Security for Older Cars: Tips from Professional Automotive Locksmiths
You’ve had your car for years and by now it’s a tried and true companion. Not only does it get you around town, but it’s also a vehicle for so many of your memories! It has served you reliably for this long, but while you know that you need to take your car to the garage for mechanical check-ups and improvements, you might not realize that you also need to take certain measures with your locksmith to update the security of your automobile!
Your car’s security should be a top priority. After all, buying a car is a significant investment that you don’t want to lose. The risk of car theft is very real and the FBI reports that one car is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds. Depending on where you live the rate may be even higher.
You’re probably wondering what you can do to protect yourself, especially if you have an older car without a fancy high-tech security system. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your car safe.
Knowing your risks
Older models of cars are often targets of car theft because petty criminals and career criminals alike know that their security systems are easier to compromise than newer cars. You may be surprised to learn that the make of car that tops the list of most-common vehicle thefts in the US was a Honda Accord, followed by a Honda Civic! Car theft doesn’t only happen to the newest and flashiest cars, but common models of car. Cars made these days are protected by high-tech security and automated alarm systems such as transponder chips that work with the car's computer system. When it comes to older cars, however, thieves know how to break into them and hot wire or use a “bump key”.
However, just because your car doesn’t have a computer doesn’t mean there aren’t some steps you can take to easily improve the security of your older car and ensure that you can keep using it for years to come. When in doubt, an automotive locksmith can help you figure out the right security plan for your vehicle and your budget.
Alarm systems may not be enough\
At least on their own. Of course, an alarm system is a good place to start, but having an alarm does not guarantee that your car will not be targeted by a thief, especially with older alarm systems that people have become so desensitized to. When considering the security of your automobile, it’s better to err on the safe side. While some sort of alarm system is always recommended to prevent theft, on its own it may not be entirely effective against theft. Of course, not all alarms are created equal. A ‘silent alarm,’ for example, sends an alert to your phone when your alarm has been triggered. This is more likely to get your attention when it matters, as opposed to the traditional alarm systems that create so many false alarms and are unfortunately often ignored.
Use technology to your advantage
Thieves are always looking for new ways to break in. This means that you can, and should, use new technology to your advantage! Oftentimes, technological solutions are cheap and easy to install and they will translate into an immediate improvement of your automotive security. For instance, you may want to consider installing a mechanical immobilizer which is visible and, therefore, an obvious deterrent to potential thieves. You can consider a steering wheel lock (from $20 up) or a hood lock to protect your battery and other car parts. An electronic immobilizer, such as a kill switch, can also stop a car theft in its tracks.
Invest in effective solutions
One easy and effective solution for older car models is a system called Ravelco that has excellent reviews and results. While it is a pricier option at $469.95, it is a virtual guarantee against theft. The company has existed for 37 years and no cars equipped with its security system have been stolen. In terms of theft prevention, that’s a pretty good investment. This anti-theft device works almost as a second key that can be installed in any car. The female part of the device is a plug that is installed on the dashboard. The male plug functions as your ‘second key’ of sorts that is one of 100,000 different electronic combinations so that it cannot be duplicated. While the price tag on Ravelco is considerable, you can also weigh in a potential 10-15% discount on your car insurance that it may qualify you for.
Just because you drive an older model of car doesn’t mean it has to be at risk for theft. By recognizing your risk and getting in touch with your local locksmith, you can take the steps to effectively minimize the chances of your older car getting stolen!