Commonsense tips to keep your valuables – and your car

  • Four sets of suggestions to keep your car where you park it
  • Older cars more susceptible to theft or break-in
  • …and maybe the best anti-theft device is common sense
PICTURE OF NOTHING: Which, of course, is what you DON'T want to see after an evening at the movies or a city restaurant. Image: Masterdrive
PICTURE OF NOTHING: Which, of course, is what you DON’T want to see after an evening at the movies or a city restaurant. Image: Masterdrive


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – With technology driving the future of vehicle security it seems that a subject such as this is almost academic. Until one reflects on the fact that South Africa still has a fairly old ‘car park’ with many vehicles very vulnerable to theft.

The suggestions were sent to Carman’s Corner by MasterTorque,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the USA designating July 2017 as ‘National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month’. This must indicate that car theft is a common problem in the US – and according to them, vehicle theft peaks during summer.

Below is a NHTSA video offering five commonsense tips to prevent vehicle theft. There are, it says, four layers of protection which serve to protect a vehicle. These are:

1. Common sense — The commonsense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart a thief. You should always:

  • Remove your keys from the ignition
  • Lock your doors /close your windows
  • Park in a well-lit area

VIDEO: Take a look and put the tips into practice    

2. Warning device — The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device that will alert criminals that the vehicle is protected and to go look elsewhere. Popular devices include:

  • Audible alarm
  • Steering-column collar
  • Steering-wheel/brake pedal lock
  • Brake lock
  • Wheel lock
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Identification markers in or on the vehicle
  • VIN etching
  • Microdot marking

READ MORE Mastertips here  

3. Immobilising device — The third layer of protection is a device that prevents a thief from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle.

Some electronic devices also have computer chips in ignition keys. Others inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-off
  • Kill switch
  • Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disabler
  • Wireless ignition authentication

4. Tracking device — The final layer of protection is a tracking device that emits a signal to alert a tracking company if the vehicle is stolen. Such devices are very effective in helping the police to recover stolen vehicles.

Some systems use telematics, which combine GPS and wireless technologies, to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

Click here for more MasterTorque tips


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