I am planning to buy a 2010 Toyota Sienna CE soon. It comes with just a keyless entry system; but I would like to have an alarm system installed (nothing fancy; I don’t need remote start, etc.). I prefer not to get it installed by the dealer. Moreover, the Toyota VIP alarm systems appear to be incompatible with CE (according to Toyota’s VIP alarm system brochure).
Could anyone suggest what would be a good source to purchase a reliable alarm system for the CE and who could do a competent job of installing it (without messing up the rest of the wiring and electronic functions)? Thanks a lot.
Personally, I would not even consider having anyone except the personnel at the dealership start cutting into the wiring of a brand new car with many years to run on its warranty. If the installer at an aftermarket shop screws something up (and, trust me, they do screw up installations a certain percentage of the time), any damage to motors, relays, wiring, lighting, etc will NOT be covered by the Toyota warranty–and rightfully so. In fact, Toyota could actually deny warranty coverage for other electrical problems as a result.
Last year, a woman told us her tale of woe after an aftermarket installer caused extensive electrical damage to her brand-new CR-V. The dealership denied warranty coverage, and the installer claimed that this was pre-existing damage on her new car. She wound up spending about $800 of her own money, IIRC, in order for the dealer to sort out the problems and fix them.
Last year, when my friend wanted a remote starter installed on his new RAV-4, I insisted that he go to the dealership for this job. While the dealership did screw up the installation, since it was a genuine Toyota remote starter that was installed at the dealership (by a private installer who they brought in to do the job), we wound up beginning the Lemon Law process to resolve the problem after 2 failed repair attempts by the dealership.
The threat of a Lemon Law claim brought expert relief from Toyota corporate, and the problem was resolved. If that screw-up had been done at that installer’s own shop, no relief would have been forthcoming from Toyota.
I wouldn’t waste your money. Alarms are annoying, nobody pays attention to them when they go off, and you’re looking for trouble with your warranty if you start hacking into factory wiring. If you want to keep the car and get the insurance discount, look into getting LoJack.