How effective is your Immobiliser?

Who makes the Best Immobiliser?

An Immobiliser is the backbone of any good security, after all, it is the immobiliser that stops a scum bag driving off with your vehicle. To understand how they work and the different type of immobilisers available, then click on this link…

Not all immobilisers are equal, some of the better-known brands of immobilisers are shockingly easy to get past, whereas others do the job very well. This post looks at most of the main brands in New Zealand to give you a good idea which ones offer the most protection.

Autowatch Immobiliser

The Best Immobiliser?

Autowatch Product range

One of the smallest immobilisers available. From an installation point of view, this makes them easier to hide. A well-hidden immobiliser is always going to be more effective than one that’s easy to access.

The Security case is reasonably effective and meets international standards. Autowatch NZ also back their products with an anti-theft guarantee when installed by an Autowatch approved installer.

Attack time: 2 minutes 23 seconds.

A full review of the Autowatch immobiliser here…

AVS Immobiliser

AVS Product Range

AVS Product Range

The AVS is one of the most disappointing immobilisers reviewed here. It can be flipped open in seconds, the “security case” can only be described as an oxymoron as it is only held together with a couple of plastic clips which easily got past. Once opened the immobiliser points can be bridged. Game over!

The AVS S series has a 3rd immobiliser built into the main loom which makes them slightly harder to get past. However, the wiring pinouts are publicly available on the RhinoCo website!

The AVS immobilisers are also vulnerable to remote cloning.

Attack time: 10 Seconds.

A full review of the AVS Immobiliser here…

* Update 09/07/2014 * 34 seconds with Armour Plate…

Cobra Immobiliser

New Zealand Product Range

New Zealand Product Range

Cobra set the benchmark when it comes to immobilisers. All models have an attack-proof security case which I have not been able to defeat. The 8510 has a metal housing and the 8509 is sealed in a resin.

The 8509 is a modular unit so is separate to the alarm and can be placed virtually anywhere in the vehicle. It communicates with the alarm via a data network cable. Most of the current generation of Cobra alarms can have two 8509’s hooked up so that’s a potential 5 Immobiliser cuts!!!

Attack time: Undefeated. Check out the coal hammer attack here…

A full review of the Cobra 8510 immobiliser here…

A full review of the Cobra 8509 immobiliser here…

Dynatron Immobiliser

aka Cyclops/Paralyser



Back in the day, Dynatron used security screws to hold their immobiliser housing together. Sadly in recent years, they’ve replaced them with the more common Philips screws. This is disappointing to see. I can only assume this is to due to cost-saving efforts!

Personally, I like to cover the screw heads in resin which makes the case harder to open.

All Dynatron systems apart from the D2200 are vulnerable to remote cloning.

Attack time: 39 seconds

A full review of the Dynatron immobiliser here…

Meridian Immobiliser

Meridian - Warning!

Meridian – Warning!

The Meridian takes the wooden spoon here, it is even worse than the AVS (but only just). The case is screwed together, however, it can be ripped open with ease and offers very little protection. Once opened the immobiliser points can be bridged with ease.

I have lost count of how many Meridians I have removed now, but I have yet to find one installed to an acceptable standard!

They are bad enough that I have dedicated a graveyard to them!

Attack time: 5 seconds

A full review of the Meridian immobiliser here…

Mongoose Immobiliser



The Mongoose immobiliser is pretty much an old brick, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It’s primitive to say the least and for a brand that uses the catchphrase “Now that’s a name you can trust” you really would expect better.

The Mongoose M80 (Top model in the Mongoose line up) is held shut with two Torx 15 screws, so you do need more than a basic screwdriver, but it’s still easy to breach. Once opened its game over as the immobiliser spade terminals can simply be bridged.

Despite being bulky I still have one over an AVS or a Meridian!

Mongoose remote controls are also vulnerable to remote cloning.

Attack time: 17 seconds!

Full review of the Mongoose Immobiliser here…


Installation quality is everything here as even the best systems can be easy to get past if not installed well.

It’s worth noting that all the listed attack times are for units on a bench.

Some of the bulky units are far harder for an installer to hide and I know I personally don’t want to make my job any harder then it needs to be, let alone be forced to make big compromises!

Be warned

Some of the worst systems spend the most money on advertising. They target some of the more impressionable car owners out there. You only need to flick tthroughthe pages of New Zealand Performance Car Magazine to see that!

About Julian

Owner and Installer at Obsessive Vehicle Security Limited. More details here... Please keep Comments relevant to the post and use the Contact form for enquiry's
This entry was posted in Autowatch, AVS, Car Security, Cobra, Cyclops, Dynatron, Immobilisers, Meridian, Mongoose and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How effective is your Immobiliser?

  1. steve says:

    Looking for an imobilisor for my old classic vehicle.

  2. Lance L says:

    Hi Julian,

    I am currently looking for the best in a Car security system for my 1991 Nissan Fairlady 300zx Twin Turbo 2 seater.

    I wonder if you could suggest the best option for my vehicle,costs including installation

    Lance L

  3. Julian says:

    Hi Lance,

    Please use the contact form for enquiries.
    I need to know details such as your location before I’m able to offer a quote.
    It’s also a good idea not to have this conversation in public.


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