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Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2016, 08:17 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1
Smile Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Hi, I own a 2001 PT Cruiser and I would like to relate a story to all users about what happened this weekend. I learned a lot about the security system on the car.

My son now drives the car and recently moved downtown. The car was parked on a city street in front of his building. Sometime at night the car was broken into and the young thief took a screwdriver to the key and tried break off the ignition. He must of got scared off, but a lot of damage was done. My son called me on Sunday and told me the story and also said that the car would start but immediately shut off.

I realized that I could not fix the car downtown so I called a tow truck to bring it home. While the car was being towed I searched the internet for answers. I did find out that if the car did not recognize the key, then it would start but immediately shut off.

When the car arrived we put it in the garage and started taking the steering column apart. We actually took the steering wheel off but later realized that we did not need to do this. Once the ignition cover was off the steering column we could see the issue, The antenna used to read the key RFI chip was broken in pieces.

Let me explain what happens when the car is started. The key has an RFI chip in it and the car has a device called the immobilizer. The immobilizer has an antenna that is wrapped around the ignition switch. When you turn the key, the ECU starts the car and then waits for a message from the immobilizer circuit card. The device powers up the antenna and reads a code from the key. If the key is a match with a stored code, the device sends a message to the ECU and the car runs. If the ECU does not get the message, it turns the cars off.

Back to the repair. So my son took the day off work and went to the junk yard and got 2 immobilizers a key and cylinder for $7. He got the extra parts in case he ran into an issue. So my son and I are electrical engineers and have no problem soldering. My son took apart the original immobilizer and unsoldered the circuit card from the antenna. He then soldered in the old card with the good antenna he got from the junk yard. This is so we would not have to learn a new key. He then reassembled the whole thing and the car started. What a relief for me and him!

There is a procedure to learn a new key. I believe you turn on the ignition and wait for a 1/2 hour and the system reads the key and stores the code. I believe you can store up to 5 keys.

In this case I would think that a dealer would have charged a fortune for this repair. The Cruiser is not the greatest car but it is good enough for my son to get back and forth to work. The car has 190K and is still running well. It needs to last one more year until my son saves enough money to buy a new car.

I wrote this story in hopes of helping someone else out with a similar issue.

Dano
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2016, 09:26 pm
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,348
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Welcome to the Pt Cruiser Forum from PA. Nice little bit of information, thanks.
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65 Dodge Coronet 6 cyl 2dr Post
66 Ply Satellite with 273 engine swap to 69 340 4spd
70 340 4spd Dart Swinger "Those were the days my friend"
73 Charger SE
Had a few Vetts on the way 69, 85
Several Neons some flips
01 Sebring flip
Cruiser's 01, 220K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 03 133K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 06 110K Project Gone to new Home
Cruiser 05 Ltd 120,809 bought with broken belt Oct2015
May 16 Resurrected to once again roam the streets.

20 Miles South Of Pittsburgh
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2016, 11:40 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,430
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
There is a procedure to learn a new key. I believe you turn on the ignition and wait for a 1/2 hour and the system reads the key and stores the code. I believe you can store up to 5 keys.
Welcome to the forum. And this is a great write up. But I have several questions.

First, if the 1/2 hour key programming actually works, that's new information for the PT Cruiser. At least it is to me. And if it did work, did you use an original key in any way during the process?

Next, since you removed the board from the original SKIM and placed it in the salvage module, the salvage module then effectively becomes the original with the same programming. But the required handshake to make the car run (stay running) is between all three, PCM, SKIM and mated sentry key. So did you simply use the lock cylinder and sentry key from a salvage car? If this is the case, it means anyone without a functioning sentry key can simply replace the lock cylinder and sentry key with another pair from a salvage car, turn the ignition on for 30 minutes and then drive the car. Is that the way this really works?

And there's a third ramification of this that would really be useful if I understand what's been said. It also means someone can buy a new sentry key, have it cut to fit the existing lock cylinder, and then program it themselves by leaving it in the ignition in the on position for 30 minutes.

