Review of car security systems to reduce risks of car theft in Malaysia

Update (26 Feb. 2013): My two blog articles on car security and car theft statistics in Malaysia were used in ntv7’s The Breakfast Show today (Episode 41). Go to tonton (search for the show — free registration and free viewing) to view the show’s segment on car security (at about 42:20 minutes).

One of the most harrowing experience for any car driver is to walk to your parked car, only to find an empty lot where your car used to be. One of your first thoughts must be, “I parked my car here, right? … Right?” Then it quickly dawns on you that your car has been stolen.

I had previously written in one of my blog entries about car theft in Malaysia. My simple analysis showed that a private car is stolen every 24 minutes in Malaysia and that the chance of recovery is a mere 10% on average.

Furthermore, 55% of car theft in Malaysia is by hot-wiring (that is, the thieves break into your car and somehow drive off your car without requiring your car keys). Carjacking (hijacking cars) is the next most common manner at 30% by which your car is stolen. Your car can also be the “lucky bonus” when your house, for example, is broken in by thieves, and they find your car keys. Taking advantage of their lucky find, the thieves take off with your car, perhaps even using your car to help to carry out your home possessions. This last manner by which your car is stolen forms 15% of car theft in Malaysia.

Various ways car are stolen in Malaysia (photo from

Car theft crime rate rises about 6% every year in Malaysia, and local cars, Proton and Perodua, continue to be the two most stolen cars in Malaysia. This is followed by Toyota (especially the Hilux model) and Honda (especially the Civic model) cars.

Top 10 most stolen cars in Malaysia in 2012 (photo from

I did some research via the web and even in car forums about car security. There is an adage in car forums that goes something like this: “If the thieves want our car that badly, they will get it whatever car security system we have, no matter how expensive or sophisticated the system may be.”

There is some truth in this adage, but before we feel helpless, I offer my own adage:

“The point of choosing a car security system is not to eliminate, but to reduce the risks of car theft. The better the system, the lower the risks.”

In other words, it is all about lowering (not eliminating) the chances of our cars being stolen. Let’s us now examine some car security features, starting with the most basic and common.

Window etching

This is where our car license plate number (some owners prefer engine chassis number) is etched onto a  car window. The more windows that have this etching, the better. This is because if your car is to be re-sold, the thief would have to replace all the windows that have the etched identity numbers. This is an additional cost that may deter a thief. This method, however, does not help if the thief wants your car only for its spare parts.

Sandblasting to etch the car registration number onto the car windows (photo from

Car security window tint

Car windows are the weakest link in the car security system because they can be easily smashed. To make it more difficult to smash and break the windows, car security window tint ought to be installed. The security tint come in various thickness (measured in unit mil where 1 mil = 0.001 inch), and the thicker the tint, the stronger the protection the tint gives to the glass. Security tint 4 mil are usually installed for cars. You can opt for a thicker (which would also be more expensive) tint for higher protection. However, tints thicker than 8 mil for cars are rarely needed (as a side note, security tint 15 mil is installed for increased resistance against bomb blasts and earthquake).

Install a security tint to make it harder to smash your car windows (photo from

Car security window tints are particularly resistant against blunt blows such as someone using a motorcycle helmet, baseball bat, or rock to smash the window. But these tints are instead vulnerable to blows from sharp objects such as from a screwdriver, ice pick, or any strong and sharp objects. Witnesses have reported car thieves have successfully smashed a car window fitted with security tint by using only the sharp point of an object. The thieves only took only a few seconds to compromise the security tint.

That said, security tint are useful in particular in protecting us and our belongings against smash-and-grab. See the video below for one example where a security tint could have been proven useful.

Drive-by smash-and-grab. A security window tint may have prevented the robbery.

Hidden ignition switch (or kill switch)

This is a very cheap and yet effective way to deter car theft. A switch is fitted to the car ignition and the switch hidden somewhere in the car. To start your car, you need both car key and to turn on the hidden switch. Without the two, your car won’t start.

Installing a kill switch is cheap and effective against car theft (photo from

Some creativity is needed to hide the switch or even fool the thief. The switch can be hidden under the dashboard or in some crevice in the car. Some people have made dummy switches or even requiring toggling on two switches (instead of one) before the car can be started.

Most hidden ignition switches are DIY (do-it-yourself), but many car accessory shops can do this for you for a small charge. The drawback is the accessory shop people would know where the switch is hidden in your car.

Steering wheel lock

This kind of lock is perhaps the most commonly found. What it does is it fits on your steering wheel, locking it, and making it very difficult to steer the car while the lock is still fitted.

Steering wheel locks may not considerably slow down a car thief from stealing your car, but its greatest strength is it is a visual deterrent. A thief who sees your wheel lock would stop and consider if it is worth the additional time and effort to break your lock and steal your car. A car with a steering wheel lock makes it more attractive for the thief to steal another car that doesn’t have the wheel lock. Of course, if a thief wants your car that badly, your steering wheel lock would only be a mild irritant to him.

That said, however, not all steering wheel locks are alike. Most locks are near worthless, but there are two locks in particular that give considerably better protection.

