AVS S5 Review

AVS Product Range

AVS Product Range

The AVS Series/RhinoCo RAV3 has been around for a number years now. It’s a worry how many of the car audio shops recommend them as they are old technology and poor quality.

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 the weakest spot:

Waterproof Remote

Whilst the current Waterproof AVS remote is a  nice improvement over the old torch remote I still have some concerns over the build quality.

AVS remote broken

Poor quality remote has a tendency to break. The rubber buttons also perish quickly.

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!

Remote Cloning

More concerning than the flimsy remote shell is how vulnerable the remote is to cloning. Programming of new remote controls really should be pin code protected!

Details here: https://vehiclesecurity.co.nz/blog/can-your-remote-be-copied

AVS S5 Alarm review


AVS Series Range Explained

S3 (AVS “3 Star”) Immobiliser

S4 (AVS “4 Star”) Alarm/Immobiliser with shock sensor

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 Backup 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.

Because 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

AVS S5 Review

AVS Siren is easy to break

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 child’s play to defeat.

More details about Siren Muppetry here…

Excessive Battery Drain!

The AVS S5 pulls 20mA which will drain your car battery far quicker then is desirable. Check out how it measures up to a Vodafone Automotive alarm here…

Hyper Blue LED

Come on AVS. It’s just a normal blue LED, lay off the Hype, please!

no spam

AVS S Series RRP: I refuse to sell them so it’s not relevant!

Obsessive Rating: Would be great if only the alarm was as good as the sales spin!

At the risk of sounding crass: A wise man once said you can’t polish a turd. However, AVS seem to be 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
  • Courier Function
  • Built-in OEM (to work from factory remote)
  • Remote Boot Pop

Related Posts:


This entry was posted in AVS, Car Alarms, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to AVS S5, AVS S4, AVS S3

  1. Pingback: AVS S3, S4, S5 & A4 Pin Code Over-ride « Obsessive Vehicle Security Blog

  2. bishop says:

    hi, the diode you mentioned in this article what are the specs please? or part # ?

  3. bishop says:

    i have another question, my alarm has 4 connectors for microwave sensor, the sensor i have has 3 connectors. the connectors on the alarm brain put out 3.27, 3.27, 6.7 volts. on the last connector there is no voltage. how do i adapt this sensor to this brain?

  4. Julian says:

    Hi Bishop,

    I’m assuming that you’re referring to diode splitting the door sense input wire to pick up each individual door so you can have door open warning on?
    If this is the case then you will need a 1 amp diode for each door, you will need the band side of the diode pointing towards the door switch. Part # 1N4004 should be fine. You can get them at places like Jaycar electronics.

  5. Julian says:

    In regards to your Microwave sensor I’m assuming that your one is a Single zone sensor. Your 3 wires will be 12V (power), Ground, and trigger output. Some Microwave sensors are dual Zone which means that the 1st zone can act as an early warning (warn away). hence the 4th wire which is the input for this.

    You should check with your wiring diagram for the AVS to confirm which wires you need.

  6. Julian says:

    AVS have now updated the program table to prevent the “None Muppet Proof” accidental program changes. Welcome updates

  7. Pingback: AVS Immobiliser | Obsessive Vehicle Security Blog

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  9. Robert says:

    Hi Julian,

    I stumbled across here and after all morning reading all your posts and articles, I must say Ive learnt alot.

    I have the AVS S5 alarm and sure enough, the door ajar funtion has been turned off due to the alarm beeping when the dome light fades. My alarm is 4 years old, but my receipt says lifetime warranty on install so I’ll be caling them this afternoon.

    A question regarding the turbo timer function. How does this work? I have it hooked up and working now but im thinking of getting rid of it. is there alot of wires to change over? there’ll be 2 for immobiliser and it’ll only be another 2 wires to control the running part wouldnt it?

    I believe the programming side is just left button 16 times followed by setting the time to 0 (off).

    Again, great website, a shame youre so far away from me (im Auckland).


  10. Julian says:

    Hi Robert,

    Great to hear that you have found the blog a good read.

    What car is your S5 installed into? With most cars it is possible to wire for door open warning chirps, however there are some vehicle where this is not possible.

    I won’t post alarm program options here as the installation manuals are not meant to be public knowledge, playing with program options and getting the wrong code number can potentially damage the alarm or the vehicles electronics so I’d suggest giving AVS a call: 0800 438 862

    AVS are based in Auckland and I always find Kevin and Brad to be very helpful. If you do want to have the system looked at then the are certainly the ones to talk to.


  11. Robert says:

    Thanks Julian,

    The alarm was installed into a 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7.

    The door ajar funtion is the big thing i want back. I had a flat battery the other day as a passenger left the door 1/2 open. we parked the car, got into the lift and we live on the 10th floor of the apartment.

