Triple-A is offering Iowans a bonus this week — free VIN etching.
The motor club’s Phil Wedgwood says the vehicle identification number will be copied from your car’s dashboard and permanently reproduced on every window. They’ll put an acid chemical on a strip of tape and chemically etch the VIN on the windshield, rear window and side windows.
Wedgewood says the etching process should only take a few minutes but it could prevent your car from getting ripped off. According to Wedgwood, experienced thieves will look over the vehicle before they steal it, especially the windows, and they might bypass yours if they spot the etchings because that will mean they can’t reuse those windows or they’d be expensive to replace.
A car is stolen in the U.S. about every 26 seconds. Even though Iowa has one of the country’s lowest vehicle theft rates, Wedgwood says VIN-etching the windows is an excellent theft prevention tool.Iff thieves are selling a vehicle for parts, there’s no way to remove the VIN etchings from the windows without some visible trace left behind.
The etchings are free for anyone, not just AAA Motor Club members. On Tuesday, the service was offered at the AAA office in Ames. Today, it’s in West Des Moines. Thursday, the service will be offered in Marshalltown; Waterloo on Friday; June 19th in Sioux City; June 20th in Council Bluffs and August 8th in Dubuque.