If you’re like most drivers, you probably don’t know what to do when your car’s theft system starts flashing. This can be a very scary experience because your vehicle could either not start at all, or shut off while mid-driving.
In this blog post, we will discuss what to do when your theft system light comes on while driving.
- Key Takeaway
- What is a Theft System in Vehicles
- Is Your Theft System Lighting Up While Driving? Here’s What to Do
- What Does It Mean When The Theft System Light Comes On?
- How Do You Know If Your Car Is In Theft Mode?
- Q: What does it mean when the theft system light comes on while driving?
- Q: Is it safe to continue driving if the theft system light is on?
- Q: Can I disable the theft system light myself?
- Q: How much does it cost to fix the theft system issue?
- Q: Can a low battery cause the theft system light to come on?
- Q: Can a faulty key fob cause the theft system light to come on?
- Q: What should I do if the theft system light comes on intermittently?
- Q: How long does it take to fix the theft system issue?
- Q: Will a theft system issue affect the performance of my vehicle?
- Q: Can I reset the theft system light without fixing the problem?
- In Conclusion
- A theft system in vehicles, also known as an anti-theft device, is a mechanism designed to prevent theft of the vehicle or assist in its recovery if stolen, with devices ranging from simple alarms to complex electronic units that can be activated to provide the vehicle’s location to the police.
- If your theft system is lightning up while driving, scan the vehicles to determine that there are no trouble codes. If nothing comes up on the scanner, proceed to reset the theft system by turning the key into the ON position five times in five seconds. Then, leave the key in the ON position for fifteen minutes and the vehicle’s computer will reset the theft system.
What is a Theft System in Vehicles
A theft system in vehicles is designed to protect your vehicle from thieves. There are different types of theft systems, but most of them work by recognizing the key. If the wrong key is used, the system will prevent the engine from starting. Some systems also sound an alarm when the wrong key is used.
Another common theft system is an alarm system. Alarm systems make a loud noise when someone tries to break into your vehicle, which hopefully will scare the thief away. Some alarm systems also have features that will disable your car if the alarm is triggered, making it harder for the thief to drive away with your car.
Other less common theft systems include GPS tracking devices and kill switches. GPS tracking devices can help law enforcement track down your stolen vehicle, and kill switches can prevent thieves from being able to start your car.
Not all vehicles have a theft system built-in. However, many newer vehicles do have some sort of anti-theft device installed from the factory. These devices can include things like engine immobilizers, alarm systems, and tracking devices. If your vehicle does not have a theft system installed, there are aftermarket options that you can purchase and install yourself.
Is Your Theft System Lighting Up While Driving? Here’s What to Do
- Scan your vehicle with an OBD2 scanner for trouble codes.
- Reset the anti-theft system by turning the key over to the ON position five times in under five seconds.
- Reprogram your vehicle’s key by inserting the key into the ignition and turning it to the ON position. Leave the key in the ON position for ten to fifteen minutes.
If you’re driving and notice that your theft system is lighting up, don’t panic! Here’s what you can do to reset the theft system in your vehicle.
1. Scan your vehicle for trouble codes
The first thing that you need to do when your theft system is lighting up while driving is to scan your vehicle. To do so, you will need to connect your scanning tool to the OBD port located underneath the steering wheel.
There are a few different theft system-related trouble codes that can pop up in vehicles. P1629 is a code for a problem with the vehicle’s Immobilizer System. This code usually indicates that there is an issue with the transponder key or the transponder key coil.
P1630 is another code related to the Immobilizer System, and it typically means that there is a communication error between the ECM and the transponder key.
Finally, P1631 is a code that indicates a problem with the vehicle’s Ignition Key Lock Cylinder. This code typically means that there is an issue with the ignition switch itself.
However, keep in mind that you won’t always get trouble codes from the theft system. Sometimes there is a problem with the theft system but it won’t trigger any trouble codes.
2. Reset the theft system
If there are no trouble codes when you scan your vehicle, but your theft system keeps lighting up when driving it means that your vehicle has gone into what’s called a learning mode. A learning mode is when your vehicle is scanning and trying to recognize the key.
There are other systems that can get the vehicle into learning mode. However, when the learning mode is activated due to the theft system, your vehicle will need some time to learn and recognize the key.
There is a way to reset your theft system and get your vehicle out of the learning mode. In order to reset the anti-theft system, you will need to insert your key into the ignition and turn it over to the ON position five times in under five seconds.
By turning the key from the OFF to the ON position five times in five seconds, you will be able to reset the anti-theft system in your vehicle. After that, you will be able to start your vehicle without any issues. Also, if the theft system was lighting up while driving, you won’t have that issue anymore.
However, if you are still experiencing some kind of issues with the theft system, continue to the next step.
3. Re-program the key
If your security light is flashing on the dashboard and you are unable to start your vehicle. You will need to reprogram your key. Theft system keys are a little different from regular keys. They have a transponder chip inside them that sends a signal to the car’s computer.
