Ever worried about your car being stolen? Whether a vehicle is brand new or an old car that’s getting you by, nobody wants to walk into the parking lot and find their vehicle missing. Families who have a car alarm might feel safe. Unfortunately, thieves who steal vehicles are also able to disarm the vehicle alarm.
Fortunately, it is possible to keep a thief from stealing your vehicle. An immobilizer is designed specifically for the purpose of vehicle protection.
What is an Immobilizer:
An engine immobilizer is a type of electronic device fitted to motor vehicles to minimize car thefts. The device is installed into the vehicle and a microchip is put into the key or another token. Two types of immobilizers are available: those with the chip in the key and those with the chip in a token.
The immobilizers with the microchip in the key will not allow the vehicle to start unless the specific key with the appropriate chip and code is inserted into the vehicle. This prevents thefts by not allowing duplicate keys or hot wiring to start the vehicle.
Immobilizers with the microchip in another token do not require a specific key, so owners can make a copy if they prefer. Instead, the token with the microchip must be within a certain range of the vehicle for the car to start. This type of immobilizer will usually put the chip in something like a key ring so owners are able to keep the key and chip close together.
This tiny device is an ultimate security measure against thieves who steal cars via hot-wiring. In some countries, such as Germany or Canada, the immobilizer is a requirement on all new vehicles.
Old Vs New Cars:
Many new vehicles are already fit with an immobilizer that has the microchip in the key. As stated previously, some countries even require the immobilizer to prevent vehicle thefts. In the United States, having an immobilizer is not a law so consumers must ask before buying the vehicle to find out if it is already equipped or not. A new vehicle is more likely to have the device set up in the car for consumer safety than older vehicles.
Older vehicles rarely have the device unless it was added to the vehicle later. In most cases, older vehicles are more likely targets for thefts relating to getaways, joy rides or for parts if the vehicle is not properly secured. Owners who take security measures are less likely to find their vehicle stolen.
Should I Get an Immobilizer:
The question of whether an immobilizer is right for each individual varies. The simple answer is “yes” because it is a great security feature. Unfortunately, the simple answer does not suit every person’s needs and budget.
Considerations before buying the immobilizer include the initial cost of buying the unit, the cost of replacing the microchip, the vehicle model, personal budget and the vehicle’s current security.
If the vehicle is not already equipped with an immobilizer, the initial cost of the device can range between around $100 to $500 or more. Installation costs will vary depending on the car model and the type of device as well as the company who installs the device.
If the microchip is lost or damaged, buying a replacement key or chip adds up. The replacement key will usually cost around $300 to $800 due to the unique coding requirements.
Individual who have a small budget might find that they are unable to afford the cost of buying, installing or replacing the device. The other consideration is current security. A well secured vehicle might not need the immobilizer.
Overall, obtaining an immobilizer is a personal decision.
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