Al-Jazirah Autoclub Magazine

مجلة نادي السيارات






Vehicle Security Tips



A vehicle is usually the second most expensive asset that we own, the first being our home.

Too many vehicle owners pay too little thought to the security both of their vehicle, and their personal security and safety, whilst using their vehicle.

Driving and owning a vehicle should be a pleasure, it is no pleasure at all to have your automobile stolen. You owe it to yourself to do all that you can to prevent that from happening.

You may have insurance, but there is always something to be found from your own pocket when replacing a car, as well as all the attendant hassle. By following these vehicle security tips you can greatly reduce the chances of an auto thief stealing or breaking into your car. Keep safe, keep secure.

Vehicle Security When Parked or Parking.
It's so simple, but it needs to be said - When you park your vehicle take the key from out of the ignition, close the windows all the way and make sure all the doors are locked.

Only parking for a minute? Do it anyway, it only takes a second for the opportunist thief to slip into the driver's seat and your vehicle is gone. And you? You're standing there looking at the space where your car was and feeling nothing less than foolish!

If you leave it, lock it.
Do not leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle, even if it is locked. Put them somewhere out of sight or take them with you. Left your wallet on the dash? It only had a few bucks in it . . . but then there was the credit cards and the rest of your identity! On top of that there is the cost of the damage that the lousy thief did to get at your wallet.

You may not want to leave not-so-valuables in plain view in your vehicle. "That coat? Oh, it looks expensive but really, it's a copy, if it gets stolen what does it matter, I can replace it easily."

The coat may be cheap, but will the thief know that? He busts into your car and grabs a fake designer coat. There will be nothing cheap about the cost of repairs to your vehicle! Hide the coat away.

Never leave anything on show in your car that could attract the attention of a criminal. If it could interest a thief, put it out of sight or take it with you, it's basic vehicle security.

Whenever possible park somewhere that has traffic, either pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Park somewhere that has good lighting even if it is daylight when you park, you may not get back to your vehicle before nightfall. If you park somewhere quiet and dark you are making the auto thief's job much too easy.

When using an attended parking lot leave only the keys that you need to leave and never leave keys that are marked with a key code. Don’t leave all your keys, why risk leaving your house keys?

When returning to your vehicle look around, make sure it is safe to approach your car. Check out the back seat for intruders before getting into your car, think of your personal security.

Avoid parking next to large vehicles, dumpsters, wasteland etc. Be choosy where you park.
Always leave yourself plenty of time to make it to an appointment. Try and avoid arriving pushed for time so that you are tempted to park somewhere less than desirable.

If you have a garage at home then use it, and use it for parking your car. Don't fill your garage with junk so that you have to park on the street, that is not what the garage was designed for.

Lock your car and lock the garage. Don't lock the garage and leave your vehicle unlocked with the key in the ignition, a thief only has to break into your garage and find your car ready to go, he will think that it is his birthday!

If your vehicle is fitted with an immobilizer or alarm system then activate it every time that you leave your vehicle. Make it a habit.

Use a device that locks the steering wheel to the clutch or brake pedal. Yes, they can be a little cumbersome, they may not look cool, and they are not unbeatable. But they are highly visible vehicle security.

Thieves don't like spending time breaking into a car, if your car is fitted with a visible security device and the next car along isn't, which vehicle do you think the thief will give his attention to?

Got a locking fuel cap? With gas prices on the up and up and up you may want to fit one. It does not take a petty criminal long to siphon your tank dry. You return to your car and you cannot drive anywhere. The nearest gas station is where?

Got one of those in-car entertainment centers that have removable faces? You have, good for you. You always take the face with you every time that you leave your vehicle don't you? What! You leave it in the glove compartment! Where do you think the first place the thief is going to look? Always take the face with you.

If your stereo system has security code make a note of it, and make a note of any serial numbers, and keep the note in a safe place. No, not in the car, what sort of vehicle security is that.

Do not hide a spare key in your vehicle, auto thieves know all the places to look. Do not hide a key under the car in a magnetic box either, the thief will know to look there as well.

Vehicle Security When Driving.
Lock all doors and, if possible, keep windows closed when you are driving.

When you are stopped in traffic leave enough room, between your vehicle and the vehicle in front, to be able to maneuver out if the need arises.

If you are signaled to stop by someone, perhaps indicating that you have a flat, keep driving until you can stop somewhere safe, a gas station for example.

If someone appears to be in trouble and you are not completely confident about the situation, stay inside your car and use your cell phone to contact the emergency services. Keep your doors locked and if you need to speak to someone just lower your window a crack.

If you are threatened by an armed robber do not resist, give up your car or money and call the police when safe to do so. Your car is not worth your life.

Now that you have read these vehicle security tips put them into practice, they won’t do anything to improve the security of your vehicle until you use them.

Spare Keys
The best thing to do when you get a new car with factory original keys is put those keys away in a safe place; after getting spares made. Use the spares and then every time you need a new key you're getting it made off an original; rather than copying a copy.

Key Tags
Many people don't know that when you get a new car (not a used one) you have a tag with your keys (GM cars have a knock-out plug where the key ring would go) that gives you the code. Many newer cars have it in the form of a bar-code with some numbers above it. Many ASIAN manufacturers have a number on the original key stamped in below the key head (usually 4 digits; this means an original key with the company logo, not spares). If you memorize these numbers you'll always have a means to get a key cut by a locksmith if you need one. If you write it down in your owners manual you'll always have it in your glove box too. You might want to consider encoding it with some letters vs numbers. Take any 10 letter word (or word combination) you like and make that your word. For example you could remember simultaneous. Take the 1st 10 letters (notice they are all different from each other) and number them 0-9. See below:
























If your code is 7635 for your Mitsubishi. You could write NAUT in your owners manual and even write key code right beside it. Then even if someone saw it they wouldn't be able to do anything with it. Just make sure you pick a word you can't forget that has at least 10 letters and they are all different from each other (or the first 10 are).

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