Today’s cars can easily be stolen without the key. By simply programming a new key while sitting right in your car, a thief can be off in a matter of minutes. In today’s post, I’ll show you the best OBD lock I’ve found that can be used to prevent this.
Cars have become computers on wheels and like your computer or smartphones, they can be hacked. One way this is done on cars is through the OBD II port. The OBD II port is a diagnostic port that is available in cars built since 1996 and up. Mechanics and even do-it-yourselfers use this port to program the car’s computer, read sensors, read trouble codes and more.
Even a Tesla can be hacked! Check the video link at the end of this post to see how that is done.
It is usually located under the dashboard on the driver side but sometimes on the passenger side as well.
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The unfortunate thing is that thieves can also use this port to steal the car. The OBD port can be used to disable the car’s factory alarm then program a new key to be used to steal the car. It’s pretty easy as they can gain access to the inside of the car by breaking a small section of the window and then plugging in a small device to the OBD port to reprogram the car’s computer.
To make it more difficult for anyone to steal your car this way, you want to consider using an OBD lock like the OBD-Saver. This lock is made of full, solid metal construction with a unique key lock mechanism.
It basically clamps around the OBD port making it very difficult for anyone to access the OBD port. It will take a lot of time to be able to break this off or drill it out.
The main body is full aluminum but the top plate is made of hardened steel to make it harder to drill out. It also has an anodized coating to weatherproof it.
This model is for Mercedes-Benz. You get the lock mechanism, 2 keys, an Allen wrench, 4 hex screws, a key code card and installation documents.
Check further below for where to buy these and also to see all the car models that are supported.
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Installation is very easy.
Installing the mount:
- Uninstall your factory OBD mount and socket.
- Then take the OBD-Saver metal mount and slide the OBD socket into it.
- Insert the metal mount into the original slot and screw it back in place with the original screws.
- Everything should be secured tight at this point.
Installing the lock:
- Insert the key into the lock assembly.
- The lock assembly then slides into the mount covering the OBD port from the sides and the top.
- Note that in my case, I like to face the key hole in the direction that’s hardest to access because it also makes it more difficult for someone to pick the lock.
- Next, the lock is secured in place by 3 hex screws.
- The screws are then protected from access by sliding the top plate over the holes and removing the key.
The OBD port is now locked up good.
Look below for more videos on car security
Buy OBDSaver here
Check for fitment here.
Also available for other makes and models:
Audi, BMW, Ford, Fiat, Land Rover, Man, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, Toyota, VW, Mercedes-Benz
This is the best OBD lock I have found and it’s not made with any plastic components.
Of course, there are other measures that can be taken to secure your OBD port like relocating it somewhere else but If that’s not for you then consider getting the OBD-Saver.
Security as a whole is not just about one product or one magical solution. It’s about securing your way up the weakest links and applying a layered approach. This OBD lock is only one piece of the puzzle in securing your car. In the end, it’s about how much time and money the thief has available because with enough of both, anything can be stolen.
More advanced thefts make use of electronics that can grab your key fob’s signal and code to be used to playback and unlock your doors easily. You can do a search online on YouTube or Google for RollJam, Code Grabber or Relay attacks to find out more on this.
Also, check the videos linked below to a video by CBC Marketplace where they demo this key cloning through the OBD2 port. We will also be doing a video on this topic including what you can do to prevent this so subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified!
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Don’t forget to keep the Allen wrench in your glovebox and the OBD-Saver key with your car keys so that if you need to access the OBD port you can do so easily. An example would be if you need to scan for fault codes and need to plug in a Bluetooth OBD adapter or if you need to bring your car in for service.
Check out our post on how to clear engine fault codes too!
Additional resources and Videos
Top 10 ways to secure your car – Actual tips
Relocate your OBD port instead of using an OBD lock
Looking for a good OBD2 scanner / OBD2 adapter? This might be for you.
CBC Marketplace talks about high-tech car theft and key cloning through the OBD2 port.
Car theft attempt where factory alarm is deactivated through OBD2 port.
How and why vehicles are stolen. Key cloning, relay attacks and more…
Researchers clone a Tesla key by walking past the driver with key in his pocket.