The problem with nearly all steering wheel locks are that they allow the thief to cut one or two places in the steering wheel to disengage the lock. So, you may have a lock that can withstand a meteorite impact, but the thief can still easily disengage the lock by merely attacking or cutting the steering wheel to which the lock is attached.

You need a lock that prevents the steering  hub (center) and the wheel from being tampered by the thief. A good lock is one that physically covers the hub and the surrounding wheel, so that the thief cannot remove the whole steering wheel or cut any part of the wheel.

And forget about those steering wheel locks that can emit an alarm. The sound would be too faint to be heard by other people. At most, it would make the thief slightly deaf for a few seconds before he  promptly disengages the lock and throws out the blaring wheel lock out of the window as he drives off your car.

As far as I know, only two steering wheel locks offer the kind of complete physical protection to both steering hub and wheel: Stoplock Ultima and Disklok, where the latter lock can be found in some car accessories shops in Malaysia. These two locks are not perfect, of course. They can still be compromised but only with a lot of noise and effort on the part of the thief. A well known UK security expert, Giles Verdon, took nearly two minutes to compromise both these locks. That he took two minutes might not seem long, but compare this period to 20 seconds or less Giles took to compromise other steering wheel locks.

Stoplock Ultima covers the hub and cannot be removed even if the steering wheel is cut, provided the lock is installed correctly. Disadvantages: heavy and expensive and does not fit all wheels. No longer sold in Malaysia. (photo from

Disklok covers the steering hub and wheel completely. Disadvantages: expensive and heavy. However, it comes in three sizes to fit different steering wheel sizes. (photo from

Pedal lock

Pedal locks work similarly to steering wheel locks in that the former locks the brake and gas pedals, preventing the thief from using the pedals to drive off your car. Unlike steering wheel locks, pedal locks are harder to compromise because it is more difficult to cut the pedals than the steering wheel. The pedals are made from much stronger steel (to withstand all that feet stomping forces on them), so they are very difficult to bend or cut. Moreover, the thief has a smaller space to work on the pedals than on the steering wheel. This smaller space translates to more effort and more time needed to compromise the pedal lock.

There are several pedal lock brands in Malaysia. Some well known brands are Locktech and Locktat, where the latter is a local copycat version of the former lock from Thailand. Both these locks not only lock the car pedals, they also prevent the car from starting should you forget to unlock the pedals first. This is a safety feature particularly for automatic cars to prevent you driving  while both car pedals are still immobilized. Another common pedal lock is Autolock.

Locktech pedal lock (photo from

Nonetheless, these pedal locks have been compromised rather commonly. I have read from the internet about more than one car owner sharing that, despite these pedal locks, their cars were still stolen. The Autolock pedal lock also has a rather well known weakness that enables the thief to twist and turn the lock in such a way to disengage the lock from the pedals, without needing to cut anything.

Solex pedal lock. Ugly but effective. (photo from

Gear lock

Gear locks prevent the thief from shifting gears; thereby, preventing your car from being driven off.  Unlike steering wheel and pedal locks, gear locks are much less common. Perhaps they are much less common that I have not come across any stories from car owners reporting that their cars were still stolen despite having their gear locks. Could it be that gear locks are the best alternative to steering wheel and pedal locks?

I only know of two gear lock brands sold in Malaysia: Construct (from Czech Republic) and Yuubi (a local brand). Purely from my observation, Yuubi appears physically more convoluted and poorer in quality than Construct. Moreover, Yuubi lock is about RM200 more expensive than Construct lock.

The elegant gear lock by Construct (photo from

The Construct gear lock only works using their proprietary key, which means it is nearly impossible to duplicate the key anywhere else except by them. Moreover, unlike steering wheel and pedal locks, Construct gear lock is fitted inside the gear construction box, so the only visual sign of its existence is a small keyhole beside the gear. This might be an important issue to some luxury car owners who would not like to “spoil” their luxury car look by fitting an ugly steering wheel or pedal lock.

Car alarm system

Car alarm system comes by default in all cars nowadays. However, there are many third party car alarm systems out there, ranging from a few hundred to few thousand ringgit, depending on the brand and what the system additionally provides in terms of security features.

The car alarm system at the most basic level should raise the alarm (by sounding the car horn) whenever a door, trunk, or hood is opened. Car alarm systems typically add other security levels such as engine immobilizer (to prevent hot wiring because they key must be present to start the car), vibration or shock alarm (for example, when a car window is being smashed), and car tilt alarm (to prevent the car from being jacked up to have your car towed away or your car sports rim stolen). Some alarm systems can also warn you if you have forgotten to turn on the alarm.

As stated earlier, there are many car alarm brands out there. The more expensive ones are such as Viper, Clifford, Python, and Steelmate brands. Car alarm systems are particularly vulnerable to having their power source cut off (i.e., car battery) or the car horn disabled. Because of this possibility, some car alarm brands like Viper has its own battery and horn backup which would kick in and sound the alarm if the car battery is cut off.

