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How Do I Know If My Car Has An Alarm Or Immobiliser

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  • 24-10-2022
How Do I Know If My Car Has An Alarm Or Immobiliser

Are you asking: how do I know if my car has an alarm or immobiliser? This article looks at how to find out what car alarm you have. 

What type of alarms & immobilisers do your cars have?

There is a vast range of aspects to consider when selling or buying a brand-new vehicle or purchasing and applying for car insurance. One of the most significant factors to consider is the mechanical immobiliser or alarm. Many types of car alarms and immobilisers are available, and it is essential to make yourself aware of the kind you may have installed to know how they work and their benefits.

What is a car immobiliser?

Your car immobiliser is an incredible piece of technology that allows you to protect your new car with perimeter detection, stopping it from starting unless the correct car key fob is used. It is a car or vehicle equivalent of a comprehensive home alarm system with the key or fob serving as a PIN to deactivate the car from starting as it usually would, so would-be thieves cannot get away with your asset.

Once you have used the right fob or key, the immobiliser will send the correct code to your engine; however, your car will not move without the correct one. Unlike popular media may try to convince or tell you, hotwiring your car isn't possible for numerous vehicles. 

Does my car have an immobiliser?

Rest assured, if you have a car model that was manufactured after October 1998, it likely has a factory-fitted immobiliser. On the other hand, for older cars that were produced before that year and month, the best way to ensure or check whether your system has an immobiliser is to contact the car manufacturer or search through your car owner's manual or vehicle handbook.

Your last resort should be to get your car seen by an experienced and qualified mechanic, and they'll be able to tell you whether or not your vehicle has an immobiliser.

How do immobilisers work?

Once you've started your car with the fob or key in the ignition, immobilisers will send codes to the ECU (Electronic Control Unit), which will permit your engine, causing it to start in full force.

Suppose a thief attempts to steal your car using an incorrect key; your or the previous owner's car immobiliser will activate and remotely immobilise any code being sent to the ECU, meaning the engine would fail to start.

The car would not be able to drive away. Immobiliser mechanism work by disabling two essential components out of three existing main parts: the starter motor, ignition and fuel system.

Some insurance-approved immobiliser types require a battery supply alongside touch keys and manual PIN codes; however, many modern types allow you to use apps on your smartphone with Bluetooth. 

How Do I Know If My Car Has An Alarm Or Immobiliser?

Advantages of immobilisers

Many car owners are often asked by car insurers whether or not their vehicle has an electronic alarm or immobiliser; the reason for such a question is that these devices have a massive impact on your car's level of security. The more secure your car is, the less your car is likely to be stolen, as thieves want to avoid loud car alarms or glass breaking as much as possible, as they often give the game away.

Insurers are likely to deem your car or vehicle at a lower risk if they have an installed immobiliser inside their machine; therefore, you'll find yourself with a lower insurance premium.

Motor insurance claims and policies are highly calculated policies that utilise a broad range of aspects and factors to curate suitable premium packages. It is worth noting that immobilisers aren't always guaranteed to reduce the costs of premiums as all factors come together to determine the many other factors.

What about keyless cars? How to prevent keyless car theft

Most modern cars that provide keyless entry systems can be efficiently disabled if you prefer for security reasons; however, we would encourage drivers to invest in an Autowatch Ghost Immobiliser.

These tracking devices are pricey solutions that will offer you keyless car safety, complete with a range of buttons utilised for electric windows and car volume that will allow you and only you to unlock your car.

Such a style of immobiliser can be successfully connected to your smart devices and smartphones, providing the convenience of operating your car from far and wide. However, these Autowatch Ghost Immobilisers are typically limited to particular selected vehicles and cost around or higher than £399. 

How to find out what car alarm I have?

There are plenty of other electronic security device measures you can purchase and have added to your vehicle to enhance its efficiency; the most obvious form is the car alarm and glass break sensors

 For those who aren't sure what type of alarm they have installed into their car, we recommend referring to the manual you will likely receive during your purchase.

Alternatively, you can contact your local mechanics. They'll help identify the brand and model inside your system.

The key information you're after is whether or not you have a silent or a loud alarm, which you can achieve by tugging on a locked door and seeing if the alarm goes off. Car alarm systems come in a variety of types, some more efficient than others. They include the following:

 Silent alarms

 Passive alarms that are set automatically once your car has been locked with wheel locking nuts.

 Active alarms that you must set yourself.

 App-enabled alarms function efficiently using high-quality GPS tracking, which is most valuable for detecting stolen cars.

Suppose your car has an immobiliser as well as an alarm; it will typically have that loud sound that sets off when someone attempts to break into your locked car.

It may be more effective to have an immobiliser installed alongside your existing alarm systems; in doing so, insurance companies can also lower premiums or offer lower prices. 

How To Find Out What Car Alarm I Have?

What is a Thatcham-approved immobiliser?

During the 1990s, there was an epidemic of break-ins and significant car theft, leaving people without their assets and belongings. Thatcham is a research centre focusing primarily on car systems and products. During this era, they launched a separate category for immobilisers and car alarms so that they could study the faults and address the issues at hand.

The aim was to inform numerous car buyers of the products and security equipment they were installing into their cars and the level of security they were providing, as it clearly wasn't good enough. They implemented an industry benchmark that set the standard for car security, allowing manufacturers to improve their equipment and devices to hit specific criteria and safety standards to be deemed worthy of selling and reproducing.

The Thatcham category can be quite complex when you look at the certain criteria and position of the products; however, the general rule of thumb is that the lower the category number it has been given, the higher the security standard they offer.

Thatcham Category 1 means that the car on sale has an immobiliser and alarm fitted; however, those in Category 2 may only have an electronic immobiliser installed. Category 3 typically refers to those systems with more basic mechanical immobilisers, such as disc locks and steering wheel locks or clamps.

Often those in categories one and two have been fitted with aftermarket alarms which allow them to upgrade and improve their level of security. Systems and products under categories 1/2 are known as Thatcham Approved or Thatcham devices. 



Are you looking for the best car security available?

The Ghost Immobiliser is the world's first aftermarket CAN (Controller Area Network) vehicle immobiliser that provides security against key theft, key-cloning and hacking.

If you are looking for Autowatch authorised Ghost Immobiliser installation company in Chester, Wirral and Liverpool, contact us today.