I mostly bike and take public transit, so I don't use my two cars much.
Sometime during the past week, someone tried to steal True Blue, my 27 y/o, Honda Civic hatchback.
I found it where last parked, but my ignition key wouldn't go all the way into the keyhole and the steering wheel column lock wasn't working, too.
But, even with my key inserted 1/2 way into the keyhole, I can STILL turn the lock and start the car.
Years ago, I read car ignition locks are easily defeated with a quick punch of a screwdriver into the keyhole.
Here's how I stopped True Blue from being kidnapping...
Before you can start a manual transmission car you have to push in the clutch and turn the key at the same time. Years ago, knowing True Blue was worth more dead for her parts than alive as a car, I put a rocker switch in the clutch electrical line. The switch came off a Honda with an electric sunroof, so it plugged into my Civic's dash for a factory look.
To start my car, you have to hold down the clutch, hold down the intermittent switch, and THEN turn the key. If you hold down the clutch and turn the key, as normal, the car won't start.
BTW, I also had two steering wheel Clubs, which were intact. To make a faster getaway, I wondered why they didn't first remove the Clubs before trying to start the car.
NOW, I'm going to add a third level of security. I'm going to install a toggle switch to manually interrupt fuel pump electricity.
My ONLY worry now is that, being unable to steal the car, the crooks will become malicious and set True Blue on fire.
Damn! But nice precautions, glad you still have her. As a stupid youth, i used to drive old uninsured bangers without tax and MoT, and without a driving licence...often delivering takeaways...
My first diesel car was a 1988 Nissan Bluebird. I also worked for a charity shop, and left the car behind it in an alley. A combination of a faulty drivers window that only went half way up, and leaving the keys in the ignition meant it got stolen. I found it burnt out on the other side of town a few days later. It was full of books and clothes, i was doubly gutted!
I replaced it with a petrol Bluebird. Back then i only stuck a fiver in at a time.
Used to the fiver of diesel getting me a fair distance, i ran out of petrol coming back from a delivery.
Abandoning the car till the next day, i returned to find an attempt had been made to steal her. The steering lock had been forced, but this had actually snapped the steering wheel clean off...
In an otherwise humorous end to the sad loss of this car, the would be thief had left a calling card - the "So, you are a victim of crime" leaflet handed out at the police station to assist victims of offences with their options. The car would have been about 13 years old at the time.
That was a good idea with that switch. Congrats!
I wouldn't have mentioned it on a public forum. But then, they are in a hurry. They don't have time to look for switches.
I remember back when they put a switch on the brake pedal of an automatic. Couldn't get it out of park unless the switch engaged. I had rented a vehicle. They didn't have any sticker on the dash saying this. I didn't know. Had problems at times taking it out of park. I ended up damaging the shifter. Didn't find out until the rental companies lawyer called me. Wanted to sue me. He then put the question of; Do you depress the brake pedal when you shift gears? I told him no! You don't push in the brake when you shift gears! You push in the clutch! This is an automatic. You don't shift the gears! Now if you want to change drives out of park in an automatic. Of course you put your foot on the brake. What idiot doesn't? He told me about the switch. I told him there was nothing on the dash stating to even push the brake pedal to get out of park. That would have told me there was a switch on the brake pedal. Now I might not have pushed enough on the brake to engage the switch. But you can bet I had my foot on the brake pedal. No idiot would try to move out of park without his foot on the brake. If I would have known. It would have saved me a bunch of trouble. I even called the rental company and asked. They told me nothing.
EDIT: This was partially because I owned a toyota truck with a standard transmission. I owned it for 13 years. I wasn't up on the new stuff in cars? I didn't know?
Went to the wreckers to get another ignition switch. Unable to remove it, because it's riveted to the steering column. Nonetheless, picked up a couple of factory dash switches to secretly turn on/off the fuel pump.
When I got back in the car the ignition key surprisingly went into the ignition keyhole all the way and the steering wheel lock is now working, too.
After all this drama, I believe the ignition lock just needs some graphite dust to lube the lock tumblers. The lock was likely distressed because I aggressively key on/off the car to EOC (Engine Off Coast).
SO, nobody tried to steal True Blue, after all. In my first post, I mentioned it odd thieves would punch the ignition switch to start the car BEFORE taking off my two steering wheel Clubs. Who would want to sit there with an idling car, while trying to remove the two Clubs? Doesn't make sense. Eh?
Mystery solved. I won't have to buy the howitzer that Paul suggested. Ben, you can take NATO off High Alert. And, I can shelve my plans to install a thermite device over the engine block.
The good thing is that this motivated me to install a secret fuel pump on/off switch, which turned out pretty nice!
Thanks for all your suggesting and sympathy, gang! CARRY ON!