How to thwart car thieves with a $10 killswitch

While down significantly from its historic peak in 1991, auto theft is undoubtedly still a problem in the U.S., with 773,139 vehicles stolen in 2017 alone. We often joke that the best protection against theft is a manual transmission (as a growing number of new drivers cannot operate them), but the truth is that accomplished thieves will not be fazed by such a deterrent. The latest video from YouTuber ChrisFix provides us step-by-step instructions to crank up the difficulty by adding a killswitch.

The setup is simple, requiring only a multimeter, a few hand tools, and less than $10 worth of parts. Adding a switch between the car’s computer and fuel pump relay ensures that even if there’s power from the ignition (whether from a key or hot-wiring attempt) the car will remain immobilized due to lack of fuel.

ChrisFix does an excellent job explaining how to locate the fuel pump relay and identify which wires to splice into. He also suggests good areas for hiding the switch itself—his idea to place it on the underside of a car’s shifter boot is nothing short of brilliant. The rest of the process involves running some wire, adding a few connectors, and buttoning it all up for an inconspicuous appearance. Of course, always be sure to take basic safety precautions when working on a car’s electrical system.

What are your thoughts on this anti-theft setup? Have you ever added a secret killswitch to your ride? Let us know in the Hagerty Forums below.