During the holiday season, crime rates increase as drivers leave their vehicles unattended for long periods of time. To ensure you have safe and happy holidays, you want to make sure that your vehicle (and the gifts within) will still be around by the time you finish picking out that perfect gift for your favourite Uncle.
In this week’s post, we’re discussing ways you can prevent thieves from having easy access to your vehicle and its’ contents. Here are our 7 ways you can keep your car safe from would be theives.
1. Lock the doors
When a thief is on the prowl (especially around the holidays), they are looking for easy targets. They want to get in, get out, and get gone. This may seem like a common-sense solution; however, just by locking your doors, you can cut the chances of someone breaking into your vehicle.
While locking your doors may not keep your vehicle from being stolen, it will stop some thieves from opening the doors and helping themselves to what they can find. This is essential over the holidays to ensure that any gifts you may have left in the trunk stay there for when you are ready to bring them inside for wrapping.
2. Keep it clean
Many of us are guilty of leaving change in the console, sweaters in the backseat, and paperwork on the dash. This can increase the chances of your vehicle being broken into. When thieves spot something through the window, they are more likely to attempt to enter your vehicle. Hide loose change and clear out your vehicle every evening and you can make your vehicle less of a target for anyone looking for quick and easy prey.
3. Security Systems
There are two types of security systems that exist to help protect your vehicle when you’re not there. A passive immobilizer is a security device that is automatically activated once the vehicle is parked, the key is removed from the engine, and the doors are closed. This allows you to close your doors and walk away, safe in the knowledge that anybody that opens the doors will set off the alarm. These are installed in most vehicles from the manufacturer.
The other security system option is a non-passive immobilizer. These are typically found in after-market alarm systems, as they require you to activate them prior to leaving your vehicle. This can be done in several different ways, from a remote button attached to your keys to a small device that you need to swipe, much like a keycard in a secure building. Both options have advantages and disadvantages depending on your specific needs.
4. Flashing LED
If your vehicle did not come with a pre-installed security system, and you are not wanting to shell out for an aftermarket system so close to the holidays, there are other options available well. While this particular idea may seem a tad dishonest in itself, simply setting a flashing red LED light (available from nearly any general electronic store), will give the illusion of having an alarm on the vehicle. Once hooked up to the power supply of the vehicle, it will flash on and off just like a real security system. Next to locking your doors, this is one of the most cost-effective solutions to keeping thieves at bay.
5. Steering wheel locks
There are several styles and brands available when it comes to steering wheel locks. The Original Club that we all remember from our childhoods, locks onto both sides of your steering wheel using hooks and (when placed correctly) prevents the wheel from moving by knocking into the roof, door, or floor. This old school locking device may not look flashy, but it will keep your vehicle right where you left it.
There is also the updated Club 3000, sporting a new twin-hook design. The twin-hook allows for a tighter grip on the steering wheel, as it has double the contact points. Wrapping around both sides of the wheel, this model allows for added strength, stability and security.
Alternatively, the pedal-to-steering-wheel hook lock is another option. This wraps around the brake or clutch pedal and hooks through the steering wheel, locking tightly into place. Even if the thief is able to get the vehicle moving, they would have no way to steer, or brake, restricting their ability to travel very far.
Finally, one of the most secure options, is the Disklok steering wheel lock. This cover-all wraps around the entire steering wheel and clamps snugly into place. Good luck getting through this one without the key!
6. Baby monitor
The most unconventional method on this list is the baby monitor. With so many wireless, video-enabled and long-distance options available, there is a model that works for everyone. You could take care of your 4-wheeled baby by listening and watching while you are off buying presents for your real children in the mall.
7. GPS tracking system
When worse comes to worst and someone has stolen your vehicle, it can be handy to have a GPS tracking system installed. There are many different trackers available through sources like Amazon and your local parts store. With devices like these, even though your vehicle may be missing, you can track its location and movements on your phone while you contact the police.
Whether you lock your doors, steering wheel, or just lock this information into your mind, we hope you, your vehicle, and its contents, stay safe while shopping this holiday season.