Viper car alarm system (photo from

So what about the OEM car alarm system that came with our cars? This is an issue for new car owners because replacing their OEM alarm system nullifies the car warranty without a doubt. My recommendation is if you are going to replace your OEM alarm system, do it only by installing an alarm system that has more security features than your current OEM one.

If you can afford it, don’t save a few ringgit. For a peace of mind, go for the full range of security features: those that can sense forceful movement, breaking glass, and car being towed or jacked up.

However, bear in mind that even the most expensive car alarm system can be compromised as revealed by several car owners. One car owner revealed to me recently that his RM2,000 car alarm system was compromised. The would-be car thief was only defeated by his humble pedal lock.

Hood lock

Car hood (bonnet) locks are fitted to lock the car hood; thereby, preventing car thieves from accessing your car battery and car horn (to disable the car alarm, for example). Some car models (like Perodua’s Myvi model) have hoods that are quite easy to open from the outside (that is, without requiring to pop the hood from inside the car).

Hood locks such as these can be found in Malaysia but would require some search in car forums for the right contact person (photo

For some reason, however, hood locks are no longer popular in Malaysia. Consequently, it can be difficult to find anyone who both sells and installs hood locks here. It is a case of buying a hood lock from someone and giving it to someone else to install it for you. Finding a seller and an installer can be a challenge as they do not advertise themselves or have a permanent shop.

Some car accessory shops I have been to have not even heard of hood locks! See the video below on how one thief managed to open a car hood by pulling the hatch release cable via one of the front wheel chambers. It took him less than two minutes.

Car battery thieves took less than a minute to open the car bonnet.

Car tracking system

A car tracking system helps to locate the whereabouts of your car after it has been stolen. This system doesn’t prevent theft but helps you find your car should it be stolen. No other car security system does this.

Car tracking systems use GSM and GPS to determine the location of your car. GSM is a mobile telephone network system. A tracking system communicates with the nearest GSM telephone tower to obtain the car’s location. Consequently, the location relayed back is not the car’s true position but rather the position of the tower that is closest to your car. GPS, on the other hand, provides more accurate location because it uses at least three satellites to triangulate your car’s true position. GPS, however, relies on GSM network for tracking purposes.

Car tracking systems help to track the location of stolen car (photo from

Unfortunately, GSM  is vulnerable to frequency jamming (yes, such jamming devices do exist, and they are easier to obtain than we think). This means car thieves can jam the GPS/GSM system, rendering it useless and giving time for the thieves to locate and remove the GPS/GSM tracking box from your car. GPS/GSM system would also often fail if your car is parked underground (like in shopping basement car parks), or if the car thieves drive your car into a shipping container or road tunnel.

Car tracking systems are maintained by two groups of people: 1) the car owners themselves, and 2) companies. There are several advantages and disadvantages of having to either maintain the tracking system yourself or having someone else (companies) to do it for you.

Captor and Cobra Connex are the two most well known companies in Malaysia that offer car tracking systems as well as car recovery. One advantage of having these companies maintain the tracking system for you is these companies have experienced people and, most importantly, the resources to help track your stolen car. They also work closely with the police to track and apprehend the perpetrators. By golly, these companies even have a helicopter to help track your car, although I doubt they use their copter unless you own a Bentley or Lamborghini that has been just stolen.

Going solo, however, means you have to track your stolen car yourself and then work to convince the skeptical police when you have actually found your car. Captor’s experience, in contrast, has meant that 80-90% of cars stolen are recovered by them within an average of four days.

Nonetheless, going solo has one advantage: privacy. If the tracking system is maintained by a company, they would know your whereabouts at all times. However, unless you are some secret agent, criminal, or celebrity, this loss of privacy is a minor issue to most normal people.

One disadvantage of Captor or Cobra is although they can remotely disable your stolen car, they would often only do so when their recovery team has a sighting of your car and decide it is safe to disable the car. I can understand this protocol because remotely disabling a car may cause traffic accidents. Imagine a stalled car (your car) that has been remotely disabled while on the fast lane of the highway. Good for you because the thieves are prevented from continuing their journey in your car, but bad for the car driver behind your stolen car who is driving at 120 km per hour.

Comparing between Captor and Cobra is difficult. It would be nice to compare their recovery effectiveness. Cobra offers compensation for unrecovered stolen cars by as much as RM10,000, whereas Captor has no such compensation service. Nonetheless, Captor offers RF (Radio Frequency) tracking capability in addition to GPS/GSM network. RF is much harder to jam, unlike GPS/GSM, and RF works regardless if your car is inside a shipping container, a road tunnel, or parked in a parking basement. RF, however, works slower than GPS/GSM. The recovery team also has to work slowly to sweep the area and to zoom in into your car’s exact location.


There are other ways to secure your car. The following are some ways you can secure your especially if you are leaving your car for long periods:

  1. Tire lock. These are locks for one of your tires, very similar to those used on illegally parked cars. However, portable and good ones are hard to find in Malaysia and most probably have to be bought from overseas via online. There are China-brands sold in Malaysia, but they appear flimsy.

