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My dad grew up in an era when it was popular to steal stereos from cars. One day, he walked up to his car and found quite a mess. Someone had tossed an AC unit through his back window and stolen his stereo. Not only was he out of tunes, he also had to pay for a new window.
My dad got lucky, though, because his whole car wasn’t stolen. Still, it stinks when thieves break into your car for any reason. Want to know some tricks to protect your car? Here are seven suggestions.
- Use a Baby Monitor
People use baby monitors to look after the cute little kid they care about most. A child is a parent’s number one treasure. But for those who don’t have kids, their car might as well be their baby.
Which is why it’s totally not weird to install a baby monitor in your car. Think about it — the thief will be caught on tape. A live feed of the whole ordeal will be streamed to you, and you’ll be alerted as soon as it happens. Of course, go for the wireless option, and boost the volume so you’ll be able to hear the break-in if it happens.
- Turn the Wheels Toward the Curb
Unfortunately, thieves are starting to get creative too, and one of their strategies is to simply tow away people’s cars. When you park your car, turn the wheel all the way toward the curb. This makes the car more difficult to steal.
If the wheels are straight, the thieves will have no problem rolling it away. But turning the wheels will let the car drag, and the thieves would actually have to break into your car to make it easier.
- Craft a Hidden Kill Switch
If you’re a wiring whiz, installing some kill switches can work to your benefit. If you keep them hidden, the thief will be left scratching their head. If you have more than one, they’re either going to freak out or give up. Just be sure you fully know your car’s electrical system before you get tinkering.
- Keep Your Car Hidden
If you live in a dangerous neighborhood, your best bet might be to keep your car hidden. One option is renting a garage space, or building a temporary garage in your driveway if you don’t already have one attached to your house or apartment. This can be a little pricy and might not be doable depending on where you live. You can also talk to your landlord about installing a gate on your parking lot if there are several cars that have been broken into. This can increase the property value for the future, plus give all residents peace of mind.
- Take the Steering Wheel With You
Are you getting really skittish? Are your friends telling stories left and right about what happened to their cars? Here’s a quick solution to calm your nerves. Just take your steering wheel wherever you go.
Keep in mind this can only be done with a quick-release hub. Still, a steering wheel is small enough to fit in a backpack, so it’s not much hassle. And the best part? It’s pretty tough for a carjacker to drive the car without the wheel.
- Drive Stick
Many people these days, especially millennials, didn’t grow up learning stick. Automatic transmissions have been the dominant choice for a while now because there’s really no learning curve.
This solution is great, because if your thief can’t drive the car, they’re not going anywhere. Obvious, yet effective. And as a bonus, you get the engaging experience that comes with driving a manual.
- Pull the Plug
Want to protect your car, but don’t want to spend money on unnecessary safety options? Of course you do.
When you leave your car, just unplug a spark plug wire. Not only does this make the car impossible to drive, but it also buys you time in case you’re nearby, especially in urban areas. Thieves don’t want to spend time figuring out what’s wrong with the car.
A fair warning, though. Modern cars have coil plugs, which means you’d need tools to take out the spark plug. If you have a newer car, try one of the other options here.
- Give It the Boot
Ridiculous? Maybe. But there probably aren’t any thieves in history who have managed to steal a booted car with ease. So keep a boot in your trunk and slap it on when you’re somewhere shady.
This comes with the added perk of throwing off meter maids as well, because a car gets booted after it receives a couple tickets.
Do you have a safety secret to share? Comment below!