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Old 02-13-2016, 02:57 AM   #1
Devs873
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Default Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Hello I just purchased a new 97 Saturn SL2 for my wife to learn how to drive (my SL1 is standard). The car has 132K and has clearly been taken care of. May need a little TLC but will be a quality automobile. The only cause for great concern for me is that the car has an alarm system. I know that older alarm systems can be a bit temperamental at times and cause the car my to start and such.

What I am really trying to figure out is if the system is stock or aftermarket so I can figure out how the system operates before I send my wife off with it. I attached a picture of the fobs that came with the car. They do not appear to be Saturn but the alarm system was either a really well installed aftermarket system or it is stock because the alarm light is intigrated into the interior like it has been there. It is located just to the left of the dashboard dimmer switch and there is not wires all over the place. I wasn't sure if maybe these fobs were universal or something.

If I can figure out if its stock or not then I can get around to deactivating it. I am completely ignorant when it comes to alarm systems so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

1-Its aftermarket because it doesn't have any GM markings on the back cover. Most GM factory remotes will have at least three buttons - Unlock, Lock, Trunk. A fourth button would be red for instant horn and lights.

2-Its aftermarket because any wiring done always leaves tell tale signs of splicing into factory wiring looms, often with the main fuse(s) tapped off factory wiring. The only factory wiring with fuses as part of main wiring would be the electric power steering system in newer cars - these 80+amp fuses are conspicuous under the hood but are necessary to protect the electric power steering circuits.

'97-'99 Saturns have the basic factory alarm system; a starter interrupt to prevent starter operation if the remote isn't used to Unlock doors along with lights and horn when unauthorized entry is made. The remote keyless entry module in the right rear passenger quarter panel controls door locks and the starter interrupt relay taped up under the steering column wiring harness. Search for threads discussing problems with the rke module and bypassing the starter relay.

The majority of aftermarket alarm systems tap into existing wiring harnesses and stand out as they don't tape new harnesses or hide wiring with most looking like a nightmare compared to factory wiring taped and tied off to prevent vibration from chafing insulation. Since most wiring occurs along the dash board for the heater, radio and instrument panel, wiring harnesses tend to be neat and tidy. Aftermarket wiring may need taped harnesses cut to have access to specific wires so you're likely to see splices everywhere and a control module or two under the driver's side area or near the console fuse panel. If this remote is an alarm system, it can usually be disabled by removing the main fuse - it's usually the one that's tapped into an existing wire since all factory wiring runs power to the main fuse panels before going out to feed electrical and electronic circuits. Aftermarket system installers hardly take the time to carefully wire their systems into fuse panels or discretely hide their work among factory wiring.

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Old 02-13-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Aftermarket junk. Should be simple to remove, but maybe '94 installed alarms were just really really simple...

If the car has power locks, just get a '96-'99 FOB and program it to the car.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 02-13-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Thanks for all the help!

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Old 10-02-2019, 09:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Aftermarket junk. Should be simple to remove, but maybe '94 installed alarms were just really really simple...

If the car has power locks, just get a '96-'99 FOB and program it to the car.
I just got a '99 SL2 with some kind of alarm and a bad engine. I'd much rather have a bad alarm and decent engine. Either way, the alarm has to go - I can't stand the things, and the fobs. Just give me a simple key anyday and I'll find other ways to protect the car. Can a factory alarm module just be unplugged to disable it? That would be the easiest.

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Old 10-02-2019, 11:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

The '97-'99 alarm module is built into the key fob system ('96 didn't get alarm functionality). You can disable the security features from it and just have it lock/unlock using this guide: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192

If it doesn't have the factory alarm system, you're pretty much on your own. Aftermarket alarm systems seem to be nearly 100% of the "fly by night" variety so there's little to no documentation available other than whatever came with the system when purchased.

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Old 10-03-2019, 01:39 AM   #7
focusofheart
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Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Just a thought -

Look on the outside of the remote or open it, if no numbers are on the case, and see if you are able to locate a FCC ID number or a parts number. While you are there, see what battery you might need.

If you find any numbers, enter them into the Google image search and see what you find.

I entered the FCC ID off my old car alarm remote to see how it worked and saw my exact Clifford remote.

While you are looking around the car, see if there is a valet button/switch to disarm the alarm, if it is aftermarket. When my car is in valet the light is steady - when it is armed it flashes, if that helps.

P.S. I use to maintain a website for a sound and alarm company so I know just enough to get me into trouble.

...
1998 SL2

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Old 10-03-2019, 06:41 AM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Got a new 97 SL2. Alarm question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
You can disable the security features from it and just have it lock/unlock using this guide: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192
This is awesome. I only had one remote that I bought off eBay and programmed. I hate the alarm and security feature. Don't need it, I have a manual transmission. Just bought two more remotes. Thanks for the link!

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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