Differences in Vehicle Recovery Systems



We’ve all heard them—car alarms going off at all times of the day or night. Alarms are categorized as theft deterrents. They are supposed to prevent your vehicle from being stolen. Unfortunately, there are two major problems with alarms…

First, they go off too often, add to noise pollution and are summarily ignored. Second, they are easily defeated by professional thieves.

Vehicle recovery systems work in a totally different way. They are covert, and can’t prevent someone from stealing your car. However, they are best at getting your car (and possessions) back quickly. They also stand the best chance at catching the thieves too.

New car dealerships usually sell two popular vehicle recovery systems, LoJack and Mobile Guardian. They are normally offered by the finance manager who prints your purchase contract. Unfortunately, car buyers are usually too tired from the selection process to give these products the consideration they deserve.

Despite their common goal, these recovery systems are mechanically different, and offer different advantages.

The best known system, LoJack, utilizes radio-frequency technology. A small radio transceiver, hidden in your vehicle is activated by police when you report it stolen. Police vehicles equipped with tracking computers can locate and recover your vehicle. Lojack claims a 90% recovery rate for equipped vehicles.

LoJack offers an upgraded Early Warning system. It automatically notifies users (via telephone, text message or e-mail) when a theft is detected. This gives police a jump on the thieves and improves chances of recovery.

Mobile Guardian utilizes Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology. Like LoJack’s Early Warning, users are notified when a theft is detected. The stolen vehicle can then be located via the internet by the owner, who can remotely disable the vehicle and notify police.

Both systems are completely silent and difficult for thieves to detect and defeat. They are far more effective than alarms and users often qualify for discounts on their auto insurance.

Below is a summary of the systems’ advantages in key areas. Choose the best system for your application.



LoJack Early Warning


  • Radio Frequency signal is stronger, and less likely to fail
  • Transceiver has back-up battery to power unit even if vehicle battery is disconnected
  • Simple operation—just call police
  • Vehicle is located by police, using equipment installed in their cars or aircraft


Mobile Guardian


  • Coverage is the entire country, as opposed to LoJack, which offers coverage only in major metropolitan areas
  • Standard theft notification feature, without additional cost
  • System has weekly self-test for operation confirmation
  • Remote vehicle disable
  • Internet vehicle location, suitable for non-emergency tracking, such as commercial fleets and nervous parents


Systems are also available through companies such as Zoombak, VehicleRecover, Cattrax, DeWalt, Pegtech, etc. Find information online.







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