The convenience of keyless cars is attractive to the modern car owner. Not needing a key to gain access to your car is ideal. It saves you from the typical inconveniences like when you forget where you placed your car keys, or when you accidentally lock your car keys inside the car. However, just like any new technology out there, keyless entry systems have their shortcomings, and keyless car theft is top on the list. Don’t fret because there are many ways to effectively prevent keyless theft, so you can enjoy your keyless car without the fears of losing your car through a keyless attack.
Before we explore the different ways of how to keep your keyless car safe, it’s important that you understand how keyless car theft works. When you know how thieves steal keyless cars, the below-mentioned tips for keeping your keyless car safe will make much more sense.
Keyless entry systems rely on radio frequencies to work correctly. Your car’s digital fob that you carry can receive and transmit radio frequencies to your car as long as you’re in close range. Your car’s computer system detects the signal from your fob and verifies that it’s the correct signal and then unlocks the doors for you. It’s this back-and-forth transmission of radio frequencies that car thieves manipulate to steal your keyless car.
Car thieves do this by jamming the signals using high-tech relay amplifiers and relay transmitters. This equipment helps them identify whether your car has a keyless entry and ignition system. Working in tandem, one thief stays close to the car with the transmitter, while the other walks around your home with the amplifier, searching for a signal from your digital fob.
If your digital key is close by, the amplifier will detect the signal and relay it to the transmitter. Your car will detect the relayed signal the same way it identifies the radio signals from your digital keys and proceed to unlock the doors. As such, thieves gain easy entry in your car without needing the original fob.
Once inside the car, they use the same equipment and process to start the car’s engine and make away with your car. This type of keyless theft is popularly known as relay theft. With keyless theft, a thief doesn’t need a car key locksmith to make duplicate keys. They only need a transmitter and amplifier to gain access to your keyless car and drive away with your car.
With that in mind, the following tips of how to keep your keyless car safe will now make perfect sense to you.
Find Effective Car Key Signal Blocking Solutions
Without a signal from your digital fob, thieves will have no way of amplifying or jamming the radio signals, not unless they break into your house and get the original car keys. Typically, car thieves will give up if they find hurdles that slow the process or increase the chances of being caught in the act. For instance, if thieves spot your keyless car but cannot find a signal to amplify, it’s unlikely they’ll break into your home to get the keys. Even when you’re not home, your house’s burglar alarms will stop them in their tracks.
There are several solutions for blocking car key signals. The most effective solution is investing in a signal-blocking pouch. A Faraday pouch is designed with signal-blocking materials that prevent your digital keys from transmitting signals. These pouches are convenient because you can carry them everywhere you go. The most effective signal-blocking pouches will deter keyless attacks that auto thieves launch on your car. When your fob is safely tucked in your signal-blocking pouch, a thief will not detect a signal to amplify or jam.
It’s recommended that you test your pouch and make sure that it works effectively. Some signal-blocking pouches may have two pockets, in which only one pocket may block signals. Therefore, you must not only test your pouch but also use it effectively to ensure that it blocks the car key signal.
Other car key signal blocking solutions include using an aluminum-tin or investing in a signal blocking box. These ways have varying degrees of success, so you must test each of them to guarantee their efficacy. There are many types of car key signal blockers available for sale, so you have many options available for you.
Storing your car keys away from your windows and doors may also work. The idea is to make it difficult or impossible for car thieves to detect your car key signal. Whether you choose to purchase a Faraday pouch, a signal blocking box, or simply store your keys in an aluminum-tin, blocking your car key signal is the most effective solution for preventing keyless car theft.
Switch Off the Wireless Signal on Your Keyless Fob
Some keyless fobs have options for switching on and off the key’s signal. You may have to double press a button or use a combination of keys to switch the signal off. Either way, your car’s manual will explain how you can turn off the key’s signal. If you can’t turn it off, you may consult your dealer to find out if there are other ways to program your keyless fob.
Look Out for the Flash and Listen for the Lock Clicks
Some of the solutions of how to keep your keyless car safe are as basic as being vigilant and watchful of your surroundings. Every time you lock your car’s doors, the car will flash and the locks will clunk. Some cars may have their mirrors fold when you lock the doors. While these signs may seem obvious to you, they’re an effective way of ensuring your car’s safety. More precisely, they help you detect and prevent signal jamming attacks.
