Car Immobilizer System Function and Bad Symptoms

Last Updated on June 24, 2019 by themechanic

In this article I will explain about part of theft deterrent system in your car, called immobilizer. After read full article, you will know the basic function and failure symptoms of a car immobilizer system.

Basic Function of Car immobilizer

A car immobilizer system is an anti-theft device which gives vehicles more security. You’ll find them used in virtually all modern vehicles made within the last 2 decades. In older cars, they didn’t have car mobilizer systems. This meant that if someone wanted to steal a car, all they had to do was hotwire it. The great thing about a car immobilizer system is that it prevents someone from hot-wiring the vehicle. Only the person who has the car key can start the vehicle.

Modern car keys are more than just pieces of metal. They’re also small electronic devices themselves which have computer chips in them. When you try to start your vehicle, the key wirelessly sends an electronic token to the car immobilizer system. Once the immobilizer confirms the authenticity of the token, then it enables you to start the ignition, fuel system, and engine. On the other hand, if the token is bad, then these systems will remain disabled.

5 Symptoms of a Bad Car Immobilizer

Car immobilizer systems have certainly been a blessing for many car owners because they no longer need to worry about their cars getting stolen. But there are also some downsides when you lose your key or must deal with a faulty car immobilizer system. For instance, you cannot just go to a locksmith and have them make you another key if you lose your original key. Instead, you need to go to your dealership and have them make you a key. And if the car immobilizer system is bad, then you may have trouble accessing your vehicle or starting it up. These are just some of the symptoms.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad car immobilizer system.

1) Unlocking Issues

If you own a modern car, then it probably doesn’t have a keyhole for you to open your car door. Instead, you’re forced to push an unlock button on your car remote control to open the vehicle. This may seem convenient and simple to do, but it can also be a hassle if your car immobilizer system is not working. Since your key is really a key fob, it needs to communicate with the immobilizer system in order to unlock the door. If the communication is unsuccessful, then you won’t be able to unlock your door. Your only choice here is to get your vehicle towed to a car dealership and have them open it for you.

2) Locking Issues

A bad car immobilizer system can cause you to have locking issues too. Your car may stay unlocked without there being any way to lock it. Even though you can still gain entry to your vehicle, so can everyone else because they don’t need a key to get inside. If you care about preventing people from getting into your vehicle, then you must be able to lock your vehicle. If you can, drive the vehicle to the car dealership and have this problem fixed.

3) Engine Does Not Start

When the car immobilizer is bad, it won’t properly read the security token from the key fob. This means that it won’t activate the ignition and engine to start the vehicle, even when you have the key. Of course, there are many other reasons why an engine won’t start. Either way, you’ll need a mechanic to look at your vehicle to diagnose this problem.

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4) Bad Wiring

Inspect the wiring of the car immobilizer system whenever you’re having the issues mentioned above. If you see corrosion, damage, or other wear on the wiring, then it is a sign that your car immobilizer system is bad. The only way to fix this problem is to bring the car to the dealership and get the wiring replaced.

5) Alarm Doesn’t Work

The security feature of the car immobilizer and alarm system are the same. A bad immobilizer will translate into a bad alarm system, and vice versa. Sometimes if you have a bad alarm system or someone has done something to trigger the alarm, then it will cause the immobilizer to deactivate. You must reset the alarm to restore the immobilizer.

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