Today’s cars are harder to steal, thanks to the anti-theft systems that are installed. However, these electronic systems aren’t immune to problems. There’s likely going to be a time when the system acts up, whether it’s due to a dead key fob battery or issues with the keys. When these situations occur, you won’t be able to get the car started. First, you need to know how to disable the anti-theft system in your car.
You can shut down the alarm system with your key fob. However, if that doesn’t work, you must look at the key and cylinder. You can also try the key in the door or turn on the ignition. When all else fails, remove the alarm fuse or disconnect the battery to reset the system.
We look at the steps to disable the anti-theft system when it is acting up. Our guide also examines if it’s possible to circumvent the system entirely.
Steps to Disable Car Anti-Theft System
1. Use Key Fob
The most obvious way to get around the anti-theft system is to use the key fob. By pressing the alarm button, you should get it turned off. When everything is working as it should, this is the easiest way to turn the system off and get back on the road.
If you are having trouble with the key fob, it could be where you are located. Sometimes, it won’t work if you aren’t close enough to your car. Additionally, if there are other vehicles between you and your car, there could be interference. Try it again when you get closer.
However, the battery in the key fob can also fail. If the key fob battery is dead or there’s another malfunction, you might need to try one of the other steps instead.
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2. Try Key in Door
As the key fob starts to die, it might no longer disable the alarm. Still, you should be able to use the key until you get home to change the fob’s battery.
When you put the key into your driver’s side door lock, turn it and hold it in place for about twenty seconds. This time allows the vehicle to recognize the key, ensuring the system shuts off. You might also try turning the key a few times in the lock to get the system to recognize it.
3. Examine Key/Cylinder
If the key in the door lock isn’t working, it’s possible you are using the wrong key. Take a closer look at it to ensure it’s the right match. Maybe you grabbed your spouse’s keys when you walked out the door this morning.
Additionally, any damage done to the door lock cylinder can cause the alarm to go off. If there’s damage, the system could inadvertently believe someone is trying to break in. This is a common area thieves attack when trying to break into a car. The only solution at this point would be to replace the door lock cylinder.
4. Turn on Ignition
If you have gotten into the car, it’s possible to reset the system. With a little patience, you might be able to deactivate the alarm by trying to start the car.
Obviously, the car isn’t going to start while the alarm is activated, but the same steps might help deactivate it. If the anti-theft device light is on the dash, put your key in the ignition and turn it ON. At this position, the accessories are activated, such as the radio.
If the system resets itself, the light will go off. In some cases, this could take several minutes of waiting. Once the light is off, you should be able to start the vehicle as normal. There’s also the chance that the light went off because you drained the battery, which means you have another problem to think about.
5. Remove Alarm Fuse
A quick fix to get the alarm to stop sounding is to remove the fuse. This will also provide a soft reboot to the immobilizer.
You can find the alarm fuse in the panel. Look in the owner’s manual to find the exact location of the fuse used by the security system. While the fuse is out, the car is not going to start. However, you can reinsert it and hopefully reset the alarm.
6. Disconnect Battery
If nothing else has worked, it’s time to disconnect the car battery. If your alarm is blaring and you just want to turn it off, get under the hood and stop it by disconnecting the battery cables.
Once the battery is unplugged for a few minutes, the computer is going to reset. Wait a few minutes before you reconnect it. If the system hasn’t reset and you still can’t get around the anti-theft system, it’s time to call for professional help.
Can You Circumvent the Anti-Theft System?
If your vehicle has a factory-installed anti-theft system on it, there’s likely no way of getting around it permanently. Obviously, this system was designed to keep thieves from stealing your vehicle. If it was simple to bypass or disable completely, the thieves would be doing it.
With that said, there are advanced methods of getting around it, but they can be time-consuming and complicated. None of the methods are meant for the average driver to use. If the tactics were shared widely on the internet, anyone that wanted to steal cars would be using the methods to rip more people off.
However, if you are working with an aftermarket system, you have many more options. Look through the installation instructions to find where the wiring was spliced into the vehicle. Once you find these connections, you can unhook them. You could also have the person who installed it remove it. There’s a lot more flexibility with these systems.