IMMO?What Is It For?

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An immobiliser or immobilizer is an electronic security device fitted to a motor vehicle that prevents the engine from being started unless the correct key (transponder or smart key) is present. This prevents the vehicle from being "hot wired" after entry has been achieved and thus reduces motor vehicle theft. Research shows that the uniform application of immobilisers reduced the rate of car theft by 40%.

How does an engine immobilizer work?

An engine immobilizer has two main parts: a car key with a transponder chip and an immobilizer receiver. When the transponder car key is inserted into the ignition – or when the remote key fob is in the car – and sends a security code to the immobilizer receiver. If the codes between the transponder and the immobilizer match up, then the car will start. If not, then it won’t start.

Some car manufacturers have taken the engine immobilizer system a step further by adding a fixed security code on the key and a second revolving code. The second code is changed every time the vehicle is started, which can further deter the possibility of theft.

Does my car have an immobiliser?

If your car was made after this 1998, you should be safe in the knowledge that you’ve got a car immobiliser.

If your car is older than this, have a check. Some might have been fitted with an immobiliser at the factory, and others might have had them installed later.

The easiest thing to do is check your owner’s handbook. Failing that, you can contact the manufacturer, or ask a qualified mechanic to check for you.

Will an immobilizer really save your car from being stolen?

Immobilizers are really effective against more conservative offenders who are still using mechanical techniques. They are, however, no match for the more sophisticated among carjackers — in the mass-produced segment anyway. Therefore, having a car immobiliser certainly makes your car more secure, but it doesn’t prevent it being stolen altogether.

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