    The most annoying part i think also is that the inside dome ligh stays on for about 30 seconds after the door has been closed.

    I can appreciate the programming is a sensitive one and will give Brad a call tomorrow.


  12. Julian says:

    Hi Robert,

    Oh easy one. There is a blue wire that runs down the passenger side of the car that gives instant trigger for all 4 doors. You don’t even need a diode so no excuses for the original installer! I assume that the door wire has been wired to the white Dome fade wire instead.

    Get this changed and problem should be solved.

    Let me know how you get on.

  13. Robert says:

    Hi Julian,

    I received a reply to my email to my original alarm installed (a well know company in Auckland area and who have fitted the same alarm few other cars exactly like mine).

    The quoted $100 to change wiring and change programming to disable the turbo timer. Is this reasonable in your opinion?

    The part I was disapointed in was their reply in regards to the door switch. Their email reply in regards to this part:

    “Regards the door switch. That is nothing to do with the alarm as all door switches operate when the door is partially closed regardless of vehicle. If you check the interior light you’ll see that it operates when the door is not fully closed. Unless we supply and fit new door pin switches there is nothing that can be done as the factory door switches are a preset length.”

    Sure door switches work and it would seem that they do use the signal from the dome light rather than the door.

    Im going to check the wiring today but was thinking, even if i do correct the wiring, it seems my installer has disabled the door ajar warning funtion of my alarm anyway so really would I be correct in saying that I cant fix this?


  14. Julian says:

    Hi Robert,

    In regards to their comments about the door switches; WTF? I struggle to understand how some of these Muppets even manage to tie their shoe laces in the morning, let alone install an alarm!

    I’m quite happy to PM you with the program details on how to select the door ajar warning, so once you’ve found the correct wire let me know.

    Regardless of the price quoted to change the timer wiring, my personal suggestion is to avoid any installer stupid enough to suggest fitting new door switches when there is nothing wrong with the factory Mitsubishi ones!!!

    I’m off to headbutt a wall now! Good luck…

  15. Robert says:

    Hi Julian,

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help.

    Over this weekend, I followed your tips and changed the door trigger to the door switch rather than dome light and while i was there I wired the boot and tilt sensor trigger to this wire as well seperated by usind diodes.

    I also re-wired the ignition, and took the chance to really do it well as the cut wires were originally right next to each other and a theif could easily just swap the wires over!

    Just finished re-programming and its just the way i want it now.

    Well…except i just picked up a wind up window module from Trademe mega cheap so thats my next mission.

    Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate the time you took out of your day to help a stranger fix his problems.

    Best regards

  16. Julian says:

    Hi Robert,

    No worries. I’m pleased that you’ve got a result on this one, I find it frustrating how many alarms like your one I come across.

    I’d let the original installer know that you’ve got it fixed up and ask why they did not wire it to the doors originally!


  17. ChaCha says:

    Hey there..

    I just got the avs s5 installed today.. I thought since this alarm is more expensive then my older one, the arm/disarm chirp would be louder although it did sound loud when I tried it in the store but I guess it was because I was inside but anyways the reason I changed my alarm is because of the chirping.. Now that I’ve heard the chirping of my new alarm (avs s5) it’s not as loud as my other alarm.. Is there a way to make it louder?? I can arm/disarm it from far distance but I mean what’s the point of arming and disarming from a far distance if you can’t hear it?? Like what if I accidentally disarmed it and I was inside.. I wouldn’t even know I disarmed my car.. And the siren isn’t as loud aswell.. Did a make the right choice choosing this alarm?? Can you tell me straight up that I have nothing to worry about and that this alarm is awesome?? Lmao

  18. Julian says:

    Hi ChaCha,

    The only way to make the siren on the AVS louder would be to re-locate it, If it is high up in the engine bay then chances are that the sound will echo around the engine bay before making it out of the car. This could explain the lack of volume!

    Personally I’m not a big fan of the AVS siren as it comes with an over-ride key so needs to be accessible. I know AVS claim that the “Data Siren” is harder to defeat than a normal battery back-up siren, but the reality is that car thieves are not stupid, if they can get to the siren then they will simply rip the siren out of the engine bay making the whole “data” thing a load of pointless spin!

    To the best of my knowledge Cobra make the only alarm with adjustable arm/disarm chirp volume.

    In regards to disarming your alarm when you are inside. Hopefully the alarm has been programmed to auto re-arm, this means that if you do disarm it and a door has not been open in 2 minutes then the alarm should re-arm and lock the doors. This however does depend on how your installer has wired the alarm up.

    Hope this helps!

  19. Matt says:

    Just putting a turbo in my car which has a AVS S5 in it.
    Am I able to program it myself?

