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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
firehawk
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Hiding Spots for a GPS tracking unit?

Hey guys, the apartment I moved into has quite a few cars being stolen from the parking garage... I bought myself a GPS tracking unit just as an insurance policy. Any ideas of good places to hide it? A spot that is well hidden, yet semi-easy to access. I'll have to pull it out to recharge every week or two so I don't want to disassemble a bunch of stuff, but still be hidden to a would-be thief.

Also, how difficult are our cars to steal?
Any ideas of other subtle things I can do to help make sure a thief skips over my car?
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:39 PM   #2
jmo69
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Our cars are very hard to steal, read threads of members locked out. Under the hood you could put it in the cabin filter compartment, inside the car the panel with the sunroof switch there's a spot for a Homelink. You might be able to put it in there if it's not too large.

Quote:
Any ideas of other subtle things I can do to help make sure a thief skips over my car?
Don't leave anything in sight worth stealing.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:51 PM   #3
All2kool
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Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
Also, how difficult are our cars to steal?
In order to drive the car away, a thief needs to have a coded key or a way to defeat that security measure - and I've yet to see how that can be accomplished.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:54 PM   #4
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In order to drive the car away, a thief needs to have a coded key or a way to defeat that security measure - and I've yet to see how that can be accomplished.
No BMW on either list.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/t...=.a64960902b62

http://www.bankrate.com/auto/check-o...most/#slide=11

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...cles/88031468/

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Old 07-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #5
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Unless they tow your car away, no one can steal it. But, if they have a proper key...
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:08 PM   #6
firehawk
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Nice, thanks for the info guys! Knowing my car is hard to steal makes me love it even more! Definitely relieves some anxiety about it. While the GPS unit probably isn't necessary, it's just an extra security measure that makes me feel better
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:15 PM   #7
All2kool
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Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
Nice, thanks for the info guys! Knowing my car is hard to steal makes me love it even more! Definitely relieves some anxiety about it. While the GPS unit probably isn't necessary, it's just an extra security measure that makes me feel better
If you want an extra sense of security, place a business card (overturned) over the VIN in the windshield. Although you can purchase a new key from a variety of sources, you need the VIN to do so and proof of ownership. If a thief is hell bent on having your car, they could forge documents indicating they own the car and purchase a new key. Not likely, but it could happen.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
firehawk
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Originally Posted by All2kool View Post
If you want an extra sense of security, place a business card (overturned) over the VIN in the windshield. Although you can purchase a new key from a variety of sources, you need the VIN to do so and proof of ownership. If a thief is hell bent on having your car, they could forge documents indicating they own the car and purchase a new key. Not likely, but it could happen.
Nice! That's the subtle kind of stuff I like. Obscuring the VIN is a signal to the thief that this owner will probably know the car will be gone quicker than the average person and is therefore more risky to steal. Also costs virtually nothing. Great suggestion

Last edited by firehawk; 07-16-2017 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:33 PM   #9
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The VIN is usually behind the rear license plate on a sticker attached to the trunk. So covering up the VIN on the dash is helpful but not so much for someone that knows these cars.

The best way to keep a car from being stolen these days is to just own a manual transmission!

I would see if you could easily slip the tracking unit under the bumper cover from the top side if you were really interested in hiding it. You could probably even wire up a full time power source or at least one that is switched from the ignition.

You would also add a fuel pump power cut off switch if you were really interested, could easily plug it into the fuel pump fuse in the glove box and have a switch hidden in the glove box or console.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:07 PM   #10
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Who needs the VIN? Just flash an EWS delete tune over the OBD2 port. If memory serves it's actually not that hard to bump the locks either.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
The best way to keep a car from being stolen these days is to just own a manual transmission!
OK, that is damn funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
You could probably even wire up a full time power source or at least one that is switched from the ignition.
Finance companies do this all the time - they want to know where the car is for repossession at all times. Of course, they don't tell the borrower. I've seen posts on the Lincoln forum with pictures of 'what the hell is this tucked behind my radio?'

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You would also add a fuel pump power cut off switch if you were really interested, could easily plug it into the fuel pump fuse in the glove box and have a switch hidden in the glove box or console.
Another great idea.

When I lived in Syracuse, I used to pull the Coil Wire off my 280Z to prevent theft. Yes, I know these cars don't have coils in the sense that my Datsun did.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by All2kool View Post
Datsun
That's a name the youngsters will not understand!
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 07-16-2017, 06:31 PM   #13
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People don't steal cars like BMWs that exist in lesser numbers. They steal cars that are popular because they are easy to strip and get rid of the parts fast.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:30 PM   #14
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Bottom line is if someone wants your car, no matter what it is, they are taking it and you will never see it again. The best way to deal with it is to make sure your car is insured, locked, and then sleep peacefully at night. If your car goes, it will suck, but you deal with it and go on. If you can find the bastards that did it, well, I bet you can come up with something to do.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:49 PM   #15
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E46s have the magical combination of being both very hard to steal and not worth anything. Combine that with a manual transmission, and it's not something I lose sleep over.

To address the original question, rear ashtray (if coupes have those), under the rear seat, spare tire well. Not sure how big these things are.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by arcan1440 View Post
E46s have the magical combination of being both very hard to steal and not worth anything. Combine that with a manual transmission, and it's not something I lose sleep over.

To address the original question, rear ashtray (if coupes have those), under the rear seat, spare tire well. Not sure how big these things are.
Coupes do - another good place is, for cars without the Nav system, behind the sunglasses / storage tray on the dash, underneath the radio/HVAC controls. Easy place to get power from (the cigarette lighter is always powered), and easily accessible, since the tray is just secured with two screws and pops out easily.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:44 PM   #17
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That's a name the youngsters will not understand!
My daughter is 33 and when she was looking at a Nissan, I referred to it as a Datsun and I got a wtf? But she can drive a manual.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:32 AM   #18
blarf
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Originally Posted by arcan1440 View Post
E46s have the magical combination of being both very hard to steal and not worth anything.
Not that hard to steal.

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Old 07-17-2017, 09:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by arcan1440 View Post
E46s have the magical combination of being both very hard to steal and not worth anything.
112%

There are approximately 0 people in the world who would go to the trouble of forging documents to get a key to steal an E46, unless you are keeping sacks of gold or opiates (or gold-plated opiates) in the trunk. If that's the case, then certainly take all of these precautions.

As for the GPS tracker, put it wherever the heck you want. Nic Cage's high-tech crew from Gone in Sixty Seconds are not stealing $5000 cars from apartment complexes - nobody will know enough about the car to get that the nondescript GPS tracker box isn't just a part of the car. If it can function through the hood, throw it in the "drug bin" for easy access and call it a day. Heck, you could probably put it inside the armrest storage and they'd never find it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:42 AM   #20
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How many car thieves do you think woke up this morning hoping to steal a 15 year-old BMW worth about $5 grand?


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