Transponder Immobiliser systems are beyond any doubt the easiest security system to live with. There are no buttons to press and no batteries to go flat so they require no thought or action from the driver. They prevent the vehicle from being hot-wired and are a very effective method of preventing car theft.
How do Transponder Immobilisers work?
A small transponder chip is usually located inside the plastic handle of the car key. When it is in proximity of the ignition barrel (usually about 5 – 10 cm) it allows the vehicle to start. The transponder chip has a unique code frequency that is recognised by the cars immobiliser system. If the chip is not seen then the car will not run.
How can I tell if I have a Transponder Immobiliser?
First of take a good look at your car key, if it is just a plain metal key then you don’t have one, however if you have a key with a plastic handle then you may have one. If your key has the remote built into the handle then you maybe able to take it apart and have a look. This is covered in the Subaru Immobiliser post which despite being about the Subaru key is still relevant regardless of your make of car. The Chip will either look like the type shown in the Subaru remote (see photo) or a tube glass tube type in the top photo.
European Cars Lead the way
All European cars made after 1998 come with a transponder immobilser as standard, but most of the cars here are Japanese imports. Even some of the 2011 models still don’t have them!
I highly recommend checking the compliance PDF on the Thatcham website to see what is listed for your make and model of car.
Do you have a plain metal key?
Remember if you have a plain metal key that starts the car then you don’t have an immobiliser.
If your key has a plastic handle of remote locking buttons then you may have one, but don’t assume that you do.
If you are not sure then you I’d suggest that you let me test the car first.
If you’re not from Wellington then talk to a good automotive locksmith who can test the key or the official car dealer service department. (Not some used car dealer!)
After Market Transponder Immobiliser Systems
Most after market transponder immobiliser come with a tag that hooks onto your cars keyring, however it is possible for me to replace the tag with a small transponder chip an insert it into the key handle (assuming that there is space inside).
The Dyantron D7600 alarm has a transponder remote so is a good option for ease of use.
I’ll be reviewing the other transponder Immobilisers in the coming weeks.