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View Full Version : To LoJack or not to LoJack?


M.Wong
04-30-2003, 11:13 PM
Anyone use LoJack in their car? It’s new to Seattle, with Law Enforcement just getting equipped with the detectors over the past couple months. Plenty of cars get stolen in the area, but rarely do BMWs get taken. (Mostly late 80s-early 90s Camrys, Accords, Voyagers, etc…) Almost any car stolen up here with a chipped-key gets stolen with the key. (Key taken from a purse, jacket, office desk, residential burglary, valet parking, or some sort of shop.) So my E30 may be the car that really needs the LoJack.

Retail price is about $700 per car, no monthly fee, and a recommended check up every two or three years at $70ish per car. They offer a multi-car discount too, I think.

Any thoughts?

JPinTO
05-01-2003, 04:28 AM
With that type of hardware--- Yep!

DougDogs
05-01-2003, 05:38 AM
I had Lo-jack in one of my cars about 12 years ago. Then it was only 425 (installation included) 700 sounds kind of high.

I never "used" it.

They damaged an interior panel during installation.

They damaged one of my door switches (They use the door switch circuit to "detect" entry into your vehicle.)

It was installed into a 1992 ford explorer. The rear hatch was included into the intrusion circuit, but the rear hatch glass window was not ( they said "we didn't think of that")

Maintenance must be done every two years (to replace worn batteries) maybe they last longer now??

They also charged me another 325 dollars to remove it. I was trading in the vehicle, and the dealer I was trading into was "deducting" 800 dollars from the value of my explorer, so I had to have it removed. Plus, getting Lo-jack to do the removal, was about as easy to do as getting an insurance salesman to stop talking. They really kept pressuring me not to remove it.

I'm sure plenty of people have wonderful things to say about Lo-jack.


All I can say is I won't install one again. :tsk:

mbushnell
05-01-2003, 05:46 AM
I had LoJack installed last November, before I picked up my 325xiT. It's been available in the NYC area for quite a few years. It was offered to me when I picked up my 1993 Ford Explorer way back in November, 1992, but I turned it down back then.

I saw an episode of Cops a year or so ago that took place in Jersey City, NJ (I think), where the officer that the cameraman was riding with picked up a LoJack signal, and it turned out to be one of those construction air compressor/trailers that they use to power Jack Hammers with.

It was found locked up in a garage, and turned out to be stolen from New York City.

DougDogs
05-01-2003, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by mbushnell
I had LoJack installed last November, before I picked up my 325xiT. It's been available in the NYC area for quite a few years. It was offered to me when I picked up my 1993 Ford Explorer way back in November, 1992, but I turned it down back then.

I saw an episode of Cops a year or so ago that took place in Jersey City, NJ (I think), where the officer that the cameraman was riding with picked up a LoJack signal, and it turned out to be one of those construction air compressor/trailers that they use to power Jack Hammers with.

It was found locked up in a garage, and turned out to be stolen from New York City.

I remember seeing that episode.:thumbup:

and My post above really only relates to problems I had with the install/removal and the attitude of the Lo-jack people in Paramus. Similar to mbushnell, my explorer spent 20-35 weeks out of the year parked at Newark airport, and I did have peace of mind.

alee
05-01-2003, 07:00 AM
I guess the real question is still: if your car was stolen and violated, would you want it back?

I have no doubt Lojack works, but if some thief managed to steal one of my keys, and go joyriding in my car, laughing all the way to the chop shop in Newark, I would rather the car just never be found. I don't like my stuff violated... same reason I would have problems buying a CPO M3 off the lot with suspiciously low miles on it. For me at least, you'll always wonder how many of the first 100 miles in that car was spent visiting the redline.

·clyde·
05-01-2003, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by DougDogs
I had Lo-jack in one of my cars about 12 years ago. Then it was only 425 (installation included) 700 sounds kind of high.

When I bought my 325xiT in Dec '01, the F&I guy at the dealer tried to sell me a LoJack system. I think the initial offer was ~$600. I said no, and he dropped it...until a few minutes later after he left the room and returned. He asked once more if I would be interested in it at their cost which he said was ~$400 installed. I still said no. I think I wrote more details (that may have pricing info that hasn't been clouded by time) about that some time ago, probably under the user name clyde325xiT if you want to search.

