Auto-theft protection systems- Tech When your car is stolen, it can feel like a real-life nightmare. It’s much easier to keep your car from getting stolen than to work with the police and your insurance company to find it after it’s been taken.
The NICB says that car thefts have gone up by 25%, and that almost half a million cars were stolen in the first half of 2022. But there are things you can do, like installing anti-theft systems and devices, that will not only keep thieves away but also make it nearly impossible for them to steal your car.
What are theft prevention systems and tools?
Simply put, anti-theft systems and devices are any features you put in your car that make it harder to steal or easier to track down and get back. Some anti-theft systems are already in your car when you buy it. Check your owner’s manual or the website of the car’s maker to see if there are any anti-theft systems or devices installed.
Auto-theft protection systems- Tech
There are different ways you can protect your car. There are both passive and active systems to prevent theft. There are also many ways to keep your car safe.
Anti-theft systems can be passive or active.
Anti-theft systems that do nothing
These are systems that turn on by themselves, usually when the driver turns off the car and closes all the doors. For example, many cars that start when you push a button and have keys with special codes won’t start if the keys aren’t inside. You don’t have to remember to turn on passive anti-theft systems, which is helpful.
Anti-theft systems that work
Active anti-theft systems must be turned on or activated by the driver in order to be on and working. Most of the time, you click a button on a remote or key to turn them on. They take a little more work on the part of the driver, but they can make it hard for someone to steal your car.
Choices for anti-theft systems
Steering Wheel Lock
Steering wheel locks are one of the oldest and most well-known ways to keep your car from being stolen. Attached to the car’s steering wheel, a steering wheel lock makes it impossible for someone to drive away.
This lock comes in two main styles. The first one goes across the wheel horizontally and is attached at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. On one side, the lock is longer, making it harder for the wheel to turn very far. The second style is attached to the top of the wheel, and the end goes over the front dashboard to stop the wheel from turning. One of the most popular models is the Club.
You may have seen these used by police when a car is parked illegally. They are sometimes called “boots,” but they can also be used to stop theft. It can be put in the trunk and is a great way to stop someone from stealing your car. But you shouldn’t use the tire lock every time you stop your car. It’s best to use it when you’re leaving your car parked for a long time.
Tip: If you buy a tire lock, you should also buy lug nuts that lock. If not, anyone could just use a simple jack to take your wheel off and put it back on to steal your car.
Hidden Kill Switch
To stop thieves from taking a car, a hidden kill switch stops the electricity from going to the ignition switch. Some people put in a lot of hidden kill switches to make it hard for thieves to drive away with their car.
To work, a kill switch has to be hidden. If you don’t, a thief could find the system, turn it off, and steal your car, which would defeat the whole point. The kill switch should be close to the car’s other important parts, so it’s usually best to keep it under the dashboard or under the driver’s seat. Most hidden kill switches cost around $10. But you might need a mechanic to put in the switches.
When thieves touch your car, audible alarm systems vibrate loudly. Because a loud alarm draws attention, a thief is more likely to leave your car if you have an audible alarm system.
You can also put stickers on your car that advertise the brand of the alarm system. Thieves might be less likely to try to steal your car if you use this strategy.
Smart keys lock a car by using a radio pulse generator to talk to antennas inside the car. Since these keys always send a different signal to the car’s antenna, even the most skilled thieves may not be able to break the lock. If your car is fairly new, it may come with an original smart key. If it doesn’t, you can have a mechanic add an intelligent key to your car.
Most security devices can only stop car thefts that happen while the car is being driven away, but car thieves who are smart use different methods to steal cars, like towing or trailering their targets. With a GPS tracker, you can find out where your car is from your phone. When your car moves, these trackers will let you know by text message or email. Some trackers can also send you text messages with updates on where your car is and where it’s going. If you have a high-tech GPS tracker, you might be able to stop someone from stealing your car. GPS trackers usually cost between $40 and $100. With services like LoJack or OnStar, you may also have to pay a monthly fee to keep your GPS working.
Your GPS can tell police where your car is, so they can find it and maybe get important information that will help them find the thieves. No matter where the thief tries to hide your car, a GPS tracking device can help you find it.
Other ways to keep your car from being stolen
Auto-theft protection systems- Tech
There are other things you can do to keep your car safe and stop it from being stolen.
Lock your car even when you’re driving.
Don’t leave your car’s keys in it when you’re not in it.
Even if you’re warming up your car in the winter, don’t leave it running while you’re not there.
Don’t leave valuables in the car, especially where they can be seen.
Park in well-lit areas with a lot of traffic.
Don’t leave the title of your car in the car.
Even if you take all the precautions you can, someone could still steal your car. If this happens, there are two important things to do right away:
Call the police and tell them about the theft.
File an insurance claim
Does auto insurance cover theft of a car?
Complete coverage pays for cars that are stolen. If your car is stolen and never found, your insurance company can send you a check for its current value if you have comprehensive coverage on it. If your car is stolen and found damaged, your comprehensive coverage should also pay for the repairs. Your comprehensive deductible will be used in both situations.