This is good stuff if confirmed.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 09 Feb 2016 at 11:43 pm.
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Old 10 Feb 2016, 02:07 am
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,348
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Welcome to the forum. And this is a great write up. But I have several questions.

First, if the 1/2 hour key programming actually works, that's new information for the PT Cruiser. At least it is to me. And if it did work, did you use an original key in any way during the process?

Next, since you removed the board from the original SKIM and placed it in the salvage module, the salvage module then effectively becomes the original with the same programming. But the required handshake to make the car run (stay running) is between all three, PCM, SKIM and mated sentry key. So did you simply use the lock cylinder and sentry key from a salvage car? If this is the case, it means anyone without a functioning sentry key can simply replace the lock cylinder and sentry key with another pair from a salvage car, turn the ignition on for 30 minutes and then drive the car. Is that the way this really works?

And there's a third ramification of this that would really be useful if I understand what's been said. It also means someone can buy a new sentry key, have it cut to fit the existing lock cylinder, and then program it themselves by leaving it in the ignition in the on position for 30 minutes.

This is good stuff if confirmed.
To add to this I have read but not confirmed that when buying a PCM that has been reset to be installed into your vehicle, you can eliminate the SKIM by removing the WCM before connecting battery for first startup.
__________________
Addicted to Mopar You can tell how old I am..
65 Dodge Coronet 6 cyl 2dr Post
66 Ply Satellite with 273 engine swap to 69 340 4spd
70 340 4spd Dart Swinger "Those were the days my friend"
73 Charger SE
Had a few Vetts on the way 69, 85
Several Neons some flips
01 Sebring flip
Cruiser's 01, 220K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 03 133K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 06 110K Project Gone to new Home
Cruiser 05 Ltd 120,809 bought with broken belt Oct2015
May 16 Resurrected to once again roam the streets.

20 Miles South Of Pittsburgh
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10 Feb 2016, 07:20 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,430
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeX View Post
To add to this I have read but not confirmed that when buying a PCM that has been reset to be installed into your vehicle, you can eliminate the SKIM by removing the WCM before connecting battery for first startup.
That one has been confirmed. But only if the PCM is reset to initial factory specs. As long as the PCM never detects a SKIM to marry to, sentry key function is disabled. But I don't know what vendors can actually do a reset to initial factory specs so this can be taken advantage of. I've never even found anyone reporting that the dealer can do this unless the PCM is brand new. I do know Syked Tuning offers a flash to disable SKIM on some PCM's. I do not know if this involves custom tuning or is just a factory reset for that portion of the PCM programming.

But this 30 minute key programming procedure is something I've not heard of as far as the PT Cruiser goes.
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Old 25 Sep 2017, 10:58 am
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
Hi, I own a 2001 PT Cruiser and I would like to relate a story to all users about what happened this weekend. I learned a lot about the security system on the car.

My son now drives the car and recently moved downtown. The car was parked on a city street in front of his building. Sometime at night the car was broken into and the young thief took a screwdriver to the key and tried break off the ignition. He must of got scared off, but a lot of damage was done. My son called me on Sunday and told me the story and also said that the car would start but immediately shut off.

I realized that I could not fix the car downtown so I called a tow truck to bring it home. While the car was being towed I searched the internet for answers. I did find out that if the car did not recognize the key, then it would start but immediately shut off.

When the car arrived we put it in the garage and started taking the steering column apart. We actually took the steering wheel off but later realized that we did not need to do this. Once the ignition cover was off the steering column we could see the issue, The antenna used to read the key RFI chip was broken in pieces.

Let me explain what happens when the car is started. The key has an RFI chip in it and the car has a device called the immobilizer. The immobilizer has an antenna that is wrapped around the ignition switch. When you turn the key, the ECU starts the car and then waits for a message from the immobilizer circuit card. The device powers up the antenna and reads a code from the key. If the key is a match with a stored code, the device sends a message to the ECU and the car runs. If the ECU does not get the message, it turns the cars off.

