Assassin7

Can you create a sensor that will prevent your car from starting unless it is in proximity?

75 posts in this topic

after my Car got nearly stolen on monday, I've been thinking about ways to prevent it. 

the guy was obviously trying to hotwire it. so, I was wondering how possible it would be to create a sensor that will completely disallow the engine from being started, even if you have the key in the ignition, unless a receiver was in proximity with a the car. sorta like a lockout switch. this would be set behind the wires itself for the ignition system and thus impossible to bypass by hotwiring the car. 

I suppose it could also include a failsafe so that if a potential thief knows its there, attempting to bypass or disconnect it would also result in the engine being locked out from starting.

 

I have no idea whether a system like this has been created before, it probably has. but I am thinking about the possibility of designing such a system. hmm. I could probably make it myself TBH, or at least make a sort of proof of concept idea. I would need a bit more knowledge of how the ignition system of the car works and such though. 

Actually, going further: possibly it could be a cutout to ALL of the cars electrics full stop, instead of just the engine. that might me easier to create and possibly be harder to bypass because then the ignition system itself wouldn't work either even if you tried to hotwire it.

 

hmmm

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Engine immobilizers is a thing. Not sure on prices though.

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oh so it has been invented, I thought it might.

 

rip. here I was thinking I might of been on to something great here. 

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Yeah dude. My dads jeep has a button start. But it wont start unless the key is physically in the car with him. Its a feature on most higher end domestic vehicles in North America.

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19 minutes ago, Zepherex said:

Yeah dude. My dads jeep has a button start. But it wont start unless the key is physically in the car with him. Its a feature on most higher end domestic vehicles in North America.

mines old, so yeah. 

oh well, it might be fun to try and make one anyway. I just looked up on those systems and they seem to disable the fuel pump mostly, so maybe making one that disables the electrics would be different. 

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Low tech solution:

I'll tell you an easy one that I actually used in college.  A phono (headphone) plug.  Yep.  You loop your ignition wire back up to the dash and break it on either leg of your new aftermarket phono plug jack.  Then you make up a dongle on your key-chain that is just a phone plug with the legs jumpered together.  When you plug it in, your ignition circuit is completed, if its out - it won't start even with the key.

I lived in a crummy neighborhood and if you locked the windows, they had a habit of breaking the glass.  I just wired in the phono plug kill switch and left it unlocked.  Probably a good idea to stash an extra in the car.  Even if they see it, they won't ever put it together what its for.

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2 minutes ago, Archaic_One said:

Low tech solution:

I'll tell you an easy one that I actually used in college.  A phono (headphone) plug.  Yep.  You loop your ignition wire back up to the dash and break it on either leg of your new aftermarket phono plug jack.  Then you make up a dongle on your key-chain that is just a phone plug with the legs jumpered together.  When you plug it in, your ignition circuit is completed, if its out - it won't start even with the key.

I lived in a crummy neighborhood and if you locked the windows, they had a habit of breaking the glass.  I just wired in the phono plug kill switch and left it unlocked.  Probably a good idea to stash an extra in the car.  Even if they see it, they won't ever put it together what its for.

interesting.

 

but im an electrical engineering student so a high tech solution that involves designing a system would be cool :P

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incase anyone was wondering.

guy was probably 30 seconds away from getting it started when one of my friends parked up next to it, saw someone that wasn't me in it, and spooked the guy off.

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What a douchebag . . . that sucks man.  If you want, I could also show you how to wire a small thermite anti-personnel mine into the seat cushion.  Nothing says "get the fuck out of my car" quite like a half pound of molten iron blown through the chest cavity at 1,000 ft/sec.  Kinda messy, but it would be deeply satisfying if he ever came back.

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47 minutes ago, Zepherex said:

Yeah dude. My dads jeep has a button start. But it wont start unless the key is physically in the car with him. Its a feature on most higher end domestic vehicles in North America.

Button starts are getting to be less secure than key starts with engine immobilizers. The RFID signals remote starters use can be duplicated with higher tech thieves

 

Also I assume you're driving an old honda civic. Those are notorious for car thieves for how easy they are to steal (hotwire, worn out lock cylinders)

Edited by jackquerudo

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7 minutes ago, jackquerudo said:

Also I assume you're driving an old honda civic. Those are notorious for car thieves for how easy they are to steal (hotwire, worn out lock cylinders)

'96 Honda Integra, Actually.

and I noticed. I actually made it BRIGHT FUCKING BLUE not only because I really liked the colour, but also to make it slightly less appealing for thieves. (it was black before) it also has a Carbon bonnet and mirrors (well, wrap) AND it has white decals on the side. its literally the most conspicuous car in the entire carpark so im amazed someone went for it.

