Can wrapping your key fob in foil stop car thieves? We put it to the test!

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Can wrapping your key fob in foil stop car thieves? We put it to the test!
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Should you start wrapping your key fob in aluminum foil to prevent thieves from taking off with your car?

A cybersecurity expert who recently retired from the FBI told the Detroit Free Press that tin foil is the most inexpensive way to keep criminals from gaining access to your car.

Here’s the deal: Thieves are able to use special devices to amplify the fob signal or copy the code to access vehicles.

RELATED: Your guide to DIY home security systems

Should you wrap your key fob in foil? 

Criminals can capture fob signals from outside homes, offices, hotel rooms and shopping malls, but the DIY aluminum foil cover makes that impossible by blocking the electromagnetic field.

Products called Faraday bags are sold on Amazon for about $10 and claim to block signals, but the foil hack is even cheaper.

Team Clark wanted to see if it really works, so we wrapped one piece of aluminum foil around a key fob and tried to unlock a car from about 10 feet away — it didn’t unlock.

Next, we moved closer to the vehicle — about a foot away — and the car unlocked with the foil around the key.

After that, we added additional layers of aluminum foil around the key fob. That blocked the signal from a close distance. The car wouldn’t unlock until we began unwrapping the fob.

The bottom line: Foil really does seem to block the unwanted signals if you wrap your key fob thoroughly!

But is this really necessary? If you park in a secured area, perhaps the answer is no. But for those times when you’re leaving your car in an open parking lot, one of these signal-blocking solutions may give you peace of mind.

The experts featured in the Detroit Free Press article said those who practice safe fob storage aren’t being paranoid.

If you don’t want to buy one of the Faraday bags for your key fob, you probably have aluminum foil in your kitchen already or can buy a roll at the dollar store.

Read more about this topic from the Detroit Free Press and comment below if you’ll start wrapping your fob!

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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