The ghost immobiliser – a smart way to protect your car
This article was published on: January 24th, 2020
Last modified on February 4th, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Most people will have seen the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”, where the team had to steal 50 most expensive cars in 72 hours. Some may have played the game “Grand Theft Auto”. The common thread across both… is car theft.
On the dark web, one can easily find information that exposes a car’s weakness when it comes to security – weaknesses that that could make them prone to attack by wannabe thieves. Inevitably will lead to key cloning, engine starting and lastly to a stolen vehicle. Watch this video here
In this blog, we run through a system that makes cars undriveable, unless the driver has using a pin code configuration upon entry – this device is called the ‘Autowatch Ghost’ immobiliser.
WHAT MAKES AUTOWATCH GHOST II UNIQUE?
The Autowatch Ghost II requires a pin code configuration to activate the vehicle, which can be made up of anything between 4 and 21 button presses. It’s worth noting that this pin code sequence happens by pressing any of the buttons that exist on the steering wheel, the central console, or the door. In other words – any button in your vehicle. This pin code sequence is going to be hard, if not impossible, for car thieves to guess – which is what will make the vehicle secure.
Once the Autowatch Ghost immobiliser has been installed, it’s untraceable. Since it’s so small, it’s wrapped within the car’s wires. It does not use or emit any radio frequency signal.
What does that mean?
Take, for example, a keyless remote key. You must have it on you to enter the car and start the vehicle. While this was added as a security feature (among others), in recent years it has become a weakness. The issue with a fob key is that it sends radio frequency signals all the time. Unless in combination with another device that can cause the fob key to go into sleep mode.
While the fob key is transmitting the signal, thieves can sit outside the house, and with a cheap, yet efficient, electronic device – capture the fob’s signal. Once they obtained the signal, then they send it to the car. At this point, the vehicle believes that the fob key is present and in return can open and start the car- the process can also allow the cloning of a new fob key in less than a minute. The result is a stolen vehicle. With Autowatch Ghost II, key cloning hacking or swapping ECU is still possible.
Nonetheless, Ghost II is the ultimate car security device to have because it uses the vehicle’s CAN Data Network – having such a security device installed will not lead to a stolen vehicle. The advantage of it is that it doesn’t use any Radio Frequency signal, which leaves the vehicle secured. This means that it’s undetectable by any diagnostic equipment.
The Ghost II immobiliser systems offer protection against car theft like nothing else on the market. Autowatch Ghost II is not Thatcham cat-approved yet. However, increasingly insurance companies require (especially keyless entry cars) the device to be fitted. These can both reduce the number of claims made to insurance companies, and can also reduce monthly premiums. If you are not sure whether Ghost II is an option for you, please get in touch with our technicians at Car Keys Solutions.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Once the Ghost II immobiliser is installed, the vehicle will not move unless the pin code configuration is entered in the correct sequence. And the vehicle is secure. On most cars, the engine will not start – on others, the engine may start but the moment the gears are changed, it will stop. The way the system operates is different from one vehicle to another, making it difficult to be identified.
GHOST II IMMOBILISER FEATURES
THE CAR WON’T START
By having a Ghost Immobiliser installed, this will prevent the engine from starting without entering the pin code configuration. Opening the vehicle with or without a key is not impossible. But the ultimate security prevents your vehicle from moving. The immobiliser function for cars is designed in such a way that the key alone cannot make your car drive. Watch this video here.
While the previous feature doesn’t allow the car to start, in other models it will allow the car to start but the moment the gear is changed, the engine will shut down. Depending on the vehicle software, the Ghost II manufacturer has come up with alternative ways of immobilising the vehicle. Watch this video here.
COMPATIBLE WITH ANDROID AND IPHONE APP OR SEPARATE DONGLE
Once the installation is complete, as an alternative to the pin code configuration, the mobile app or dongle (once paired with the vehicle) will substitute the pin code.
Whenever you want to start the car, you only need to use the mobile app. The use of a Bluetooth device, such as a phone. The app and the car start communicating as soon as the phone is within 5-10 m range of the vehicle.
At the same time, it does not emit any radio signals. Even if thieves manage to pick up the signal from the fob key to open the car or clone another key, the car still won’t start without a pin code sequence or the phone not being in the 5-10 m range.
EMERGENCY PIN CODE
Sometimes, car owners forget the pin code. However, there is nothing to worry about because there is always a solution. You can reset your pin via a unique reset code.
When you take your vehicle for servicing, you can turn on ‘service’ or ‘valet’ mode. This means that your vehicle cannot be driven over 36mph. If it is driven over this speed, the Ghost immobiliser automatically blocks the engine after it is switched off. To start your car again, you will have to re-enter the pin code.
ON WHAT VEHICLES CAN A GHOST II IMMOBILISER BE INSTALLED?
The Autowatch Ghost immobiliser can be installed on virtually any vehicle, and it works without fault. Below is a list of some of the cars that can have Ghost immobiliser installed. If you do not see yours no worries chances are that we didn’t update our list as more makes and models are being added. Please get in touch with us.
- ALFA ROMEO
- ASTON MARTIN
- LAND ROVER
- RANGE ROVER
- SMART CAR
WHO CAN INSTALL MY GHOST II IMMOBILISER?
Car Keys Solutions has a proven track record of satisfied customers, which is why we’ve been recommended by many. We have successfully installed hundreds of Ghost II devices in responds to the rise in car theft around London. We, as a leading auto locksmith and car key replacement company in London, take your vehicle security very seriously and always work with our suppliers in finding the weak security points and make them better.
IS GHOST II IMMOBILISER SUBSTITUTE FOR AN ALARM SYSTEM?
The short answer is NO. The alarm system is for unauthorised entry into a vehicle. Sometimes, because it is visible, it can serve as a deterrence for thieves. But the alarm does not always offer the car security one would like to have.
IS GHOST II IMMOBILISER SUBSTITUTE FOR A TRACKING DEVICE?
The answer is NO. The role of the tracking device is to monitor movements of the car. Subscription is required. The tracking device alone offers some protection, but it doesn’t offer the ultimate car security that leads to a vehicle that can’t be stolen.
The best way to protect your vehicle is with the Autowatch Ghost II Immobiliser. While a car alarm can make noise when the vehicle is accessed, and a car tracker can monitor the vehicle in motion, the key aim is to stop the vehicle from being driven by unauthorised drivers. It’s also important to understand that one size does not fit all, and security solutions required differ from one vehicle to another.
We always have a bespoke solution for your vehicle security – contact us and let one of our car security experts to advise you of the security solution for your vehicle.
Stay ahead of criminals, step up your car security. You will sleep better when your car is safe.