    Tire clamp/lock is a good way to prevent towing of your car. If the front tire is locked, ensure you park your car facing towards a wall or obstacle. If the rear tire is locked, then park so that your car rear faces the wall or obstacle. (photo from

  2. Removing the ignition or starter fuse. The fuse for the car ignition can be removed which would prevent the car from starting.
  3. Like above, but this time, the car spark plugs are removed. Do not remove just one plug because a car can still move without one plug, albeit very clumsily. All spark plugs must be removed and kept hidden somewhere (not in the car).
  4. To protect your sports rim, you could install wheel lock nuts. They look like regular wheel nuts, but they require a special key to unlock them. However, they can be comprised quite easily because they can removed using a universal socket called Gator Grip. A much better wheel lock nuts are from McGard, which are unfortunately not sold in Malaysia (but can be bought from overseas via online). However, if your car has a tilt alarm, installing wheel lock nuts are unnecessary because jacking up your car to steal the sports rim would trigger the car alarm.

    Wheel lock nuts to prevent theft of your sports rim (photo from

    Gator Grip which are available in Malaysia can be used to remove wheel lock nuts commonly sold in Malaysia (photo from

Other approaches to reduce car theft that does not require any equipment are as follows:

  1. Park in well-lit areas. Better still, park in direct line of sight of any security camera.
  2. As you walk to your car, observe your surroundings. Any suspicious people hanging around, looking at you, or following you? They could be car jackers.
  3. Car jackers also try to lure you out of your car. Methods they have used before are such as putting  a note on your rear window or tying some cans under your car. As you reverse or move your car, the note or sounds draws your attention. So, you exit your car to determine the problem. As you move to your car rear, the car jackers enter your car and drive off. Other methods include puncturing one of your tires to force you change your tire in the parking lot. Once you have changed your tire, the car jackers (who have been observing all this while) move in and drive off your car.

Best car security system?

As a minimum (or for the budget conscious), a car should have:

  1. Car alarm
  2. Window etching of your car registration number
  3. Kill switch (hidden)
  4. Steering wheel lock (any model — as a visual deterrent)

But the best:

  1. Car alarm (with all its bells and whistles such as shock sensor and tilt alarm)
  2. Window etching of your car registration number
  3. Kill switch (hidden)
  4. Gear lock
  5. Car security window tint
  6. GPS car tracking system (with car recovery service)
  7. Steering wheel lock (optional, but if you are seriously looking for the best, go for Disklok)

So, there. This has been my take on car security features and what I think is best.



  1. Hello Christopher,

    Reading your article and also limited information/review available online, there seems to be quite limited information on security systems. I have had a look at the Cobra home page and would say the content seems amateurish. Depending on how one would look at it, it would somewhat reflect on the complains that some of the consumers have voiced out.

    Statistically, do we know what is the market share for each system ( maybe it is too small to measure ). It you have to make an educated guess, what would be the total subscription in Malaysia and subcription per/car for brands offering it as a warrantied option – Honda, Subaru, Mercedes etc………

    I am considering installing a unit in my new order however i am skeptical if the system is managed professionally.


    • I don’t have the data, but I believe the market for car GPS tracking systems is very competitive with many devices out there. Even certain luxury cars do come with their own tracking systems. Captor and Cobra are definitely affected by this. However, what separates Cobra and Captor from others is that they have a track and recover team and they will work with the police to track missing/stolen cars, whereas other systems do not have this, so you are essentially on your own if you discover your car missing one day. It is best you go to Cobra or Captor office and have a talk with their staff and look around to see if you are happy or satisfied. Subscribing to Cobra or Captor also means you need to pay an annual fee and installation charges (including battery changes every 2-3 years). This of course does not mean other systems have no installation charges unless you know how or want to install it yourself. Batteries also need to be changed regardless the system.

      Cobra and Captor are also like other systems in which they both allow you to track your car in real time including disabling your car by remote.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Good article, found it to be very informative.

    I’m from Malaysia and I installed a Captor system back in 2011. I was paying RM240 a year from 2012 onwards to subscribe to their service. Until recently, I got a call from Captor asking me to replace the Backup Battery (I was not told that the Backup Battery needed replacement when I first purchase the unit) and it will cost RM636 and they will not renew my subscription (which is now RM254.40, with GST) unless I perform the replacement of the Backup Battery.

    When I asked about terminating my subscription, I was then told that I need to send my car for them to disconnect the Captor unit, else the unit will drain my car’s main battery. The additional cost to disconnect would be RM106 while if I choose to remove (dismantle) the unit, the cost would be RM212. These additional cost again was not made known to me.

    Frankly, I find such cost to be absurd and I feel like I’m being held at ransom that if I choose to terminate and ensure my car continues to run, I have to either pay them another RM106 or RM212, depending on my decision on what to do with the useless unit now.

    Hope you can assist me on what would my possible next course of action. I have tried to “Google” the options and seems like removing it totally would be best. However, with their recent replies, I do not feel to give them any more money and I really feel that I have been conned into installing the unit in the first place.

