How do I keep my car se­cure?

What Car? - - Advice -

I’ve just bought a 2013 Mini Pace­man Cooper S, which has a re­mote en­try key fob. I’m con­cerned about the car be­ing stolen by thieves us­ing scan­ning tech­nol­ogy. How does this type of theft work and how can I keep my car safe? Jim Ken­ney


There are a num­ber of ways thieves can steal cars without tak­ing the keys. They can use a re­mote lock­ing jam­mer to block the sig­nal from your key fob when you lock the car. This will mean the car re­mains open, giv­ing them ac­cess to it. Once in, if the car has a start but­ton they can use this, or they can use the car’s on­board di­ag­nos­tics sys­tem to pro­gramme a blank key for it.

To guard against this, en­sure you al­ways see your car’s in­di­ca­tor lights flash and hear its doors lock­ing when you use the key fob. If you’re un­sure, you can pull a door handle to con­firm it’s locked.

The good news is that your car doesn’t have com­pletely key­less en­try like many newer mod­els. These cars are sus­cep­ti­ble to sig­nal re­lay theft. To guard against this type of theft, car own­ers need to keep their keys at least five metres from their ve­hi­cle and con­sider keep­ing them in a safe or metal box overnight or in a Fara­day bag, which blocks the key fob’s sig­nal.

Thieves are us­ing lock­ing jam­mers to ac­cess ve­hi­cles

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