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Friday, September 30, 2022

Can a kill switch protect your car from theft?

(WREG)— A recent rash of car thefts in Memphis, Tennessee, has many local drivers looking for ways to keep their rides safe. 

Eric Dooley, with 901 Sounds automotive services, says more and more people are turning to kill switches for their vehicles. He says they install about five or six a week.

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I've installed them on a couple of my trucks. I don't know if they did any good or not, it's not like anything I've ever driven would be considered a high risk vehicle for theft anyway.

33 comments:

  1. Better than a kill switch, just don't live around criminals. No one has ever tried to steal my car or enter my home.

    --generic

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    1. I don't even know where the keys to my house are, doors have never been locked in the 20 years I have lived here

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    2. I still have two clients in Chicago, including one on the south side. I bought my retirement car a year ago, a Sonata N-Line, and it would be a primo target for carjackers in that neck of the woods.

      I've had a CCW for three years, but I've never carried. I do now. Screw Chicago.

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  2. Just leave a note saying there is only enough gas to get to the station two blocks away.

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  3. Car thieves normally don't steal cars from homes.

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  4. I remember back in the 80's we'd superglue razor blades to the back of the stereo in the dash.

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    1. Heard of someone doing this to his Mercedes hood ornament. Came back to his car once and found a lot of blood where the ornament use to be. He stopped doing this when a lawyer told him he could get in big troulbe.

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  5. You need both an alarm system with some visible sign that the car has an alarm system AND a kill switch. The visible notice of an alarm system is ideally a sign to the thief not to break the window to get into the car in the first place. However that won't stop them all. So the alarm system itself is to make enough noise that the thief gives up right away when the car won't start after he's broken the window anyhow.No one likes to sit around fiddling around with a siren screaming in his ear.

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    1. Shee-it, the cost of that setup would probably exceed the value of most of the cars I've owned.

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  6. a buddy of mine used a fake bomb to keep assholes out of his truck.
    and it work well until he got pulled over one time. cop freaked out and ran back to his car and then called in the bomb squad on it. he was told never to do that again.
    it really did look like a real bomb though. the bad part was they took it from him.
    and I know he paid 20 bucks for that EMPTY TNT box too. Dupont blasting I think it was.
    and we always installed kill switches on our cars/truck back then.
    best hidden one I ever saw was a dummy radio switch.

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  7. I have bought 2 new cars in my life. Both were very much the cheapest ones I found.
    Actually, the 2nd one, I never even saw until I had filled out all the paperwork and signed it. I was having them put a radio/cassette player in it so I was picking it up in 2 days.
    Before I left, I said "I guess I should look at the car. What color is it?".
    I needed a high gas mileage car that was extremely reliable, and cheap. The 1990 Plymouth Colt filled the bill. With a Mitsubishi
    1.5 liter engine and a 5 speed manual xmission I got a real 40 mpg all around with that car.
    The only problem was that a 50 mile one way commute to work, playing music, and trying to see my kids, along with fixing property for a house trailer, not only did I not sleep, I put 80,000 miles on it in 2 years. It was a very special little car though. Many times I ploughed snow with the front bumper and never had a problem.
    I know, you can do some really stupid things when you are going through a divorce and didn't want to. And have to pay more than half of your net income for child support, meaning that I had to live at the shop to get enough money to live, so I couldn't see my kids, and the circle goes around.
    My advice to young men today would be much different than it would have been in 1980.

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  8. So with a kill switch installed, valet parking is out of the question?

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  9. A friend of mine still has his classic '53 Chevy truck because he installed one. Thieves broke in and tried to steal it but couldn't start it. It was as simple one of the knobs on the dash, too, hidden in plain sight. These appear to be the best way to do it. A thief can quickly feel under the dash or seat quickly for a toggle switch that normally isn't supposed to be there, but when you hide it a bit more cleverly then the chances of them finding it are much less. Another friend I know has a momentary switch hidden underneath the carpet floor in his car. You have to push it with one foot (and know exactly where) in order to start the car.

