The car alarm system is far from being the only way to protect your car from theft. And in terms of efficiency and reliability, there are certain questions to such systems, because even the most advanced security systems are subject to hacking by experienced hijackers. Below we are going to consider a few effective ways to avoid such an unpleasant event or to minimize the risk of theft.
Nowadays, this method is widely practiced, and even employees of official car dealerships offer to install a branded lock on the vehicle and increase the level of car security. Such service is also available at private workshops and car-care centers.
The locking mechanism can be installed on the gearbox, brakes, steering wheel, pedals, and other important units in the car. Regardless of their type, all interlocks have one main element – a locking pin with a latch and lock.
However, when it comes to devices for locking the hood, brakes, steering wheel or gearbox, even inexperienced hijackers can easily cope with them, using saber saws, electric drills and rollers. Also, many criminals resort to the bumping method, hammering a special bolt into the keyhole and gradually tapping on it.
Given the vulnerability of bumpers, it is advisable to choose only those products that are really very difficult to access. Among them are certain modifications of the keyless locks of the steering shaft with a reliably hidden opening mechanism.
Anyway, such mechanism will complicate an intruder’s life greatly and prolong the process of theft. In fact, if he sees the presence of mechanical locks on the potential victim, most likely, he will refuse to hack and will try to find more affordable options. This trend is observed with mass-market cars.
The OEM immobilizer is a fairly useful component in any car, responsible for reading the signal from the transponder key with the subsequent permission or prohibition to start the unit. But with the factory modules experienced hijackers cope without much difficulty, because they are familiar with the basic ways of bypassing the regular blocking algorithms.
In order to minimize the risk of hacking the immobilizer, it is recommended to install an additional non-standard module. In this case, you will have to have a chip card or an additional key fob on hand. For even greater protection, you can try to connect the immobilizer with “manual access”. In this case, the onboard electronics will identify the owner of the car by a PIN-code, which you will need to enter using the regular buttons.
Hidden lock keys
In the circle of motorists they are called “secrets” and are considered a very effective tool for protecting the car from theft. The principle of hidden buttons is quite simple: a special module, which limits their launch, is “cut in” to different systems and circuits of the car.
For example, you can integrate the “secret” in the power supply circuit gasoline pump or in the wiring harness ECU power unit.
Before you start the engine, the driver will need to press the button, which is hidden from third parties, bring the magnetic key and unlock the system by entering a secret code. If this is not done, the locking algorithms may be triggered.
Basic modules include in its design switch (magnetic reed or button), as well as a set of switching to connect to the vehicle. In addition to the installation of the system itself, you need to think about the code, which will include several combinations with the selected sequence.
Installation of non-original parts in the underhood space
If an intruder manages to break into the car and gain access to the space under the hood, it is likely that he will try to install his own unit, the so-called “spider” in place of the regular ECU. How to avoid this course of events?
Very simple – create a mechanical protection ECU with a latch and lock. You can also use one trick and replace OEM connectors with non-standard ones, which will be very difficult to connect to. Among them are computer port or car radio connector. It is only important to take care of the “adapter”, which will come in handy when contacting the service center.
Protection against code breakers
According to statistics, over 50% of expensive cars are stolen by so-called “code grapplers” – devices for breaking the regular code. These devices provide interception of the alarm system signal and then play it while the driver is absent. And the simpler the alarm system, the faster the burglar will be able to access the control of the vehicle.
In order to minimize the likelihood of hacking security electronics in this way, you will need to install a complex car alarm system with advanced protocols for protecting the dialog code, or a unique model, rarely found in the domestic space.
As it turned out, the real problem for auto thieves can become a primitive Chinese “alarm system”, which “code-grabbers” simply can not detect. Also, an added bonus would be the option to automatically arm the vehicle without first pressing the key transponder. Such a mode is present in many security systems.
Imitation car alarm
If your car does not have an alarm system, you can try to scare the thieves by imitating it. A small plastic case with LED indicators will cost a couple of hundred rubles, but can play the role of a psychological factor and reduce the interest of criminals to the potential victim. In addition, you can buy stickers on the car, indicating the presence in the cabin of powerful anti-theft electronics.
In any case, you should consider that a simple car alarm system will be an obstacle only for outright losers or beginners in the business of car theft. Experienced “experts” without much difficulty will unlock the alarm system in a couple of minutes.
But if we are talking about mass-market models, popular among hijackers, then with a high degree of probability they prefer a copy without the security complex than with it.
A GPS beacon, installed in a hiding place of the car, will make the search of a stolen car easier. The device has compact dimensions and easily fits into hard-to-reach places. But it is very expensive in specialized stores, so it is recommended to look for such an accessory on AliExpress or other marketplaces.
In choosing where to hide the beacon, it is better to give preference to the trunk. But it can also be stored in the cabin or attached to the body with a magnet. Due to a special design the device is not afraid of dirt and water. As a source of power are used batteries or built-in battery.
Choosing the right parking spot
To minimize the risks of car theft, it is important to choose the right parking spot, especially if you plan to leave it overnight or for an indefinite period of time.
Insurance company experts note that cars are most often stolen in free parking lots during the dark hours of the day and in places with no lighting. Therefore, give preference to well-lit parking lots, preferably with security, outdoor surveillance cameras or a constant flow of people.
Naturally, the best option is paid parking, garage or underground parking, but not every driver can afford such service.
Special covers from burglary means
Cars with keyless entry are especially popular with burglars, since criminals use repeaters to steal them.
In most cases, when trying to steal a car in this way operates a group of intruders. One of them is near the potential victim, and the second one follows the driver approaching the car or walking away from him. The latter reads the electronic signal key and passes it to his “colleague”, who in turn quickly opens the car and drives away. The operation radius of the so-called “fishing rods” amounts to several kilometers.
To avoid the hacking of electronics, it is possible to use special protective covers made of a special fabric, absorbing any radio signal.
Some methods from the 90’s
You can also try some of the methods that almost everyone used in the 90’s. Among them is the trivial removal of the battery, which simply makes it impossible for criminals to start the car. But if we are talking about a targeted theft, it is likely that they will provide for such an option and resort to the help of transportation or towing the car. But according to expert statistics, no more than 5% of cars are stolen this way.
You can also ask the other drivers to block the car for a certain period of time in parking lot. And in this case the hijacker will have to break into several vehicles at once, which is unlikely to cause their interest.
And an extreme option, which was used by motorists in the 90’s – to try and scare away an intruder with a police uniform, left in the cabin. It’s hard to say how effective this method is now.