Can Security Systems Drain Your Car Battery? [Explained]

Security systems for vehicles are a demanding feature. Many systems are being introduced in the market and upgraded to customer needs. One of the questions frequently asked is whether car security systems are responsible for draining car batteries. 

A lot of times, you may notice your car battery’s power is low even when the car is off. There could be various reasons and you cannot omit security systems from the list. 

Yes, car security systems may drain the car battery. It may happen even when the car isn’t in use. Security systems such as proximity keys, installing aftermarket security alarms and irregular charging of the car are some of the major factors in draining car batteries.

In this next section, I will discuss them in detail.

Factors: Why Car Battery Drain For Using Security Systems?

1)    Incorrect Car Alarm System Installation

You can either install your car alarm from the factory or aftermarket. When you get them from the factory, they choose a design that suits the car’s features. With proper installation and appropriate design, the alarm becomes energy efficient. 

However, when you add the alarm from the aftermarket, there is a high chance that the installation may be flawed. It may happen if mechanics connect the hookups in the wrong locations. 

Or, it could simply be a broken wire touching a metal part and causing an unstable connection. All these could lead the alarm system to draw out more power from the battery. 

Therefore, when you notice that your car battery is draining, you should check if your alarm is installed at the factory or the aftermarket.  

Keep in mind that when the car alarms are installed in the correct way, they consume a small amount of power and won’t drain your battery easily. 

2) Proximity Car Keys

Most cars at present use proximity keys. Your car doors will automatically unlock when you walk up to them with such keys. While it is a handy feature, it can cause the car battery to drain down.

Why? It is because the receiver in your car is constantly searching for the frequency of the proximity key. Keep in mind that any proximity key nearby wakes up the system. 

Therefore, if you park your car in the parking lot and everyone is walking past with their proximity keys in their pockets, it will trigger your car security lock.

And if this happens for an extended time, expect your car battery to drain down. It is more seen in hybrid cars.

3) Types of Car Security Systems

There are various types of car security systems. Some affect the battery of the car more.

One of the most common types of security devices is the alarm system. We know alarms are responsible for exhausting the battery over time. It does not matter what the brand is.  

However, there are some types that drain the car battery a lot faster. For example, an AVS alarm is found to drain the battery three times faster than a Vodafone Automotive alarm.

4) Lack of Regular Charging

If you fail to recharge your car batteries regularly, they will drain down faster. Make sure you recharge the batteries of cars that are regularly used. 

Also, do not avoid the ones that are parked for extended periods. Otherwise, the batteries will flatten in no time.

How Long Does it Take a Car Alarm to Drain the Battery?

In standby mode, car alarms typically use low currents (mA). Besides, many car alarms have power-saving features. So it usually takes a car alarm several weeks to significantly drain the battery.

When triggered, a car alarm can drain a battery within a day or two. However, this depends on a few factors, such as,  

  • Types of warning features that are turned on – flashlight or siren, or both. 
  • The capacity of the battery. 

Dangers of draining the car battery

One of the biggest disadvantages of draining a car battery is that you cannot use your car in an emergency or a much-needed situation.

Besides, you need to frequently change your car battery if the car security system puts a lot of stress on it.

How to Stop a Car Alarm from Draining the Battery?

Here I have discussed some techniques to minimize the chances of draining your battery. 

  • Reduce Sensitivity– You can lower the sensitivity Level. This is very important when you are parking your car in a noisy environment or a parking lot.
  • Use a Battery Maintainer– By using a battery maintainer you can set a low-charge system for your car battery and set a slow-charge system. With a slow charge system, you can use lower currents as well as the battery will charge for a longer period of time. 
  • Maintain Regular Charging– It is important to charge your car regularly. Even if your car is parked for a week or more. 
  • Use Alarms that Cut Ignition– It is wise to use auto alarms that cut the ignition of a car. Such alarms require less power draw than those that make noise when triggered. 
  • Choose Factory Installed System– Make sure to get the alarm system installed in the factory. The factory-installed alarm system allows smooth operation and does not affect the battery adversely.

Key Takeaways

Security systems can drain car batteries. In most cases, it happens if there is a problem with the installation process or if the security is added from the aftermarket, or the use of proximity, and more.

Therefore, opt for a factory-installed security system. Or, if you are installing it from the aftermarket, make sure it is setup correctly. Besides, you can use a security alarm that feature cutting off the ignition when triggered. 

Hi, I am Ashley Kiser a professional automotive blogger. I have worked in the automotive industry for over 5 years. I am passionate about cars and love sharing my knowledge with others. I hope this blog will help you make the best decisions when it comes to your car.

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