    • The need to replace the battery is stated somewhere in the documents they provide to their customers upon installation. I believe they said the battery needs replacement every 2-3 years. I am not sure how they calculated the fee to be RM636. Does that mean the battery costs: RM636-240 = RM396? I thought their new batteries cost RM250 or thereabout? You need to get the breakdown of cost from them. Whatever the case, consider that battery-operated systems like this always needs some sort of maintenance. Consider if it is worth to you to continue with their subscription or go off-grid. Continuing with them means you have their support if your car is ever stolen. Going off-grid means if your car is ever stolen, you are on your own (and deal with the police yourself).

      • Hi Chris,

        Appreciate the speedy reply.

        The battery itself is RM600 with RM36 for GST. As of now, it will cost me RM890.40 for me to change the battery (a must if want to continue) and another RM254.40 for the annual subscription.

        If I choose to go off-grid, I must either pay RM106 (GST included) to disconnect (wiring left in vehicle, unit removed) or RM212 (wiring & unit removed from vehicle).

        I do not mind dealing with the police & insurance myself, bearing in mind the age of my car. What that made me upset was such charges were not made known to me. I read from one of the online blogs that during 2008, the battery only cost RM70. What made it to increase 10x ?

        Thus, I am now looking for how to disconnect or dismantle the unit from my car (do not want it to drain my car’s main battery). Do you have any idea or any contacts who can do this?

        • I am surprised by the cost of the battery. To dismantle, you can try a good car accessory shop (those that install car audio not like Brothers or that kind) — but bear in mind, even asking them to dismantle might cost around >RM100 unless of course, you decide to upgrade your car audio at that time. 🙂

  3. Very good, if you give the car with a car steering wheel cover,it will be more beautiful.

  4. Is there any issue if i had already car security alarm (with anti hijack, immobilizer etc…) , then i install car tracking system like cobra connex or captor or standalone car tracking systems.

    • There should not be a problem because the two are separate units. However, you might want to link the car tracking system to your alarm, so that when the alarm sounds, it alerts your car tracking system authorities. You have to pay an additional for this linking.

  5. I got the same problems too before but I had reinforced my car using some parts that I got from [link deleted] such as the steering lock and stuff. I think it’s better to be safe than sorry

  6. Hello,

    First, thank you for your article, as it was very clear and useful in its recommendations. I’m located in the United States, and car theft in my area is primarily focused on the following



    Depending upon the car, obviously the car itself. The most stolen car is one that’s obviously striking, but also some lower end/affordable ones: Honda Accord, Civic, Toyotas, etc.

    Recently, I had experienced a freak malfunction with my Viper alarm system, I’d like to warn about those really quickly. I lent my boyfriend my car to travel for vacation to a festival located about 3-4 hours away from home. I had a Viper 7701 V/P/X, containing the starter kill, sensory alarms (touch, banging, doors open, etc), and a 2-way key fob that would alert me to any issues sensed by the alarm. It was installed by the previous owner 4 years before I purchased the vehicle.

    Unfortunately, this Viper issue is definitely common: the fob powercycles and is deemed unusable. The car remains armed. Valet switch disable failed. Starter kill engaged. At this point, car was not usable (excellent to deter car thieves, really sucked because my boyfriend was stranded). The result was having the car towed to the nearest shop and remove the system completely, as it will continue to malfunction later on if it isn’t removed. Just a warning for those who want a Viper system for a lengthy amount of time. Basically, I was out a bit of money afterward.

    In any case, I have a rather general question: I’m looking to use Disklok. So far, I’ve found that it is excellent and very reliable, not just to deter thieves, but for use. I would like to know if you’ve heard of any issues with it? As in, have you known of any cases of someone being unable to lock/unlock the Disklok to use their car? Key failure? I understand that the barrel lock mechanism is very high security, and occasionally the disks can become unaligned (just jiggle the key to finish locking/unlocking, works like a charm), but I’ve read one instance where someone was completely unable to use the key in their Disklok and had to have a locksmith spend some hours drilling the thing off.

    Thank you for your time, and excellent article.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with the Viper alarm. Yes, alarm systems do malfunction at times. I have seen one car on the road with the alarm blaring continuously, probably because the owner is unable to turn it off. Fortunately, the owner is still able to drive the car, but unfortunately, the alarm blares non-stop, attracting annoyed stares from other road users.

      No alarm or locking system is 100% foolproof, including the Disklok steering wheel lock. I’ve read one case where someone’s Disklok was taken apart but after some serious damage to the dashboard as well. This showed dismantling the Disklok isn’t a simple or straightforward effort, probably requiring some serious hacking and energy expense.

      As I wrote in the article, Disklok is perhaps the best steering wheel lock out there (albeit not completely foolproof), but it’s heavy — this is perhaps the most serious disadvantage of Dislok other than its high price.

      Anyway, I hope I answered your question well. At the end, don’t depend just on one security system. The more security features you have, the lower the risk of car theft.

  7. Hello from Thailand, and thank you for your post, the clearest and best I have read on the topic.

    Few questions:

    Do you know some Malay car equipment companies (alarm, tracker,…) which sell online ?

