The ScyTek A20 has all the basic features we look for in an affordable car alarm: a 120dB six-stage siren, dual-zone impact sensors and keyless entry. The ScyTek A20 remote is among the smallest available despite having five functional buttons. Unfortunately, the manufacturer offers only very limited customer support, and the website is difficult to navigate.
The ScyTek A20 features a smart dual-zone impact sensor, which is really just a fancy term for a sensor that differentiates between small, insignificant impacts and big impacts. This means is if someone bumps into your car while they're walking through a parking lot, they'll receive a warning chirp. But if they try to open a door, the full six-stage alarm goes off at 120dB, which is loud enough to get people's attention. At the very least, it's loud enough to make the theft unappealing.
While the car alarm doesn't have window or shock sensors, it is compatible with these as an add-on. So, if you're not happy with the current sensor, you can upgrade the system as you go without having to replace everything.
The remote is one way, which means that you don't receive alerts on the remote when an alarm has activated. However, it is compatible with ScyTek's two-way remotes, so you can upgrade. The A20 comes with two remotes, which are very small. The manufacturer doesn't list the range, but user reviews indicate that it's somewhere between 200 and 500 feet. Many users have complained about the short range.
The car alarm system has an assortment of convenience features that can be valuable. It comes with keyless entry and trunk release. While these make the installation more complicated, because it requires electrical wiring, they can add contemporary features to an older car, so long as the car has electric locks.
ScyTek's website is disappointing. The customer support options are very limited. When we sent an email to the manufacturer requesting assistance with ScyTek car alarms, we never received a response. We sent several follow-up emails with the same result. While this doesn't necessarily detract from the quality of the A20, it suggests that your experience isn't going to be great if you need help with the car alarm.
The ScyTek A20 has a large feature set for a car alarm under $50. The security options are basic but effective at that price range. However, the one-way remote is very small and might have a very short range.