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Clever Tricks to Solve When the Anti Theft System Car Wont Start

The anti-theft system is designed to protect your car from theft and vandalism. Its mechanism involves an electrical circuit that disconnects in the event of a suspicious activity. It interrupts the power supply in a fashion that your car won’t start or even die anytime soon. Sometimes, the system can be triggered without any threat and immobilize the engine. What should you do when facing the problem of anti theft system car wont start?

Anti Theft System Car Wont Start: What to Do?

What should I do when the anti theft system wont let my car start? It is possible that the system can trigger the car alarm or prevent the engine from running without any apparent reason. You have to shut it off if it is not working properly. The car won’t return to normal operation unless you fix the issue of anti theft device car wont start.

How to disengage anti-theft system? These tricks will help:

Check the battery.

The first thing you should take a look into when the anti theft system car wont start is the car battery. It could be dead or low and needs charging. In that case, the car’s system won’t be able to read the security code off the key fob. Check the battery connections. If they turn out alright, try to jumpstart it. It is likely to solve the problem.

anti theft system wont let my car start
Battery could be the source of the problem. (Photo Source: western61)

When you are inside the car.

Apply this trick when you have access to the car’s interior and the ‘Theft System’ light on the dashboard is ON. Insert the key in the ignition slot and turn it to the right only slightly. Keep it in that position for 10 minutes or a little more. It is likely to turn off the light and start the car.

Remember that this is the state where the vehicle is on but the engine is off. All the necessary components like the radio and dashboard lights will be powered up, which makes it possible to bypass the theft alarm.

When you are outside the car.

Use your car key in the slot on the driver’s side door and hold it for a few seconds after turning it to unlock the door. This trick works sometimes and helps going past the factory alarm. It allows the car’s system to detect that you have the original key. It works mostly in models of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW and is applicable even when the key fob is damaged or has a dead battery.

In case if you are driving a Honda Accord, the trick needs a bit of modification. After inserting the key into the driver’s door lock, turn the key to unlock, lock and then lock position again. Then, turn it again to the unlock position and the alarm is likely to be disabled now. Run the car for at least 10 minutes after cranking the engine to allow the car to reset the alarm.


Reset the car’s computer.

It is another way to solve the problem of anti theft system car wont start. Disconnect the positive terminal of the battery for a minute or two. Reconnect it and make sure that both the anode and cathode terminals are tightly attached. It will reset the computer system and your car is likely to kick off.

In case the trick fails, reset the factory alarm by activating its built-in kill switch.

Use the key trick with the steering wheel.

Sometimes, the anti-theft system locks the steering wheel and does not let the key turn inside the slot. This annoying problem is mostly exclusive to Hondas. It mainly happens when you move the steering wheel after turning off the car. It locks the wheel in that position and does not let you move it next time you try to switch on the car.

how to disengage anti-theft system
Move the wheel and keep trying the key. (Photo Source: scoop)

The wheel is likely to be locked in one direction. Try moving it to the opposite direction and it will budge. Try pulling the car in that direction. At the same time, insert the key into the ignition slot and attempt to turn it. If the key is stubborn, pull on the wheel harder as much as possible and keep trying with the key. At one point, you will be able to switch on the ignition and start the engine.

Check the key.

The key itself could be the culprit for the anti theft system car wont start. The keys have a built-in chip that sends a code to the alarm system when you insert it into the ignition. That chip won’t work in case of a broken or damaged key. If one key does not respond, try the other one. If nothing happens, take them to the dealer to scan of their transmission system is working.

Another trick you can try is to use the key to start the engine. If the engine does not respond or dies immediately after cranking up, leave the key in that position for 10 minutes. When the security light goes off, turn the ignition off, wait 20 seconds, and then start the engine.

These are the most popular ways to solve the problem of anti theft system car wont start. Most of the cars are likely to respond to at least one of these tricks.

  1. Rtt says

    Thank you sooo much. I had 2 kids and another adult trying to go home when my steering wheel locked & the security symbol kept coming on stopping my car from starting.

    Just as u said I turned the wheel while putting the key in and then it started! Thanks a bunch!!!

