5 Ideas to Increase Vehicle Security
Buying a new car is an exciting experience for anyone. Unfortunately, vehicle thefts research indicates that a car is stolen every 6.5 minutes in the US. Not only can the loss of your car leave you inconvenienced, but it could leave you in financial trouble. The following security tips are five ways you can improve car security and prevent your car from being stolen.
1. Upgrade your locks
Car door locks vary depending on the make and model of your car. Upgrading to newer locks with more advanced security features can be the difference in securing you and your car from car thief’s. Locks also vary in type with each having its unique advantages and limitations. You should consider both aspects carefully before choosing your car door locks. The following are the common types of door locks:
Standard Key Entry
These are the most basic and are usually found in older models. They come with a simple lock that can only be opened and closed with a key. Though simple, they are still a viable option in many scenarios. Getting a spare key is relatively quick and easy whereas changing the locks is inexpensive.
Electronic Car Locks
Most new models have electronic lock systems. Locks can be operated via an electronic key at the push of a button. Compared to standard key locks they are more efficient and difficult to break into decreasing your risk of theft. The electronic key and lock are coded specifically for your car thus making replacements a bit more expensive but worth the investment because they greatly improve security.
Keys are not necessary for these car door lock systems. A keypad is attached to the door or a key fob. The key fob operates the lock based on the commands you issue via the keypad. Though keypads have been around for some time, key fobs are present in the newest car models. Keyless entry system locks are very hard to break into. Some systems prevent the car from starting if the car keys and fob are not within several feet of the vehicle.
2. Alarm Systems
There are passive and active car alarm systems. Passive car security systems are activated when the car is switched off, and the last door is locked. For active car alarms, the user must press the transmitter button to arm or disarm the system. Most alarm systems are configured to be able to function in either setting. Some insurance companies give discounts for using the alarm in passive mode.
An immobilizer is an electronic security device that protects your car from theft by preventing the engine to start unless the correct transponder key is present. The key is fitted with a transponder chip which has a code unique to the car. The engine can only start if the code contained in the transponder matches the code registered in the chassis.
Copying the code in the immobilizer is very difficult. This is what makes it a very effective anti-theft device.
Duplicate keys can be made, but not even all locksmiths can do it. To make a copy of the key, you will need a locksmith who is conversant with immobilizer systems and has special equipment to enter the ID code information to the transponder.
4. Tracking Systems
A tracking system is a monitoring system designed to track the location as well as monitor the speed and distance traveled by a vehicle. They do not necessarily help protect vehicles from theft, but they can help you find your stolen vehicle. There are three types of car tracking systems:
These systems use cellular transmissions to relay information about the location of your car. This information is transmitted approximately every five to ten minutes depending on the system. As such, the information provided is not real-time. This information can be viewed online via the system software application. Cellular systems have low initial costs but have a recurring monthly service costs.
Wireless Passive Tracking Systems
These systems come with hardware and software components. Basic systems only allow data retrieval when the car is back home thus making them unreliable when there is an accident or theft occurs. Modern systems have however remedied this problem by adding modems in vehicles that can transmit real-time information. Other than location, you can also know what speed your car is being driven at and when it stops. Though they have a higher initial installation cost than cellular systems, the lack of additional monthly costs and real-time data transmission is a big bonus.
Global Positioning System (GPS) Tracking
This tracking system relies on a worldwide radio-navigation system that is formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations. It provides real-time information on location and movement. This system attracts a monthly service fee but can function even in areas where there is no cell phone coverage.
5. Adopt Habits That Discourage Theft and Vandalism
Believe it or not, some habits may encourage thieves to have a go at your car. Securing it involves protecting it from yourself as much as anyone else. Here are some tips to remedy that:
• Park Intelligently – Find parking spaces that are well lit and near building entrances where there might be cameras or security guards nearby.
• Don’t Leave Valuables Exposed in The Car – This may not get your car stolen, but the chances of finding a broken window and your property stolen are high.
• Face Your Car Wheels Into The Curb When Parking – This is a simple trick that may deter would-be thieves. This makes the process of maneuvering out of the parking space more difficult. Car thieves are more interested in quick getaways.
• Don’t Leave Your Car Running- Most car thefts actually occur when the owner is nearby. Leaving your car running does not only invite trouble, but it is also illegal in many states.
• Practice Vigilance – The act of simply being mindful and alert of your environment may help you notice and avert any possible issues that may arise.
Owning a car and not taking necessary precautions to secure it is only setting yourself up for potential heartache. Protecting your car is not about making it impossible to steal, but rather making it harder to do so. Car thieves like easy pickings, so the more precautions you take, the safer you will be.