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Car Immobilisers 

This car security technology, also known as an engine immobiliser, is a method of car security that helps to prevent your car from being stolen. If your car was manufactured within the last 20 years, then it almost definitely has an immobiliser system. They are now a standard anti-theft feature in most cars and helps to not only reduce the likelihood of your car getting stolen but can also help lower your car insurance

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What is a Car Immobiliser?

A car immobilizer system is an electronic security technology, which has been designed to stop vehicle theft, with the goal of stopping a car from being hotwired, by someone who doesn’t a key to start the engine. When the car immobilizer system was made standard in all cars, the rate of car theft in the UK dropped significantly. You might not even realise that you have this system in your car, but if your car key is a fob style or smart key or keyless entry then you have a car immobilizer system. If you are still unsure if you have one, look at your keys, if there are buttons for locking and unlocking your car doors, then you do have.

How Does a Car Immobiliser Work?

Your car key plays an important role on the car immobiliser system. Modern keys contain a transponder chip inside them, so when you start the car engine or have the key fob with you in the car, the transponder chip communicates a passcode to the immobiliser system. If the passcode matches the one in the car’s immobiliser system, then the car will start. If the passcode is wrong, or simply not there, the car will not start.

In the majority of cars, when the wrong or absent code is detected, your car alarm will sound with the intention of scaring away the person trying to steal it.

Does My Car Have an Immobiliser?

We can’t say with 100% certainty that your car definitely has an immobiliser, if it was manufactured after October 1998 then it's likely that it does. This is because all cars manufactured after this date were fitted with immobilisers as standard. If you want to know for sure, then it should say in your vehicles handbook if there is an immobiliser fitted.

How Effective Are Car Immobilisers?

The use of the immobiliser system has brought the rate of car theft down significantly since they became standard in all cars. However, thieves are resourceful and have found other ways to steal cars and bypass the immobiliser systems. With the introduction of keyless entry vehicles, there has been an increase in relay theft. This is when thieves use devices to intercept the code created by the car key and use this into tricking your car into believing they have the key. This is now one of the most common ways cars are stolen. The car industry is reacting to this rise in thefts by increasing the levels of security to make relay theft more difficult.

Benefits of Car Immobilisers

One of the biggest advantages of having a car immobiliser is that it makes it harder for a thief to hot wire your car and take off with it. Another one is that with extra security added to your car, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance. While a car immobiliser can stop someone making off with your car, it cannot stop a thief towing your car away, or just breaking in and stealing your possessions. Depending on which immobilizer you pick, an added security bonus is enhanced vehicle recovery, if your immobiliser has GPS tracking.

What To Do If My Car Immobiliser Breaks?

If you suspect your immobiliser is broken, try your spare car key to see if the engine will start or the doors unlock. If you have a remote car key, try changing the batteries in your car key and see if this solves any issues. It's not very often that car immobilisers malfunction, especially if it was fitted when the car was built. However, there are occasions when they do break or have intermittent issues.


Signs Your Immobiliser Might Be Broken:

  • Your cars locking system wont lock or unlock the car properly.

  • Your alarm is going off, for no reason, at random times.

  • Your car engine won't start.​​


Thankfully in the majority of cases, a problem with the immobiliser can be attributed to a dead or dying battering in your key fob. If this is the case then you will need a replacement battery, which most times is a simple DIY job, however if you’re not confident in doing it yourself, you can always call out an auto Locksmith.


If a replacement battery doesn’t solve the issue, then you might need to investigate a wiring or electrical issue, in this case you should an Auto Locksmith.

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