Improving Fleet Vehicle Security Using Immobilizer

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Immobilizer can help you prevent vehicle theft. Because the system works by detecting existing radio waves. How does that mean? For more details, you can read the following article TransTRACK!

Definition of Immobilizer

A car immobilizer system (also known as an engine immobilizer) is a large piece of electronic security technology that acts as a deterrent to vehicle theft. Its purpose is to keep the car from being hot-wired and stolen by someone who does not have the key to start the engine. According to statistics, since immobilizers were installed in cars, car thefts have decreased.

If we have bought a car in the past 20 years, we almost certainly already use this technology without even realizing it. Car dealerships are increasingly distributing key fobs or smart keys instead of traditional car keys. Thus, key fobs have buttons to lock and unlock car doors, open the trunk, and, in certain cases, start the vehicle remotely.

Many key fobs don’t even have an actual key linked to the base in recent cars. To start the car with the engine start button, we only need to be in the vehicle with the key fob.

Immobilizer Function

The function or use of the immobilizer key is to prevent unwanted things from happening to the vehicle such as theft. This system works by detecting the radio installed in the keyhole so that when the radio waves received are not appropriate, it cannot turn on.

Immobilizer is considered the safest feature to prevent vehicle theft. If we experience a malfunction in this system, we can use the manual key to keep the car running.

Immobilizer Components

In order for the immobilizer function to work optimally, there are several important components that work together. Here are some of the main components of the immobilizer that we need to know.

1. Transmitter

Transmitter is a component that functions to transmit radio waves with a certain frequency, to the control module.

2. Transponder

This component functions to receive radio wave signals that have been sent to the control module so that they can be identified.

3. Theft Different System

One of the key components of this immobilizer is to regulate the radio waves received based on transponder identification. Furthermore, this component will activate or deactivate the ignition system circuit and the fuel pump relay.

4. Ignition key (Transponder chip already installed)

The coil on the transponder chip installed in the key reacts to the magnetic field generated by the transponder key coil. Thus, electricity is charged and the ID code is transmitted. Therefore, the transponder chip does not need to use batteries.

Ignition switches are classified into all-in-one type and split type ignition switches. The transponder chip of the split type is built into the transmitter.

5. Transponder key coil

The transponder key coil generates a magnetic field around the ignition key cylinder and receives the key ID code.

6. Transponder key amplifier

According to the signal from the transponder key ECU, the transponder key amplifier allows current to flow into the key coil and makes it generate a magnetic field.

The transponder key amplifier outputs the key ID code received by the transponder key coil to the transponder key ECU.

7.Transponder key ECU

The transponder key ECU receives the key ID code from the transponder key amplifier and checks it against the registered ID code. According to the result of the check, it determines whether the engine can be started and sends a signal to the engine ECU.

This ECU controls the safety indicator light to blink on/off.

8.Engine ECU

In accordance with the engine start permission signal from the transponder key ECU, the engine ECU starts the engine.

9. Unlock warning switch This switch

detects that the key is inserted into the ignition lock cylinder and outputs a signal to the transponder key ECU.

How Immobilizer Works in improving vehicle security

The immobilizer system starts when the ignition key is inserted into the ignition keyhole. The transmitter will then directly send radio waves to the different theft system components, which will be received and identified by the transponder.

If the transmitted frequencies match and are not part of a suspicious action, the transponder will send the data to the engine control module. After that, the ignition system circuit becomes active and is able to turn on the fuel pump relay.

After that, the ignition key is connected and recognized by the car’s ECU. When the driver turns the ignition key to the engine start position, the engine will start and can be driven immediately.

If the radio waves sent from the car immobilizer do not match, the identity of the ignition key will not be recognized by the ECU. This will make the ECU block the flow of current to the fuel pump relay of the ignition system so that when the ignition key is turned to the engine start position, the engine will not start.

Pros and Cons of Immobilizer

The use of a car immobilizer system can indeed prevent the risk of vehicle theft. However, we need to know that this system also has disadvantages. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the immobilizer system that we need to know.


The immobilizer system is very useful for maintaining the security of the car so that we can feel safer when leaving the vehicle for a long time. The function of this system will be maximized if we activate the smart key feature. With this feature, we can control the vehicle remotely, making it more practical and safer.


Although it can provide more protection to the vehicle, the use of this system has drawbacks that make us need to understand it so that it can be used optimally. Some of the disadvantages of the immobilizer system are that if our car is modified, it will interfere with the immobilizer system, because changes to the system can interfere with the electrical system and components in it. In addition, this system has a chip code that is valid for use for 5 years, so we must replace it before that period.

Immobilizer is a good solution for those of you who want to secure your vehicle nowadays. As explained earlier, an immobilizer is the right security method to prevent your vehicle from being stolen. If you are looking for a good immobilizer for your vehicle, you can use the immobilizer on your TransTRACK or other features to keep you safe!


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