You may think because you're driving a car that looks old but runs like a champ from regular repair and maintenance you're safe from car thieves, but if you own a Subaru, that's not so. Seattle police have reported an uptick in Subaru thefts recently, particularly among older models. Some Subarus were outright stolen, while many others were taken for joyrides and then abandoned. But even those that were "borrowed" were banged up, had items stolen and other damage. Older Subarus are targeted because they can often be started with a generic key rather than the specific vehicle ignition key. If your car doesn't have an alarm system because it was a costly dealer option you skipped, you can still protect your Subaru with these five affordable anti-theft solutions:
#1 Install a Kill Switch
A kill switch interrupts the power before it gets to your engine to prevent it from starting. Your engine runs on gasoline, but it needs an electric spark to start it. The kill switch prevents that spark from happening. The kill switch is concealed in a hidden spot so (hopefully) the thief won't spot it and just flip it back on. You can get a cheap one for less than $10 (although there are more costly options) and can install it yourself if you've got a little electrical know-how. Click here to watch a step-by-step installation of a switch from Instructables.
#2 Get a Pedal Jack
This heavy duty little device is made of tempered steel for durability and blocks the brake pedal making the car undriveable. It can't be drilled out and is virtually impossible to cut off. Plus because it's easily seen, a car thief will likely bypass your vehicle for something less protected. This nifty little device costs just $40 and can easily be moved from vehicle to vehicle which is nice if you don't always drive the same car or get a new car. You can get it with a combination lock or a key so you don't have another number in your life to remember.
#3 Buy a Steering Wheel Lock
These are made under a variety of brand names, most recognizable is The Club. Essentially, it's a bar with a hook on each end that fastens to opposite sides of your wheel and then locks tight in the middle. When locked in place, the wheel can't be turned which makes the vehicle essentially undriveable. These range in price from $20-$50 and are quick and easy to install. They aren't hack proof, though, and many car thieves have learned how to circumvent them. But, for the most part, your average joy rider isn't going to bother with a car that has The Club on it.
#4 Get Fake Theft Deterrent Devices
If you drive an older car, likely all you need to do to get a would-be car thief to pass by is to make it a little more of a hassle to steal your ride. You can do this with some cheap fake anti-theft devices that make your vehicle look more secure than it actually is. Amazon.com has a great selection of faux-security items including warning stickers that advertise that you have a security system. You can also get LED light setups that affix to your car and look like a pricey alarm system. For less than $5 you can discourage thieves by making
#5 Exercise Common Sense
If you usually take a laid back attitude about your Subaru's security, you may want to rethink that approach. Even if your car is abandoned and you get it back after it's stolen, you may find it trashed, smelly and dinged up. Who needs that? If you don't want to invest any money in securing your vehicle, just take some common sense precautions. Don't leave valuables lying around where they can be seen. An iPad on your seat is an open invitation to criminals. Always lock your doors, even in your own driveway and be sure to park in safe, well-lit areas.
Here at Suburb Service, we often advise our customers to keep nothing in their car especially at night if you park on a street unsecured. Take your registration into the house keep a copy in your purse or wallet. Thieves open the glove box and take your registration with your home address on it, your insurance card with policy numbers.
Suburb Service is here to help you take care of your Subaru, whether it's fresh off the lot or is well loved with lots and lots of miles on it. If you need factory scheduled maintenance, a repair or just have a rattle or hum in your engine you need checked out, come see us in Seattle(206) 705-8695 or Marysville(360) 659-6208 to get the expert attention your Subaru deserves.