| Kidney Cars

Clever Tips To Protect Your Car From Theft

February 20, 2019, 1:51pm EST

According to United States Department of Transportation (NHTSA), one million vehicles were stolen in the U.S. during 2022. 

No one wants their car to get stolen! Kidney Cars is here to help. Here are ten ideas to help fully protect your car. 

10 ways to reduce car theft

1. Use common sense

The NHTSA recommends the following:

  • Always take your car keys
  • Lock your doors and close your windows
  • Try to park in well-lit areas
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car

2. Wrap your car keys in aluminum foil

Protect your keys from “relay” attacks by wrapping them in something metallic to block the signals. There are devices that thieves can use to intercept the signal of your car keys without you noticing. Once the signal from your keys is hijacked, the thief can gain access to your car and steal it. So, don’t hang your keys close to your front door, instead place them in foil or a Faraday wallet.

3. Etch your window or mirror with your VIN number

This is an inexpensive service that can significantly decrease your risk of car theft. A criminal would have to spend money and time to change the etched glass and therefore decrease his profit. You can have the VIN etched on your driver’s side rear view window, a side window, or both. 

4. Install a GPS tracker

A GPS tracker can help you locate your vehicle if it's stolen. Some upgraded systems even allow you to remotely disable the engine. 

5. Hide an old powered-on tablet or phone in your car

Some thieves know to look for a GPS tracker. An old phone or tablet that is synced with your Google account where it can’t be seen in your car. This will allow you to track your car using the “Find my phone” function given that your phone or tablet is connected to WiFi. Just make sure to periodically check how charged it is.

6. Keep tires turned to the curb when parking

When your car wheels are turned towards the curb, it makes it more difficult for thieves to maneuver your vehicle in order to steal it. This is especially true if they are using a tow truck. If your car requires more time and complications to steal, it is less likely to be targeted.

7. Use a steering-wheel lock

While a steering-wheel lock isn’t a foolproof way to protect your car, it can make the process more difficult. The longer it takes to get the car moving, the more chance they’ll be spotted.

8. Install a kill switch

A kill switch disrupts the ignition system, making it nearly impossible for a thief to start your car without knowing its location.

9. Use a car cover

A car cover can hide your vehicle from sight, making it less attractive to thieves. 

10. Pull a spark plug

A cost-effective and practical way to discourage a potential thief is to take the spark plug. Without a functioning spark in the cylinder, your car won't start. It's a handy approach, especially in urban areas, where diagnosing the issue discreetly can be challenging. Keep in mind that this method won't be effective on vehicles equipped with coil plugs unless you have additional tools.

Ready for an upgrade?

Is keeping your old car safe from thieves too expensive? Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a car with built-in anti-theft systems. If you do decide to get a new car, consider donating your old one to Kidney Cars. Your donations help fund our mission to make the lives of kidney disease patients better. 

Donating to Kidney Cars is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Give us a call at 800-488-2277 (CARS) or fill out this online form. Click here if you're in Hawaii. Click here if you're in Idaho or Utah.
  2. We'll work with you to set up a time and place for us to tow your vehicle at no cost to make it as convenient as possible for you.
  3. Within 30 days, we'll send you a receipt for tax purposes. If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct the higher of your car's actual sale price or a minimum of $500. This can help you save on your taxes.

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