Theft-Proof Your Chevy

person trying to open car door
Automobile theft is an unfortunate fact of life. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a car is stolen every forty-five seconds in America. In the past stolen vehicles were stripped down and sold for parts, but part-marking laws have made that less profitable. Now thieves take cars to use for running drugs, smuggling, or other illegal endeavors before abandoning them. While that means recovery rates are higher than they’ve ever been, there is almost always damage to the vehicle. A broken steering column can run almost $500 to fix.

Having your car stolen isn’t inevitable, though. Take these simple steps to keep your Chevy safe.

  1. Lock your doors and take the key with you.

    This sounds basic, but it’s the number one most powerful factor in whether your car gets stolen. So many people leave their car unlocked in their own driveway, especially if they live in a good neighborhood. Thieves are usually looking for a “soft target”, and most tell investigators they chose the car based on whether the driver’s door was locked. Also, avoid keeping a spare key in the cup holder or under the bumper. Keep your keys on you or inside your house.

  2. Don’t leave your car running and unattended.

    Have you ever gotten in your car, started it up, then realized you forgot something inside? It’s so tempting to just dash back in for that travel mug or forgotten document, but the seconds you’ll save isn’t worth the risk. Leaving our car running is like handing it over to a thief. After all, you’ve already done the work for him!

  3. Install a vehicle tracking system.

    OnStar is available in all modern GM vehicles. Most people know about OnStar’s locational services, but did you know they can also remotely deactivate your starter after you report a theft? Their technicians can work with police to prevent high-speed chases by sending a signal to your car that forces it to slow and stop. In fact, it’s so hard to steal a car equipped with vehicle tracking systems like OnStar that most insurance companies offer a discount for having one equipped. It’s a good idea to have a decal on the outside of your car advertising the system. After all, thieves don’t want to waste their time on a vehicle that can be easily recovered.

  4. Keep your car in good condition.

    Locks and theft systems can’t help you if they’re broken. Damaged window seals, faulty trunk latches, and loose doors make it easy to get into your car. Have a trained professional fix any problems before they attract the wrong kind of attention.

  5. Use your garage.

    Thieves like to target driveways and large parking lots where they can make a fast getaway. If your house has a garage, park there whenever possible and always overnight. Night is the most common time for cars theft in residential areas.

  6. Watch out for the “bump-and-steal”.

    With all the anti-theft systems around these days, crooks are finding creative ways to separate you from your vehicle. One such tactic is the “bump-and-steal”. The thief will bump your car lightly from behind, then wait for you to get out and assess the damage. While you’re distracted either the thief or an accomplice drives off with your car. In the event of a minor accident, always turn your car off and lock the doors before walking away.

At Michigan Heidebreicht, we want to help you protect your investment. Stop by our service department in Washington, Michigan for any locks or windows that may need repair.

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