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Transmission Destroyed By Python 871xp


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KPierson 
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Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 5:21 AM / IP Logged  

Things should move ahead MUCH quicker once you get their insurance company involved.  You should have done that immediately.

The 12VDC line that the remote starter was tapped in to is more then capable of supplying the current necesarry for the alarm, without any voltage drop.  These lines are typically fused around 40-60A and this is the same power source that normally powers the igniton, accessories, and starter.  It is basically a heavy guage wire that is ran directly to the battery, through the main fuse box.  The alternative would be for the alarm installer to run two smaller guage wires (typically 18 awg is what they use) directly to the battery.  This would work, but most likely would have less total current capacity and more voltage drop issues.  The alarm brains operate on 5vdc, so there is actually quite a bit of headroom for voltage drop.

If the alarm did arm while driving it is possible that the starter was engaging.  Did they demonstrate the unit for you before you left?  Did it remote start?  If the igntion wire wasn't hooked up properly I seriously would doubt that it would remote start.  I'm assuming that the Python alarms get their ignition signal direclty from the remote start igniton output like the older (2004ish) Viper alarms did.  It's been a while since I've installed any DEI products.  Did they also demonstrate the starter kill feature?

If I were you, I would either higher another professional to inspect the car, or just do it yourself with picture documentation.  I would NOT let Circuit City inspect the car before you have your evidence gathered.  If you do go this route, make sure that you are watching over them constantly and that they don't have any tape or wire cutters with them.  It only takes a second to cover up a mistake.

Good luck today!  If you end up in jail ask for your one PM and shoot me a message, I'll bail you out!   :)

Kevin Pierson
enice 
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Location: New York, United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 6:47 AM / IP Logged  

Sorry guys but DEI alarms can be armed while driving,  All sensors will be bypassed except the door triggers.  Don't know about others but these DO.

JWorm 
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Location: New Hampshire, United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 8:42 AM / IP Logged  
enice wrote:

Sorry guys but DEI alarms can be armed while driving,† All sensors will be bypassed except the door triggers.† Don't know about others but these DO.

I just wanted to confirm this is correct. A few guys above posted incorrect information related to this. It is actually an option that can be turned ON and OFF in the alarm programming.
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
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Joined: June†23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 9:24 AM / IP Logged  

I canít emphasize enough that I donít know a lot about alarm/remote-start systems and that Iím likely to use the wrong term or a misleading description from time-to-time. (The principles seem simple enough, but Iím still learning about the terms and details.) When I see that Iíve not been clear and that the discussion is Ďtaking a wrong turn,í Iíll try to correct it quickly. Similarly, when I make a mistake Iíll try to post a correction as well. (Iím a scientist not a politician and I have no problem revising my Ďopinioní [aka tentative conclusion, working hypothesis] based on new data.)

When Iím describing the ďalarm being active while drivingĒ Iím referring to the anti-carjacking/anti-hijacking function. The door sensors are the only circuit active in this  alarm mode and this IS a feature of the Python 871XP.

The Circuit City installer and his supervisor didnít demonstrate much of anything. I excuse them on this because it may have been apparent that I understood the basic functioning of the alarm/remote-start system. But then I didnít ever hear the shock sensor instigate a chirp when I saw the installer adjusting it and jumping on my running board. I figured that I might be making a trip back to Circuit City for an adjustment later or doing it myself. (Iíve observed lots of annoying false alarms presumably from shock sensors, and I was wiling to leave this set at a high threshold for the time being.)

