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Most modern vehicles are well-equipped with standard car safety and security features. However, drivers need to know about car security systems to protect themselves from theft. With the recent $200 million settlement with Kia and Hyundai over easily stolen cars, it’s a good time to reconsider your car’s security systems.

Here are the seven categories of car security systems. There’s a good chance your car already has at least one of these security systems, but adding more can further reduce your chance of theft.

1. Electronic alarm

Most cars on the road today are equipped with a car alarm. If the alarm system detects vehicle movement while the car is locked and armed, it blares an alarm that usually involves the car’s horn. Often, the loud noise and flashing lights are enough to scare away a would-be car thief. This can be annoying when it’s set off accidentally, but you’ll be glad you have a car alarm if a time comes when you really need it.

2. Electronic immobilizer

An electronic immobilizer is a simple and common car security device. It’s fitted to almost all cars with push-button start and even most modern cars that still use a metal car key. It works like a password system. Your key or key fob has a transmitter that emits an electronic ID. If the car recognizes that ID, it starts normally. If the proper transmitter isn’t detected, it can shut off the fuel pump so the vehicle can’t be started, even if the ignition cylinder is turned over.

According to a study by the IIHS, 96% of cars sold in the U.S. are equipped with an immobilizer. If your vehicle doesn’t have one, consider adding an aftermarket immobilizer, which is affordable and reasonably easy to install.

3. Electronic alarm upgrade

This category of car security systems applies to aftermarket alarm systems. A popular brand for these is Viper. For example, the Viper 3305V security system is full of sophisticated technologies like a shock sensor, a six-tone siren, and a starter kill acting as an immobilizer. As a bonus, these systems sometimes come with the convenience of a remote start.

4. Mechanical immobilizer

A mechanical immobilizer isn’t quite as sophisticated as an electronic immobilizer, but it does the job. This category applies to devices like steering wheel locks and wheel clamps. Quite simply, a steering wheel lock prevents the steering wheel from turning, making the car impossible to drive safely even if you manage to get inside and start the engine. A wheel clamp acts like a boot that’s typically used by the police to immobilize a parked car.

There’s an inconvenience factor of needing to install and unlock these devices every time they use them. However, if a car thief sees one of these devices on your vehicle, they probably won’t bother trying to steal it.

5. Wheel locks

Wheel locks don’t do much to prevent car theft. However, if there’s a problem with wheels being stolen where you live, this is a simple way to keep your wheels on your car. Wheel locks replace lug nuts and require a unique tool to remove them. If you have particularly desirable wheels or aftermarket rims, wheel locks are a simple and affordable security device.

6. Post-theft tracking

A post-theft tracking system takes measures to prevent theft but also tracks the car if a theft does occur. A sophisticated post-theft tracking system can alert the police or a security company of vehicle theft. It can also remotely engage an immobilizer.

7. Stolen vehicle location

A popular example of a stolen vehicle location security device is LoJack. It tracks your car at all times and has an integrated mobile app. Law enforcement can use LoJack to track down your stolen car, and the company claims a 98% recovery rate with an average recovery time of just 26 minutes.

Related The US Cities With the Highest Car Thefts

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