1 – Set Your Car Alarm, Lock Your Doors and Close Your Windows
This seems pretty obvious, but not all car alarms turn on automatically. Sometimes you have to flick a switch to turn it on, usually located beneath the steering wheel. Sometimes on your key-less entry remote you need to press the lock button two times to set the alarm. Also, if you use valet parking, you may have shut off the alarm, so remember to turn in on.
Also obvious is locking your doors, but you would be surprised how many people forget to do this just because it is so second nature. Make sure you take notice of yourself locking the car doors before you walk away. Also, many of us our guilty of this – leaving your windows open a crack in the summer to let the air in. If you are parking your car on the street, do not do this. Also, do a double check before you leave your car to ensure that all windows are closed. Sometimes we forget that we put the back ones down.
2 – Park Where there is Light
It is always better to park on a lit street, as compared to an unlit street. Even better is to park directly under a lamppost or next to a lit store sign. It is much easier for a car thief to be noticed attempting to steal a car in the light than it is on a pitch black street. If possible, when parking overnight, park in front of a 24 hour store. The constant foot traffic is sure to deter car thieves.
3 – Use a Steering Wheel Lock
Steering wheel locks make it so that your steering wheel won’t move, even if the car thief is able to get the ignition started. While a good car thief may know how to get one of these off, it is definitely a deterrent. Why bother with a steering wheel lock when he can steal a car without one?
4 – Take Your Valuables with You
Why temp a car thief? Do not leave valuables exposed in your vehicle, and if possible, remove them when you leave the car. Most importantly, do not leave your house keys in your car. If a car thief does break into your car, the last thing you want to worry about is that he has your house keys, and probably your home address from your car registration and/or insurance card.
5 – Use Your Emergency Brake
We always forget about the emergency brake. Help to keep your car safe by engaging the emergency brake when you are street parking. Many times thieves will try to roll your vehicle away to a secluded location for them to get it started, or chop shop it. By engaging the emergency brake, they will not be able to do this. Parking between two cars (parallel parking) also helps to deter car thieves from rolling your car away.