·clyde·
05-01-2003, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by alee
I guess the real question is still: if your car was stolen and violated, would you want it back?

I have no doubt Lojack works, but if some thief managed to steal one of my keys, and go joyriding in my car, laughing all the way to the chop shop in Newark, I would rather the car just never be found. I don't like my stuff violated... same reason I would have problems buying a CPO M3 off the lot with suspiciously low miles on it. For me at least, you'll always wonder how many of the first 100 miles in that car was spent visiting the redline.

The last 5.0 Mustang I had was stolen when I was in Boston for a weekend. The car had been recovered before I knew that it was gone. Whoever stole it, had popped the passenger side door lock and ignition. They took all four wheels and ~$20 in change that was in the ashtray. According to the police report, the car was found sitting on the pavement (no blocks). When I first saw the car in the salvage yard, it was sitting gravel...no donuts, no blocks, no nothing. Numerous steering and front suspension pieces needed to be replaced and to make matters worse, I picked a bad shop (because I didn't know where to go in Boston). The car wasn't "right" after that and it was set free from the stable not long after.

I opted to not go with LoJack on the wagon for a couple reasons. First, I don't believe that it is likely to be stolen because it's a relatively rare car which makes it unattractive for chop shops. Second, with the chipped key, as long as I'm not an idiot with the keys, the chances of it being stolen are reduced even further. Third, if it is stolen, I probably don't want it back, and don't want to do anything that would make recovery easier. Fourth, I'm cheap and didn't want to spend the money. Compared to the risk, it doesn't seem like a good value for me with this car.

M.Wong
05-01-2003, 08:36 AM
Interesting... I don't live in the heart of the city and I don't park at the airport or anywhere risky much. The E30 is the airport car anyway, and if it gets stolen I am pretty sure I don't want it back for the same reasons others have mentioned... It's really the E38 and E39 I am worried about, and they have the chipped keys. Around here, most stolens are taken for joyrides and not parted out or exported.

$700 seemed high and I am sure there are better deals, but that was the price their customer service e-mailed me. I'd be hesitant to pay that much times three cars.

I also never thought about having it removed. That was an interesting experience!

Thanks for the input and ideas!

Tanning machine
05-02-2003, 07:11 AM
My sister and mom both had lLo-Jack installed. Putting aside the comments here about whether you would want your stolen car back, lojack does have a pretty good recovery rate.

That said, both of them have a really annoying feature on their cars -- an ignition interlock that's also installed. One of them requires a flash of hte high beams to start. Another requires the rear defogger to be turned on. Or something. I can never remember which. Certainly the valets can never remember which when they get their car parked. It's a real PITA, and it can't be deactivated. If you decide to get lojack, make sure that they don't install the interlock part, or, if they insist, have them install a separate kill switch that can be deactivated.

·clyde·
05-02-2003, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Tanning machine
That said, both of them have a really annoying feature on their cars -- an ignition interlock that's also installed. One of them requires a flash of hte high beams to start. Another requires the rear defogger to be turned on. Or something. I can never remember which. Certainly the valets can never remember which when they get their car parked. It's a real PITA, and it can't be deactivated. If you decide to get lojack, make sure that they don't install the interlock part, or, if they insist, have them install a separate kill switch that can be deactivated.

My '92 Civic Si had seomthing like that, but no LoJack. The parking lights had to be on to start the car. When I bought the car, the dealership said that they put it on all their cars as soon as they got them. The dealer was the highest volume Honda dealer in San Diego. When they said that they were going to charge me for it, I asked why I should have any expectation that the car theives in San Diego wouldn't know about this anti-theft measure if the highest volume Honda dealer was putting them on every car and why I should give them a dime for it? I told them that I wasn't going to pay for it, so they could remove it, let me walk or not charge me for it. They didn't charge me.