The Python 871XP description lists ďdome light supervisionĒ as a standard feature which is active in the default condition. Their advertising is misleading if this requires an ďadd on.Ē I requested that this function be deactivated and that the dome lights instead be wired to operate from one of the auxiliary channels. The installer explained that this might require an additional relay but I would have to discuss this with his supervisor when he arrived (4 hours after my installation had begun). The supervisor explained that this was not possible even for an additional cost. (Yes, I know that was BS, but he was full of it so I dropped the issue. And unlike the AAMCO transmission shop, he wasnít trying to rush my vehicle out of his service bay for the next customer [Oops, I donít mean to imply that the AAMCO shop is rushing me out of their service bay, only that they have a lot of customers waiting for service.]. I was the only customer in the three Circuit City service bays that day, including when I returned later with my ďalarm problem.Ē [Perhaps they did have customers during the late afternoon and evening after I left.] The supervisor and his installer were sitting around talking with their buddies who were obviously Ďhanging outí at the shop.)

It is in the best interest of Circuit City, DEI, and even independent alarm installers to see this case resolved promptly in a satisfactory manner. The impact of my experience on the average consumer may not be immediately apparent but it is pretty uniform. The first question my wife asked me is ďwhy did I do this?Ē Do what? ďHave the alarm installedĒ that broke our only wheelchair-lift equipped vehicle. Wow, I donít know, let me see: I went to a major national retailer to have a top-rated alarm system installed and something went wrong which destroyed the vehicleís transmission. Yes, I see. I started the chain of events that led to this outcome. She of course doesnít really blame me. I didnít cut any corners by hastily trying to install the alarm system myself or by (knowingly) using a substandard installation shop. I didnít buy the cheapest system I could find nor did I use eBay to purchase a much more sophisticated system at a much lower price.

Over 90% of the average consumers associate these two events. And theyíre not rushing down to Circuit City today to have alarms installed, nor are they buying DEI products or even contracting for installation through small, locally owned shops. They are weighing the added benefits of the increased security of an alarm and the convenience of a remote-start system with the chance that they too will suffer a $3,000 or more expense as a consequence. I must admit that I naively failed to realize that there was any risk involved, but I need to be able to run the vehicle unattended in a parking lot and this necessitated installing this type of alarm/remote-start system.

I have not yet linked the web page describing this situation on my web site. It remains Ďinvisibleí on the Internet unless you know the exact URL or use the link posted on this discussion forum. The domain receives 150,000 to 200,000 hits per month the last time I checked, and I will use the full force of this resource when itís apparent that Iíve reached a roadblock in resolving this case. Meanwhile, I donít wish to have an adverse impact on anybodyís ďbottom line.Ē

Thanks for the bail-out offer, "KPierson" . . . I may need it. Iím loosing my patience very quickly. This afternoon marks one week sans van.

MABuffalo
KarTuneMan 
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Joined: December†14, 2004
Location: Isle Of Man
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 9:38 AM / IP Logged  
JWorm wrote:
enice wrote:

Sorry guys but DEI alarms can be armed while driving,  All sensors will be bypassed except the door triggers.  Don't know about others but these DO.

I just wanted to confirm this is correct. A few guys above posted incorrect information related to this. It is actually an option that can be turned ON and OFF in the alarm programming.

Is this for some type of anti-car jack feature? Armed while driving, you open the door, the alarm triggers? Why is that an option ??  Learn me would yas.

mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
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Joined: June†23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 9:45 AM / IP Logged  

Sorry for the additional post, but I forgot to add that I do see your point about the +12VDC on the wiring bundle in the steering column being adequate for the alarmís power supply. This is where I defer to experience. In theory, I would be nervous about transients and the two 30A fuses got my attention. I donít see how the alarm control module draws very much current except perhaps when the siren is sounding, but then again I donít really know about these things. Iím happy to let you professionals do your work or take the advice of the experienced DIYers. As I mentioned early in my postings, I simply donít know how to sort out ďthe good, the bad, and the ugly.Ē (I mistakenly opted for a national reputation lacking any other reliable information. The online discussion that I read about Circuit Cityís automobile products and their installation service was generally favorable, but Iíll correct this myself when [and if] they stall on this case.)

