a courier alarm with a Cobra remote which I’ll explain at the end of this post.

Gen 3 (907/910) VS30 Mercedes Sprinter

How the AK4615 Mercedes Sprinter Alarm works

It simply works with the factory remote. Lock the van and it arms. Unlock with either the front or rear unlock buttons and it disarms.

Alarm works with Mercedes remote

Expect all the usual, a very loud hidden siren and optional horn honk.

Ultrasonic Internal Protection

The ultrasonic sensors get painted black to match the trim colour, they then get mounted on either side of the rearview mirror. This gives good coverage of the whole cabin, especially with motorhome setups where side cabinets can often block the view to the back of the van,

Ultrasonic sensors painted black for a perfect colour match

The LED over-ride switch goes nicely on a switch blank as shown below.

LED over-ride switch

Courier Alarm Option

Following on from the Toyota Hiace CAN-BUS courier alarm (which was an Obsessive first) I’ve not got the AK4615 to work as a courier alarm in the Sprinter too.

Sprinter Courier alarm

This happened after the local car audio shop told my customer it was not possible. I suggest that they should remove the signage claiming to be alarm specialist or up their game ?

Pricing: (correct at time of posting this but subject to change)

AK4615 $700.00

Cobra Remote $115.00 each

Previous generation Spinter (906) 2006-2018

Gen 2 Sprinter 2006-2018

The AK4615 also works in the previous model Mercedes Sprinter as posted here… (although I’ve not made a courier alarm version available as yet)

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Autowatch Remote Cases

I’ve just landed a new batch of Autowatch peanut remote cases.

The usual black ones were not available so I accepted an assortment of funky colours that may or may not be your taste!

I’m happy to swap the cases over when installing a 446RiS/RiSG so let me know if you’d like something other than the stock ones.

Replacement Case: $30.00 plus shipping

Note: If you are ordering one online then you will be sent a random colour. I will only be offering a choice to those who are purchasing an alarm.

More details about the Autowatch Peanut remote can be found here…

Note: I do not offer international sales. New Zealand only.

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Ford Ranger Security 2006-2011

The second-generation Ford Ranger was made between 2006 and 2011.

With the exception of the early PJ (2006-2009) “poverty pack” XL model, most had central locking, keyless entry, and a transponder immobiliser as standard, yet lacked an alarm. The Facelift PK (2009-2011) XL model actually got central locking as standard!

Interestingly the early XL model does have the central locking relays and wiring loom, but Ford simply removed the door lock actuators!

2nd Generation Ford Ranger

You can tell if your Ford Ranger has an immobiliser by looking at the key. If the keyring hole is in the center as shown in the photo below it does not have one.

Ford Ranger XL Key with central keyring hole

If however the hole is offset to the side then there is a transponder chip in the head of the key.

Upgrading central locking in the XL

The locking is a cable system so adding aftermarket locking actuators is not an option. My suggestion is to get genuine Ford ones which will simply bolt into the factory doors, plug them into the existing wiring and the job is done.

Existing locking wire loom in the XL Ranger

I’m not suggesting taking a loan out and going to the Ford dealership (if anyone knows the pricing then let me know and I’ll post it here). There are enough old ones kicking around at the wreckers these days so grab some second-hand ones.

Ford Ranger Alarm options

If you have a Ranger that still has both remote controls you could opt for an OEM upgrade alarm that works with them. However, given that the Ford remote control is separate from the key I’d recommend an alarm that comes with two new remote controls.

The advantage of a remote alarm is that you have much more control over how it is programmed. If you don’t like the Ford Auto re-locking then you don’t have to have it.

I’d recommend an alarm with an immobiliser if you have the XL version.

If you have a canopy on the tray and keep tools in there then a PIR sensor is a good addition to any alarm.

Note: This post is also applicable to the Mazda BT-50 with the same production dates.

Details about 2012> Ford Ranger can be found here…

Ford Ranger upgrade alarm (Includes Mazda BT-50)

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Mercedes Benz C Class Upgrade Alarm

If you own a (W204) C Class Mercedes Benz without an alarm then the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm is as good as any factory-fitted option you could have.

It’s also a fraction of the price from what you’d pay at the dealership at the time of purchase.

Top Class Security

Other than a very subtle LED on the dash there is no visible sign that I’ve worked on the car.

