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How to Prevent Auto Theft

by ScottWallace

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Did you know that the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy covers the theft of your car? Remember though - what the big print giveth, the fine print taketh away. This usually means escape clauses written into a policy that don't require the company to pay if the auto theft can be blamed, even in part, on the vehicle owner's negligence.

Assuming that you have spent the few extra dollars to include comprehensive protection and read the policy thoroughly, we will look at other means to stop auto theft.

It may be a few years old, the paint could use a rubbing out and the chrome isn't all that bright, but it is your car and you don't want anyone messing with it; let alone stealing it! There are a variety of tools used, to frustrate a thief's attempts at auto theft, but thieves can be quite inventive and persistent. There are gadgets and measures of a more basic type, from the "Club" to wheel boots.

An automobile is in fact very easy to protect from auto theft, if you know anything about them. A car's engine needs several things, in order to run: primarily air, fuel, ignition spark and compression. If the engine will not run, it is unlikely that the thief will call a tow truck. He will just move on to easier pickings.

Cutting off the air to an engine is impractical and tough to cover up. There is nothing you can do to affect the compression which is created by internal engine parts. That does leave ignition spark and the fuel. These two are quite enough to stop auto theft, whether you use both or even just one of them.

Whatever method you choose, it must be easily done and not easily observable. Your efforts to protect your car will come to nothing if the thief just undoes it after you leave your car. Let us first explore the fuel delivery system.

In most vehicles gasoline is moved from the fuel tank (usually in the rear of a car) to the engine, by way of a steel fuel line, that runs the length of the car. A simple valve can be plumbed into this fuel line at any point along its length. If the handle of such a valve were on the inside of the car; let's say in the driver's area, hidden by the carpet; the fuel could easily be turned off without anyone noticing.

In a modern fuel-injected automobile, interrupting the flow of gasoline will allow the engine to turn over, but not start; not even a "pop". Under the carpet is just one location, for a cutoff valve, which can effectively stop auto theft, from inside the trunk or under the hood.

The next method involves cutting off electrical power to the car's starting or ignition system. A simple, single pole, toggle switch, wired into the low voltage side of the starting or ignition system can prevent auto theft by either not allowing the engine to turn over or if it turns over, not permitting the ignition to be activated. A switch of this type is easily hidden within the driver's reach, inside of the car's passenger compartment.

Lastly a quick disconnect can be placed in the engine compartment that isolates the battery from the rest of the system and the engine won't even turn over. If no other deterrent is put in place and the car must be disabled simply swap the coil to distributor cap lead (mostly on older cars) with any other ignition wire, just the cap ends of both. This will look like normal ignition wiring but your car will not start until the wires are put back in their correct places.

Over 3,000 cars are stolen every day; let's hope that one or several of these little tricks, used together, every time you leave your car, will keep you from being the victim of auto theft.


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