This tells the car that the key is authorized to start the engine. Over time, for some reason, the vehicle forgets the key and doesn’t recognize it.
To reprogram your vehicle’s key, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the ON position. Leave the key in the ON position for ten to fifteen minutes. During this period, your vehicle will relearn the key and will recognize it the next time you try to start your vehicle.
You will know that the vehicle’s computer has reprogrammed the key when the security light stops flashing on the dashboard. Once it stops flashing, turn the key to the OFF position, and from there try to start your vehicle.
What Does It Mean When The Theft System Light Comes On?
Theft system lights are usually located on the instrument panel of a vehicle. It is usually a ”security” light that ignites on the dashboard and indicates that there is a problem with the theft system.
Theft systems are designed to deter thieves from stealing your vehicle. The system does this by making it harder for the thief to start the car. When the theft system is activated, a sensor is triggered that sends a signal to the engine computer. This tells the computer not to start the engine unless the correct key is used.
If you see the theft system light illuminated on your dashboard, it means that there is a problem with the system and it is not working properly.
You can get a better understanding of why the theft system is ignited by scanning your vehicle with a scanning tool. If there is something wrong with the anti-theft system, the scanning tool will pick it up. Otherwise, if there are no codes and you have trouble starting your vehicle, you will need to reprogram your key says Car and Driver.
How Do You Know If Your Car Is In Theft Mode?
- Warning or Indicator Light: Most cars with a theft-deterrent system have an indicator light on the dashboard that blinks or stays on when the vehicle is in theft mode.
- Engine Won’t Start: If your car is in theft mode, it may not start at all when you insert the key in the ignition or press the start button.
- Alarm Sounds: Some vehicles will trigger the car alarm if someone tries to start the car while it’s in theft mode.
- Key Fob Not Working: In some cases, your key fob may not unlock the doors or trunk, indicating that the car is in theft mode.
- Flashing Lights: Some cars flash their headlights or honk the horn repeatedly when they’re in theft mode as a deterrent to potential thieves.
Q: What does it mean when the theft system light comes on while driving?
A: When the theft system light illuminates while you are driving, it typically indicates a problem with your vehicle’s anti-theft system. This could be due to a malfunctioning sensor, a faulty ignition switch, a problem with the key fob, or other issues related to the theft deterrent system.
Q: Is it safe to continue driving if the theft system light is on?
A: Generally, it is safe to continue driving when the theft system light is on. However, it is important to have the issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to avoid any potential theft-related problems or inconvenience.
Q: Can I disable the theft system light myself?
A: It is not recommended to disable the theft system light yourself as it is a safety feature designed to alert you of any potential issues with the anti-theft system. It is best to have a professional diagnose and fix the problem to ensure proper functioning of the system.
Q: How much does it cost to fix the theft system issue?
A: The cost to fix the theft system issue can vary depending on the specific problem and the make and model of your vehicle. It is best to consult with a professional mechanic who can diagnose the problem and provide you with an accurate estimate for the repair.
Q: Can a low battery cause the theft system light to come on?
A: Yes, a low battery can sometimes trigger the theft system light. When the battery voltage drops below a certain level, it can cause the anti-theft system to malfunction and trigger the warning light. It is advisable to have your battery checked and replaced if necessary.
Q: Can a faulty key fob cause the theft system light to come on?
A: Yes, a faulty key fob can sometimes cause the theft system light to illuminate. If the key fob is not transmitting the correct signal or has a weak battery, it can interfere with the proper functioning of the anti-theft system. Try replacing the battery in your key fob and if the issue persists, have the key fob checked or replaced.
Q: What should I do if the theft system light comes on intermittently?
A: If the theft system light comes on intermittently, it is still recommended to have the issue diagnosed by a professional. Even if the problem seems minor or doesn’t affect the driving performance, it could indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed to ensure the proper functioning of the anti-theft system.
Q: How long does it take to fix the theft system issue?
A: The time it takes to fix the theft system issue can vary depending on the specific problem and the availability of parts. In some cases, it may be a quick fix that can be done within a few hours, while in others, it may require more extensive repairs that could take a day or longer.
Q: Will a theft system issue affect the performance of my vehicle?
A: Typically, a theft system issue will not directly affect the performance of your vehicle. However, if the issue is not addressed promptly, it could lead to inconvenience such as not being able to start your vehicle or having difficulties with the key fob. It is recommended to have the issue fixed to avoid any potential problems.
Q: Can I reset the theft system light without fixing the problem?
A: Resetting the theft system light without fixing the underlying problem is not recommended. The warning light is a signal that there is an issue with the anti-theft system that needs to be addressed. Resetting the light without fixing the problem will not resolve the issue and could lead to further problems down the line.
In conclusion, if your theft system light illuminates while driving, it’s a clear indication that there might be an issue with your vehicle’s anti-theft system.
This could range from a problem with the key fob to a malfunction in the system itself. It’s crucial to address this promptly as it could potentially prevent your car from starting or operating correctly.
Ignoring such warnings could lead to more significant problems down the line, including possible immobilization of the vehicle.