Is a ‘Kill Switch’ Effective in Preventing Car Theft?

Having your car stolen is one of the most devastating experiences you can ever go through, but there are several ways to prevent that from happening. An aftermarket alarm can help and a steering wheel lock can add another layer of security, but a “kill switch” can do wonders in keeping your car firmly planted where you last parked it. But are they really that effective?

A kill switch is a cheap way to keep your car safe

A “kill switch” in its simplest form is a switch that is connected to one of your car’s vital starting parts (fuel pump, fuse box, ignition, battery, etc.) in order to “kill” the power to that part when it’s switched on. When the switch is off, the connection to the part is reestablished, which lets the car turn on like normal.

It’s a simple mechanism that can do much to prevent anyone from being able to start your car from the get-go, however, you need to hide the switch in an inconspicuous spot so that no one that enters your car knows where it is. Additionally, there are multiple ways to install a kill switch in your car, so let’s take a look at a few of them.

a pictures of A simple kill switch that you can install in your car
A simple kill switch that you can install in your car | YouTube

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Fuel pump relay switch

The first, and most common, way to install a kill switch in your car is to connect the switch to the fuel pump relay. In order to do this, you must first track down the fuel pump relay in your specific vehicle application and then splice the switch into the corresponding wire so that turning off the switch will kill power to the relay.

Interrupting the power going to the relay will ensure that enough fuel isn’t getting to the engine to fully start the car. If a thief were to crank the ignition, even if they had the key to the car, the engine wouldn’t completely turn over. In that case, the thief will likely leave your car alone since they won’t have the time to figure out what’s wrong with it.

RELATED: Car Thief Scolds Mom For Leaving Her Kid in the Car, Then Steals Car

Battery disconnect kill switch

Another method for installing a kill switch in your car is to connect the switch to the negative battery terminal wire. You can splice the actual switch with the negative battery terminal so that when it is switched on, the current to the battery will be interrupted and a thief will think your car battery is dead when they attempt to start the car. But when it’s switched off, the car will start like normal.

There are potential drawbacks to this method as you may need to reset your radio and clock every time you disconnect the battery or flip the switch. Also, you’ll have to lift the hood every time to toggle the switch as well.

A battery kill switch
A battery kill switch | Amazon.com

Installing a kill switch is pretty easy

If you would like to install a kill switch in your car at home, the process is pretty easy. First, you’ll need to figure out which part of the car that you want to “kill” with the switch and locate the wire for it. Then you’ll need to figure out where you want to install the actual switch and then run the wires from the switch to the fuel pump relay, fuse, battery, etc.

There are some wire crimping and cutting involved, however, with the proper tools and a free weekend day, you can easily keep your car from being stolen. If you need a better idea on how to install a kill switch, check out the ChrisFix video posted above.