Back to the repair. So my son took the day off work and went to the junk yard and got 2 immobilizers a key and cylinder for $7. He got the extra parts in case he ran into an issue. So my son and I are electrical engineers and have no problem soldering. My son took apart the original immobilizer and unsoldered the circuit card from the antenna. He then soldered in the old card with the good antenna he got from the junk yard. This is so we would not have to learn a new key. He then reassembled the whole thing and the car started. What a relief for me and him!

There is a procedure to learn a new key. I believe you turn on the ignition and wait for a 1/2 hour and the system reads the key and stores the code. I believe you can store up to 5 keys.

In this case I would think that a dealer would have charged a fortune for this repair. The Cruiser is not the greatest car but it is good enough for my son to get back and forth to work. The car has 190K and is still running well. It needs to last one more year until my son saves enough money to buy a new car.

I wrote this story in hopes of helping someone else out with a similar issue.

Dano
your anti-theft fuel/theft device is activated,you need to lock and unlock your doors a couple times with the key fob,not the key,and then you need to put the key in the ignition and start it,if you dont have your key fob,call your car dealer to get a new one,they are programmed for each car only,you cannot bypass it.

Last edited by CREWZIN; 25 Sep 2017 at 11:47 am.
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Old 25 Sep 2017, 11:03 am
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Howell, MI
Posts: 406
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Read the owners manual. There is a way to add additional keys to your vehicle. If you have no Original keys left you can not learn them yourself. You have to use a working key, then switch to a Unlearned key(s). There is a procedure in the owners manual, please read it.

Edit: As for soldering a new antenna to the SKIM, That's a fantastic fix!!! I would never of thought to do that, but that is one way to put a personal touch in the car. I'm surprised thief's don't know that any car with any sort of anti theft just cant be stolen anymore, you need the keys now. Engine controls do so many handshakes to even allow the cars to start.
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Last edited by UnitD77; 25 Sep 2017 at 11:05 am.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 25 Sep 2017, 11:23 am
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,630
Default Re: Anti Theft, Security and Immobilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Welcome to the forum. And this is a great write up. But I have several questions.

First, if the 1/2 hour key programming actually works, that's new information for the PT Cruiser. At least it is to me. And if it did work, did you use an original key in any way during the process?

Next, since you removed the board from the original SKIM and placed it in the salvage module, the salvage module then effectively becomes the original with the same programming. But the required handshake to make the car run (stay running) is between all three, PCM, SKIM and mated sentry key. So did you simply use the lock cylinder and sentry key from a salvage car? If this is the case, it means anyone without a functioning sentry key can simply replace the lock cylinder and sentry key with another pair from a salvage car, turn the ignition on for 30 minutes and then drive the car. Is that the way this really works?

And there's a third ramification of this that would really be useful if I understand what's been said. It also means someone can buy a new sentry key, have it cut to fit the existing lock cylinder, and then program it themselves by leaving it in the ignition in the on position for 30 minutes.

This is good stuff if confirmed.
I don't know about the 30 minute programming, but I can shed some light on the skim board replacement. I have done this myself a few months ago.

What the original poster was saying, is that the original skim on his car had a broken antenna. The antenna is integrated into the Skim housing itself and cannot be removed. So what he did was desolder the board from the housing/antenna of his cars original SKIM. Then he did the same thing with the junkyard skim. He would have discarded the board that came with that skim and soldered in the board from his original skim. Now he has a fully functioning "original" skim for his car and he can continue to use his original key. All three match, skim, key and pcm.

I had to do this exact thing. I had gone to the junkyard to buy a key and skim so that I could program and sell a matched set to a customer. However when I was removing the skim I accidentally broke the antenna. This was the only 03 in the yard with a matching key present. So I had to do the exact board swap the original poster did. I can confirm that if you are careful and gentle and are proficient with de-soldering and soldering, it is quite easy and possible to do and it works.
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