Are Auto Security Systems Worth The Price?

bmwAfter your house, your most expensive purchase is usually your vehicle. Some people need a vehicle for daily transportation to work, so they choose a modest, reliable car. Some folks use their vehicle for their job, like a landscaper employs a pickup truck to carry equipment. Weekend warriors enjoy towing their boats or piling their bicycles onto their SUVs and hitting the state parks. Others collect fancy, expensive cars because they simply love to drive them. No matter how you use your vehicle, it can be stolen. Frequently, a window is broken to gain entry. That is when you will require the services of a Houston auto glass repair company.

The good news is that car thefts have been declining over the last few years in the United States. In 2009, fewer than 1 million cars were taken, which is the lowest number in 20 years. That is probably because car security devices have become more sophisticated. Organized gangs are responsible for many of the thefts that do occur, but teenagers who want to joyride are also frequent car thieves. Quite often, they will wreck the vehicles they steal. Luckily, your insurance company will pay for a Houston mobile windshield repair service to replace the windshield if it gets broken.

Many automobile manufacturers offer anti-theft devices. You can also buy theft protection from after-market companies. Some of these gadgets are meant to deter theft, and some effect the recovery of your vehicle if it is stolen. Here is a list of some of the available technologies that can protect your car.

• OnStar is perhaps the best known of the anti-theft devices, but it does more than just track your vehicle via GPS after it has been taken. The OnStar software notifies operators if your vehicle has been involved in an accident, and they are standing by to help you out immediately. You may need a Houston windshield replacement, but you will not be stranded in a wrecked car for long. The operators can also block your car’s ignition or slow it down during a high-speed chase if it is stolen.

• Another anti-theft system is LoJack, which uses radio tracking to locate your vehicle if it gets stolen. A transceiver is hidden inside your car. It can be tracked by tuning into the correct radio frequency. LoJack’s advantage is that it does not require a line-of-sight to zero in on your car like GPS-based systems. LoJack is so effective that it has a 24-hour recovery guarantee.

• BMW Assist is similar to OnStar. A remote operator can help you if you have an accident, or it can open your door if you get locked out of your vehicle. It also provides GPS-based recovery in the event of a theft.

• CarShield uses a small adapter to retrofit older vehicles with technology that is similar to OnStar. The adapter is plugged into the diagnostics port of vehicles made after 1996. CarShield can also monitor your car’s battery level, heat, oil pressure or any tampering with the vehicle. If your car is stolen, you can be notified of its whereabouts by email.

• Commando FM-870 is a theft-protection device masquerading as a key fob. It can lock/unlock your car, start it remotely or detect impacts. It will alert you to forced entry or start-up. You can also use it to remotely trigger an alarm in the vehicle.

• The Cobra 8510 immobilizes certain components of your engine so that car thieves cannot start it. It comes with a pair of keys that you use to disable the system. Without one of those keys, potential thieves cannot hot-wire an ignition to make an easy theft.

The peace of mind these security devices provide is more than worth their cost. Of course, the best prevention is to keep your car locked and secure valuable items so they cannot be seen.

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