You are all about home security and home automation. You have a monitored alarm system along with multiple wireless security cameras. You watch the front porch with a video doorbell, you secure your first-floor doors with electronic smart locks, and you have your lights programmed to turn on and off at various times throughout the day. That is all great. Have you ever considered home security for your car?
Car alarms have been around a long time. When a reputable security company talks about home security for your car, they are not talking about a simple alarm system that makes noise. They are talking about installing an electronic component that makes it as easy to monitor your car as it is to monitor your home.
Vivint has a device they call Car Guard. Other security companies have their own devices.
While features may vary from one device to the next, all the devices have a similar purpose: to make you aware if your car is subject to any security concerns.
How It Works
The modern home security system does not require any construction or direct wiring.
Everything is wireless, making it virtually plug-and-play for all intents and purposes.
Automotive security devices work the same way. Most of the devices are installed simply by plugging them into the OBD-II port under the dash.
The OBD-II port is one of the ports used by car mechanics to diagnose certain automotive problems. Nearly all cars manufactured after 1996 have this port. You simply take the cover off, plug in the automotive security module, and go on your way.
Automotive security devices come with companion mobile apps that provide monitoring functions and the ability to change settings. The best part of it all is that you can monitor your car from the other side of the world if you need to. You only need your phone and an internet connection.
What It Can Do
By now, you might be wondering what an automotive security device can do. Quite frankly, a lot. Every proprietary device has its own features, so what you read below may not apply to every device. These are just standard features that you will find on most devices.
1. Accident Alerts
Have you ever returned to your car after a successful shopping trip, only to discover that someone hit your rear quarter panel with their bumper? Have you ever found yourself frustrated by another shopper who did not appear to understand what happens when shopping carts come in contact with automotive paint? With an automotive security device, you can be alerted to minor accidents in real time.
A device with the right sensors is able to tell when your car is bumped, tapped, or otherwise contacted. That is your signal to immediately head outside to investigate. While you may not necessarily get there in time to catch the perpetrator, you at least have a good shot at.
2. 24/7 Location Monitoring
The last thing you want to do is walk outside and discover your car has been stolen. Unfortunately, it happens. Your car might already be equipped with a GPS system capable of tracking its location anywhere on the planet. But if not, an automotive security device offers that functionality.
With a security device and mobile app, you can program your car to send you an alert if it is ever moved. Now you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will always have the location of your car at your fingertips. If it is ever moved without your consent, your app can track it in real time. Police can even use the information to locate your vehicle and, hopefully, apprehend the perpetrator.
Location tracking can also be utilized to keep an eye on your teenagers. Maybe one of the kids wants to take the car to a friend’s house. You know exactly where the friend lives and the best route to get there. With location tracking, you will know if your child takes the car somewhere they are not supposed to go.
Likewise, maybe your teenagertakes the family car to work. They call you just before they leave for home. Now you can track their journey. You can keep an eye on them until they pull in the driveway.
3. Diagnostic Assistance
Your dashboard lighting up like a Christmas tree is a warning sign that you need to take the car to the garage. But if you have an automotive security device with the right capabilities, you might be able to figure things out yourself.
Because the device is plugged into the car’s OBD-II port, it offers the same diagnostic capabilities as you mechanic’s computer. You can figure out what is wrong with your car before you take it to the garage. And if it is something you are able fix yourself, you could save yourself a bundle.
4. Smart Home Integration
Finally, some automotive security devices offer complete integration with a home automation system. Just imagine the possibilities. You could integrate your automotive device with your thermostat, smart door locks, lights, and garage door. Tying everything together is the device’s on-board GPS.
Imagine programming your system to respond in specific ways based on your car’s location. Create a program to turn off all the lights, lock the door, and shut the garage door as you are driving off on your way to work. You have three less things to worry about at the start of a busy day.
Yes, home security for your car is a real thing. It is pretty new to the home security and automation industry, but it is catching on. Manufacturers are building easy-to-use devices that can be installed in mere minutes and offer pretty advanced functionality.
If your car has all these functions built-in from the factory, good for you. But if not, you can now add the functions with a simple electronic module and an inexpensive monthly subscription. How cool is that?