C Class (W204) 2017-2014

Everything works with the factory smart key flawlessly.

Cobra LED on the C Class dash

Ultrasonic Installation Perfection

The C Class has factory holes in the light cluster that the Cobra Ultrasonic Sensors simply clip into.

C Class (W204) alarm movement sensors

There is no drilling required, they fit in the same as the factory option ones.

Fitting the sensors back into the roof lining

It’s then a case of running the cables and clipping the trim back in place with a sense of satisfaction.

Installation complete and nothing to see

It’s not just the visual side of things I love about the ultrasonic sensor in the Mercedes.

If you arm the alarm and leave a window open, then the alarm will disable the sensors and give you a warning chirp to let you know. This way you’ll never get a false alarm or leave your windows open by mistake.

It’s not a feature unique to the C Class, this is a common feature with most German vehicles.

Other simple (none standard) features

The alarm disarms when the boot is opened with the smart key, then re-arms when you shut the boot. The system is quite simply designed to work flawlessly with the car.

As for the rest of the install, well it’s all hidden and as tidy as the rest of the factory wiring as shown here:

C Class Upgrade Alarm

The Cobra AK4615 also works in the current C Class (W205) 2014>

Price from $750.00 installed.

Posted in CAN BUS Alarms, Car Alarms, Cobra, Mercedes Benz, Vodafone Automotive | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Toyota Hiace Courier Alarm

Last year I posted about the New Toyota Hiace. I can now add a new Courier alarm solution for the Hiace which I’m quite excited about.

It’s the first CAN-BUS courier alarm I have done and possibly a world-first too. I have not read about anyone else doing this before.

Historically this has not been possible as the alarm will not arm when the ignition is on. However Vodafone Automotive has been good enough to update the Hiace firmware to ignore the ignition CAN data.

Toyota Hiace Courier Alarm

It’s a sweet solution as the van can still use the one remote key that Toyota provides when it’s not being used as a Courier alarm. It can also work as a normal courier alarm with the Cobra remote.

Here it is in action:


More details about the AK4615 and the New Hiace can be found in my original blog post…

Toyota Hiace Courier Alarm

Toyota Hiace Alarm

New Toyoya Hiace Alarm

Pricing includes installation and GST

Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS courier alarm $815.00 (Comes with one Cobra Remote)

Additional Cobra Remote: $115.00 each


Optional Upgrade:

Tilt Sensor $150.00

Posted in CAN BUS Alarms, Car Alarms, Cobra, Courier alarms, Obsessive Installs, Toyota, Vodafone Automotive | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Car Alarms and Flat Batteries

Most of us will not have been using our vehicles much over the past 4 weeks, so it should not be a surprise if you find your battery has gone flat when you come to use it again.

Statistics show that about 40% of AA call-outs are normally due to battery issues. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, this figure has risen to 60%.

Batteries don’t get much of a chance to recharge with short journeys, so unless you’ve got a battery charger or have been running your vehicle periodically you’ll probably want to make sure it’s good before you need to drive it once more.

Now, this may sound obvious, but if your battery is flat, then your alarm will not work either!

Here are some of the most frequent questions I get asked:

Will my alarm still be armed when the battery is recharged?

Most alarms have a none volatile memory. This means that the alarm settings will still be the same after the battery has been disconnected and reconnected. So if your alarm was armed before the battery went flat it will still be armed when you come to recharge it.

There are some alarms (for example Viper 3100) that will default to the armed state when the battery is reconnected. The old myth that disconnecting the battery to re-set the alarm simply does not work!

If my battery is flat why does my siren still go off?

If you have a battery back-up battery siren which is in better health than the car battery then it’s simply doing its job! (You can read more about which battery back-up sirens have decent batteries here). Note that the siren battery only powers the siren and not the alarm. This explains why your remote will not disarm the alarm and stop the siren from sounding.

Once the car battery is good again, you can disarm your alarm with the remote.

Why does my over-ride pin number not disarm the alarm?

The battery needs a good 12 volt supply before it will work. If the alarm does not have power then the pin number over-ride will not work either!

Will the car alarm drain the car battery?

All alarms will drain a car battery over time. However, some alarms will flatten your battery much quicker than others.

AVS alarms will flatten your battery over 3 times faster than a Vodafone Automotive alarm. Some popular GPS Trackers will kill your car battery in under week too so be warned!

