5 Tips on How to Prevent Car Theft
It goes without saying that having your vehicle stolen is a big-time day ruiner. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over a million vehicles were reported stolen in 2022, which marks the first time in 14 years that we’ve seen seven-figure numbers in the U. S. In 2021, over 7,000 vehicles were reported stolen.
Unfortunately, car thieves are developing new techniques all the time. The good news is, there are quite a few precautions you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Read on to find out how to prevent your car from being stolen.
Practice Good Anti-Theft Protocols
Before you go out and buy fancy anti-theft devices, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking all the proper precautions. By doing this, you make your vehicle less of a target to any would-be thieves.
- Using a garage or carport is a solid method of preventing a car from being stolen from your driveway. If you’re in a situation where garage parking isn’t an option, you can still make your car harder to steal by boxing it in, which will provide an extra obstacle.
- Parking in well-lit and densely populated areas is one surefire way to deter car theft. Carjackers usually target vehicles that are off the beaten path, because they’re less likely to be spotted.
- Always make sure all doors are locked and all windows are rolled up.
- Avoid leaving valuables such as purses, wallets, electronics, or appliances in plain sight.
- Do not leave a spare key with your vehicle.
Use a Steering Wheel Lock
Wheel locks are a vital way to prevent vehicle theft. There are many different models on the market—some lock into the wheel to make it impossible to turn, while others link the wheel to the gas pedal. There’s no one answer to which is the best steering wheel lock, but bucking up for a proven model can save you a boatload of cash, and it’ll save you a major headache as well.
How else does the club prevent car theft? Well, thieves heavily rely on speed—most try to get the job done in two minutes or less. Not only is a steering wheel lock a physical barrier against theft, but it’s also a mental barrier for criminals. If they look inside and see a steering lock, chances are that they won’t even bother with your car in the first place.
Install a GPS Tracking Device
A vehicle recovery system can be an absolute godsend if you find that your car has been stolen. GPS tracking will allow law enforcement to locate the vehicle much faster, which greatly reduces the likelihood that it’ll have extensive damage when it’s recovered.
Many new cars already have some sort of vehicle tracking built in at the factory, but it can still be a good idea to buy an extra third-party tracker, in case the thief knows how to disable the OEM system.
As with wheel locks, there are many different kinds of trackers on the market. Some are battery-powered and will have to be recharged periodically, while others connect to the OBD-II port, or are otherwise hardwired into the car’s electrical system. Most also require a yearly or monthly subscription to use GPS services, but the price is typically on par with a cheap gym membership.
If you decide to go the hardwired route, make sure you have it installed by a certified technician.
Install a Vehicle Immobilizer
Much like GPS tracking, many late-model vehicles have engine immobilizers already built in. If your car has a push-button ignition, it’s a sure sign that it also has an immobilizer. If your car uses a physical ignition key, it’s sort of a toss-up. If you’re unsure whether or not your specific make and model has a factory Hyundai immobilizer or other brand, you can check your owner’s manual, or contact the manufacturer.
Installing an aftermarket engine immobilizer, much like GPS tracking, is a fantastic way to prevent keyless car theft. Regardless of which kind you have, an immobilizer works by preventing the car from running unless the corresponding key fob or transponder is present. This effectively eliminates the possibility of hotwiring the car. Aftermarket immobilizers also have the added benefit of coming with a sticker or decal, which you can display on the car in order to deter criminals.
As with GPS devices, immobilizers should be installed by a professional with knowledge of the car’s electrical systems. Having an amateur install it can increase the likelihood of the immobilizer malfunctioning, which means you may not be able to start your own car until you get it fixed.
Keep Up with Software Updates
Even if your vehicle didn’t come with certain theft deterrents, most automakers these days are able to update anti-theft systems remotely without you even having to stop by a service center.
For instance, Hyundai anti-theft has recently made some big improvements. In 2022, a series of viral TikTok videos became popular. These videos were made by anonymous car thieves, and they targeted specific turn-key ignition models like the Sonata and Elantra, which led to a marked uptick in Kia and Hyundai thefts worldwide. To curb this, Hyundai has released updates to more than four million of their vehicles. This Hyundai software update adds an “ignition kill” feature and effectively makes it much more difficult to start the car without the key.
If you have a Hyundai vehicle made in 2011 or later, be sure to check to see if you qualify for the free security update.
Discover How to Prevent Your Car from Getting Stolen
As long as there are cars, there will be criminals who find new ways to steal them. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it a lot harder, though.
If you’re looking for a new Hyundai in Birmingham, or a professional service center to help you install that shiny new GPS tracker, Jim Burke is your one-stop shop. Give our Hyundai dealer a call at (205) 502-2792.