All VW and Audio cars since about model year 1995 include a factory anti-theft system. This anti-theft system includes something called an immobilizer, or "immo" for short. When its working properly, the immobilizer allows the engine to run if the correct key is used to start the car. However, a malfunctioning immo makes a car undriveable, because the car shuts off right after it's started! With a bad immobilizer, the engine WILL START, but NOT STAY RUNNING for more than a second or two after starting.
Fortunately there is something called an immo bypass, otherwise known as an immobilizer "delete". This reprograms the Engine Control Unit (ECU) immobilizer function, so the ECU ignores the faulty immo. With the immo deleted, the car will run independent of the immobilizer, even if the immobilizer itself is defective. As their VW and Audi cars age, many car owners welcome this immo delete, which allows them to drive their car when the immobilizer is broken.
Other reasons to delete the immobilizer: Sometimes you lose a car key, or need to make an extra key for your car. These will also trigger the immobilizer, and the car won't run. Reprogramming at the dealer can be expensive or inconvenient.
Immobilizer delete lets you add a remote start feature from an aftermarket security system. Otherwise the immobilizer will prevent the car from running without the special key in the ignition, which kind of defeats the purpose of a remote starter.
ECU goes bad and you wish to replace it with a less expensive used ecu (We can duplicate the data in your existing ecu over to the replacement in this case if desired) Well, how does an immobilizer actually work? It goes something like this:
Shortly after the engine starts, the engine computer asks for the "ok" from the immobilizer module (which is physically located in the insturment cluster). The instrument cluster looks for the presence of the "chip" in the ignition key, through an antenna in the steering column.
If the signal from the key is detected, the instrument cluster tells the ECU "ok keep running"
If the signal from the key is not detected, the instrument cluster tells the ECU "not ok" and the ECU shuts off the engine. The instrument cluster illuminates the "car in key" lamp to indicate an immo problem, and a fault code gets stored in the ECU.
The immobilizer has at least two components: The engine computer and the module in the dashboard. Sometimes there is an alarm system, which is the comfort and convenience module (door locks, flashing lights, etc.) The instrument cluster has an antenna that detects the transponder "chip" in the ignition key. With an immobilizer delete, the Engine Computer doesn't ask the instrument cluster about the immobilizer. In other words, the car with a faulty immobilizer will still start and run - with an immobilizer delete.
PLEASE NOTE: it's important to emphasize, not all "no-start" issues are immobilizer related. There are a number of reasons why a car won't start!. If it's the immo, the "car key" light will be flashing in the instrument cluster. The car will start, run for 2 seconds and then shut off again. There will be "immobilizer fault" codes stored in the ECU memory when scanned with an OBD code reader. For VW this code is described as: 17978 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer P1570 - 008 - - Intermittent What about the flashing light? While the car will run normally again, an engine immobilizer bypass won't always fix all the other symptoms of a faulty immobilizer caused by one of the other components. For example, the dashboard light may still blink, if the immobilizer problem was caused by a broken antenna pickup, or a broken transponder chip in the ignition key. This is because the actual immobilizer function is NOT in the engine computer, it is in the dashboard. Immo delete separates the dashboard function from the ECU. In other words, although the engine controller ignores the immo input from the instrument cluster, the immobilizer in the instrument cluster may continue to complain with a flashing dash light. However, at this point, the flashing dash light is of no functional consequence. It is merely a nuisance once the immo is gone from the ECU. The answer to a flashing immobilizer warning light in the dash after immo bypass, is simply to physically remove the light bulb from the dash! Our offers an immobilizer delete service for all VW/Audi (VAG) cars. This service requires removing the ecu from the car, and sending the ECU to our service center for the repair. Please feel welcome to call or e-mail us with any questions!
R&S Motorsports Ltd
Tel : 210-6008737 Mob: +306977509931
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