Breaking into your own car?!

I wonder if anybody has actually done that before. Hold on... yes I had a friend that broke her own car window as she left her house keys in the car and the car keys were in the house together with their 2 year old son! All that she could think of at that time with her maternal instinct was not save her child by breaking the car window to get the keys to get to her crying child. It left her with a bloody hand but to her it was an acceptable price to pay to get to her child. Respect! So, things like this do happen and believe me, it is actually more common than you think.

It hasn't happened to my car but has to 2 of our family cars. The first being the old volvo that didn't have any remote lock so you would lock the doors from inside before you'd close the door... sometimes only to realise that the keys are still inside! This has happened to my brother while he was using the car and thank God for him he found a mechanic at that time that could break into the car with just a steel ruler! It was scary how easy it was to break into a car but the volvo is 20 years old... I'm sure times have changed since that no?

Well, sadly no. A few years back we had our first encounter with the Naza Ria. My dad had installed a "better" aftermarket security system that has anti-hijack features. Basically, if you open the door while the car is running and close it again without entering the security code, the car will slowly grind to a halt. This feature alone has caused us multiple embarrassment where the car stopped along a triple carriageway! Fair enough. That only required re starting and inputing the code again to get the car running. The next feature, the auto lock feature was disabled when we first installed the system. We knew that this sort of extreme security might just bite us back, so instead of auto locking the doors when the car is left for 10 seconds, the system only immobilises the car after 10 seconds. Cool. Everything was fine and dandy after the first few years but after that, things started to go wrong.

As u may have guessed, instead of just immobilising the car, the autolock function does just that now. It automatically locks the car after a few seconds the engine is switched off! It happened to us twice. The first time was right before we were leaving for raya, the door locked with both key and spare key inside! we called in a mechanic and he seemed to know how to break into the car using just a long steel ruler! That was a stark reminder of how easy it is to break into a car, old or new! And most recently, they got locked in the car again at a relative's wedding in Singapore! How were we supposed to deal with that in a foreign country where we knew no mechanics, accessory shops etc... Well, one of the uncles called in a few favors but it was a Saturday so help would come late if via conventional methods. The whole incident created a small scene at the wedding with ppl gathering around the car. Thankfully, one of the cousins knew how to break into cars...hehehe... I dare not ask him how or where he learnt the skill from. But with a steel ruler he managed to unlock the door, but not after about 20 minutes of trying! But he got the door unlocked non-the less... Now that we're back in KL, we gotta get the security system fixed! No more scenes at weddings welcomed...

So, what have we learnt from the above?

Well, 1) the locks on old and modern cars alike are easy to break into. What makes a slight difference is the immobiliser.
2) The immobiliser can help stop thieves from getting away with your car, unless of course he tows your car!
3) Auto lock function is very risky and of little use as one can open the lock by using a simple steel ruler.
4) There is no point in getting an expensive car security system in Malaysia as there is really no need and the insurance system in Malaysia does not differenciate between a higher security system and a less secure system, and giving the appropriate discount on your car insurance.

So, next time a sales man approaches you trying to entice you to buy the most canggih alarm system, either walk away or ask if he has one with a simple immobiliser je....