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.
Which cars have an Immobiliser?
Most European cars have had immobilisers fitted as standard since 1998 due to legislation, however, 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. The statistics from both Australia and Europe prove that car immobilisers are effective at preventing car theft.
It is my opinion that the factory installed immobilisers are more effective then aftermarket systems. The main reason for this is the installation if the system is easy to find then it is normally easy to by-pass.
Don’t be Cheap!
Our consumerist nature to hunt in search of the cheapest price results in an installer trying to fit the system in the shortest possible time. This, in turn, leads to shortcuts being taken and an installation that is not very effective.
Aftermarket Immobiliser Options
There are three basic options for aftermarket Immobiliser systems, all of them should immobilize 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 the proximity of the ignition barrel. The tag normally attaches to the car key ring.
Touch Key Immobiliser
This system requires a touch key to make contact with the receiver pad before allowing the vehicle to start. These are not as nice to live with as the transponder immobiliser as a conscious effort to disarm the system is required.
The third type comes with a remote control and 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.