We have all tried those magnetic attachments for the hide-a-key in your car. Under the bumper, wheel hub, somewhere. And they work ok, but they can be pretty damn obvious, and they can be knocked off. This is a much better method taught to me by a great mechanic but it does involve more than going to the hardware store, so if you don’t like work, then forget this...

Step 1:
Acquire a set of duplicate keys. Most cars these days have only one key, but mine, a ’92 has two. You’re going to dump the ignition key somewhere inside your car, it’s the door and trunk key that we are going to play with.

Step 2:
Wherever you pick up your keys, buy a tester can of paint that matches the color of your car. A perfect match is ideal but not required. The closer the color, the better off you are. And you may want to pick a different color, too depending on where the key goes. But we’ll get to that.

Step 3:
Take your key, secure the keyed end in a vice. Take a metal saw and hack off the upper portion of the key straight across where the hole is for the key ring. Leave about a stump of about 1/3 the side of the key head. File it down to remove any burrs.

Step 4:
Get a plastic bag, insert your hand in it, hold the entire length of the key right up to the stump, essentially wrapping your fingers around the keyed portion. Grab your tester spray paint and coat the top of the key. Let dry. Spray again. Let dry. Spray again. Both sides and most importantly the surface left from the cut.

Step 5:
Go to your car. Look on the hood where it meets the windshield of the car under the wipers. There should be an opening there to let out engine heat. It should also have a mesh grill there made of plastic or metal. Essentially you are going to slip the key down there in the mesh. Usually the grill is lowered and a small portion of the key might stick out, but it’s otherwise completely unnoticeable. You want to take either metal clippers or a razor if it’s plastic and cut a small opening in the grill just enough for the key to slip through. The stump of the key should not fit through the hole and should keep it hanging there snug and not let gravity do its work.

And that is pretty much that. If you have a separate ignition key, put it somewhere safe. A trunk is the best place. Never in the ashtray, glove compartment or visor. Too obvious and too easily accessible for anyone.

This method has survived car accidents, car washes and I’ve never seen it found yet. And of course, the fewer people that know about this, the better it works. So don’t tell your entire circle of friends and family about this. Otherwise it will just let them know exactly how to get into your car. Yeah... noding this was not entirely the best of ideas, but we’re a pretty widespread community, but a few thousands people knowing can’t hurt!

Oh, and if I see any of you noders poking around my car, there will be hell to pay.

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