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Permanently disable alarm on 1999 Camry

My daughter drives a 1999 Toyota Camry with the factory-installed Theft Deterrent System (TDS), which we’ve never really used. We still have the key fobs which have the buttons to control the alarm but since the battery went dead in them, it would have cost a fair amount to have the dealer reprogram the system after putting new batteries in which we never used anyway.

Unfortunately, the system seems to be acting up and going off on occasion when she unlocks the door with the key (it doesn’t do this every time). I’d really like to just disable the alarm system completely (not too worried about what happens to a 13-yr old car), and wonder if this is something I can do myself. My wife called a local independent Toyota repair place who said they’d charge around $100 to do this, but I wanted to see if this really needs to go to a shop. Searching for this on Google just seems to turn up information about disabling it temporarily when it’s going off, so haven’t had much luck finding an answer.

Thanks in advance!

Why don’t you just spend the $100 on new fob batteries and have the system reprogrammed? It’s an option you’ll wonder how you got along without if you ever get used to using it. I don’t know what it takes on a Toyota that age, but I’d guess it’s something any good shop or locksmith could do.

Fords are easy. You just turn the key off and on a few times (I think it differs with the year.) until the locks cycle down and up. Then you hit a fob button to program one or more fobs.

^ Well, if the alarm system itself is beginning to have issues, I might spend $100 on the key fobs and then still have to pay more to get the alarm fixed … for a feature which hasn’t been used in years.

You have been using the alarm, it is passive. The system is armed when the door is locked with a remote, power door lock switch or lock cylinder. If the alarm sounds when you unlock the door with the door lock cylinder the system was armed and the lock cylinder switch didn’t work properly to disarm it.

New remote batteries should only cost a few dollars, no programming is nessessary.

You have been using the alarm, it is passive. The system is armed when the door is locked with a remote, power door lock switch or lock cylinder.

Sorry, not sure I follow because, at least with this car (and ever since we’ve owned it which has been over 10 years), you had to use a specific button on the key fob to arm the TDS. If you locked it with the key or pressing the power lock button inside before shutting the door, you could pull on the door handles or shake the car all you want and it would never go off. When the alarm is active, there’s a flashing light on the dash to indicate it, and that’s only on when using the fob.

New remote batteries should only cost a few dollars, no programming is nessessary.

Perhaps that’s for a different year or Toyota model, because according to the dealer, I would have to bring it in to have it reprogrammed (as I had replaced the battery and called them when it still didn’t function even though the LED on the fob would flash when pushing the buttons as before).

With most fobs you can just swap batteries and go. It would be really stupid if you have to go the dealer because it would mean the remote can leave you stranded on the side of the road.
Owners would rightly be storming the dealerships with pitchforks and torches.

Google got me this user procedure:

good luck - if it doesn’t work, I’ll bring some tar and matches for the torches.

I have a 98 camry alarm that goes off when I pop the trunk with the key (no keyless entry). And when I just unlock the driver door by itself. One workaround for the doors: When I unlock the driver door, I turn it AGAIN (this unlocks all the doors). The alarm has NEVER gone off when I’ve done this. Weird. I imagine you do a double button press on the fob to unlock all the doors?

I own a 1999 camry with a dealer installed alarm (I don’t think they had factory installed alarms) and it would sometime arm itself. These early model alarms seem to be flaky. I to would like to disconnect mine too.

On the '99 Camry you can replace the battery yourself and no reprogramming is necessary. You only need a small philips head screwdriver. My TDS now arms itself sometimes. I was stranded last week and had to get a ride home and then return with the key fob. I’ve decided to carry the fob with me all the time to avoid spending money to get the TDS fixed or disconnected. The battery will cost less than ten dollars. I drive the same car. I was thinking that maybe it happens because my driver door lock usually sticks when you hit the button to lock or unlock it.

My alarm is NOT automatically set upon you locking the door by any method other than the key fob (as it is with my wife’s 2010 Camry). The dealer would love for you to bring the car to them for them to work on, but it is simply not necessary just to change the battery. Since we have a malfunction with the alarm itself we may need dealer intervention or, preferably, a mechanic who knows his/her way around a Camry.

Wow, not just re-run radio shows, but re-run questions too.