    What about the stolen luxury cars market, do you think that some Bmw or Benz are stolen in Malaysia to be sold in Thailand or around ? And some stolen cars from abroad sold in Malaysia ?

    How do thiefs cross the borders ? With fake documents ? I guess it’s easier to get fake documents on the Thai side than in Malaysia ?

    Thank you again.

    • There are many online sellers for tracking devices, but most of them do not install it for you. Just check Google by typing keywords like: “Car GPS tracking system Malaysia”. I am not sure of how stolen vehicles are transported out of the country, but from the newspaper articles I have read reveal that stolen cars from here are shipped out to be sold in other countries. How they do this I am not sure.

  8. Hi Chris..i like to install viper alarm in mine you got any good alarm shop with best alarm master to recommend me?ohya..recommend me tinted shop to me as well please.kl or selangor area will do..

    Thank you so much Chris.

  9. Hi Chris,
    Nice to read this but too late for myself to obtain these info as i just lost my Hilux in a gated car park couple of days ago. That was a bad day for me as I tried to use alarm key to lock my car as usually practice. But, tat day my alarm key don’t know y went something wrong which lead me have to lock the door manually with key ONLY. I thought system malfunction, so i closed door & re-opened for few times, still unable to use alarm key to lock my car. After 1 1/2 hours came back from an appointment, my car wasn’t there. I was shocked & asked around especially the guardian, of coz I received standard answer ” Don’t Know” . I only blame myself that i didn’t lock my steering though. hai~~ 🙁
    Anyway, nice to read ur write up , at least i can know what to do in future.

    • Sorry to hear about your loss. Hilux unfortunately is one of those hot cars. I doubt even a steering wheel lock would have stopped the thieves. Hopefully, your car insurance settles payment quickly, and you can beef up security for your next car.

    • There is possibility that thief already mark your car when your alarm didn’t work, try to be wary if there is something unusually/wrong/weird with your car.

        • No, not that. I mean that when Mark Chung try his alarm for few times, open and close the door, it attract car theft that maybe standing by on nearby.

          In here, Indonesia, there are few case that car theft are standing by on parking lot and watching some car that can be stole with minimal ruckus.

          The most stolen car in here is Toyota Avanza and Daihatsu Xenia. which is also the best seller car in Indonesia.

    • Thank you for the compliments. Ace Hardware stores used to sell Gator Grip, but I haven’t seen it in their stores lately — most likely they have stopped selling it. If you can’t find it in any hardware stores, you may have to try online.

  10. Dear Christopher,

    Do you know any dealer that can install Yubbi Gear Lock? Other than 1 Utama. Maybe located around Selangor.

    Try contacting Yubbi HQ couldn’t get them.

  11. Nice write up Christopher. Thanks for the tips. I have just modified a brand new hilux that has left me stressed about security. While doing research I came across your writeup and realised its almost a couple of years old so was wondering if you know of any great new updates to car security systems in Malaysia? Do they now stock Mcgard wheel locks here? Ive now seen various brands of pedal locks with kill switches – any good? Thanks.

    • Hilux is a hot car for theft, so it pays to beef up security. My review, though written a few years ago, remains valid today. Mcgard is still not sold here; you have to buy online. Pedal locks with kill switch are effective but they have been known to be compromised. However, this does not mean these locks are useless. Adding multiple layers to your car security means more time needed for the thief to steal your car and more hassle. This can dissuade thieves from trying in the first place.

  12. well done.. very informatics write up.. there is a simple question.. can we fix the kill switch that it link to the commonrail system in the new toyota hilux ? and would it void the 3 years warranty offered by toyota?

    • I am not sure exactly how to do this for your car. The best is to ask a car accessory shop. Yes, it would void your car’s electrical warranty, but the risk of your kill switch causing electrical problems is minor or could cause the kill switch installation to be detected by your SC.

  13. Great article – well written, objective, structured – will check out those systems as you have advised. Thank you so much for generously sharing this with us all. Will be sharing this with friends and family.

  14. This is a good read! Recommended to everyone who are afraid of their cars being stolen.
    I’m very interested in the ignition kill switch, but I have no friends or families who have these ( or even any anti-theft devices besides the car alarm ). Where to you usually but it from? And can my car mechanic install it for me?
    Thanks alot!

    • Go to a trusted car accessory shop (those that install car alarms, audio, and other electronics) to fix the kill switch for you. Installing a kill switch is not difficult, so I won’t be surprised if your regular car mechanic can also install it for you. Good luck!

  15. Very nice write up!

    Just want to share my current security add-on combination:
    1. Siren – Myvi do not come with a siren. To make the car alarm louder combine with car horn.
    2. Tilt Sensor – Previous car stolen by tow (alarm not trigged, not window break-in sign)
    3. Ultrasonic sensor – To detect movement inside car. Personally feel this better than shock sensor which is very sensitive, and always trigged easily by thunder.
    4. Non-equipment as mentioned by you in the blog – Be careful all the time.

