Thursday, June 28, 2018

Top 5 Must-Have Car Accessories to Theft-Proof Your Car

Living in Metro Manila has perks. It has almost everything you need and more when comparing it to the countryside. But then again, when I say "more", I mean, even those you don't need like theft, is prevalent because of the higher cost of living. Of course, this is not justifying criminal activity but rather, a truth in our everyday life.

If you live in QC, specially near Banawe area where a lot of car parts are being sold, one must be aware that car accessory theft is prevalent. Here are some tips and tricks to theft proof your car because at the end of the day, doing nothing and just relying on our police force will never be enough. Here's what you can do to do your part.
(Disclaimer: I know other cities have high crime rate as well in terms of car accessory theft but I can only speak for the city where I live in.)

Top 5 must-have car accessories to theft-proof your car

1) Side mirror guard

Yes, such a thing exists. For a little over 1,000 pesos, you can have a side mirror guard installed from your Banawe suki. Price and quality of the accessory differs from shop to shop. I have my trusted shop which I can refer to you if you send me a message. They do quality work for a very competitive price.

What this does is it prevents thieves from prying out your side mirrors. It essentially blocks access so even if they will be successful in removing it, it won't fit the mirror guard. With the guard installed, it will be hard to pry it out as well. and while you're at it, have your side mirror etched as well. Once etched, it will have a permanent mark on the mirror with your plates on it. No one would dare buy a side mirror with etched plates on it (read about why by searching for anti-fencing law).

Check out the sample etch below. In the photo, you can see that it was etched in the front passenger side window. You can also have it etched on your side mirror. (Plate blurred out. You can only see the last 2 digits "38")

2) Wheel cap lock / Hub cap lock
Believe it not, thieves will try to steal whatever can be stolen. And these wheel cap locks are quite easy to get. They cost some real money because each costs over 1,000 pesos and it is times 4! It is suggested that you secure them by buying wheel cap locks. For just a price less than what one wheel cap is worth, you can secure your four wheel caps. It works by putting the lock it before installing the lugnut. This way, to remove the cap, you need to remove lugnuts first which will take a lot of time rather than just prying the wheel cap off.

See photo below: (Next 2 photos are from Google.)

3) Emblem

For over a year now, my car is without an emblem. Of course, it was stolen. After more than a year, I decided to order from the casa and now, my grill looks normal already (and not pitiful). The thing is, I only thought of two things on how to prevent my emblem being stolen again. One is to purchase grills where there is no need for an emblem, and the other is to secure it with a one-way cable tie.

It is not a pretty sight upclose BUT it is way uglier without an emblem. The compromise is just to put some little less-ugly cable ties to make it harder to steal. Again, it's not entirely theft-proof but with it, the thieves will have second thoughts because of the extra time they need to get my emblem.

Note: PLEASE. Do not buy from those people just selling on the street peddling emblems. They are the cause of these thefts. Actually, DO NOT BUY anything stolen. If you get caught, you are liable as well (again, anti-fencing law).

4) Dashcam

As per James Deakin, I also agree that it should be made mandatory to have one of these devices in each car. Some dash cams work better compared to the others. Mine was purchased way back in 2014 and it still works well to date. It has a parking function that lets you record parking incidents even when engine is switched off. It doesn't drain your battery because it has a voltage sensor which shuts off the dash cam when the voltage becomes lower than 12, I think. I'm not sure but it does switch the dash cam off to prevent the car battery being drained.

This dash cam records motion and shock. It stores in a separate folder the footage 10 seconds before and after the incident. So, in case someone attempts to steal, let's say, your emblem, you can at least get his face on camera and submit it to dashcam diaries so the public can be warned of that guy.

This also records cars who carelessly bumps your car when parking. It also records 10 seconds before and after the incident. Another great thing about this dash cam is that it has dual cameras. One for the front and one for the back.

(Oh, and the dash cam lights make them aware that it is recording even when engine is switched off)

We reviewed that dash cam years ago and I believe that to date, their line up of dash cams are still one of the best out there. (Here was our review of the Thinkware FXD700 dash cam:

5) GPS tracker

This is for tracking your car. I had one installed recently and I'm satisfied with it. It tracks your cars speed, location, system status, and other information. This one is not for petty thefts already because this device is for tracking car thefts already. Well, you can also track your kids with it to add another layer of security on their whereabouts, speed of the driver, etc.

I installed in my GPS one of the SIM I got from Smart way back. It was a "Freedom SIM" where you only pay what you use. Every inquiry is done via SMS and it will cost one peso. I sometimes pay 7 pesos a month only. Not bad. Even cheaper than prepaid loads.

To make it even harder for thieves, we still recommend that you install those old-school steering wheel locks. It still works well. The one below is handy. Comes with a baseball bat feature! :)

There you go. 5 accessories to get to do your part in theft-proofing you car. If thieves still succeed, there is nothing much you can do already. Just remember to park your vehicle in a well lit place. Better if there is a security guard and CCTV around the area.

These are additional measures that will reinforce the security of our property and reduce our paranoia. Again, these accessories are already over and after it all, we can say that we did our part. Let's just hope and pray that our police force do their jobs as well.

Stay safe.

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