Safeguarding your car against intrusion is essential these days and there are a number of auto anti-theft devices available. Granted, you may spend a lot on an alarm system but anti-theft devices come in a variety of styles and prices.
Use this guide to choose the alarm that best suits your needs.
Before going into the types of anti-theft devices available, remember that a good deal of car theft can be prevented by doing the little things that deter criminals. Parking in a manned lot or in your driveway instead of on the street is a place to start. Never leave your keys in the ignition, and never leave anything of value sitting on the dashboard, console or anywhere that is visible. A car is not always stolen because of its value; many are taken for the valuables left in plain sight.
Car alarms range in price from $100 to over $1000. A high pitched noise emanating from a car certainly draws peoples’ attention and makes a car thief want to get away. The downside is that because the sound of a car alarm is so common, many people ignore it. Plus, a skilled car thief will know how to immediately disable a car alarm.
A club is a device that locks the steering wheel of a car when parked. It requires a key to remove it, and when it is attached, the wheel will not turn, rendering the car unable to move even if it is running. The Club is very effective in deterring would-be car thieves. Again, a skilled car thief will be familiar with a method to dislodge the Club from its locked position and still be able to steal the car. For the price, though, the Club is a good anti-theft device.
An LED car alarm isn’t really a car alarm at all. It is simply a fancy flashing red light that hooks up to the car’s battery. It is designed to be a deterrent. Many car alarm systems have similar lights. The idea is that when a car thief sees the light, they won’t know if it’s a real system or just a light. That uncertainty is enough to deter most crooks. If you only want to spend a small amount of money, this is an effective and easy-to-install theft deterrent.
Thanks to the global positioning system, car owners can install a chip in their vehicle that, if stolen, will tell them exactly where it is. However, because this device doesn’t prevent theft on its own, it’s a good idea to use it in conjunction with something else. It is effective, though, in that it can lead police right to your stolen vehicle.
Other anti-theft devices include hood locks, tire locks, a kill switch and branding your car with its VIN though some of these solutions are quite inconvenient. Etching your VIN onto the car’s windows is a good way to deter theft because it makes its parts less usable.
An anti-carjack device or feature assures that the thief will abandon your car undamaged and possibly get caught.
Just about every major manufacturer of auto theft products offer an anti-carjack device as a standalone or as part of an overall security system. If you find yourself being confronted by a thief who wishes to take your car, and the car is protected by an anti-carjack device, you can strike a switch as you leave the vehicle. This action activates a timer on the anti-carjack system. Some systems can also arm automatically, so you don’t have to do anything but give the car up.
The effectiveness of auto anti-theft devices starts with being sensible when it comes to the safety of your car. Additional features such as alarms, light deterrents or attachments such as the Club will all work much of the time. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee your car’s safety in every situation. The most you can do is use a device that fits into your budget, will give you peace of mind and to keep your car out of harm’s way whenever possible.