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Do you remember that Viper commercial from years ago? The one were the viper scares the would be thief away? Well, I just so happened to find a video of it.

I have a love for cheesy commercials.

But it does bring up a good point. Will that fancy alarm protect your car? It all depends on what you mean by “protect”. I have had a couple of my cars broken into over the years. My Jeep was broken into twice. They took just about everything both times. My Integra was broken into 3 times. Out of those 3 times, only my radar detector was taken.

The different was an alarm. I had a Viper alarm installed in my Integra. It was crazy sensitive. The jerk that lived in the next apartment building liked to set it off when he drove his truck past it. As annoying as that was, it helped me keep my stuff.

Let’s face the truth for a minute. If someone wants to steal your stuff, or your car, they will find a way. Modern cars have an immobilizer system. That system will prevent your car from being started with out an authorized key. That is a great feature. It will stop the average thief, but a seasoned vet has a way. Breaking a window, opening the hood, and disconnecting the battery can take less than a minute. Now the car is silent, and can be towed away. Before you know your car is gone, it has been stripped and crushed. Not much you can do about that.

But that doesn’t mean a car alarm is a bad idea. In fact if I didn’t have factory alarms on both of my cars, I would have to use the key to open the door. NO THANKS! 😉 I need my keyless entry. There is also a feature on most factory remotes we forget about. That is the “Panic” button. That button that forces the alarm to sound. Another great deterrent.

So what is really the point? If someone is going to steal your car, or steal your stuff why bother? Auto makers and aftermarket companies will always be a step behind the thief. Overall I think that car alarms and anti theft devices are worth the money and the trouble. Of course I am much more in favor of the factory installed stuff. The alarm my wife had on her Civic would lock the doors no matter what. I got locked out of that car more than once.

Car technology will advance. Many cars have a towing alarm. That will go off if the car is being towed. They also have a “battery backup” for the alarm. That will keep the alarm going even if the battery is cut. None of those advances will ever prevent the smash and grab style break in, but might keep your car from being stolen.

What would this post be with some tips on keeping your car safe? Lame that is what!

  • Lock your car! It should go with out saying. An unlocked car is a really easy target
  • Keep your stuff hidden. Don’t leave your ipod, GPS, and laptop laying on the seat. You are begging for a smash and grab.
  • If you are going to add all the cool high dollar accessories, try and keep them subtle. I spent  months trying to find a stereo for my wife’s truck. I wanted a few features, but most of the radios were awful. they had “steal me” lights on them.
  • “Don’t go to stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things”That is some of the best advice you can ask for!

What do you guys think? Are car alarms worth the trouble? Post your thoughts in the comments below. Or, if you have some advice on keeping your car safe, post that too.

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