    Combination of 1 to 3 is a budget security which cost you not more than RM600.

    Do test your sensors from time to time whether it is still working in good condition.


      • You are welcome,
        Too many car stolen cases in Malaysia. Hopefully can promote and increase awareness of people around us.
        Especially those living in “Kampung” (which is normally in better safety condition) and moving to “City” to work/study. I am one of them and my 1st new Myvi been stolen within few months after purchased due to the lack of awareness.

  16. HI,

    I installed an immobilizer to my car when I bought it (about 6 years ago). Today it cannot start, and the alarm light in the car that comes together with the immobilizer system is no longer functioning.

    All electronics have been disabled (interior lights, hazard lights, etc). I have changed my car battery early this year, so i doubt its the car battery problem.
    I think its the immobilizer failure.
    Do you know any suppliers/dealers that can fix/remove immobilizers?
    My problem is, I do not know what brand it is..

  17. Dear Bro. Chris. Your blog very much informatics to me seems i made my own checklist for a list alarm set that i should installed in my car.

    I pretty interested to the Steering Lock so called very protective from the brand disklok. This unit only sold by shop name supercode technology (M) sdn bhd(as i known). But unfortunately they stopped selling this product anymore in the malaysia market few years back and i was try to get this unit my bad luck i couldn’t get it.

    If you have any other vendor/shop/person who like to sell this disklok steering lock, i wouldn’t mine to buy it. I am also look forward idea from you where i can get this unit.

    I’m really need it because it worth to buy. really bulk and helpful.

    thanks bro.

      • Bro. Chris. I have contacted them(KK Lau Audio Shop), but their supplier had stop supplying this item since its slow moving stock.

        Any suggestion?


        • You might trying buying online like from Try the keyword “disklok” and you will see some hits. I have checked one seller, and they ship to Malaysia. Expensive, but ironically, cheaper than if we buy it from local shops (that is, when they were still selling it locally). Note that I do not know these online sellers, so please practice caution when buying online. Check their seller ratings and reputation. Alternatively, you can buy directly from but the price is about RM500 plus shipping.

          • Dear Bro Chris,

            Finally i found the disklok-steering lock. The only guy which currently selling is Quest Audio System Shop in subang. I almost give up in finding this steering lock but thank god i manage to found one.

            This is also last piece he was selling to me. So he gave me best price. It seems that the supplier do not want import this brand since this product is basically slow moving stock.

            • My friend from supercode help to find this guy. Actually i got it at RM450.00 plus RM35.00 for courier charges. Still it cheap than supercode quote me to import from UK.
              Lucky got it one.

  18. Christopher

    I owned a Nissan Sunny 130Y, this morning my steering was touching the windscreen and the try to hot wired the car but cannot get through. Coz have another switch.

    My Nissan Sunny doesn’t have alarm system.

    I need some advised of yours for getting it from drove away by thief.


    From : Ivan Han (

  19. hi christopher!

    i am interested to know more about pedal lock regarding thier pros n cons. and would like to know if installing one would void our car’s warranty.

    btw, keep up th good work on providing useful n informative blog like this one. ignore the stupid comments as it comes from stupid people nonetheless.

    • There are pedal locks that are portable (like Autolock or Solex pedal lock), so they won’t void the car warranty. However, pedal locks that need to be electronically wired to your car risks voiding the car warranty should your car have electronic fault later. It is a risk, so ensure you go to a good accessory shop for installation.

      • my understanding is that pedal lock actually locks th brake pedal (AT car). while this may sound stupid to some but, is it completely true that when the brake pedal is locked, u cant put the gear into D thus the car cant be drive at all?


        • Some pedal locks have so-called “double lock” feature where if you engage the pedal lock, the lock turns off the car ignition (like a kill switch), so you cannot start the car if you haven’t disengage the pedal lock. This is to prevent you from moving the car (e.g., reversing) when you haven’t removed or disengaged the pedal lock. However, most AT cars require you to press the brake first before shifting any gears, so if your car is this type, then you wouldn’t worry about forgetting to disengage the lock before you move the car.

  20. Dear writer,
    a very comprehensive yet informative article.
    Can i know:
    1. the sandblasting on window done by car maker or tinting firm?
    2. would installing kill switch void the factory warranty? Thanks.

    • Sandblasting is done by third parties such as tinting shops. Your car salesman will definitely know where you can have the windows sandblasted (or the salesman will do it for you if you are buying a new car from him).

      If the car service centre wants to be picky, they can say installing the kill switch voids the warranty because you have tampered with the electrical system…but that depends. They can “close one eye” if the electrical problem is clearly unrelated to your kill switch installation.

    • Are you Malaysian? I almost end up linivg in Malaysia, but things didn’t add up. Anyway, I’m from Europe. I wish I could find work there, cuz I love the country.

  21. Hi Christopher……an excellent blog about car security.

    I would appreciate if you can kindly advice me where can u install a simple Kill Switch in Klang Valley. Im also interested in the hood lock as well but cant seem to find in mudah or lelong.

    Pls kindly advice?

    Thank you.