FalconGuy
05-02-2003, 12:13 PM
A cop buddy told me here in North Jersey one town has had tons of LoJac hits and was never finding the cars, they asked lojak for help and when an engineer responded they showed him where they usualy get the hits but the cars couldnt be found. Turns out the source of the hits was Cargo containers leaving Port Newark, apprently with stolen cars inside, the cars would set off the Lojac system as they sailed away, I hope with increased posrt security this isnt happening anymore, this was about a year ago.

in_d_haus
05-04-2003, 09:17 AM
The news just a week or so ago showed a product "Data Dots".
They are little encrypted dots that are sprayed various places on the vehicle. They are detected under blacklight. The news said they are on all BMWs in Australia. Don't think they would help find a car just prove it's yours once it's found

adrian's bmw
05-06-2003, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by M.Wong
Anyone use LoJack in their car? It’s new to Seattle, with Law Enforcement just getting equipped with the detectors over the past couple months. Plenty of cars get stolen in the area, but rarely do BMWs get taken. (Mostly late 80s-early 90s Camrys, Accords, Voyagers, etc…) Almost any car stolen up here with a chipped-key gets stolen with the key. (Key taken from a purse, jacket, office desk, residential burglary, valet parking, or some sort of shop.) So my E30 may be the car that really needs the LoJack.

Retail price is about $700 per car, no monthly fee, and a recommended check up every two or three years at $70ish per car. They offer a multi-car discount too, I think.

Any thoughts?

Yeah, I recommend it.. Coincidentally, I had a 2003 540iA owner who's car was LOADED and it got stolen in broad daylight in a parking garage. Sadly for him, he left the car sittin there a while and I guess someone was keeping their drooling eyes on it. He got Lo-Jack on his next car.. It's not worth the hassle of being w/o your car and driving a rental and trying to get a "like" car.

beewang
05-06-2003, 05:31 PM
Mark, I am a big fan of the Lojack Concept but...

1) I've heard way too many stories of holes drilled at the wrongplace by these so called "LoJack" technician. Which I don't think its worth the risk for my "keeper car".

2) I agree w/ alee to the extend that if the car is stolen... I will NOT want it back and thus this is the reason #2 for NOT getting lojack.

3) Thru my dealer source I've been given the opportunity to get the lojack at the true dealer's cost (which is $375). If you must have the Lojack, and I understand the excellent relationship you have w/ your dealer.... you should get it close to that figure.:angel:

Just my 2 cents,

beewang:bigpimp:

M.Wong
05-06-2003, 06:16 PM
I don't park my car in high risk areas and they are garaged at home. Since it's new to Seattle, I figured I'd see what others thought....

dweeb
05-09-2003, 06:13 PM
I've got LoJack in my e46 and my wife's e38. Here in Los Angeles nobody pays attention to a car alarm, and the chipkep doesn't do you any good if they flatbed or tow your car. The bottom line is that LoJack works. I think I paid 600-700 for each and consider it the best insurance I've bought. Do I want my car back if it's stolen? Hell yes; what do you think the insurance company would give me for it?

740iL Sport
06-08-2003, 08:23 AM
I put one in Baby.

NOVAblue740iL
06-08-2003, 07:16 PM
most people who jack cars take it to a emptry garage let it sit for 2~3 days to see if lojack is installed on it. if it doesn't get recovered then they start stripping it. Also lojack won't work if they take it underground. (no signal) or atleast thats what I heard

Pilot_Guest
11-23-2005, 08:08 AM
i decided against the lojack since i have full coverage on all my cars but im sure it works for some people out there.

Pilot_Guest
11-23-2005, 08:15 AM
most people who jack cars take it to a emptry garage let it sit for 2~3 days to see if lojack is installed on it. if it doesn't get recovered then they start stripping it. Also lojack won't work if they take it underground. (no signal) or atleast thats what I heard

ah, i never thought of that, the dealer tried to sell me lojack and put up a lot of convincing arguments in favor of it, but in the end i still said no to lojack, the undercoating, the leather treatment, the softop treatment, the rustproofing, the tire protection plan (that did not cover curbing!!), and a variety of other things they tried to sell me. just say no to all that junk, you probably wont need any of it. most of those things have so many exclusions in the fine print that you can never take advantage of them anyway.

liuk3
11-23-2005, 08:34 AM
I had it on my last car, and I totally regretted it. I had some malfunction problems with one of the key fobs, and they made me pay for another one myself. The biggest reason as stated before is if it is stolen, I probably wouldn't want it back. That's what insurance is for. IMO, it was a lot of wasted money.

madams
11-23-2005, 05:16 PM
For those of us in sleepy parts of the world where we still leave our front doors unlocked, what is a LoJack?! :confused:

credit777
11-24-2005, 10:07 AM
For those of us in sleepy parts of the world where we still leave our front doors unlocked, what is a LoJack?! :confused:

LoJack is a device installed to send a signal to a monitoring service in the event your car is either started without the key - or moved. If this happens, you are notified immediately (and so are the police) - and a GPS signal gives the real time location of the car. The idea is that you can recover your car quickly if its stolen.