9 minutes ago, Archaic_One said:

What a douchebag . . . that sucks man.  If you want, I could also show you how to wire a small thermite anti-personnel mine into the seat cushion.  Nothing says "get the fuck out of my car" quite like a half pound of molten iron blown through the chest cavity at 1,000 ft/sec.  Kinda messy, but it would be deeply satisfying if he ever came back.

lol, I dont think you could get those in NZ.

 

Im going to get a steering wheel lock, but I kinda want to get something slightly more 'final' like, no matter what he does it literally won't go anywhere. 

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I would modify one of the screw clamps that connects to a battery terminal to something you can unclip by hand, a clamp from some jump leads for example. Or better still... Just put a switch into the cable so you can turn the power on/off. Obviously this entails popping the bonnet and unclipping it when you park and then re-clipping when you leave, but no thief is going to pop the bonnet when the car doesn't start, he's just going to gtfo. Probably worth doing if the car gets parked in unsafe areas frequently.

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1 minute ago, PityFool said:

I would modify one of the screw clamps that connects to a battery terminal to something you can unclip by hand, a clamp from some jump leads for example. Or better still... Just put a switch into the cable so you can turn the power on/off. Obviously this entails popping the bonnet and unclipping it when you park and then re-clipping when you leave, but no thief is going to pop the bonnet when the car doesn't start, he's just going to gtfo. Probably worth doing if the car gets parked in unsafe areas frequently.

I was thinking of doing that initially. but the whole bonnet thing yeah. also the guy could just open the bonnet and see the unclipped battery and be off again, just 30 seconds later. 

a switch that routes from the battery into the cabin of the car, but is hidden somewhere might also be an idea. if they don't know its there or what it does they also probably wouldnt think of it. 

I could disguise it as one of the dash buttons or something lel

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1 hour ago, Assassin7 said:

I was thinking of doing that initially. but the whole bonnet thing yeah. also the guy could just open the bonnet and see the unclipped battery and be off again, just 30 seconds later. 

a switch that routes from the battery into the cabin of the car, but is hidden somewhere might also be an idea. if they don't know its there or what it does they also probably wouldnt think of it. 

I could disguise it as one of the dash buttons or something lel

I honestly dont imagine any thief would bother to lift the hood to try to figure out why a car isnt working vs just going to another car. A car that is either broken or appears such isnt very useful since they need to get it away even if they are going to sell the stuff for spare parts.

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3 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

'96 Honda Integra, Actually.

and I noticed. I actually made it BRIGHT FUCKING BLUE not only because I really liked the colour, but also to make it slightly less appealing for thieves. (it was black before) it also has a Carbon bonnet and mirrors (well, wrap) AND it has white decals on the side. its literally the most conspicuous car in the entire carpark so im amazed someone went for it.

lol, I dont think you could get those in NZ.

 

Im going to get a steering wheel lock, but I kinda want to get something slightly more 'final' like, no matter what he does it literally won't go anywhere. 

http://freakonomics.com/2010/06/08/what-car-thieves-think-of-the-club/

Interesting read btw

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53 minutes ago, jackquerudo said:

wait, so I shouldn't use a steering wheel clamp?

as for the bit about "increasing the likelyhood of a neighbours car being stolen" I don't see the logic behind this "increased risk" - if a thief comes to steal a car, hes gonna steal a car. the point is to lower the chance that its YOUR car that he tries to steal. because if he steals yours instead of the next one over, hes still stolen a car so the same risk is still there.

but does it work? or does it actually make it easier to steal, like it said?

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Try this.

On a more serious note without installing anything just unplug the battery from the engine by using a wrench. The engine should be connected to the battery by 2 cables, one that goes to positive terminal one that goes to the negative. Just discontect one of them.

I just posted the image because I'm not sure if i was clear.

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3 minutes ago, nabucodonsor said:

On a more serious note without installing anything just unplug the battery from the engine by using a wrench. The engine should be connected to the battery by 2 cables, one that goes to positive terminal one that goes to the negative. Just discontect one of them.

 

I just posted the image because I'm not sure if i was clear.

 

5 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

but im an electrical engineering student so a high tech solution that involves designing a system would be cool

I should hope I know what positive and negative are :P

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Just now, Assassin7 said:

 

I should hope I know what positive and negative are :P

LOL sorry my bad. 

