How To Protect Keyless Entry Cars
Losing a car to theft is a troubling and unpleasant experience. Yes, it’s just a car but it is also a personal item that has been worked hard for. It may also contain valuables; hidden from view obviously. Car security has moved on quite a pace, but then again so has car theft technology. This is especially true for cars that no longer have a conventional key.
Keyless entry is an increasingly popular option on many modern cars and is these days expected on prestige vehicles like Range Rovers or BMW models. This is a great innovation but what can be done about keyless entry protection? Read on for more about how to protect keyless entry cars.
What Is Keyless Entry?
Automotive science has moved on and a more recent development is keyless car entry. Old-school keys are a thing of the past for many vehicles. Drivers still have a key or fob which can remain about their person without being located. No more struggling in the rain to pat down pockets looking for the keyring. It’s the perfect solution: Or is it?
Sensors built into the vehicle sense the approaching fob and, recognising a unique code, automatically unlock the doors, allowing instant entry. Some vehicles only require a push-button start thereafter (referred to as keyless go). It works in reverse too: Park and walk away and the sensors know the fob is leaving the vicinity. The car will self lock at this point. Brilliant; except that car thieves have gotten wise to this high-tech equipment and have ways and means to thwart electronic car security.
How To Protect Keyless Entry Cars: The Methods Of Theft
It seems that as fast as car technology moves forward, car thieves are able to keep step. The sensible owner then, having made such a big investment in the vehicle, takes extra precautions to thwart would-be criminals. It is worth considering more than one level of keyless car key protection too. So what does the vigilant owner need to look out for and what are the best ways to protect a keyless car?
The Walk Away Theft
When exiting a vehicle, either the fob system will lock the car automatically or the owner will press a button and the job is done. It is, unless that is a suspicious character is standing nearby with technology that emits a blocking signal. The owner walks away thinking the car is locked but it isn’t. Even if they cannot drive the car away, they still have access to contents. Always look back and ensure the car is locked by watching for the flashing lights. In the case of an electronic button-push key, try the doors.
A worthwhile consideration is to buy a high-quality immobiliser. Get the best you can afford by consulting with a vehicle security retailer, ideally one that has a nationwide home fitting service. Autowatch Ghost II, Sterling Excel and Shadow are all great brands that help to protect a keyless car against key cloning or theft. Some add an additional level of security using driver ID tags.
Even the most expensive, security-laden premium vehicles like Range Rovers are susceptible to relay theft, often from right outside the house in the dead of night. This is about protecting keyless cars from high-tech gadgetry used by the thieves to remove a car in very short order. Before long, it will be in a container heading for a new home.
Relay theft is when a device placed against a door, wall or window that can boost the signal of the key fob to a second device held by the car. The vehicle senses the signal and unlocks and can be driven away. This can take under a minute and is why fitting a car tracker makes absolute sense. At least that way the car can be tracked and traced by the police, greatly improving the chances of a swift recovery.
It’s worth noting that some car brands recommend specific trackers and it’s good advice. These are usually approved by the vehicle security specialists Thatcham Research. A professional car security technician will fit the car tracker in a well-hidden location on the vehicle that will make it hard for the criminals to find, slowing down any subsequent removal.
As an extra bonus your car insurance provider will be delighted to learn that a tracker and/or an immobiliser have been fitted. It potentially could affect your premium helping to alleviate the expense of extra security features. Insurance companies are not philanthropists; they like people who minimise risk.
Keyless Protection At Home And Away
Putting the keys near the front door may be convenient but it also is much appreciated by the car-jacker. Signals cannot be boosted through metal so consider putting the keys in a metal box. Another idea is to use a Faraday Pouch. These usual little bags are lined with metallic material that can block a key’s signal. When not in use, slip the key or fob into these pocket- or handbag-sized soft pouches for instant protection. They are very affordable too and available to order online.
Simple Extra Tips
Remember the old-fashioned steering wheel locks from years ago? They are still around and although experienced car thieves can deal with them in short order, they are still a visible deterrent and deter opportunistic theft. It is also an extra hurdle for the thief to overcome. They want to be in and gone.
Also, when out and about and parking in a public place, consider parking adjacent to CCTV cameras; there’s a lot of them about. Keyless car thieves may think twice if they are under the one-eyed gaze.
In 2021, In Greater Manchester, a Police Tactical Vehicle Intercept Unit recovered four-hundred and fifty-four stolen vehicles with a value around eight million pounds. They also made hundreds of arrests for various offences. This highlights the fact that car theft is big business and why owners should consider keyless car protection as part of their arsenal for safer motoring.
Anyone who is considering buying a car should factor in the cost of additional security. There are car trackers and immobilisers to suit all budgets. Not all car-jackers target high-end motors. Mainstream vehicles are also taken so even a less expensive device with a window sticker will make some thieves think twice. It’s simply common sense.