A garage door opener openly displayed inside your car can be an incentive to thieves. Documents from the glove compartment are likely to reveal your home address, and with the remote in hand a thief can help him- or herself to the contents of your garage, and (if it’s an attached garage) secure a concealed location from which to attack one of your house’s exterior doors. Together with other conspicuous valuables, a visible garage remote–say, clipped to the sun visor–can make the difference between a thief choosing to break into your car and choosing to move on to the next one.

Sure, you could just pop the remote in the glove compartment when you get out. But having it immediately accessible is convenient, and it’s easy to forget or get sloppy in your concealment habit.

This easy mod retains all of the convenience of the remote clipped to the visor while dispelling most of the risk. The remote button is concealed on the underside of a plastic beverage cup that rests in your cup-holder, with the electronics concealed inside the cup. To activate the opener, just push down on the top of the cup. From outside of the car (and from inside it, too), the remote looks like an empty soda cup you just haven’t thrown out yet.

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://sobachatina.myopenid.com/ Sobachatina

    Of course- the best part of doing this mod is getting to go to Rudy’s for the cup.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TimGray4 Timothy Gray

    Or do like I did,  but a homelink module used off of ebay and wire it into the car.   homelink is built into the visor, mirror or dash and only works when ignition is on.   I used the visor version as it was easy to cut and install into my older car’s visor.  

    A bit more work but it’s nice to never worry about batteries and it’s completely invisible if you put it on the right side of the visor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TimGray4 Timothy Gray

    Or do like I did,  but a homelink module used off of ebay and wire it into the car.   homelink is built into the visor, mirror or dash and only works when ignition is on.   I used the visor version as it was easy to cut and install into my older car’s visor.  

    A bit more work but it’s nice to never worry about batteries and it’s completely invisible if you put it on the right side of the visor.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that this mod has a secondary deterrent effect: making your car look like a dirty mess unlikely to hold anything of real value.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that this mod has a secondary deterrent effect: making your car look like a dirty mess unlikely to hold anything of real value.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that this mod has a secondary deterrent effect: making your car look like a dirty mess unlikely to hold anything of real value.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that this mod has a secondary deterrent effect: making your car look like a dirty mess unlikely to hold anything of real value.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that this mod has a secondary deterrent effect: making your car look like a dirty mess unlikely to hold anything of real value.

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

      It’s a time-honored trick in the bicycle world. 

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

      It’s a time-honored trick in the bicycle world. 

  • Pete Mills

    Well, there goes security through obscurity.  If this was a good idea, it is no longer.

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

      You flatter me.  But this post doesn’t have anything like that sort of attention, yet.  Here’s hoping, though!

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

      You flatter me.  But this post doesn’t have anything like that sort of attention, yet.  Here’s hoping, though!