  2. Terry says

    I have a 1999 Ford explorer I had to replace the ignition and get a new set of keys cause someone tried stealing it now it won’t start cause the anit theif system what do I do.I’m going to try some of these tricks hopefully one will work

  3. jlc says

    Leaving the key to the on position and waiting for ten minutes worked. I had to leave my car in a parking lot overnight because it wasn’t registering my anti theft fob. Went back today after reading this article and was so freaking happy that it worked. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  4. Linda says

    This did not work for me 97 mountaineer. Any other ideas?

  5. Dan Nordall says

    can anti theft be turned off on honda ridgeline 2019?


    My Japanese mechanic who has worked on my car for years, very successfully, says I need to replace a new anti-theft control module for my 1995 Infiniti G20t/Nissan. I think the part No. is 28590-78J10 [Theft Control Module]. My car’s VIN No. is JNKCP01D0TT531890. My problem is power drain and need to jump the car to start when the car has been idle for a couple of days. The battery, alternator, other parts are fine. I am told the new anti-theft control module will solve the problem. Infinity/Nissan dealers do not carry this part. Can I buy from Japan, address, phone #, email, price?

  7. Oscar Martinez-Cruz says

    I have a 2014 chevy Malibu to be honest I’m not really sure what happen the battery was replace and the car worked fine for like a month or so and just out of nowhere and didn’t crack I check the battery then the starter and lastly the fuses and everything was fine I have power going to the interior cuz radio workers and so do the lights and the problem is when I try to crack it. It doesn’t do nothing I though it was the key but it steal opens and closes and turns off and on the alarm so I don’t know the problem. I ask other mechanic’s and they said its most likely that the computer itself log me off. I would like to know how do you reset/ reprogram the system so I can log in again

    1. Jane hodge says

      My 2014 Lexus ES 350 will not start . it has done this to me before but after waiting a few minutes it would start. But not this time. Any suggestions?

  8. Jane hodge says

    My 2014 Lexus ES 350 will not start. It has done this to me before and after waiting a few minutes, it started. Not this time. The power comes on but the engine will not start. Any suggestions?

  9. Patrick says

    My honda accord 2008 had issue of dying while am driving so it sometime stop me in the road and won’t start except you give it sometime before it start.i took it to diagnose the problem it was code p2127 and the alternator was not also charging. My electrician try to fix the alternator after fixing it my car is now flashing green key light and won’t start. He asks me to change the underhood fuse box which i did. It did not still work he as try programming the key but it will fail while process.PLEASE WHAT SHOULD I DO

  10. Janette says

    My 2012 Subaru Impreza has been locked for 2 months I tried all of these and still nothing. I have sent it to Subaru and bought a new BIU and still locked and can’t program my key. Any more suggestions?

  11. Jeanie says

    I had to change the steering column in my 2008 Honda Fit. Now I can’t start it because of the anti theft system. How do I reset it so I can drive my car?

  12. Jeanie says

    Help! I had to change the steering column in my 2008 Honda Fit. Now I can’t start it because of the anti theft system. How do I reset it so I can drive my car?

  13. john says

    i have a 2003 freelander it always goes into theft mode and does not crank.its getting costly to bring back to landrover

  14. Pauline Gorman says

    I lost the keys to my Renault Kangoo and used my spare key which is not programmed and is only really for opening the door lock. It didn’t start the engine of course and when I found the proper key the anti theft immobiliser wouldn’t go off. I tried taking the neutral lead off the battery and putting it on again, and also the trick with the ignition half on. Nothing. Then tried keeping the key in the unlock position on the drivers side for 10 seconds. Bingo! Many many thanks. And the RAC should thank you too as I was about to call them out! This page is now bookmarked.

  15. Dan says

    Thank you for this article. My kid’s Impreza wouldn’t start on this cold, winter morning and the alarm triggered. This was about the 5th article I read and all make the “turn the key slightly” recommendation. Since the steering console is completely locked and the key won’t budge that trick didn’t help.

    I read this and went out to double-check. Yes, he left his lights on last night and I hadn’t noticed that the dome light didn’t turn on when I opened the door (it’s much too early for this).

    I currently have the battery on the charger.

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