Could Your Vehicle Be at Risk For Car Hacking?

Jan 7, 2022

Car hacking is becoming a bigger problem here in the U.S. With technology involved in almost every aspect of our life, now we must protect our vehicles from hacking threats due to their digital connection. You are probably cognizant of the risks that your smartphone, computer or bank accounts come with, but did you know that vehicles are now being a target of hackers? 

Let’s take a look at what car hacking is and what you can do about it. After all, protecting our customers and maintaining safe vehicles is what our Tempe auto repair shop is all about.

What is car hacking?

As we see more and more vehicles with computer chips, smart technology and automation, vehicles are more digitally connected to the world around them than ever before. Some popular high-tech features like keyless entry, in-vehicle Wi-Fi and premium entertainment packages may seem intriguing. But, they also make your vehicle more susceptible to car hacking.

Hackers are getting into vehicles’ internal networks, gaining control through physical access to a CPU, and installing transmitters. This is one of the most important reasons why you should always choose a trustworthy mechanic to service your vehicle. Auto repair hops with ASE certified technicians are held to higher standards and their personnel are more likely to be vetted than shops without certified mechanics.

How do hackers hack?

Vehicles are often being hacked through their Wi-Fi systems as they are not currently as secure as a home wireless network. It can also happen with smartphone hookups (like Bluetooth).  Hackers can gain access to information on your phone, which can lead to access to banking information or home security information.

Is car hacking really that serious?

It sure is! This type of attack is increasing annually, too. Some hackers are gaining access to control of transmissions, brakes and steering. By accessing the vehicle’s internal network, hackers can do things such as disable the brakes at low speeds. And, there have been instances where they have even turned the steering wheel. It’s dangerous and drivers are vulnerable – protect yourself now before more attacks happen.

If your vehicle is hacked, one of the best things you can do is replace the hacked component. This can be costly and difficult to repair so ultimately, preventing it from occurring will save you most. Prices vary:

  • New CPU: $100-$1,000 depending on make and model 
  • New infotainment system: $500-$1,600 depending on features 
  • New key fob: $150-$600

How can you protect your vehicle from hackers?

It’s a new concept, but safeguarding your vehicle from breakdowns has always been essential. This is just branching out a little more. Just as you have always relied on preventative maintenance to protect your vehicle from major issues, maintaining and monitoring your vehicle’s systems, choosing trusted repair shops, knowing where your keys or fobs are, and being careful with in-vehicle Wi-Fi are vital.

In fact, some experts say you should just avoid using the web browser built into your vehicle’s infotainment system. If possible, they recommend that you turn off the Wi-Fi capability of the car as well, only using it if truly needed.

Get help from your favorite Tempe auto repair shop

One line of defense against hackers is routine vehicle maintenance. This will ensure that all your systems are working correctly and that they are as secure as possible. At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, keeping your vehicle safe on the roads and safe from hackers is our ultimate priority. Simply give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

Are you ready to schedule your vehicle for service at We Fix It?

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