Vehicle Security

While travelling in the Third World countries, vehicle security cannot be neglected. Initially, I added some simple security features to my Jeep and I hopped everything will be fine. It turned out that thieves broke into the car without any problem. I thought that car alarm and tinted windows would deter them. It was a costly lesson. I learned brutally, how wrong I was. After a robbery in Mexico, I realized that my expedition vehicle required more sophisticated security protection. I need to be better prepared against those who would trying to break-in and steal my belongings or the worst, the car theft.

Broken key cylinder  

In Puebla, Mexico, thieves broke into our car. They did not need to break the window. It was enough to force the lock key cylinder to open. I do not know what tool they used, but without a key, they quickly opened the rear gate! All our belongings were stolen, leaving our car almost completely empty inside. That incident proved that door key locks provide no protection and are an easy way to get access into the car for everyone.

My changes to improve vehicle security:
  1. Car Alarm

  2. This is a simple car alarm with motion sensor and keyless access. I am not always happy with it. When traveling, some insects get into the cabin causing motion sensor to activate and trigger false alarms.

  3. Hood Lock
  4. What is car alarm worth when anybody can open a hood and disconnect the battery? The hood lock is necessarily. I mounted a Mopar lock because it is designed to use the ignition key. There is no need to carry a bunch of keys.

      Hood Lock
  5. Locking Gas Cap

  6. Jeep Wrangler comes without a locking gas cap. Somewhere in Mexico, I noticed the other Jeep parked next to my, that had cap open. I realized that I should do something to prevent that from happening. Kids can steal a cap or throw something inside a tank. Other may try to steal my gasoline. Gas cap that uses the ignition key was the one installed. It is not a “bullet proof” protection, but at least it should stop unexperienced thieves.

      Locking Gas Cap
  7. Tinted windows

  8. I changed all rear door and rear liftgate glass for tinted versions. They reflect light making it hard to look inside, especially when they are dust covered.

      Tinted rear glass
  9. Wheel Locks

  10. In order to protect wheels and tires from theft I replaced one of the lugs in each wheel for strong Gorilla wheel locks. Only special key tool allows installation and removal of the wheel that includes the spare one hanging on the rear gate.

      Wheel lock on my spare tire
  11. Door Security Bolts

  12. Doors in Jeep Wrangler are easy to remove by design. Some people do drive without doors. This is a cool feature, but also allows thieves to walk away with my doors. Actually, doors can be removed only in the open position. Closed and locked doors are relatively safe. Anyway, I decided to use door anti-theft bolts that replaced the lower hinge nuts. Like locking wheel lugs, McGard security nuts can only be removed using a special key.

      Black Door Security Bolt
  13. Keyless entry

  14. After Mexico robbery, I realized that the key access using door locks is a weak point in my vehicle security. Door hasp and additional locks would be of a solution to improve protection, but I came up with another idea. I disabled all key cylinders in doors by removing a link between door handle and a latch. Now, it is physically impossible to open the door using a key, or by forcing the lock key cylinder. This is because there is no link to the latch present. The only way to open a car is using keyless remote control. What if I lose the remote? It is the same like losing a key, isnít it?

      Removed link between door handle and latch
  15. More sophisticated security protection

  16. I am working on additional protection. It has to be completed before our next trip to Central America.