9 ways to protect yourself from car theft without a key

If you think that owning a car without a key carries no risk of theft, then you are wrong. Keyless cars need protection against the evolving technologies used by thieves.

So, read on to know more about how keyless car theft works and how you can prevent keyless car theft from your home.

What is keyless car theft?

Keyless car theft refers to the theft of a car without a key (that is, a car that does not use a regular key). In this case, the thief does not use a physical remote control to steal a vehicle without a key. Instead, when it comes to keyless cars, thieves exploit wireless technology for burglary.

How does keyless car theft work?

Someone is stealing a car using wireless technology

Car thieves perform remote control relay attack to steal your car. In the process, they don’t break anything on the vehicle. In some cases, thieves can also start it using the digital signature on your remote control.

Your car always tries to communicate with the remote control to ensure convenient door opening or engine ignition when you are nearby. The remote does the same, trying to synchronize with the car by emitting a radio signal.

Keyless car thieves use this vulnerability of the car security system. They use high-tech radio signal amplifier and relay device. In most cases, two thieves work closely together to steal your car.

Most car owners park their cars outside their homes. They can also keep their remote control near the door for convenience. So, to steal the car, a thief will approach your vehicle with a device similar to a remote control, and the car will present a digital signal challenge to that device.


The relay device (held by the thief) copies the signal and transmits it to the second thief standing near the door with another radio signal relay device. If your remote is in range, the relay device will pick up the signal from the remote and transfer it to the thief’s first device.

Your car will now think the remote is nearby and let the thief in. If your vehicle allows keyless ignition, thieves will repeat the process to start the car.

Related: Ways Criminals Use Technology to Hack and Steal Cars

1. Keep keys safe in a lock bag

Keep your car keys safe to protect it from keyless theft

With keyless car theft using the stolen key fob on the rise, no security method is better than securing the key fob. Never keep the key fob inside the car. Even at home, keep it in a safe place away from doors and windows to avoid easy break-ins.

Keep your car remote and aftermarket kits in a locking pouch, also known as a Faraday bag. This will prevent thieves from grabbing the signal and using it to steal the car.

2. Turn off the wireless receiver

Does your car come with a keyless remote? Your car model may allow you to manually turn off the wireless signal. Check your car’s manual to see if you can do this.

Since this technique is different for each car, find out which method is appropriate for your vehicle. If you are unable to find a way to turn off the remote, contact the automaker.

3. Lock your steering wheel

An image showing the steering wheel locked

To steal a car, it is not enough to open the door. Thieves must start the car to remove it. So you can prevent car theft by locking the steering wheel. A steering wheel lock can prevent car theft without a key.

Nowadays, car thieves come to steal vehicles with laptops instead of traditional hand tools. If they find the steering wheel stuck, it will be a big surprise to them. They have to come home empty-handed because they can’t drive the car.

4. Use a car alarm and GPS

Another way to prevent thieves from stealing the vehicle is a car alarm. If the car does not have a factory installed alarm, you should get one immediately. It will also help you lower the cost of auto insurance.

You should also install a GPS tracking system in your car. After installation, these devices remain invisible. If someone tries to steal the vehicle, you can detect its exact location quickly and take action.

Related: The Best Free Android Apps To Find Your Friends Via GPS

5. Reprogram used car keys

Someone unlocks a car using a key fob

If your car is used or if you have lost a set of remotes, you should reprogram the remote to eliminate any risk of car theft. With this process, you can make sure that other people cannot access the car using the other set of keys.

Although reprogramming the vehicle key fob can be expensive, it is always good to be careful when it comes to securing your car.

6. Park in a safe area

Park your car in a safe place where thieves cannot reach in the first place. A garage is the safest option to park your car without a key overnight. If garage space is unavailable, try parking it on your property or somewhere near the house.

So you can keep an eye on the car whenever you want. It will also be difficult for thieves to access the area. It might not be the best way, but it adds an extra layer of security when combined with other techniques.

7. Always lock your car

Someone locks a key chain

The rule of thumb is to lock your car without a key every time you leave it and take the remote control with you. Whether you’re running home to pick up your purse or going to pay for parking, never leave your car unlocked.

Idling, unattended cars with dash-mounted remotes are easier targets. Remember to recheck locks and other security devices to ensure maximum security.

8. Use stronger protection against hackers

Burglars will go out of their way to steal your car without a key. Hence, you need to stay one step ahead of them. Thieves can attempt to sneak into your car using vital login details and mobile apps.

To prevent this from happening, you should use a strong password for all the apps and online accounts you use that are related to the car. Additionally, never share credentials with anyone.

9. CCTV and motion detectors

CCTV and motion detectors in a car park

Investing in advanced security measures such as CCTV and motion detectors is one way to prevent car theft. If you park the vehicle in a driveway, these gadgets can deter potential thieves from targeting your vehicle.

Motion-sensing lighting detects and alerts you to movement. Make sure you install CCTV cameras with HD quality night vision and streaming features. So you can get a clear idea of ​​what is going on around your car.

Keep your keyless car safe

Car thieves are using new car theft tactics to steal next generation keyless cars. Car theft is a risk for everyone, but you can reduce the risk of keyless car theft by following our tips.

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