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How to Troubleshoot an Immobilizer

by Alan Temple

You may think there is nothing particularly clever about turning the key and starting your car's engine. In fact, if your car is fitted with an immobilizer, this system actually senses a microchip implant in the ignition key. When this is inserted into the lock cylinder, your car cranks. Unfortunately, if the key is faulty or there is a problem with the immobilizer, your car will not start; it is an electronic safety system that prevents the vehicle from cranking without the presence of the original ignition key. The key is more complicated and important than one might imagine, and you may have to think of a way to solve the problem with it.

Contact the appropriate local dealer for your car. There is a chance that the problem could stem from a recently replaced ignition key or a new ignition switch or lock cylinder. If it is the latter, it is possible your car's dealer could make a new key key with the correct microchip for the new ignition lock cylinder.

Inquire with local hardware stores to ascertain whether they would be able to manufacture another key based on the pre-installed microchip in your original. This chip, combined with the VIN (vehicle identification number), which allows the vendor to identify the immobilizer unit used for the vehicle, could allow the store to create a working, effective replica and resolve the immobilizer problems.

Purchase an immobilizer bypass module. This is available for as little as $20, bypasses the immobilizer system and allows you to use your car without the hassle or replacing your key. Ensure the system you purchase is compatible with your vehicle and have an expert fit it.

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About the Author

Alan Temple has been writing since 2007 and has published articles for "The Scotsman" and "The List." He now works in the media department of Motherwell Football Club. Temple graduated with honors with a journalism degree at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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