An aftermarket haunting

Read how one technician came across a 'haunted' vehicle where windows rolled up on their own, and doors automatically locked.


Halloween has always revolved around ghost stories and urban legends. After working as automotive technicians ourselves and working around technicians every day, at Mitchell 1 we’ve heard many shop-centered urban legends and “ghost” stories.

Most of these shop legends are undocumented, but we find they tend to be recurring events, told over and over in shops all across the country. Today’s Halloween version of a SureTrack Real Fix of the Day, is less a Real Fix and more of a creepy real shop story. This certainly made the technician who told us this story think the vehicle was haunted. It might make you think of ghosts, also, but turned out to be just an everyday “haunting” caused by an aftermarket alarm system. Here’s the story…

Ghost Story with an alarming end?

Aftermarket alarm systems are very popular and are capable of almost every function a factory alarm has to offer. Some aftermarket alarm systems can do things that even surpass the functions of run-of-the-mill factory alarm systems.

One of our expert technicians told us that one of their customers purchased a used 2000 Acura Integra GSR 1.8L and brought it to the shop for an inspection. As usual, the tech prepared the vehicle by rolling the windows down, unlocking the doors, and leaving the keys in the vehicle so they could easily be found when they were ready to start the inspection.

The tech then left to perform a brief service on another vehicle and when he returned with a co-worker, they found that the vehicle’s windows had been rolled up and the doors were locked, which of course meant the keys were locked inside the car. They were a little freaked out because they knew no one else had been in their bay. In the back of their minds they were thinking that either someone was playing a trick on them or the vehicle must be haunted.

Eventually a locksmith needed to be called in to enter the vehicle and remove the keys. It was later discovered the vehicle’s aftermarket alarm automatically rolled up the windows and locked the doors. It still gave them goose bumps.

Let this be a lesson to take caution when performing common practices; you never know when a vehicle (or a ghost?) may unknowingly decide to perform a trick on you.

For more Real Fixes, check out the SureTrack blog from Mitchell 1.