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Viper 5901 Review

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PROS / Viper car alarms are reliable and have an impressive array of features.

CONS / The remote does not have the advertized range of a full mile.

 VERDICT / We highly recommend this car alarm for its dependable features.

The Viper 5901 is a combination car alarm and remote starter. You will be able to protect your vehicle through a variety of features including the starter kill, the shock and door sensors. The Viper 5901 car alarms have a large LCD screen on the remote that will keep you alerted to everything that happens to your car. The incredible features and reliability of these car alarms make them stand out from the competition and earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.

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Viper car alarms give you a whole new level of control and ability to monitor your car, and all from a small remote. The remote has an easily readable LCD screen that will alert you to whatever is happening to your car. For example, if the car’s door is opened, the remote will alert you with a beeping noise and text on the screen will read, “Door Open.” You can also see what level of auto security your car has from the remote. It will tell you if the engine is running, if the doors are locked and when the car security system is armed.

Viper car alarms have all the basic door and starter alarm functions. If someone breaks a window or opens the door, the alarm will sound and you will be notified via the alarm. Also, whenever the car is bumped too hard the alarm will sound. However, Viper takes things a step further and has some terrific and innovative features.

Because so many vehicles now have car security systems, thieves have become more resourceful. Often times, the cars are jacked up and tires are stolen. Sometimes, the cars are simply towed away or lifted onto tow trucks. Viper car alarms fight back with shock sensors. These shock sensors will go off whenever your car is moved in any way. The auto alarm will sound and you will be immediately alerted. This can help prevent a variety of different kinds of thefts, and it helps you rest easier knowing your car is safe, even in the most dangerous areas. You can also reset the alarm because of any false notifications and you won’t have to be near the car. As long as you are within range of the car, you can turn off the alarm. However, there are no silent settings for the remote. No matter how important the meeting or occasion, if your vehicle alarm sounds, your remote will too. We would love to see them add a vibrate or silent setting for all those occasions when you don’t want to be interrupted every time someone comes too close to the car.

The Viper 5901 remote is intuitive and is rechargeable with any USB port. You’ll never have to worry about buying new batteries and the battery life is extremely long, lasting months before you’ll need to recharge. The product also comes with a spare remote, should you accidently lose or break the first.

One of the most useful features for car alarms in this price range is the remote start capability. The Viper alarm will start your car and the air conditioner or heater and bring the temperature to a preset level. No more getting into a freezing cold car in the winter or a scorching hot car in the summer. The remote will also serve as a keyless entry and a trunk opener.

The remote is used for 24 different options and functions. There are only four buttons, but navigation is simple and intuitive and the remote organizes the features based on usage. Only the most important commonly used features are on the main screen.

Viper also offers one of the most innovative and useful features we reviewed called Smart Start. This program is not included in the purchase of Viper 5901 car alarms; however, for an additional charge you can have your phone turned into the remote. Smart Start is compatible with all app-enabled smartphones including BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. You can eliminate the need to carry around an extra set of keys with this application and it can perform every task the remote can, and many more. The app can be used for more than one car so it’s a great option for families with more than one vehicle.

When the alarm sounds or there is movement detected with the car, rather than having a remote alarm, your smartphone will receive a text message. You can disable the alarm or reset it using your phone. There are also some extraordinarily detailed customizations, such as naming a vehicle and having a custom photo appear on your phone. You can customize a password so that the vehicle options can only be accessed with the correct password.

Included with the Smart Start program is limited roadside assistance. There are limited towing and car-entry options offered through the roadside Viper Motor Club. However, the spending limit is $75 and the options are extremely limited.


These car alarms are fully customizable and come with a large feature set. Almost every feature we tested performed as advertized. From the controller settings to the remote starter, every feature works wonderfully. The advertized range of the remote is approximately one mile; however, we found it performed best when it was much closer than a mile. We were able to use the device through walls, and you do not have to be within sight of the vehicle for the alarm to function.

Most car alarms require an extremely complicated and detailed installation, and the Viper model is no different. Because this alarm is so full of technical features, it might take some time to install – and there's usually an extra charge. We suggest contacting a local automotive or car audio store to help you install your car alarm.

Help & Support

The manufacturer of Viper products, Directed Electronics, produces a variety of different car alarms under different labels including Python, Clifford, Avital, Ready Remote, Astro Start and Xpress Kit. All the help and support options are the same for all of these products. You can find extensive sections of frequently asked questions, email support addresses and toll-free telephone lines. When we called with a few questions, we were connected instantly to helpful representatives.

The Viper car alarms also come with a lifetime warranty. Depending on where you purchase and install the alarm, you can also often receive a lifetime warranty on the installation of the car security system.


The Viper 5901 car alarms are affordable, packed full of spectacular and original features and the manufacturer offers great customer service. We loved the remote starting options and the ability to replace the remote with your smartphone.

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