Securing Your Ride

If you have just purchased your dream car, then the risk of thefts may well be giving you sleepless nights. With the number of car theft cases on the rise, it's imperative that you take due measures to keep it away from prowling eyes. With the steady advances in technology, you can now secure your car like never before. All you need is the necessary funds to get the apt systems in place.

AUTO-LOCKING SYSTEMS
While most cars come with built-in central or remote controlled locking systems, you can also add it to your car without modifying the original wiring of our system. There are two types of systems - the basic one, which just locks or unlocks the doors; and the advanced version, which controls the ignition
system on the automobile as well. While the first system can be added to your car even at a later stage as an add-on accessory, some of the advanced systems are manufacturer-specific. Some of the car manufacturers that provide an option of keyless ignition system include Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Cheverolet, Jaguar, Lexus, Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, to name a few.

INSTALLING ANTI-THEFT SYSTEMS
When you own a vehicle, your worries are not limited to maintenance or parking hassles. You also have to worry about vandalism and thieves who can break into your car. There are several built-in mechanisms to help you protect your car better, or you can even add a variety of locking systems to protect your car. These include:

ALARM SYSTEMS
The most basic and widely used security systems, the alarms are equipped with motion sensors, impact sensors and a loud siren, which goes of when the doors, hood, or trunk of the car are forced open.

KILL SWITCHES
A hidden switch that must be flipped on for the car to start. Kill switches can be set up to prevent the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until the switch is activated. Relative to their effectiveness as a security device, kill switches are typically inexpensive and easy to install. The trick is hiding the switch well; you can also further secure the system with keypads, pressure pads or passkeys.

EXTERNAL LOCKS
If you are expected to be away from your car for long periods of time, you can use several external and pronounced locks. These include steering wheel locks, tire locks, gear shift locks and hood locks to secure your car to the fullest.

FINGERPRINT LOCKS
This is a more foolproof way of securing your car, although not the most convenient as your presence would be required to unlock your car. You can use the lock with a finger from either your left or right hand. The lock is ideally attached to an immobilizer that deactivates direct ignition. You'll have to use the right combination key along with the fingerprint to start your automobile. While several S Class Mercedes-Benz models come with the option of fingerprint locks, you can purchase and add-on one as well.
__PAGEBREAK__

BREATHALYZER LOCK
Whether this is a safety mechanism or a theft deterrent depends on the situation it is being used in. A breathalyzer lock basically ensures that if your blood alcohol levels are beyond the permissible limit, your car ignition won't start. The breathalyzer lock with the Alcoguard device, along with a seat belt lock and the speed-limiting ignition key forms the multi-lock system in Volvo cars. Other manufacturers like Nissan and Saab Automobiles (AlcoKey Breathalyzer System) are also in the process of incorporating this tech into their future models.

HEARTBEAT SENSOR
This is another safety-cum-security system that is specific to the Volvo S80, V70 and XC70 models. These cars come with a special Personal Car Communicator, which won the Best Innovation award at the British Insurance Car Security Awards in 2007. Apart from keyless locking and ignition facility, the pocket size communicator checks whether your car has been broken into or if the alarm has been activated. But one of the best features is a unique heartbeat sensor that flashes LEDs on the communicator telling you if someone is already inside your car.

TRACKING SYSTEMS
Now if all of your systems fail to ensure that your car isn’t stolen, then you will have to rely on a good tracking system. It also helps you to track your car if it has been towed away. In India, you can avail of several services running on GPS systems that use navigation devices, or SIM cards that relay messages to your GSM or CDMA enabled cellphone connections. If you are in a country like USA or Canada, you can opt for an economical teletracker system, but in India for now, you can pick from a variety of providers that can help you set up a GPS tracking system in your car.

DOS AND DON'TS
In order to ensure safety of your car with respect to the car security systems, you must keep certain things in mind, as listed below.

  • Park your vehicle in a safe zone.
  • Irrespective of a keyless ignition system or a set immobilizer system, never leave keys in the ignition.
  • Ensure that you turn the alarms on before you leave the vehicle and lock the doors after you get out.
  • Ensure that there are safety devices for gadgets like your GPS navigator, car stereo system, and air conditioner.
  • Try to keep the electrical circuits of the starter, ignition and fuel system (at least two) separate.
  • Immobilizers can be effective only if they are well hidden. Keep the control box well out of sight and use black wires to make bypassing more difficult.

Published Date: Sep 07, 2010 05:05 pm | Updated Date: Sep 07, 2010 05:05 pm