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Q: What should I know about the immobilizer system?

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What should I know about the immobilizer system?

A: Your car is equipped with both an alarm and...

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.

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