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Green With Envy Moderator
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Well today I received my VINshield VIN etching kit and decided to put my Ridgeline windows to the test. I got suckered into having the dealer do this on my Ody. After reading about this product I decided to give it a try. I must say it is astonishingly easy and much much much less expensive than what the dealership would charge. I paid $24.95 total including shipping and handling.

So now begins the pictures. I blurred out most of my VIN number because of internet paranoia but left enough untouched so you all could see the quality of the etching.

First, the test etch. With the kit comes 2 glass microscope slides for you to practice on before going for it on your truck windows. Here are the results of that test.
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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Now for the essential equipment.

The kit contains everything that you will need. Some extra gloves are always handy (it comes with only 1 pair). You will also need paper towels (for wiping the freshly etched surface after removing the template) and a glass of water. You initially wipe the freshly etched surface with a damp paper towel. Don't panic, the etching 'disappears' once you wipe it with the damp paper towel. Then go over it with a dry paper towel and 'voila it reappears. Also, the paper towels are handy for wiping down the surface prior to etching to make sure that it is clean and dry.
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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First, you put on the blue template sticker on the window where you want to etch. Then you dip the cotton swab into the etching solution and rub it onto the blue template sticker. The idea is to get the etching cream into each letter/number as completely as possible. You then let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing the blue template. Then wipe down as described above.

The first picture is the blue template sticker and the second picture is the finished result. Not too bad and pretty darn easy.

I did every window (including the 3 back windows) except the moonroof.
 

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hey...those rubber gloves look just like the gloves they use in hospitals :)



looks good- somehow my RL came etched with no mention of it on the invoice
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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They are very similar but I got those at Wal Mart! :D
 

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Um, why did you blur part of the VIN?

The part you blured is the section that identifies the auto as a 2006 Honda Ridgeline, made in Canada.

The part you didn't blur is what # off the assembly line your Honda is.

There is nothing secret about VIN numbers. They are easily read when you walk down a parking lot or street, and are posted in almost all used car ads.

I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just that blurred license plate numbers and vin numbers doesn't make sense. Blurring credit card numbers on the other hand is a different story....

-W
 

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Each to their own, Whaleya. zero cares, and it is a big deal to me. If you've ever been a victim of identity theft, you'd understand. It's your privacy.
 

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I agree, call me paraniod, but.... :(
Anyway, what's the vin etching for?
I've heard about it, just thought it was a dealer scam.
 

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It prevents chop shops from selling your glass, which hopefully steers them away from your vehicle.
 

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In some cases, your insurance company may give you a discount for this etching. Mine wouldn't because they had already applied the maximum anti-theft discount to this vehicle.
 

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It also prevents your vehicle from being "re-vin'd" and sold if it gets stolen. To re-vin, they'd have to get new glass, potentially costing thousands of dollars, which they do not want to spend...NEXT TARGET!
 

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Well, you know what I say: just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!
 

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This sounds good-but did you know that anyone can order a set of your keys from your vin number. My wife is a claims adjuster and we cover our vin numbers. Once a person has your vin they can find your name, address file a change of address with the post office and call the Honda dealership for a new set of keys. My wife has received claims for this in the past.
 

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About 4-5 years ago. I locked my keys in my del Sol at a Best buy. So I walked across the street to a honda dealership with my VIN written down on paper. They cut me a key and didnt even ask for ID.
 

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The writing down the VIN and getting a set of keys made won't work for the Ridgeline. At least not to steal it.

If someone manages to find an unscrupulous dealer that will actually set of keys without proper identification, that will only get them into the truck. At that point they'll never get it started because of the Immobilizer system. In order to get the truck to start it would have to be programmed to accept a new key, which is no simple feat. Only the HDS (Honda's diagnostic computer) can be used to do it, and they are only sold to dealerships.

Theroretically possible, maybe. Practical? Certainly not. It's far easier to load the Ridgeline up on a flat bed and drive away with it than trying to get a set of working keys made.
 

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I know this thread is really old...but came across it while looking (hoping) the 2010 had come out with a real locking tailgate that I could order parts for to upgrade my 2006. Figured I would shed some light so people don't have false sense of security due to immobilizer.

Only the HDS (Honda's diagnostic computer) can be used to do it, and they are only sold to dealerships.
Not quite true. Funny story...

A good friend of mine was down to one key to her nissan maxima (lost the others). I always pester friends to make sure they have backup copies so they can get new keys cut without taking apart the lock or having to have the manufacturer lookup by vin. She hadn't gotten around to it.

On top of this, the rubber at the top of the key had broken off so she couldn't put it on her keychain (more likely to lose it).

Her thoughtful boyfriend (aspiring engineer) drilled a couple holes and fashioned a loop on the key so it could be put on a keychain. He did this as a suprise one day while she was at work. Quite clever and well done actually...except for the fact he drilled through the immobilizer chip in the head of the key.

So now my friend gets off work and discovers she can't start her car. She isn't exactly flush with cash and the prospect of a tow to a dealer or having a mobile locksmith come down with the right equipment doesn't exactly appeal to her.

I ordered a few immobilizer key blanks online.
Took her key and the blanks into my local locksmith.
Had them cut a code key off her original since it was so worn and then cut the new immobilizer blanks off the code key.
I ordered a special programmer from china, took the freshly cut blanks to the car and programmed the computer to accept them all.

$30 for the blanks, $200 for the programmer...

the programmer works on many many different manufacturer's cars and has dongles for each and programming manuals for each. The nissan took a couple minutes to program 3 keys and it was my first time. It also has no trouble programming my ridgeline to accept new keys.

I only got one key with my RL (bought it used) and already went through the dealer excercise (bought keyblanks on ebay, paid dealer $60 flat fee to cut and program them all).

Easier to just have my local locksmith (real locksmith...not the dude in the van who only knows how to work on schlage and kwikset doorknobs) cut the blanks I order for cheap online and program myself.

Long story short...if I can do this...any professional car thieves will certainly have access to the same or better tools.

Immobilizer is good deterrent, slows things down...but if someone has a key that mechanically opens your door...you are really not very safe.

On a related note, there are lots of read/write immobilizer chips out there now too so that lazy locksmiths can "clone" your existing/working immobilizer key id onto a second key and not have to deal with programming your ECU to accept the second key. These cloning/reading devices are small and someone could actually read the id off your key in your pocket by brushing up against you. Scary stuff...kinda like the pay-pass chips in credit cards.
 
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