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How to Prevent Keyless Car Theft

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by

Preventing Keyless Car Theft

It can generally go without saying that most people want to protect their cars as best as possible. After all, when you spend thousands, even tens of thousands on a purchase, you are going to want to get your money’s worth out of it. This is one of the many reasons why people will pay considerable amounts of money for insurance, protection, and other types of features on their cars to make sure that they can be as safe as possible. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop everything. One area that is not as well managed as it should be is the area of keyless car theft. For many people, this type of car theft is rather enticing because there isn’t really a set of keys needed. To protect your car against this form of theft, not only are you going to need to know how it works, but you are probably going to want to know how to best prevent it. 

How Does Keyless Car Theft Work?

While keyless cars are relatively new, the concept behind keyless car theft is absolutely not new. Keyless car theft works through a process called relay theft. To put it simply, the thief uses a device to capture the signal from a key for your keyless entry car. From here, another accomplice will be standing near the keyless car and will be on the receiving end of the signal sent from the first thief’s device. This ends up giving off the impression that the key is near the car, because after all, the signal is near so the key must be near as well. This allows the second thief to enter the car, start the ignition, and quite literally drive away with your car. 

This entire process can be done from several feet away, and the entire procedure rarely takes more than 30 seconds to accomplish, maybe more if the thieves are inexperienced, maybe less if they are experienced. 

The only time that this works is when your car is “truly keyless.” This excludes cars that have a button on the fob of the key to unlock the card doors. Instead, this focuses on people who can keep their key fobs in their pocket, but still enter the car. As long as the keys remain close, such as in that person’s pocket, the ignition button can be pressed and the car can be driven, whether it is by you or another person. 

There are two main ways that you can defend your car against keyless theft: protecting the car, and protecting the keys. 

Protecting the Car From Theft

There are a few different things you can do to ensure that no matter if a potential thief is able to get into the car or not, that the car won’t go anywhere. Some of these methods are meant to decrease the chance of theft as much as possible, whereas others focus on preventing a thief from even focusing on your car. 

If you really want to get serious about protecting your car from a keyless theft, the first thing you should do is invest in a steering wheel lock. While they might not be the most flattering thing to see in the car, they can also work as a deterrent to prevent thieves from even aiming for your car in the first place. If a team of thieves still tries to get at your car, you can rest assured knowing that they won’t be able to get very far with a good lock on the steering wheel. 

When you are parking your car, you will want to make sure that you park defensively. This means that you will want to park as close to your property as you can, and even make access to the car as difficult as you are comfortable with. Of course, you should still be able to access the car if you need to. An example of this would be to always park inside your garage, as most thieves won’t be able to get into that. If you do not have a garage, or do not want to park in it when you get home, you will ultimately want to make sure you park as close to the house as you can. If you are really worried about theft, especially at night, you can consider getting motion-detecting lights and a CCTV system so that you can feel comfortable. 

Finally, you will want to keep your car clean. If a thief doesn’t see anything worth stealing the car, there’s a good chance that they will leave the car alone. If you have high-cost equipment, keep it out of sight and remove any evidence that it was ever there, such as suction cup marks on the windshield. As much as you might want to store items in the glove box, you will not want to do this. If you really want to deter thieves, you can show that the box is empty. 

Protecting the Keys From Being Used

The best thing that you can do to protect your keys is to invest the money in a good-quality signal-blocking pouch. These are often pouches that are lined with a metallic material that prevents the fob from transmitting its code to the vehicle, and subsequently, to any devices that could be used to steal the car. You can simply take the fob out of the pouch when it is time to go, and you won’t have to give keyless car theft another thought. These pouches can range from being considerably inexpensive, to being somewhat expensive for what you get. This is the quickest and easiest solution to protect your keys with, and in many ways, it is the most effective. 

The other thing that you can do, assuming that your fob allows it, is to turn off the wireless signal. This will prevent it from transmitting the signal when you don’t want it to, ensuring that the fob is just like any other fob to people picking up device signals. Generally, this information would be in the car’s manual, and if it isn’t, you can contact the manufacturer for more information.