How do car immobilisers work
Immobilizers are ingenious devices that have been used for the past 20 years to reduce car theft across the country, and many motorists forget the features their vehicles have.
In this article, we will introduce the working principle and anti-theft effect of the anti-theft device in detail.
What is an immobilizer?
If your car was registered in England or Wales after October 1998, it is likely to have been fitted with an electronic safety device called an immobiliser.
When your keys are absent, the immobilizer uses an electronic code to prevent intruders from driving away.
How do they work?
Each time you start the car, the key or remote key sends a code to the car's electronic control unit (ECU), which then starts the engine. The code is sent somewhat like a password that grants you access to the vehicle.
If someone else tries to start your car with a different key, the code sent to the ECU will not match and the car will not start. Immobilizers disable critical components, such as ignition or starter motors, to effectively immobilize the vehicle.
Another feature of some immobilizers is that the car alarm also activates for attention when no code is detected or when an error code is detected. In some of the latest high-end models, a signal is also sent to the security company to alert the driver to an attempted theft.
How effective are they?
Anti-theft devices have been shown to reduce crime. A study conducted by The Economic Journal showed that burglars reduced car theft rates by about 40 percent between 1995 and 2008.
But as good as these devices are, they're not perfect. Some thieves have developed ways to bypass these types of systems.
"Relay Theft" applies to cars with keyless entry and start systems. This is a thief using a device that can copy the code issued by a driver's car key and then copy it to trick the car key into being. This allows the thief to bypass the security device and start the vehicle.
Technology continues to advance, making these types of thefts more difficult. For those who do not trust car security technology, a signal shield bag or box can be used to store your car keys when not in use to prevent thieves from copying their signals.
How else can I protect my car?
Car safety equipment is much more than anti-theft devices. There are a number of "Thatcham approved" devices that can also protect your vehicle, ranging from classes 1-7. This means that it has been approved by Thatcham's Car Insurance Repair Research Center.
These types of devices include car alarm upgrades, wheel locking and stolen vehicle tracking. If you're concerned about the safety of your car, these options are worth investigating.
In addition to advanced technology, you can help keep your vehicle safe by parking in a safe place and keeping your car keys safe.
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