Join the Club?

Yellow Cartoon CarWhile rehearsing for the upcoming play in Rosarito, an actor had his car stolen, in broad daylight with people around.

So I thought I would write this month about car protection.  Researching various sites online helped a little although I found just as many sites that explained how to disable security systems as I found to enable them.

And I found a lot of suggestions like, be sure to remove your keys from the car.  Or don’t leave your car running and unattended.  I thought those were very lame and pointless.  Of course we take the keys out of the ignition, lock the car, with the windows up and put loose stuff of any value in the trunk.  Or we own a car that no one would want.  I can name a few: a Renault, a Citroën, or a beat-up 1978 brown Chevy V6 with bald tires.

Barring that last resort – the car no one wants – there are three categories of devices.  Electronic immobilizers, mechanical immobilizers and vehicle alarms.  Alarms just make a lot of noise in the hope that is a deterrent.  There are so many false alarms no one pays attention any more.  They are, in my opinion, more of a nuisance than a deterrent.

Electronic immobilizers work.  If a person can’t start your car, he can’t drive it away.  These kinds of security devices have been present on all cars for a few years.  They are usually used in conjunction with audible alarms.  Older cars that don’t have these can easily be modified with a hidden shut off switch which would disable either the ignition or the fuel pump.  The same thing can be accomplished by removing one or two fuses when you park your car.  Car thieves are concerned with speed and they’re not going to spend time trying to figure out why your car won’t start.

Mechanical immobilizers also work well.  These come in different applications.  There is the steering wheel lock known as the Club.  The clubThe Club Vehicle Theft Device has a couple of added attractions.  It helps prevent airbag theft and also can be used as a club.  These go over the steering wheel and prevent the steering wheel from being turned very much.  The Club also is very visible which may prevent even an attempt.  Another device is what the police use, a Denver boot.  This device locks around the tire preventing the car from moving.  I would think the Denver Boot is difficult to use.  Trying to remove it while dressed in your Sunday best during a rain storm may be too much of an obstacle for you.

These are the choices.  Which way to go?  Make a thief work and they will go away.  My preference is combining the electronic and mechanical immobilizers or drive a car no one wants.  Want my 1978 brown Chevy V6 with bald tires?

About David Tavares

I’m available for automobile questions, consultations and assessments. David Tavares, [email protected]

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