Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What should I know about the immobilizer system?

asked by on

What should I know about the immobilizer system?

Your car is equipped with both an alarm and an anti-theft system called an immobilizer. While the alarm will sound and the lights will flash, it’s the immobilizer that actually prevents a thief from stealing the car. Your keys include computer chips programmed to work with the ignition and computer in your car. If an un-programmed key is put in the ignition, the car will not crank.

You can tell if the immobilizer system is working based on the presence of an indicator light in the dash. After you remove the key (for non-smart key systems), the light should flash periodically to tell you that the system is on and active (it automatically turns on).

For smart key systems, the indicator light will flash periodically after you turn the stop/start switch to off.

In both types of systems, the light should go out when you insert your key or turn the switch to on with the electronic key in the car.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car rumbles and vibrates

A rumbling sound could be associated with a lot of different things. Being that you are able to hear it on the exhaust piping is good because the causes can be narrowed down. Depending on the mileage the chance of...

Q: My car hesitate slightly during start up. What could be the problem?

This may be caused by many things as there are a number of systems at work when your car's engine first starts up. This may likely be an air/fuel flow issue since the car does in fact start. Typically, the...

Q: What are the various Bluetooth controls and identifiers?

Your car supports Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to do a number of things, from making calls without having to dial the phone to streaming audio. To use it effectively, though, you’ll need to know a few things. Here’s a...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...