I bought it - and think its a waste. I agree with Alee - if the car was stolen, I really wouldn't want it back. Even if it was fine - it would simply feel strange driving it, so much so that I would probably sell it. Further, insurance will reimburse you for the car. And Beewang is right - these units are installed by special companies - and even the BMW service people don't know where it is. (This is the reason you have to call LoJack if you are going to have service done - so they will ignore the alarm when the service guys set it off.)

And - I once had a false alarm in the middle of the night. The phone rang (at about 2AM) and the operator said "We've received a signal that your car is being moved." Knowing that I put my car in the garage for the night I was a bit anxious as I opened the garage door - only to see my car sleeping peacefully. I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest, though.

And lastly, BMW's are just plain hard to steal. We even have "tilt" detectors that would make it a bit obvious that someone was towing the car without permission.

Speed00
11-24-2005, 10:51 AM
I bought my car a year ago in Seattle and it was offered then. :dunno:

madams
11-24-2005, 11:58 AM
Oh - I see. Yes, we have those in the UK - called Tracker. No need in New Zealand really!

I had it in my Range Rover but never used it and had no falsing.

I would imagine that - unless you put it on a lorry and physically remove it - a modern BMW is almost unstealable without the key. Even a correct key that has not been "mated" electronically with an individual car will not actually work. :thumbup:

Mind you, the crackhead trying to pinch it will probably vandalise the hell out of it in frustration anyway! :mad:

M.Wong
11-24-2005, 12:06 PM
www.LoJack.com (http://www.lojack.com/what/index.cfm).
http://www.lojack.com/images/home/logo_stacked.gif

I think the standard Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is good for most owners. I don't think it would have false trips or equipment malfunctions like some of those described.

It's the Early Warning Recovery System that can be troublesome to some, where you get those 'false alarm' calls. Those are good if you have kids who might sneak out with your car, you park in airport lots and would be out of town, or maybe have a business car where your keys may not be in tight control like your personal car.

But yeah, would I want the car back? Maybe if it were recovered within a short period of time from when it was stolen. I think it would be better for my Dakota, which is probably easier to take than the BMWs...

SARAFIL
11-24-2005, 07:31 PM
at the true dealer's cost (which is $375).

Not every dealer pays the same "cost" for Lojack... ;)

jacksprat
11-28-2005, 06:07 PM
you will be fine without it. go buy a gun instead. :thumbup:

Pilot_Guest
11-29-2005, 06:47 AM
I bought my car a year ago in Seattle and it was offered then. :dunno:

get lo-jack or don't get lo-jack?? hmmm let me think about that for a second....
NAWWWWW.

Pilot_Guest
11-29-2005, 06:49 AM
you will be fine without it. go buy a gun instead. :thumbup:

Jacksprat's got that right and for you two in Seattle you might want a gun to fend off those pesky rioters anyway.

Pilot_Guest
11-29-2005, 06:57 AM
Not every dealer pays the same "cost" for Lojack... ;)

the Porsche dealer started out wanting $700 for Lo-jack and after saying 'no' a few times they were down to under $500 and then asking me to 'name my price', my price was still 'no' and after what i have read here I wouldn't take Lo- jack for free!!

RazorX
05-20-2010, 03:17 PM
With the advent of legislation like the Patriot Act where Law Enforcement can get into your electronic business without your consent, you may want to keep that in mind. LoJack is a direct line to police and the NCIC computer. It is unlike GPS in that way. If you report your car stolen police activate the FM radio transceiver and track a very strong signal from patrol cars. What is the potential for abuse? The usual. Some loser will find a way and we pay the price for allowing devices we own and maintain to be compromised without so much as a protest. They have found a way to build a better prison at our expense where everyone can be tracked, monitored and disrespected at will. Call me crazy. I don't care, be aware. :eeps: