Luxury Vehicle Security Features
Outsmart the Crooks with Technology
It used to be only luxury vehicles had passive car alarms and keyless entry systems, but not even the lower-end models have them. Because of that, criminals now have a wider knowledge of how to break into or steal almost any car on the market. However, there is more than one type of high-tech security system on the market, and most of them are easier to install and use than someone might think.
OnStar and Lo-Jack have been around for a while, but they only cover many of the newer cars. That's where CarShield fills the gap. Any car made after 1996 can use CarShield the same way OnStar and Lo-Jack work. By plugging the device into the diagnostics port, CarShield can monitor things such as engine heat, the battery level, oil pressure, and most importantly, tampering with the unit.
It also has GPS tracking.
While it may not be like the other programs, this can help protect a luxury vehicle that didn't happen to be around during the time of the newer additions. CarShield might not be able to stop a thief, but it can help track them down if a car is ever stolen.
Some cars that already have systems such as OnStar and keyless entry systems might benefit from the Commando FM-870. This device is basically a remote starter that's been turbo charged. It comes with a small LCD monitor and can start a car and unlock doors from 2,500 feet - all without a key.
That's important because not only does it monitor a car for forced entry, hard impacts, doors and trunks, and engine startup, it alerts a driver, too. This gives an owner a head start in triggering an alarm, or starting up the car to deter would-be thieves away.
So far, most of the high-tech security systems mentioned have been great for delaying cars from being stolen more than they have been in preventing them altogether through passive car alarms or user-activated measures. That's where the Cobra 8510 ups the game.
This device works by immobilizing an engine. As soon as the owner shuts it off, the Cobra immobilizes the engine by shutting off the ignition system. This makes it difficult to hotwire a vehicle. It also doesn't take much work on the owner, either. Everything happens automatically once the driver shuts the engine off. It only turns back on with the key.
The only problem with the previous system is that the car can still be stolen with the key. This system takes care of that issue.
The CobraTrak 5 uses an automatic driver recognition (ADR) card. These cards allow the car to operate as long as the card(s) is/are in the vehicle. Once a driver leaves with the cards, the security system is activated and will alert drivers to almost any change at all, even if the car is merely bumped.
What's most impressive about this system is that unless the person trying to take the car has both the card and the key, the car is going nowhere.
Sometimes, it's just not going to matter what an owner does, a thief is going to make off with a car. Although these instances should hopefully be fewer with the above devices, there's one more step owners can take to prevent their cars from being sold for parts - VINshield.
VINshield works by etching a copy of the car's VIN into the windows or other glass surfaces. It also comes with stickers. This will make it harder for thieves to sell illicitly. It also makes the vehicle highly traceable. In the long term, this simple device may be enough to keep criminals walking past a car in the first place.