Performing a Volkswagen immobilizer bypass is quite simple if you have the proper tools and correct knowledge. You can do it by inserting a copy key into the ignition and feeding the immobilizer code in the instrument cluster.
We have discussed the simple steps in detail in our guide below. You’ll also find other simple steps to disable the anti-theft system based on different situations.
- 1 How To Disable Your Volkswagen’s Theft Deterrent System?
- 2 How To Recognize the Symptoms of VW Immobilizer Issues?
- 3 Conclusion
How To Disable Your Volkswagen’s Theft Deterrent System?
To disable your Volkswagen’s theft deterrent system, use a copy key and enter the immobilizer code in the instrument cluster. This is temporary and must be repeated each time you start the vehicle. You can also place the original RFID chip close to the immobilizer and use a copy key.
Research shows that immobilizer systems have been able to stop car theft by up to 40 percent since their introduction. Therefore, these systems effectively prevent thieves from hot-wiring and stealing your vehicle.
The stock immobilizer on your Volkswagen is more than a combination of components and wire. It’s an integrated system communicating with several other parts and shared passwords. For example, the inside of your key or key fob is a transponder chip. Once you insert the key into the ignition or have the fob inside the car, the chip in the fob sends a security code to the vehicle’s immobilizer system.
That happens through a separate antenna that the immobilizer uses. If this immobilizer verifies the security code, it will send a serial data message (encoded password) to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). If this password matches the value in the PCM, the engine will start. But if this chain of events is interrupted, the vehicle won’t start, or it may start and then stall immediately.
Deactivating your Volkswagen immobilizer may be necessary if you’ve misplaced your key, it’s damaged, or it has been stolen. Doing so will allow you to get your car moving as you prepare to buy a new transponder key or fob. You might also need to deactivate the anti-theft system if a key is stuck in the ignition, so here’s how to go about it:
Engage the Parking and Press the Brake at Least 10 Times
This step applies if you’ve mistakenly used the wrong key, which has resulted in the “immobilizer active” situation. Usually, once the “Immobilizer Active” message displays on the dashboard, you cannot remove the wrong key. Attempts to try pushing the key back in and out will be unsuccessful.
You must engage your parking brake and then depress the brake pedal at least ten times. Take note that you must wait and listen for the mechanical sound of the key being released. Once you hear the sound, immediately push the key in and remove it as usual. The immobilizer will disable and allow the key to get out. From there, you can insert the correct key to start the engine.
A reset might be necessary if you find your VW immobilizer light flashing after starting the car. You can efficiently perform a VW immobilizer reset by disconnecting the battery’s negative terminal for about 15 minutes. That will allow the PCM and other electronics, including the immobilizer, to reset.
Find a Copy of the Key and Immobilizer Code
If you’ve misplaced your key or it’s been stolen, you must find a copy of it and the immobilizer code. These two will allow you to start the VW engine for about 50 minutes, and then you’ll have to re-enter the code. You can find a card containing the code in the glove compartment. This card includes a four-digit code unique to your car.
If you don’t find the card, try to get the code from your VW dealer. Alternatively, you can locate the Immobilizer Control Unit (ICU) in the car. You’ll usually find it in the dashboard or center console. Once you get to the ICU, look for a sticker having the four-digit code on it. You can also find this code in your owner’s manual.
With the key or fob in the ignition switch, use the stems on the instrument cluster to enter the codes. The immobilizer will deactivate if the code is correct, allowing you to start the engine. However, this is a temporary fix since you must enter the code again after about 50 minutes.
In other words, you must do this every time you wish to start the vehicle. It’s an emergency start, and if you enter an incorrect code, the immobilizer will remain active and the engine won’t start. If this doesn’t work for you or you can’t find the code, go to step number 3 below.
Remove the RFID Chip From Your Key or Fob
This step works if you still have the original key but it’s not working, probably because it’s damaged. You must remove the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip from the key or fob. You’ll then place this chip close to the copy or fake key.
You can place the chip inside the ignition switch with your copy key so it’s as close to the immobilizer as possible. That will make the immobilizer think you’ve inserted the correct key into the ignition. The fake key will not get stuck into the ignition with the RFID chip close to the immobilizer. Try the next step if you need something else.
Repair the Old Immobilizer
It’s often cheaper to repair an old immobilizer than to buy a new one. Replacing your immobilizer will cost at least $300, depending on your car model and manufacture year.
An experienced mechanic or lock expert can repair your old anti-theft system at half the price based on the extent of the damage.
Go for an Immobilizer Delete Service
An immobilizer deletion service or removal from the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) comes in handy when the immobilizer stops responding to your key or fob. The service is also necessary when a clone of a fob or a reprogrammed one doesn’t work with your Volkswagen.
Unfortunately, this is something you may not do yourself. You’ll need the assistance of a specialist. If you want to know how to remove immobilizer from ECU, the specialists use unique VW immobilizer delete software. The service reprograms the ECU to ignore the immobilizer and allow the vehicle to start.
How To Recognize the Symptoms of VW Immobilizer Issues?
To recognize the symptoms of VW immobilizer issues, you must pay attention to unlocking/locking issues. The engine starting and alarm problems are common signs of a malfunctioning anti-theft system. Sometimes you can have the key in the ignition, but it doesn’t turn.
One symptom of a malfunctioning immobilizer is locking mechanism issues. If you remotely try to unlock your VW with the fob, you might notice unresponsiveness in opening it.
Sometimes this might force you into using the physical key (for keyless entry) to enter the vehicle. Although you can experience the same problem when the battery in the fob is dead, sometimes the problem is with the immobilizer itself.
Other times you may be unable to lock the vehicle’s door using the remote if the immobilizer malfunctions. If you close the doors from the inside, you’ll have trouble getting into the car again. That may be a result of a faulty immobilizer system.
Engine Starting Issues
Failure to start is also one of the most common VW immobilizer problems. If you’re having issues starting the car, it could indicate that your immobilizer system is malfunctioning.
The engine may start then stall soon afterward. An “Immobilizer Active” message may pop up on the dashboard at this point, even when you have the correct key. If you experience this, it’s time to have the immobilizer checked.
Car Alarm Problems
Is your car alarm going off without reason? That could be a symptom of an immobilizer problem. If your immobilizer is malfunctioning, you may notice that the alarm goes off whenever you try to start the engine.
The immobilizer is the primary security feature in your car. Hence, your stock alarm system will fail if the immobilizer fails. You’ll need to get the alarm and the immobilizer systems checked by a specialist.
Key In Ignition but Doesn’t Turn
Sometimes, you may insert your key or fob into the ignition, but the engine fails to start. That can be frustrating and a sign that your immobilizer is potentially having issues. Although the problem could also result from the key itself, you can’t yet rule out the immobilizer. It would help if you had the system examined and any issues resolved.
We have taught you how to deactivate a Volkswagen immobilizer through various steps based on different situations.
Let’s summarize the steps:
- Engaging the parking brake and then pressing the brake at least ten times can disable the immobilizer and allow you to remove a stuck key.
- You can also deactivate the immobilizer using a copy key and the correct immobilizer code.
- Having the RFID from the original key or removed close to the immobilizer can trick it into thinking you’re using the correct key.
- An immobilizer deletion service may be necessary when you lose your key or the immobilizer stops responding to the key.
- Some symptoms of a malfunctioning immobilizer include locking/unlocking problems and engine starting issues.
Now you know what to do to deactivate your immobilizer system, so follow these steps and get your car moving today!
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