Many of these are everyday common sense things to keep in mind that we already know about but others are, "Why didn't I think of that?" to use as added protection ideas. You should use these especially if your vehicle doesn't have an alarm system, and even if it does have one. Here are several ideas I've learned over the years. A few of them are from former and present mechanics.
Don't leave your keys in the car! That doesn't mean simply in the ignition but also a spare set hidden anywhere in or on your vehicle. Thieves know where the hiding places are. National statistics show that one in five vehicles is stolen because of keys.
Completely close your windows when parking.
Always lock your car, even if you're just running in somewhere for a couple of minutes. Almost half of all vehicles stolen are because the car was left unlocked.
Never leave your car running unattended, even if you're just running in somewhere for a couple of minutes or simply warming up your car in the driveway or parking space.
Park in well lit spaces.
If you're parking where there is a parking attendant, give them only the ignition/door key. If your key for the ignition/door is the same as your glove box and trunk, have the glove box and trunk locks changed.
Don't leave any valuables in plain site, even if your car in locked and the windows are closed.
Even if you have a garage to park in, lock both the garage and the vehicle.
Don't leave your vehicle registration or title in the car. Keep your title in a safe place in your home and your registration in your purse or wallet.
If you are going to be leaving your car parked for an extended period of time or in an iffy area, you can disable your car by removing the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire or distributor rotor. I grew up in Los Angeles where vehicle theft is high and used to always remove my distributor rotor and store it in my purse. You can also have a toggle switch installed in an inconspicuous place such as an ignition kill switch (had one of these at one time too - LOL) or fuel kill switch.
Call your local police department to see if they have a free or low cost service, or can recommend where to go for the service, to have your VIN numbers etched on a car window, major auto parts and your car stereo. If your vehicle is stolen, it will be easier to be traced and more difficult for the thief to sell the car or the parts.
Place business cards and/or address labels in a few inconspicuous places such as: inside the door panel, stuffed in the seat crevice of the back seat and even under the spare tire in your trunk. Doing this will help identify your vehicle to the police if the VIN number, etc have been tampered with.
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