    • Kill switch can be installed by any auto accessories shop (those that install alarms, CD/DVD sets, etc).

      Hood lock are very hard to find now. The last time I tried it was a case of buying from someone then finding someone else to install it. There is a person who can install it, but he would only do it in Kuala Terengganu!

      You can try Supercode Technology SB (Cheetah Alarms) in Seri Kembangan (do a web search). You need to talk to the boss (not the workers). They used to sell hood locks but no longer. They can however install for you if you can coerce the boss to do it for you. He may also be able to get the hood lock for you, but he would be very reluctant to do it.

  22. Hi, great to see that the author of the article has reverted back to my comment and so quickly too!

    I understand that car locks serve as a deterrent/hindrance and nothing more. If you have seen any Mission Impossible movie, I guess nothing is really impossible for all these thieves 😉

    Back to the Construct gear lock, with that kind of pricing and so-called proprietary key, I would expect that it would last a lot longer than just a few seconds! I’ll bet even a simple Yale padlock would have lasted longer.

    As for the Locktech/Locktact mentioned in your article, a Honda Civic FD owner has published a video in youtube showing that it was stolen in less than 20 minutes even with Locktact installed. You can check out the video here ( Do you have any insights in how it was compromised so easily?

    In any case, could you recommend any specific type of car locks and brands that would be in a better position to withstand all these attacks by car thieves?

    • Yes, I have seen the Youtube video on the stolen Honda with Locktact. I even contacted the car owner about 1.5 years ago, and he replied that his car was secured by the OEM car alarm system and that Locktact only. He wasn’t sure how the lock was defeated, and neither could I find any information on it on the net. I suppose we have to talk to the those guys in the car accessories shop because they would probably know how these locks can be compromised.

      That friend who shared with me about his RM2,000 car alarm being compromised said it was his Solex pedal lock (the photo of it is on my blog) that prevented the car theft. But perhaps the thief was interrupted from his work before he could compromise the Solex lock. We would never know. Anyway, this Solex pedal lock doesn’t fit some cars, and this lock is quite ugly and not so easy to put on and put off as compared to Locktact. Solex lock is probably a better option for long term parking.

      I still believe our best option is a varied of security features, rather than relying on any one security feature, as advised in my blog. I know Dislok steering wheel is quite difficult to remove. I have read one owner (overseas) that the Disklok was compromised but only after a great deal of damage to his car dashboard to yank the lock out of the wheel.

      You could also try a hidden ignition switch. It is quite easy to install, and there are instructions on it on the web. Some folks have two hidden switches: one in the dashboard area and the other in the boot.

      Some have installed a backup battery in the car (and hidden somewhere — like in the boot) so that the car alarm won’t be disabled even when the main car battery is cut off. I have read someone even moved the cable to the car hood latch so that this cable cannot be accessed from outside. This is one security flaw in most cars where the cable runs along the top and front wheel well.

      This issue of car security system interests me, but I find it frustrating especially when I talk about it on car forums in Malaysia. The forum members there aren’t serious and sometimes give idiotic response to my questions such as “sell your car and walk, then no more worries about car theft”, “sell your car and buy a 2nd-hand Proton Tiara since non one wants this car”, “put a remote-controlled bomb inside car”, “put a dog inside the car”, and the no. 1 response: “aiya, why bother, if they want your car, they will take it no matter what you do”. After a while, I just gave up on these forums.

      Anyway, I hope I have been helpful. The key idea is a mix of security features that would hamper the car thief — in other words, make his work more difficult and more time-consuming.

      • I know what you meant. I have seen some of these idiotic comments as well in numerous forums. I believe you’re right in advising that having a variety of security locks/system is better than just relying on one.

        I hope you don’t get disillusioned by all these immature fellas on public sites and continue to share your insights on the matter. Your article is an interesting read and your advice is sound. I look forward to your next article on the same subject manner.

    • Thank you for sharing that the Construct gear lock is not foolproof (can be compromised by a specially made bump key) — but then which lock isn’t? As long as a lock is man-made, that lock will never be foolproof. As my blog pointed out, the crux is to reduce the risk of car theft, not about finding a security system that is 100% secure. No such lock exist. Creating a secure system is a moving target. The moment one lock is developed, people will find ways to defeat it, which then begets a new kind of lock, and so on.
      This is why my blog advised not to depend on just one security aspect. To have a lower risk of car theft, have more than two (or better three) security systems. As I wrote in my blog, a friend recently shared to me that his RM2,000 (about USD 670) car alarm system was defeated but the would-be car thief was instead defeated by a simple pedal lock.

      It is about *reducing* risk *NOT* eliminating risk of car theft. When it takes too much time or too much of a hassle to steal your ride, a thief would re-consider his options. Of course, as some people like to point out, if the thief wants to steal your Bentley, they will steal it regardless of what type of security system you have. You may even hire a 24/7/365 armed guard to sit inside your Bentley, but even that “security system” isn’t fool proof. One can, say, shoot dead the guard, defeat the alarms and lock, disable the GPS system, and drive off your ride. Understand what I am trying to say?

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