  20. Julian says:

    Hi Matt,

    If you want your S5 to work as a Turbo timer then it will need to be re-programmed and re-wired so I’d suggest you contact your nearest AVS dealer.


  21. James says:

    Does anybody have a copy of AVS S5 wiring diagram ? Can’t install it myself as I got one without the wiring diagram.

  22. Julian says:

    Wiring diagrams are available from the dealer login section of the AVS website.

    I would suggest that you contact the person who sold it to you!

    Better still get it installed by someone who knows what they are doing…

  23. James says:

    Hi Julian,

    Thanks for the reply. Got it cheap off a store that closed down recently so there’s no one to go back to. I’m an electrician and have installed multiple mongoose alarms on my family cars. Any other ideas ?

  24. Julian says:

    Have you tried contacting AVS directly?

  25. James says:

    AVS wanted me to send it directly to them to get it installed. Another suggestion is to get an authorised installer to fix it up 🙁

  26. Jen says:


    I have an Altezza and Im considering getting an AVS S5, would you recommend this alarm for my car or would another alarm be better? Im a noob with cars and dont know much about alarms so am just wandering. =)

  27. Julian says:

    Hi Jen,

    Personally I’d be looking at either the Autowatch 446RLi Premium or The Cobra AB7928 or AK4138. They all have an attack proof immobiliser case, sirens that can be hidden and remote controls that are protected by a pin number from cloning.

    The following are worth reading:

    The most important factor is how good the installation is. Don’t assume that because someone is a NZSA approved installer that they are competent.

  28. Jen says:

    Hi Julian,

    Thanks for your help. Im interested in getting the Autowatch 446RLi Premium now, as it seems like the best one. Are there any installers that you would recommend in Auckland?

  29. Julian says:

    Hi Jen,

    Give Kishor at Autowatch a call, 0800 4 AUTOWATCH
    He is based in Auckland and mobile plus very capable.


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  34. ALF says:

    I know this is an old post, but hoping someone will be able to provide some advice.
    I’ve just got installed by one of the AVS recommended installers the AVS S5 in my car (don’t really want to put make and model here given next sentence). They’ve said because of the way my car is wired, that there is a loophole allowing the whole thing to be disarmed (I won’t post how here to aid thieves!). Does this sound right to you? They offered to install an extra “something” from AVS to prevent this, but apparently the computers wouldn’t talk and so there is no way to fix it. Essentially I’ve paid for a 5 star alarm that is null and void to smart thieves. Feel free to private message me if you need more details.

  35. Julian says:

    Hi Alf,

    Why on earth did you get an AVS? Oh well, it’s done now. From what you’ve said I’m guessing that you can disarm the alarm without the remote?

    Have a read up here:

    Feel welcome to email me the details: julian@vehiclesecurity.co.nz

  36. Kon says:

    Hi there I have an avs alarm in my mr2 I bought the car with it already installed…it’s been fine apart from the usual remote key ring peice breaking off… And no bleeping for arming/disarming..
    Unfortunately I’m unsure of what model it is, I have been having trouble with it latley but I’m unsure if it’s me wiring up a new stereo into the car and I may have knocked or stripped at wire…I have a siren unit in the engine bay and it has had water on it I’m quessing that could be why it’s playing up…I have the key for the siren on/off slot but it does nothing…can it be removed and cleaned out or is it safe to assume it’s buggered… Also the door locks have played up for the first time locking but not unlocking… And now as I start the car the led blinks once and then turns off…(but the cars starts) any idea why it be doing that?I’ve located the brain and backup siren under the dash but it’s in there quite tightly so not too keen on removing it…. Is it possible to reset the alarm at all?…if not how can i disable it?
    Any help would me muchly appreciated

  37. Julian says:

    Hi Kon,

    My advice would be to remove or replace the alarm, it sounds like it’s seen better days and as it’s an AVS it’s probably a waste of cash trying to fix it up.
    There is not much more I can say without seeing the car myself. If you are in Wellington then let me know, if not you may want to find a local installer to help.


  38. Peter says:

    Hi, I have the 24v AVS alarm system. When armed it will chirp 4 times randomly throughout the day and night. Sometimes once or twice hours apart or minutes apart. Is there a way to adjust this?

  39. Julian says:

    Removing the siren should fix this issue, or you could contact AVS for technical support. It’s not an alarm I recommend or offer support for.

  40. mike says:

    hi julian.
    i have a avs in car,iv had the car parked up in the garage for awhile now with the battery disconected as it went flat.bought a new battery last week and put in car,alarm is semi working but the chirp is not working,lights flash when disarming and arming but no chripping.why is that and can i fix it?

  41. Julian says:

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry to hear that you have an AVS, it’s not something I’d wish on anyone.

    Probably best to contact AVS for support if you wish to keep it. I can only recommend replacing it with a decent alarm system.

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