You've put a lot of work into acquiring your car and you don't want someone to take it. Jalopnik readers know how to keep it your car in your possession with the ten best ways to fight off potential thieves.
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Photo Credit: AP
10.) Garage It
Suggested By: owen-magnetic
How it'll protect your ride: Car thieves are always looking for a car out on the street. If you car isn't on the street, it's less likely to get stolen. For those of us who live in cities, this means renting a garage. It's not the cheapest option, but it's an investment in your car's safety.
Photo Credit: David A. LaSpina
9.) Keep Your Car in Good Shape
Suggested By: samselp
How it'll protect your ride: Following the broken windows theory, a well-maintained car will deter potential carjackers. If they see that you care about and take care of your car, you're more likely to have an alarm, more likely to have a way to find it, and more likely to notice it missing.
Photo Credit: Josh Mazgelis
8.) Have an Alarm Sticker/LED
Suggested By: benmoo
How it'll protect your ride3: Just like the "Protected by Brinks" signs in front of houses deter burglars, so do visual signs of a tougher job for a car thief. In a row of cars, the one with the blinking LED indicating an alarm is probably less likely to get stolen, regardless of whether the alarm actually exists or not.
Photo Credit: uncle-leo
7.) Don't Leave Valuables in Sight
Suggested By: AlTillyTheBum
How it'll protect your ride: Here's a scenario: you see Car One with a box of tissues on the floor. In front of that car is Car Two in which an iPod, navigation system, and a watch are strewn about the passenger's seat. Are you more tempted to break into Car One or Car Two? Pretty simple really — make it seem like there's nothing in your car worth taking.
Photo Credit: jimmyyyy
6.) Park in a Safe Area
Suggested By: post_break
How it'll protect your ride: If you park your car an area with a high crime rate, and presumably a high concentration of criminals, it's more likely to be taken than when it's parked in a statistically safer area with good lighting and a neighborhood watch.
Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
5.) The Club
Suggested By: OMG, TTA!
How it'll protect your ride: The first step in this system works like #8 — seeing a giant metal bar keeping the steering wheel from moving is a pretty good visual deterrent. And the second step is that you have a giant metal bar keeping the steering wheel from moving. There's a reason these are pretty popular in urban areas. They are, of course, notoriously easy to defeat, but the idea is to get someone to steal someone else's car because it's easier.
Photo Credit: M. J. Moneymaker
4.) Hidden Kill Switches
Suggested By: Frank Grimes
How it'll protect your ride: Usually the greatest challenge for a car thief is getting your car started without the key. To the thief's advantage, however, is the fact that he knows he's working with your ignition. But if he also needs to be looking for a connector hidden under the passenger's seat, he's that much less likely to get it started. This one doesn't come cheap, but it may be well worth the investment someday.
Photo Credit: Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
3.) Lock the Doors
Suggested By: Jstas
How it'll protect your ride: This one seems so simple, and yet is so often ignored. A thief looking for a car to steal is more likely to go for the vehicle whose owner was kind enough to complete his first step for him, and has given him open access to everything inside.
Photo Credit: Ed Callow
2.) Take Your Steering Wheel With You
Suggested By: Kiwi_Commander_likes_underscores_Y_E_A_H_
How it'll protect your ride: How well do you think you can drive a car without a steering wheel? Exactly. Even if your potential carjacker can get inside and get it started, if you've got a quick-release hub and have taken your steering wheel with you, you should be fine. That thief is probably not going anywhere without a way to drive.
Photo Credit: Ian McWilliams
1.) Drive a Manual
Suggested By: notarjy
Plus you get the added benefit of driving a car that's far more engaging on a day-to-day basis. And don't worry, it's ethical.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks