It used to be that only luxury cars had alarms. It was a status symbol to arm your car alarm. it let others know you were better than them. But nowadays every car has a car alarm. What is the purpose of having it honk?

If this were rational I would make the argument that a car alarm system honking when it is armed merely announces the location of valuables to be stolen. However, I am entirely confident the sole purpose of car alarm horns is an "innocent" way to be rude.

1 Answer 1


It has been my experience the reason why they honk is to tell you it's locked. Okay, that was anticlimactic, right? What I'm getting at is, if something on the vehicle is preventing the entire car from being completely secure, it won't honk. As an example, say the trunk lid isn't closed all the way and you go to lock it, in my scenario, the car wouldn't honk as you press the button (some cars one press, some cars on the 2nd press). This is letting you know something isn't quite right, so you should investigate if you want your car fully secured.

Conversely, the honk itself can be disabled on many cars through the dash setup screens. There are quite often ways you can turn this off so you aren't announcing to the world "Hey, come over here! I'm full of valuables!". Every car is different. As such, any car you look at may or may not have this option, but I would bet it is fairly prevalent.

  • As you say, not all are the same. My LR flashes the indicators to show that it is armed. If one of the doors isn’t shut properly when you arm the alarm, it ‘honks’ to let you know there is a problem.
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 20:54
  • @HandyHowie - Fair enough. Do you know if yours is adjustable, as in can you change the characteristics of how it behaves? Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 20:55
  • I don’t think so, but there again, I haven’t looked. I will have to have a look in the owners manual.
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 20:57
  • One vehicle of mine had the locking solenoid on a rear door fail. Discovered that after it stopped beeping when I hit the remote lock button. Took a while to figure out something was wrong...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 13:16

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