Meanwhile, I plan on going back to AAMCO around 1:00 pm this afternoon if they donít call me earlier with the Circuit City people on their way. Itís showdown at the OK coral time, albeit a bit off high noon. I plan on escalating this to their district manager and their insurance company today and perhaps even to the top management at their head office. (I can explain the logic in this top-down approach in a later post if you are interested.)

MABuffalo
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
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Joined: June†23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 9:53 AM / IP Logged  
The anti-carjacking feature is a nice addition these days. For example, I can imagine taking a Ďwrong turní off the expressway and ending up somewhere Iíd rather not be. If some dude opens the rear cargo door of my slow moving, canít see around the vehicle van, the alarm will sound attracting lots of attention including mine. Nice feature! Car-jacking is rare in my area which has consistently been rated the safest city in America (among population centers 100,000 or higher), but it occurs even here. I travel and often end up in much riskier environments. The full-sized van is an easy, slow-moving target.
MABuffalo
KPierson 
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Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 11:11 AM / IP Logged  

I think the anti car jacking feature is pointless, and may cause more damage then it is worth.  Natually, if a thief trys to open your door and its locked, the alarm does nothing, and you can possibly drive off without a problem.

But, say your door isn't locked (first mistake) and some guy approaches you with a gun drawn and tries to open your door.  Since it is unlocked it opens right up, but sine you have the anti carjack feature 'armed' the alarm goes off.  The siren startles the thief and he inadvertently pulls the trigger.  I will admit, it is far fetched, but I don't believe in a car jack situation an alarm siren is going to do any good at all, ESPECIALLY with the keys in the ignition.

The alarm will draw very little current under ALL circumstance except remote starting.  When remote starting the alarms internal (or external, depending on the alarm) will source all the current necesarry to power the cars ignition, accessory, and starter [solenoid] circuits.  This is where the dual 30A fuses come in.  Without remote start I believe the alarms feature a 15A fuse, with the parking light ouput being fused at 10A by itself, leaving 5A for the alarm (from memory).  The siren is a relatively low current device. 

Kevin Pierson
KPierson 
Platinum - Posts: 3,526
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Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 11:14 AM / IP Logged  

Oh, one more sidenote - I wouldn't even get any other people at Circuit City involved.  Focus on the insurance company, they are the ONLY ones that matter, as THEY will decide fault and THEY will issue the check.  Circuit City will ONLY try to fight this, and wait you out until you give up.  Circuit City will NOT give you any money, beyond possibly refunding your labor charge, that is why the carry insurance.

I'm not sure why Circuit City is even sending someone to look at the vehicle.  The damage is already done, and it sounds like it is irreversable.  It is pointless for them to try and 'fix' it now.

Request the insurance companys concact information today and call them immediately.

Kevin Pierson
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
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Joined: June†23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June†27, 2007 at 11:47 AM / IP Logged  

I still donít have a ďsmoking gun,Ē yet, and I presumed that Circuit City might assume responsibility and pay for the repairs. Thus, Iím affording them every opportunity to prevent this case from escalating further. And like someone already suggested, maybe the transmission simply self-destructed. (This event has a lower statistical probability than buying a winning ticket for the Mega Ball lottery today.) I donít know if AAMCO will be able to ascertain an exact cause; they are in the transmission repair business not product liability determination.

If Circuit City and their insurance company fail to take prompt action, then I will probably take this to court. I have the option of suing them myself in small claims court or retaining a lawyer with whom I have already discussed this case. If itís the latter, I will pursue maximum damages of all parties involved and let the judicial system sort things out. Meanwhile, I will also Ďtry this in the court of public opinion.í My straw poll indicates that the average consumer is overwhelmingly on my side and that they would not consider installing an aftermarket security/remote-start system that risks incurring thousands of dollars of damage to their vehicle. The facts for most people are very simple Ė ďdrove into the Circuit City service bay with a fully functioning vehicle and drove out with a broken transmission.Ē Regardless of any legal outcome, public sentiment on this is quite clear.

MABuffalo
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