Immobilizer Is – How It Works, Components and Benefits

Immobilizer is one of the advanced features found in today's latest cars. Cars that are equipped with this feature are considered safer.

Because, with a car immobilizer key, the engine will turn off when it is forcibly turned on or using another ignition key, even though the key has the same pattern as the original.

Still confused about the car immobilizer key? Don't worry because this article will review this advanced security system, from its understanding, functions, to how it works. Read the review to the end, yes.

What Is an Immobilizer Lock?

As previously explained, the immobilizer is a sophisticated system found in today's latest cars. There is a unique microchip that is embedded in the car key so that each car has a different key, even though it is the same type.

When the car is forcibly started using an inappropriate ignition key, the engine will not start. In fact, even with the same pattern the car will not turn on.

That is why, this car immobilizer function is considered the safest in preventing theft or car theft.

The beginning of the creation of the immobilizer was when car thefts in Europe and the United States were rife in the 1990s. In fact, in 1998 England and Wales required every car to be fitted with an immobilizer system as a car safety feature.

The automotive companies that are currently using the immobilizer system in the cars they produce include:

  • Toyota Calya
  • Honda Brio
  • Honda Mobilio
  • Auto Ertiga
  • Datsun Go Plus
  • Daihatsu Sigra
  • Proton Exora Star

Immobilizer Components

In addition to the microchip. the immobilizer system on the car also consists of three components that work together so as to produce a maximum security system. The components contained in the immobilizer are as follows.


The function of the immobilizer transmitter is to play a role in sending radio waves with a certain frequency to the control module.


After the radio waves with a certain frequency are received by the control module, then the radio waves will be sent to the transponder for identification.

Theft Deterrent System

The function of the theft deterrent system component in the immobilizer is to manage radio waves that have been received and identified by the transponder to be activated or deactivated in the ignition system circuit and fuel pump relay.

When it is at this stage, it means that the ignition is connected and recognized by the car's ECU ( Engine Control Unit ). The driver can also turn the ignition key to the engine start position to start the engine.

How the Immobilizer Works

Immobilizer is the latest car safety feature that has become a standard in the automotive world. The way the immobilizer key works is as follows.

First, when you insert the ignition key into the keyhole, the transmitter component contained in the immobilizer will immediately send radio waves with a certain frequency to the theft deterrent system component.

Second, the transponder contained in the theft deterrent system will receive and identify the radio waves. If the transmitted frequency matches and there are no suspicious actions, the transponder will send data to the engine control module.

Third, the ignition system circuit will be active so that it can turn on the fuel pump relay. This means that the ignition key is connected and recognized by the car's ECU so that the driver can turn the ignition key to the engine start position and the car's engine will start.

What If the Immobilizer Key Doesn't Fit?

When the key is entered it means that there are radio waves sent by the transmitter. Well, when the radio waves sent by this transmitter are not appropriate, the ECU cannot recognize the identity of the ignition key.

The ECU will block the flow of current to the two systems, namely the ignition and the fuel pump relay. As a result the engine will not start, even though the driver can turn the key to the engine start position. That's what will happen when the ignition key used does not match, even though it has the same pattern.

The immobilizer key is designed to focus on digital data so that it can only be handled by technicians who understand it. If at any time your car is flooded or something that causes the immobilizer system to be damaged, if possible you can immediately repair it so that the immobilizer system on the car can function again.

Immobilizer Key Duplication Process

It would be better if you have two immobilizer keys as a backup in case the keys are lost or left behind. Just look for a duplicate of the nearest immobilizer key because you don't need to go to the dealer to duplicate it.

There are many immobilizer lock experts who offer their services. Reporting from Gridoto, the key duplication process that uses the immobilizer system is to start by equating the original microchip with the microchip that will be installed in the new key.

Then, the new microchip will be placed on a special device to ensure the frequency band between the original and new microchips is the same.

If it is the same, the next step is to create a key. Especially for immobilizer keys with automatic keyless entry models, there is no need to make keys.

The last step is to just enter the data contained on the microchip into the car's ECU ( Engine Control Unit ) through the OBD ( On Board Diagnostic ) hole. Key duplication with the immobilizer system was completed.

Advantages of Immobilizer

The advantage of a car with an immobilizer system is that it has a high level of security, the car can only be started with the original key which has an embedded microchip that sends a signal to start the engine. So, you can feel calmer when you have to leave the car at a considerable distance for a long time.

Lack of Immobilizer

Despite having a high level of security and anti-theft, immobilizers still have drawbacks. The drawback of the immobilizer is that it is very expensive and the system is complicated.

So, when there is damage to one of the immobilizer components, you have to replace the entire set of keys. Starting from the key housing, ECM, to PCM.

Not only that, if the key is lost, then you can only make a new key at an authorized dealer by showing the immobilizer code plate which is usually obtained when buying a car. The price of making a new key is quite expensive.

Modifications to the car can also interfere with your car's immobilizer due to code and system changes. As a result, the electrical system and components in it are disrupted and the car cannot start.

Causes of Broken Car Immobilizer Key

The immobilizer feature is actually very rarely damaged. However, it is possible if there is damage that causes the system to malfunction.

There are several things that cause the car immobilizer to not work even though it uses the original key. The following causes the immobilizer to malfunction.

Damage to the Key Case

The first cause that causes damage to the immobilizer key is damage to the chip. Usually, the chip embedded in the key breaks due to being stepped on, sitting, or falling from a high enough place.

If this happens, you must replace the key case at an authorized car dealer.

Battery Power Out

One other thing that could be the cause of the immobilizer key not working is the battery that has run out. So, make sure the battery is still fully charged and replace it with a new battery as soon as it runs out of power.

the Recognition of the Lock Code on the Sensor Is Interrupted

The next damage that can happen to the immobilizer is the interference of waves on radio transmitters around you so that it interferes with code recognition by the sensor. This also often happens in cars that use smart keys.

However, you don't have to worry when this happens. Just stick the key on the bottom of the dashboard because there is usually a wave-receiving sensor on that part.

If it still doesn't work, you can put the key at some point in the car. In addition, you should avoid parking the car in places that can interfere with the recognition of the code by the sensor so that something like this does not happen.

All Risk Insurance Protection to Cover the Risk of Loss

Did you know, all risk car insurance can cover the risk of loss, you know. Yup, all risk car insurance is a type of car insurance that can cover various financial risks of a car from accidents, natural disasters to the risk of loss.

Car insurance provides protection in the form of reimbursement of service costs at the workshop due to minor or major damage. By having car insurance, you are not burdened with the high cost of servicing a car in a repair shop.

Find the car insurance that suits your needs through the quiz from Auto Insurance Agencies below. After that, calculate the cost of the insurance premium that you must pay using a calculator that has been adjusted to the rules of the Financial Services Authority.

That's some important information about immobilizers for you to know. Even though it's fairly safe, you have to be careful when leaving the car, OK?