Last week we shared a video outlining the process of adding a $10 killswitch to interrupt the fuel pump circuit, therefore preventing a thief from driving off with your car. Users on the Hagerty Forums agreed that a kill switch is a handy addition, but the commenters also offered a few ideas of their own to add to the conversation. Here are some of the best suggestions:
Kill switch the ignition
The video outlined a great process for disabling a modern fuel pump relay, but many classics are equipped with mechanical fuel pumps. (Engine turns, fuel is pumping.) Since an engine needs fuel, air, and spark to run, place the kill switch in the ignition circuit. No spark, no start. If you need help with wiring, our DIY team has you covered.
Similar to a killswitch but not requiring any time to install, grabbing select fuses from the under-hood fuse box of a modern car will render the car undrivable. Often times the fuse box lid has a diagram outlining which fuses control power to what functions. The fuel pump is a good start, or the ignition system works too. Be sure to leave the security system powered up, if the vehicle is so equipped, to create a double layer of protection.
Take the coil wire with you
If you have ever tracked down ignition issues to a faulty coil or coil wire, you know how easy problems hide in that part of the ignition system. With no fuses to pull, simply pop off the high-voltage wire from the coil to the distributor cap. The engine will crank but will not fire. This wire could even be hidden in the engine compartment, so you aren’t the weird guy carrying a single plug wire around the doughnut shop.
Even non-running vehicles can easily be rolled onto a trailer or flatbed truck, then disappear to a place where thieves can take their time getting it running—or take apart. Plastic covered chain can be purchased in bulk, and two wraps around the seat base before being locked through a turned steering wheel prevents the vehicle being from easily being loaded on a rollback truck. Handy products such as “The Club” are designed for this specific purpose, but on large thin wheels like many vintage cars have this device can be easily defeated.
None of these are perfect solutions, but even a little prevention is better than nothing. Happy driving!