Tips for looking after your battery

If you are leaving your vehicle unused for more than 2 to 3 weeks (make that one week if you have an AVS alarm!) then I suggest doing one of the following:

  1. Get a battery maintainer and leave it connected when the vehicle is not in use.
  2. Disconnect the car battery negative terminal (disarm your alarm before doing this).
  3. Run your car for over 30 minutes once per week.
car alarms and flat batteries

Car Alarm Flat Battery Issue

Your battery is already flat and you can’t use your car!

Either call the AA, try jump-starting the vehicle or get a battery charger. If your battery is old then it may be time to replace it too.

Some “smart” battery chargers will not start charging the battery if the voltage is already super low. To get around this you can jump-start the process by hooking up a 2nd battery so that the smart charger sees a voltage which then kicks it into life. 😉

Jump starting?

Make sure that you follow the vehicle manufacture instructions if you are going to jump-start your car.

Please get the leads the right way around. If you are in any doubt then simply don’t do it as you can do expensive damage to some cars if you cock it up!

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve looked at a vehicle where some major fuses have been blown, yet the owner has denied that they got it wrong! 🙄

Posted in Trouble Shooting! | Tagged | 2 Comments

Callout Fees And Hourly Rate

car won't start

Trouble Shooting

Callout Pricing

(Includes GST)

Call out Fee: $120.00 (Includes 1st hour of Labour)

Hourly Rate: $80.00 per hour

What to expect?

You can expect a progress report after the 1st hour as I respect that you don’t want an unexpected bill.

Typically you’ll have 3 scenarios:

  1. It’s fixed.
  2. I know what the issue is, here is a fixed quote for the job.
  3. I don’t know, here are my recommendations…

Note: Please make sure your vehicle battery is fully charged before booking me in. Electrical troubleshooting is not possible when your battery is flat!

Posted in Trouble Shooting! | 2 Comments

Dynatron NZ is in Liquidation


Dynatron Product Range

I’ve just been informed that Dynatron NZ is in Liquidation. It’s not exactly breaking news as it happened on the 5th February! I’ve been a tad slack in posting about it.

Here’s the link to the Companies office…

The Dynatron NZ website is still up but the phone is not being answered.

Dynatron NZ is in Liquidation

So what does this mean if you have a Dynatron alarm?

Well if you have one of their (crap) Dynatron Digital alarms you’ll probably struggle to get spare parts or any support. I’ve never sold one personally as the product was too crap to be associated with! Dynatron Digital alarms were re-branding Kodinis Raktas alarms which they sold since 2013.

My suggestion is to either import your own parts directly or replace the alarm with a decent system.

Old Dynatron alarms are still supported

If you have a pre-2013 Dynatron alarm (see the logo at the start of the post) then relax. These were re-branded Dynamco alarms and are still available. I keep replacement remote controls for these.

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Viper 412V

The Viper 412V is the latest keyless entry system from Directed Electronics.

It replaces the Viper 211HV and comes with new remote controls and erm… Well, that’s about it!

It’s actually the same as the 211HV in all aspects apart from the new remote controls and a new box.

Inside the box, the user manual says 211HV which is a tad lazy but not really a problem.

Viper 412V

Viper 412V – With New Remote Controls

There are 3 buttons on the face of the remote. Lock and unlock don’t really need explaining, other than pressing both together activates the AUX 3 output.

Like the 211HV selective unlocking, double locking and unlocking are all supported.

The bottom button actives the panic alarm. The old remote on the 211HV did have a siren symbol, but I’m guessing this remote is borrowed from a remote start system as it uses the remote start logo?

The Aux button on the side of the remote activated the Aux 2 output. This is typically used for boot pop, but can be wired up for other functions.

Read the 211HV review for more details

Details here… It’ll save me repeating myself!

Viper 412V

Suggested Retail Price: $280 (may vary depending on vehicle and features)

Obsessive Rating:
A very versatile keyless entry system with a new number!

Read the 211HV review for more details as it’s exactly the same, just with different remote controls.



  • Two 4 Button remote controls
  • Blue LED
  • Hazard/Park-light output
  • Horn honk and panic options
  • Valet Mode
  • Courtesy Light output
  • Two Aux outputs


Additional information

PDF icon211HV User Manual

Posted in Keyless Entry, Viper | Tagged | 2 Comments