An Immobiliser is an electronic device designed to stop a car from being driven away without the correct key. In other words it prevents the vehicle from being hot-wired.
Whilst most European cars have had them fitted as standard since 1998 due to legislation, it is still not even a basic requirement here in NZ. Even our cousins across the ditch made it mandatory for new vehicles to have them installed back in 2001 and the statistics from both Australia and Europe prove that they are effective.
After market Immobilisers
It is my opinion that factory installed Immobilisers are more effective then aftermarket systems, the main reason for this is the installation, if the Immobiliser is easy to find then it is normally easy to by-pass. Our consumerist nature to hunt in search of the cheapest price results in an installer trying to fit the system in the minimum possible time, this in turn leads to short cuts being taken and an installation that is not very effective.
Aftermarket Immobiliser Options
There are three basic options for aftermarket Immobilisers, all of them should immobilise the vehicle within 40 seconds of the engine being turned off. The first is a transponder Immobiliser which allows the vehicle to start only if the transponder tag or chip is in proximity of the ignition barrel. The tag normally attaches to the key ring like the above photo.
The next type is the touch key Immobiliser which requires the touch key to make contact with the receiver pad before allowing the vehicle to start, this is not as nice to live with as the transponder Immobiliser as a conscious effort to disarm the system is required.
The third type is the remote Immobiliser which disarms the system when the remote is pressed, this is the most common type found in New Zealand and usually comes as part of a car alarm.