Vehicle Theft
Auto Repair Business & Marketing

7 Ways to Prevent Vehicle Theft

Auto theft may be a difficult problem for you to deal with. But, unfortunately, it’s all too easy for the perpetrator to commit the crime. 

If you’re worried about your car or the items inside getting stolen, we have some good news to share with you. Namely, there are a lot of steps you can take to prevent vehicle theft. And you’ll find 7 of the most effective ones in this list.

From car alarm systems to GPS trackers, this guide has all the anti-theft tips you need. Educate yourself on how to protect your vehicle by reading this guide.

1. Car Alarm Systems

Most vehicles come with a factory-installed alarm system. And, because these are so common, most car thieves know how to get around them. Thus, in most instances, factory-installed alarm systems are not effective at deterring theft.

If you’re truly concerned about auto theft, consider an aftermarket car alarm system. These are a lot more secure since they are made by actual security companies, not car manufacturers.

Plus, you have your choice of security features to pick from. For instance, the system you get can be remote-activated or triggered by certain activities of attempted car theft or break-in. Many systems include both of these features.

Some of these systems come in kits that you can install yourself. The important thing, though, is that you research the features and user reviews of the system before you buy it.

2. An Automatic Kill Switch

Now here’s a factory-installed security measure that actually does help. Namely, a lot of newer vehicles come with an automatic kill switch that shuts off the engine during attempted auto theft.

Most of the time, this involves a sensor that’s connected to your car’s computer system. This sensor responds to a device on your keychain. This is especially common in vehicles with a push-button ignition system.

There are various situations that can trigger the kill switch. For instance, while you’re warming up your engine, a car thief may jump into the driver’s seat and drive away.

But if you are not in the car with your keychain device, the computer will notice and the engine will shut off. In fact, you may be able to use your handheld device to remotely shut off your engine. 

If you have an older vehicle, it probably isn’t equipped with this feature. You’ll need an aftermarket system, which may also require an overhaul of your car’s computer system.

3. GPS Trackers

Overhauling your vehicle to add a kill switch could be expensive. More importantly, it’s probably more than you’re willing to spend to protect your beat-up old jalopy.

GPS trackers, on the other hand, are a much more affordable option. Their prices (and quality) range from super-cheap to top-of-the-line. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to use two tracking systems in case one of them is disabled by the thief.

GPS trackers are extremely effective at stopping car theft. Most of them, like this car tracker, can link to your phone to let you see exactly where your stolen car is in real-time. Then, you can report this location information to the local police so there’s no way your car can get away.

Plus, you can set your phone notifications to alert you when your car suddenly moves. This is very helpful if, for instance, your car is parked at an airport while you are traveling out-of-state.

4. Steering Wheel Lock

Steering wheel locks essentially work like a standard bike lock except that they’re much harder to break. They effectively render your vehicle inoperable until you personally come and unlock it.

Plus, they’re usually big, bulky, and easy to see for anyone looking in through your car window. Any thief who takes one look at your steering wheel won’t even bother trying to take your car.

5. Tire/Wheel Lock

Tire or wheel locks, also known as “boots,” work the same as steering wheel locks for deterring theft. They are obvious to see and are too much trouble to remove.

6. Part-Specific Protection

In some areas, car stripping is more prevalent than car theft. For this reason, you can get anti-theft devices installed on the most vulnerable parts of your car.

For instance, your wheels can be attached to your car with special lug nuts that require a key to loosen them. And there are locks, similar to wheel boots, that secure certain car parts that are otherwise easy to remove. You can even get a hood lock to protect all components under your hood.

7. Smart Practices For Auto Theft Prevention

Lastly, you don’t have to buy special devices, or spend any money at all, to keep your car protected. You can also follow these tips on careful auto theft prevention.

First, always keep your car locked and the windows up. Of course, keeping the windows down a crack during hot summer days is fine.

Next, always keep your keys with you. Never leave them in, on, or near your car.

Don’t leave your car while the engine’s running. You might have a kill switch and a GPS tracker, but the thief doesn’t know that. Who knows what damage they’ll do to/with your car before they’re caught?

Don’t park in dark, hidden areas. Keep your car out in the open, visible to the public eye.

Speaking of the public eye, keep your car empty. Anything valuable inside is a temptation to thieves. If you do keep anything of value inside, at least hide it in the glove compartment, the trunk, or under the seat.

Prevent Auto Theft With These Tips

Don’t let auto theft happen to you. Protect your vehicle from theft with these tips.

These anti-theft measures aren’t the only way to protect your vehicle, either. For instance, we can teach you how to protet your car’s paintjob plus several ways to keep your vehicle’s exterior clean and pristine. Find these and other great tips on our Automobile Maintenance blog.