Car Immobilisers (What They Do And How They Work)

Protect Your Car

Car theft is a recurring issue in the UK. A recent news article from the mail online mentions that a white Vauxhall Combo car was stolen on Irish Street, in the city of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and driven at speed. The person responsible for the theft was a 14 year old boy headed to Newbuildings. He was caught and arrested by the police in the end. 

This incident suggests that anyone can steal your vehicle, no matter how innocent they may look. Fortunately, there’s a practical solution to this problem – car immobilisers. You can use them to protect your own vehicle from automobile theft. Keep reading about car immobilisers in order to get a better understanding of how they work and what they do in the following guide. 

What do car immobilisers do and how do they work? 

Car immobilisers are security devices designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if somebody inserts the wrong key. 

There are two types of immobilisers available on the market – electronic and physical. Physical immobilisers come with locks meant for the steering wheel. In order to get the engine running, the key must send the code to the ECU (Electronic Control Unit). 

If the code is correct, the vehicle will then activate the ignition, motor, and fuel. If the code is incorrect, that means someone is trying to hotwire the car. In this case, an electronic immobiliser will impede the car from starting by obstructing the ignition, the motor, and the fuel from functioning. 

Car immobilisers and insurance 

Immobilisers help to significantly reduce insurance costs, since they’re designed to make vehicles harder to break into and drive away. If your car doesn’t have an immobiliser installed to it and you’re thinking about purchasing one, you should look for a security device that’s been approved by Thatcham. They’re the ones insurers recommend, helping you save the most when it comes to immobilisers. 

How to handle car immobiliser problems

The car immobiliser you bought may not be working properly and you can’t start your vehicle. This could mean that the key fob’s battery is dead. In this case, just replacing the battery will do the trick. If you’re able to open the car, but the engine won’t start, what you could do in this situation is remove the key from the ignition, wait for a short time, and then attempt to start it once more. Alternatively, leaving the key in the ignition might lead to the system activating itself. 

Certain fobs come with manual keys, in which case, should the fob fail to start the vehicle, simply use the manual key. You’d have to take off the fob’s cover first, though. If you’re still having trouble with the vehicle, just get in touch with your car dealer. They should be able to provide you with a replacement key fob. They’d be able to figure out what type of issue your car is experiencing – mechanical or electronic – and fix it, as well. 

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