How secure is your car in your garage or driveway ?
With growing numbers of cars being stolen via keyless theft, there are a few steps you can take to keep your car safe.
What is keyless theft?
The process criminals use to steal a car via keyless theft is relatively simple. First, they buy some electronic gizmos (a signal amplifier and transmitter) from the darker side of the internet.
Next, they find a house with a nice car parked outside and, by using these tools, can detect whether the car features keyless entry and start. One criminal then stands by the car with his transmitter, while the other uses the amplifier (generally getting close to the house). If the car key is close enough, the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the transmitter. This transmitter then effectively becomes the key, with the car thinking the real key is nearby. The thieves are able to open and start the car and then drive off. This can happen in less than a minute and there is nothing to raise suspicion. Watch this short video.
How to avoid keyless theft
Remember the basics. You should take standard security measures, ensuring your car is properly locked and keep keys far away from doors and windows – how many of us leave the keys near the front door? Always keep valuables out of site when parking the car.
RFID pouches are another alternative which contain signal-blocking materials that may stop your key transmitting its code, preventing crooks from being able to detect and amplify the signal. Test whether a pouch works by putting the key in it and ensuring the car doesn’t unlock when they stand next to it. This is similar to protecting your credit cards from being skimmed. Doing this arguably removes the convenience of keyless entry. but may prevent it from being stolen.
Other ideas include placing your keys in a closed metal container or even the microwave.
You could also purchase an aftermarket security device such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway bollard, or even a wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving off with it.
Consider installing a GPS tracking unit in your car. These are an excellent way to help find your car if it is stolen. These units are great too if you forget where you parked the car at the shopping centre. A number of A Grade Automotive Network workshops are able to install these for you.
Whatever strategy you use to help prevent the theft of your car, the inconvenience of it will be far less than dealing with the police, the insurance company, possibly buying a new car and just getting on with your daily life without the car.