Does Wrapping Your Car Key Fob in Foil Really Help Deter Thieves?

Prevent car theft by wrapping your car key fob in foil. Yes, that's right — a piece of tinfoil can stop your car from getting stolen.

Key fobs might be convenient, but there’s a security risk associated with them. Thieves can use devices that will amplify fob signals to cars or copy the code to get into a vehicle. If you have a key fob, you might want to take measures to protect yourself from car theft.

How Car Theft Happens

Key fobs interact with your car using Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a system that allows your fob to transmit a code to your car telling it to lock or unlock remotely.

Car thieves can intercept and copy the code your key fob sends out. Once they have it, they can break into your car. For cars with remote start capabilities, this means they can also start your car without hot-wiring it.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Theft can happen while you’re at home as well as when you’re out, so it’s important to take adequate precautions.

When you’re at home, toss your keys in an old coffee can. When you’re out and about, there are pouches you can buy to protect your key fob. If you’re looking for a thrifty option, however, foil also works.

Does Foil Deter Thieves?

So why wrap your car key fob in foil? Your car waits for a signal from the fob and thieves can grab fob signals. Wrapping the fob in tinfoil decreases the strength of the signal and the range of the fob. This means you’ll need to be closer to your car to start it. But it also means potential thieves can’t steal the signal from an inconspicuous distance.

Ultimately, the decision to use foil or a pouch comes down to money and convenience.

If you want something specifically designed for your fob and don’t mind paying for it, a pouch is a good way to go. If you want to save money and don’t mind some odd looks when you pull a wad of foil out of your pocket, then foil is your best bet. Either way, taking precautions is always a good idea.