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5 minutes ago, Assassin7 said:

wait, so I shouldn't use a steering wheel clamp?

as for the bit about "increasing the likelyhood of a neighbours car being stolen" I don't see the logic behind this "increased risk" - if a thief comes to steal a car, hes gonna steal a car. the point is to lower the chance that its YOUR car that he tries to steal. because if he steals yours instead of the next one over, hes still stolen a car so the same risk is still there.

but does it work? or does it actually make it easier to steal, like it said?

That is the logic. Make your car harder to get into, and thieves will target the other cars instead. Your risk of theft goes down, the risk of those around you goes up (the chance of a thief actually showing up is irrelevant).

As for whether or not theyre effective, thats probably debatable. May deter casual thieves, may attract pro thieves. Which should you be more worried about?  

Anyway, if you want to get excessively techy about it, then you could probably design a system that works. RFID tag and a microswitch on the ignition circuit is one idea. BUT. If youre dead set on some sort of remote system, then you really do not want to be playing around with the idea of disabling all of the cars electrical systems. If something goes wrong, you could be doing 100 kph and suddenly have no power steering or brakes (or headlights). 

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steeringwheellock.jpg

Should work wonders. Remember you don't need to make it impossible to steal, just harder to steal than the one you're parked next to.

Unless your car costs twice the average salary, most thieves will see the lock through the window and not even bother.

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Similar to Archaic One, lots of us Jeep owners put some sort of hidden ignition kill switch in our Jeeps (especially the older models, where hard tops are very rare, and soft tops are a pain to put up and down)

Can you also park somewhere with more lighting? Motion detection lighting?

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In Canada, if you're car is beyond a certain age, basically, they require an immobilizer to insure it. The insurance company evens pays for it in my province. But if that isn't secure enough, easiest way I would say is wire the ignition through a second fuse that you put inside the cabin. That way you can just yank the fuse when you leave, and if you hide it well, good luck figuring out how to start it. I would start from where the ignition goes through the firewall, since I don't think that's where theives are looking, and then go along to somewhere where it isn't easily visible. Similar to the headphone jack bypass mentioned earlier, just might be a little more expansive.

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9 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

after my Car got nearly stolen on monday, I've been thinking about ways to prevent it. 

the guy was obviously trying to hotwire it. so, I was wondering how possible it would be to create a sensor that will completely disallow the engine from being started, even if you have the key in the ignition, unless a receiver was in proximity with a the car. sorta like a lockout switch. this would be set behind the wires itself for the ignition system and thus impossible to bypass by hotwiring the car. 

I suppose it could also include a failsafe so that if a potential thief knows its there, attempting to bypass or disconnect it would also result in the engine being locked out from starting.

 

I have no idea whether a system like this has been created before, it probably has. but I am thinking about the possibility of designing such a system. hmm. I could probably make it myself TBH, or at least make a sort of proof of concept idea. I would need a bit more knowledge of how the ignition system of the car works and such though. 

Actually, going further: possibly it could be a cutout to ALL of the cars electrics full stop, instead of just the engine. that might me easier to create and possibly be harder to bypass because then the ignition system itself wouldn't work either even if you tried to hotwire it.

 

hmmm

Yes though anything can be by passed.

Take a look at GM's Passkey system, Unless the proper chipped key is in the ignition the vehicle will turn off after a few seconds of running. Other possible solutions are immoblizers, GPS trackers, and current systems like 'keyless' entry and ignition can be modified to fit this purpose.

In the end anything can be by-passed or tricked, though it becomes considerably more difficult.

Part 2 is you own a 1990's Honda a DC2(4?) which uses the same ignition of the same Era Honda Civic, and heres a scary fact, there is about a 20 percent chance the key I have from my 1998 Honda EK Civic hatchback while work in your ignition. I swear, I work salvage and I carry a batch of maybe 12 honda keys to unlock various 1985-2005 honda models without having to 'break in'

 

@SoliDeoGloria That isn't true in Ontario, can't speak for other provinces. though I recommend them on older cars, even more so on anything rare, classic, in really nice shape or modified. Also most companies offer a discount if you have one or a GPS tracker.

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2 minutes ago, Curo said:

Part 2 is you own a 1990's Honda a DC2(4?) which uses the same ignition of the same Era Honda Civic, and heres a scary fact, there is about a 20 percent chance the key I have from my 1998 Honda EK Civic hatchback while work in your ignition. I swear, I work salvage and I carry a batch of maybe 12 honda keys to unlock various 1985-2005 honda models without having to 'break in'

About ten years ago a friend locked his keys in his car. We discovered that the key to a different friend's car would unlock the boot of the first and allowed us to get in.

The crazy thing was that the first car was an Austin Metro and the second a Nissan Bluebird - not only a different model, but an entirely different make.

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