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  10. Had a 82 Subaru GL with a "dead ground" issue that would sap my battery when not running. Installed a battery switch on the Pos post to disconnect when not running. While not so much a kill switch for this purpose, it was a pain in the ass enough for me to have to open the hood before start and after arriving to activate it, i finally just cut a hole in the hood to get to the switch... Not that it was ever going to be stolen, but I digress.

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  11. A buddy of mine installed a kill switch on the fuel pump, to keep his ex from stealing his van (more than once; really bad mojo divorce). Had just enough gas to get out on the street and then die. Got more than one call from cops to come and get his van.

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  12. When I was young and poor, after the first time my car was stolen I installed a kill switch. But I also stopped locking the car. Maybe somebody broke in and tried to boost it, I don't know.
    But yeah, I got out of the city as soon as I got married. By city I mean where I saw a lot of Negroes.

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  13. I liked reversing the choke linkage. They just could not keep it running and left it.

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  14. I always put two kill switches in. My truck even now has two

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  15. Of course a kill switch can keep your car from being stolen. Thieves don't want to waste the time required to troubleshoot a car that won't start immediately. So they will move on to another vehicle. Problem is if a kill switch isn't installed correctly and you don't know all the details of where the parts are it can disable the vehicle to the point where you can't start it yourself.

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  16. We used to hang our BVDs (tighty whities) on our door handles when we surfed Makaha on the west side of Oahu. No one ever broke in to my VW Bug & the Big Hawaiians that live 'west side' got a good laugh & even donated some BVDs to us for future surf sessions.

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  17. I have GM passlock, most thieves don't have fifteen minutes to kill while that sonofabitch resets.

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  18. Put a marine battery Disconnect somewhere, problem solved.

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  19. Should be called an idiot switch. If you need one it's because you are doing it wrong and are therefore an idiot. Don't be around thieves!

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    1. I hate to tell you this, but thieves come to you, not the other way around.
      I live 5 miles from town and my nearest neighbor is across the road. Our next nearest neighbors are about 400 yards away. A couple years ago, both me and Tim had somebody attempt to break into our sheds over 2 nights. By your logic, there was no need to lock our sheds, but we're both glad we did.
      A few nights later, the sheriff's department busted a guy breaking into a guy's garage about a mile from here. The thief was from Hartsville, 22 miles to the south.

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    2. I have a parasite drain on the battery I can't find, use a battery cut off so the damn thing will start when I want to drive it. I guess that's a like an anti-theft device. OTOH we get thieves who check the doors every night and steal the change out of the console if we are foolish enough to leave the doors unlocked.

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    3. Don't know if this applies to you, but I had a '97 S-10 pickup with a parasite drain. Turned out to be that the tiny plastic tit that turned off the mirror light when it was closed was broken off.

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  20. I read once back in the previous century that a car depreciates for twelve years and then starts increasing in value as it becomes a classic. I assume that was when twelve year old cars could be GTO's and the like. I don't think my twenty-year-old Durango is increasing in value but the good news is that it is old enough that the catalytic convertor may not be worth anything.

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  21. WestcoastDeplorableOctober 1, 2022 at 9:33 PM

    When I drove old 'Vettes I always used "The Club" and never had a problem. Do they still sell those things?

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  22. I used to have an East German MZ motorcycle which wasn't really much of a target for thieves. I had fitted an electronic ignition conversion and the little amplifier was about the size of a matchbox. It only had four connectors on it and it did occur to me that if you made some kind of quick release mechanism you would be able to take it off. There was no possible way that the bike would run without it.

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  23. buy a car with a manual transmission. no one under 30 can drive it.
    if you wire up a kill switch, attach it tothe seat belt. NO car thief EVER has put in a seat belt before cranking the engine.

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  24. How about instituting the death penalty for car theft. That would be the most effective "kill switch". The country would run out of car thieves real fast. A win/win with no loss to society.

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