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.

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    you can’t stop car thieves by putting videos on how to install a kill switch. all it’s doing is teaching then low-lives how to find them. stiffer penalties is a good start along with making them pay the cost of the car when bought new.

    You obviously didn’t watch the video. You customise the installation so unless a car thief has time to take your car apart to find it, they are going to have to abort. Or get creative, bury the wire break deep into the car wiring loom, you can use remote relays too. You can make it nearly impossible for someone who doesn’t know what you’ve done to find it unless they have days to spend working it out.

    Stiffer penalties won’t work because the police simply don’t have the resources to catch car thieves. Over here (UK) you are lucky if you get a visit 4 days later. All they will generally do is give you a crime number for insurance purposes.

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