Keyless car thieves are opportunistic, and you may unknowingly make their work easier when you lock your car but fail to watch out for the flash or listen to the clunking of the locks. Through signal jamming, thieves may intercept the signal from your car’s digital keys before it reaches the car. When you innocently press the lock button on your fob as you leave your car, that’s when a thief in proximity may launch a keyless attack on your car. You may leave the doors open for the thief when you’re not vigilant enough when locking your car. That’s why you must ensure that you hear the doors lock or observe your car flash or its mirrors fold every time you lock your keyless car.
Install a Steering Wheel Lock
These locks may be old-fashioned, but they are an effective solution when you’re figuring out how to keep your keyless car safe. They are as effective as modern methods such as installing a video surveillance system or car cams. In a case where car thieves have successfully gained access to your car, a steering wheel lock will deter the theft. A thief will have to figure out how to undo the steering wheel lock first. Most steering wheel locks are made of heavy chunks of metal, which are difficult for a thief to crack. The price is also comparable to that of car cams.
A steering wheel lock will deter keyless theft, because most car thieves count on an easy steal. With a good steering wheel lock, a thief would maybe have to hire car towing services to tow your vehicle because it’s impossible to drive the car with the steering wheel locked.
Utilize Physical Barriers Like Parking Bollards or Wheel Clamps
When thinking of how to keep your keyless car safe, wheel clamps and parking bollards may not be on top of your mind, although they are very effective. A driveway parking post deters prospective thieves as soon as they see it. Luckily, companies that offer custom home building services and garage door installation services can install your driveway bollards to deter a car thief. You may choose to install telescopic bollards, automatic bollards, or cycle stands in your home. Any choice will be effective in preventing keyless car theft.
Select Safe Public Parking Spots
Given that keyless car theft is more technical, it’s subtle and silent. A thief doesn’t need to hot-wire your car, smash your windscreen, or buy a weapon from gun stores to accost you with. It’s why finding the best ways of how to keep your keyless car safe can be a little tricky when you’re using public parking. That’s why it’s worth your money to find a monthly parking solution that can guarantee your car’s safety when in public.
Thieves must be close to your car for them to launch a keyless attack. If they don’t have physical access to your car, it will be impossible to steal your keyless car. Most likely, your keyless car is a top-of-the-range vehicle you paid top dollar for, so you want to protect your investment. Although you may have to pay extra for effective parking solutions, it will be worth every buck because your keyless car will be safe.
Install a Tracking Device in Your Keyless Car
Car tracking devices are an excellent solution when you’re wondering how to keep your keyless car safe. With a tracker, you can trace your stolen car to any location. Today, the top car tracking companies have improved their tracking devices such that you can have real-time updates of your car’s location around the clock. This way, you’ll not only trace your car when it’s missing, but you can also stop car thieves before they are far too gone.
Additionally, installing a tracker in your car may earn you some favors with auto insurance companies that encourage car owners to install tracking devices in their vehicles. In the unfortunate case when your keyless car is stolen when you’re not around, your tracking company can trace down the thieves and hold them accountable.
Only Install the Recommended Vehicle Software Updates
Keyless cars use high-tech software to run efficiently. Like any other software, they’re prone to attacks and hacks, especially if you’re using an old version of the software. Even so, you shouldn’t install random software updates because they can make your keyless car vulnerable to attacks. This technicality makes finding solutions for how to keep your keyless car safe more important. Your best bet is consulting a certified dealer before installing any new software updates.
Also, when you observe that your keyless start system is not working as it should, have your dealer diagnose it and provide solutions. With the sophisticated technology that keyless cars use, they are prone to keyless attacks from thieves with the technical ability to coordinate relay theft. As such, you should only allow a qualified technician to repair your keyless car anytime it malfunctions.
Reprogram the Car Keys When You Buy a Used Keyless Car
If you have bought a pre-owned keyless car, don’t forget to reprogram your key so that previous owners don’t have access to your vehicle. For safety reasons, limit your key’s access to only the people that you trust. If you share your keyless car with other family members, ensure they are extra vigilant every time the car is under their watch.
With keyless theft being on the rise, it pays to be more watchful of signs that would indicate a keyless attack. For instance, when you lock the doors and there’s no lock clicks or flashing, a thief may be trying to launch a keyless attack. To successfully implement ways of how to keep your keyless car safe, update the family members whom you share the keyless car with to keep them informed.
Figuring out how to keep your keyless car safe shouldn’t be an uphill task. With the above-discussed tips, you don’t have to be in constant worry that your car is prone to keyless theft. One of the most effective ways of preventing keyless attacks is by investing in signal blocking solutions such as Faraday pouches or car key signal blockers. You may also take other measures such as installing a steering wheel lock or a tracking device. These solutions will ensure your car security in the big city.