Nowadays, vehicles come with complex and highly effective security systems that help safeguard vehicle owners against potential car theft. If you have bought a car built in the last 20 years, it likely includes a transponder key and engine immobiliser, which create a sturdy anti-theft system.

But what exactly is an engine immobiliser, and why is it effective against theft?

In a nutshell, it is a state-of-the-art electronic anti-theft system. It helps prevent car thieves from hot-wiring a car and starting the engine without the correct key. The transponder key works with the immobiliser system to give instructions to unlock car doors, open the boot, or even in some cases to start the engine. Some modern versions are even contactless and merely require the correct key present inside the vehicle for the engine to start up.

This technology is pretty nifty and offers vehicle owners a great deal of peace of mind. Moreover, it is a straightforward system for anyone to operate. But what happens when things stop working as they should? Like anything else in life, even sturdy systems can malfunction or stop working entirely. Therefore, it is better to know what signs to look out for and when to take action. We cover several of these signs below.

Key Symbol on Dashboard

If the key symbol on your dashboard has lit up, it is an indication that something is not working as it should and needs checking out. If you see this, and you are experiencing problems starting the engine or even unlocking your car, take it as an alert that the anti-theft system is not corresponding.

Trouble Starting the Engine

If your car is not turning on with ease, starting up for only 2-3 seconds and turning off again, it may be an indication of a problem too. Alternatively, the vehicle may not turn on at all, which could be due to several factors. If any of these above instances occur, it’s best to find a reliable car key technician as soon as possible to help detect the fault and reverse any further damage from occurring.

Difficulty Unlocking

If you’re finding that unlocking your vehicle is a struggle, it’s a sign that the communication signal between the transponder and engine is impaired. The problem worsens when the car does not have manual locks on the outside doors, as is the case with many modern car models today.

If this is the case with your vehicle and you have already locked the car from the inside, you won’t be able to unlock it using your transponder key. This scenario results in needing an urgent visit from your locksmith to help access the vehicle.

Difficulty Locking

It works both ways – similar to the previous point, you may find yourself struggling to lock your car too. This kind of situation can be dangerous and leaves you vulnerable to theft.

Without the working key fob, your only option to securely lock the vehicle is to do so from the inside. However, this then means you cannot unlock the doors using the key system from the outside.

You Continuously Set Off the Alarm

Unintentionally setting the car alarm off can give quite a scare and cause unwanted attention. It’s also a sign that your transponder may be faulty. When you unlock and open the doors, and the alarm goes off, it’s your vehicle mistaking you for an intruder. This built-in security system works wonders to alert a car owner of trespassing and scare off an intruder if they successfully pick your lock and open the door.

But if it happens to you, it’s indicating that the transponder chip isn’t communicating with the car’s security system and therefore needs repairs or replacement.

What Next?

You can fix many problems regarding the immobiliser or transponder by replacing the battery in the key. Many of these keys rely on a small battery that communicates the security code to the engine immobiliser. Therefore, to not damage the transponder chip, you should take great care when replacing the battery.

If the system is still malfunctioning, it could indicate that the transponder chip is damaged and needs replacing. In this case, you should call your local dealership or car key technician to assist with copying a new key.

Alternatively, if the problems aren’t due to a faulty transponder, it could be the cause of a broken immobilizer system. This can happen if the wires have corroded or have been damaged sometime during the car’s lifespan and will require immediate troubleshooting from a specialist.

Do you need immediate assistance? At Car Key Technician, we can help by providing you with professional car key cutting, programming, and replacement. We service most models and better yet, our mobile services mean that we can come to you. In the case of a faulty transponder, you won’t have these troubles on your hands for too long.

For assistance with yours, contact us today!