How to Keep Your Vehicle Safe From Theft

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With over a million cars stolen each year in the US, vehicle theft has become a concern for vehicle owners. Fortunately, you can increase the chances of keeping your vehicle safe from theft by taking a few simple steps, including keeping some basic precautions in mind, using immobilization devices, and being mindful of where you park.

Method 1 of 2: Taking basic precautions

It doesn't really matter where you park your car if you take some basic precautions. By following a few quick and easy steps, you can make it much more difficult for thieves to sneak away with your car.

Step 1: Lock your doors. The first step toward preventing theft includes locking your vehicle's doors. This makes it much harder for a thief to gain access to your vehicle and could provide just enough time to discourage the theft of your vehicle in the first place.

purse laying on a car seat

Step 2: Hide your valuables. Keep valuables out of sight when leaving them in your car while you are away. Sometimes thieves look for parked cars with bags, phones, and expensive equipment in them. Instead of a thief leaving your vehicle alone, visible valuables could lead them to breaking into your car and taking your personal items.

  • Warning: In addition to your personal property, money, and other items, thieves can also gain access to items that could allow them to steal your identity, such as your driver's license, bills with your address, and other important documents. Never keep such items in your vehicle, regardless of how long you plan on being away from your car.

Step 2: Turn on your car alarm. Turn on the alarm system if your vehicle is equipped with one. Thieves might avoid a car they think is protected by a car alarm.

  • Tip: Make sure to let thieves know that your car is protected by a car alarm by displaying a sticker stating this fact on your vehicle windows.

Method 2 of 2: Use immobilization devices

yellow pedal locking device installed

Materials Needed

  • Immobilization device such as a steering wheel club or pedal lock

In addition to locking your vehicle's doors, there are some other steps you can take to make your vehicle harder to steal, including immobilization devices, such as a steering wheel club or a pedal lock.

Step 1: Lock your steering wheel. Devices such as The Club make your vehicle virtually undriveable by limiting the range of motion of the steering wheel. Once secured into place, short of cutting the rim of the steering wheel, thieves cannot turn the vehicle left or right when attempting to flee in the vehicle.

Step 2: Lock your pedal. You can also utilize other devices, such as a pedal lock, which either locks the brake pedal into place or secures the brake and gas pedals together. This makes it impossible to operate one without operating the other, so that when you push the gas the brake is also applied, and the vehicle won't move.

Method 2 of 2: Parking in the right spot

Where you park your vehicle is often just as important as the other precautions you take to prevent car theft. Whether you park on the street, in a parking garage, or a car lot, by keeping some simple steps in mind, you can ensure that any thief thinks twice before messing with your car.

Step 1: Park in a monitored lot. While this costs a small fee, it is one sure way to make sure that your vehicle is protected while you are away.

parking lot with people around

Step 2: Park away from parking garage and lot exits. Parking in a spot in heavily traveled areas can deter theft. By parking next to an exit, you give potential thieves a quick way to get away with your vehicle.

Step 2: Park in well-lit areas. Park in well-lit areas when you must leave your vehicle, especially at night or in darker areas. Thieves like obscurity, and areas where others can easily see their activities discourages them.

  • Tip: If you leave a spare key somewhere on your vehicle's exterior, put it somewhere inconspicuous. If placed in an area that most people leave a spare key, more than likely the thieves can find it easily as well. In general, it’s best not to do this at all.

By taking a few safety precautions, you can keep your vehicle safe from theft. When having an alarm system installed in your vehicle, consult with an experienced mechanic to ensure that you get the system you want and that the job is done properly the first time.


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Arturo

25 years of experience
42 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - La Jolla, California
Arturo was efficient and extremely professional. I'll refer him to friends and family and call him for any issues related to my car. I am very happy with the service!
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto

Travis

11 years of experience
312 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis is great! This is the second time he has come and serviced our truck. I recommend Travis for any service ned you may have!
Subaru Forester - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Rosemount, Minnesota
Thank you Travis for your fast, easy, honest work on my vehicle today!! The first thing you did upon arrival to my home was find me a discount coupon for $50 off my service estimate. You did only what needed to be done in record time. You not only saved me lots of money, but did things in a profession manner. I've been looking for an honest auto mechanic for my whole life and would love for you to be it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're the best!!!

Scott

32 years of experience
346 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Arrived on time and worked quickly. Gave me detailed information on his completed work and the details of my car. Answered all of my questions thoroughly.
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Nicholas

9 years of experience
251 reviews
Nicholas
9 years of experience
Lexus GX470 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Clayton, North Carolina
Nicholas texted me 30 minutes prior to arrival. Showed up on time as scheduled. He confirmed the work that I requested be performed. He completed the work, performed the road tested, and delivered my keys along with recommendations of other work that might be in my best interest. Was very pleasant, professional, and cleaned up after he was done. I was so impressed with the service he performed and the speed at which the services were completed. I have already scheduled a future service with Nicholas and will schedule any and all future repairs with him if he is available.

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