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Car Security Tips
Guest Post By: Bily Bum
No matter how much we paid for our car or where we live, we are always under stress of someone stealing our car or stealing something from it. Cars are important to us for many reasons, and there are many ways you can ensure that it is secured. One of the most obvious ways is to make sure you have locked it after exiting and that you haven’t left anything valuable inside. Also, you can make sure to park it in a safe space or use your garage every night if you have one. However, even though these means of securing your car can suffice, you can always go a step further by investing in mechanical and electronic alarms.
Today, there is a wide variety of car alarms, and they all have different features and different levels of security. The first step when choosing the best car alarm for you is to assess your needs. How secure do you want your car to be? Do you want to connect it to your smartphone? How sensitive the sensors should be when detecting “danger”, and so on. So, based on your needs, you should look at the car alarm features and choose some of the best.
Opt for Mechanical Solutions
If you think that trackers and other gadgets are not necessary for your car’s safety, you can rely on good-old mechanical solutions. There are ways to lock your steering wheel, pedals, and wheels because technology has advanced in this field, too.
Steering Wheel Locks
Steering wheel locks are an old but effective way to secure your car and prevent theft. These are easily attached to the steering wheel, and it keeps it from turning. Plus, most of the models available can be extended enough to fit any steering wheel. They have their keys, too, which allows you to unlock them with ease. Steering wheel locks are effective, and many drivers do still rely on them, and they are not that expensive. Steering wheel locks are made from strong steel and other metals, which makes them impossible to break, and they are usually colored in bright hues so the thief can easily detect them and simply give up from even trying to break in.
The pros of steering wheel locks are ease of use and the strong materials used in their construction that even a saw cannot cut through. Plus, steering wheel locks can be used on any model of car.
On the other hand, the cons of steering wheel locks include the tedious locking and unlocking every time you use the car. Also, a steering wheel lock will not prevent the thief from breaking into your car to steal something else.
Brake locks are attached to the brake or clutch pedal and completely block it. The way that these locks function is that they prevent the pedals from being accessible and usable. Also, you can easily unlock brake locks with a key and use the car, but make sure to lock them when you’re leaving. Just like the steering wheel locks, brake locks are made of durable and sturdy steel that is resistant to any cuts, saws, breaking, and other damage. This sturdy construction makes brake locks almost impossible to penetrate or take off by anyone who doesn’t have a key.
Brake locks protect your car from being used by someone who doesn’t own it, making it immovable. Also, the steel used in brake locks is heat-tempered, which makes it almost impossible to break or move.
However, there are cons of brake locks as well, which includes the often impractical need to lock and unlock it each time you use or leave the car. Plus, someone could break into your car and take anything valuable from inside the vehicle.
Tire locks, or wheel clamps, are locks that are designed to clamp onto your tires and prevent them from turning and spinning. Typically, tire locks are made of heavy-duty steel, and they can fit on any tire. Also, the locks are durable and easy to use and can stay there for as long as you want them.
The pros of tire locks include sturdy materials and ease of use. However, the cons are that due to exposure to the elements, the metal could rust over time. Also, there have been some issues with fitting these to robust wheels of SUVs.
Gadgets and Devices
If you don’t have enough trust in the physical car theft prevention devices, you can always rely on technology to help you protect your car. There is a wide variety of car alarms, trackers, and other systems that can put you at ease once you leave your car.
Passive immobilizers are one of the most commonly used systems. They feature an ignition key that has a microchip inside it. The chip has to be turned to start the car. Without the ignition key, it is extremely difficult for a thief to steal your car. In the past few years, many manufacturers have started using this type of key, and it has significantly lowered the theft rates. But, a passive immobilizer can increase the overall cost of a car.
The pros of passive immobilizer definitely include the lower chances of your car getting stolen. Also, thanks to this great anti-theft device, you can get a break on your car insurance as well.
However, there are some downsides to passive immobilizers. If something happens to the passive immobilizer key, you will have to go to the dealer to get the replacement key. And, passive mobilizer keys can be really expensive, compared to copying normal keys.
Personal Alarm Pagers
Personal alarm pagers function in a similar way to a car alarm, but there is no actual “alarm” that activates the siren. When the sensors believe someone is trying to break into the car, the system sends an alert directly to your smartphone so you can go and check on the vehicle and call the police. This feature is quite useful since you don’t have to be within the hearing range to know that your care is in danger.
However, when choosing the model for your needs, you should check the specifications because some of them need you to be within a certain range for the system to work, which can be a downside. Also, some models have an actual alarm, which is great for startling the thief.
More and more people have started relying on tracking systems to secure their cars. Tracking systems, such as OnStar and Lo/Jack, have equipment that is based on GPS inside, which allows you to track the location should anything happen to the vehicle. Another pro of these systems is that they cannot only be used to track the car in case of theft, but they can actually stop the thief from even trying to steal the car because they know it has a tracking system. Plus, some models also have collision detection, which can notify the company in case there was an accident, and you need emergency services. The disadvantage of these systems is that they are usually more expensive than other counterparts.
Securing your car has never been easier. There are many different anti-theft devices, both mechanical and electric, and you simply have to make your choice based on your needs and preferences.
Bily Bum is an electrical engineer, tech, and gaming fan with 15 years of experience in the technology world. He uses every spare moment to research and test new gadgets that could enhance your life.