Range Rover won’t start immobilizer: symptoms and fixing it

As a Range Rover owner, I’ve learned to accept that reliability issues are just a part of the deal. And when it comes to starting problems, a common culprit is the immobilizer.

If you’re experiencing the frustrating issue of your Range Rover not starting due to an immobilizer problem, read on for a comprehensive guide on how to diagnose and fix the issue yourself.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

When an immobilizer issue is preventing your Range Rover from starting, you may notice a few key signs and symptoms, including:

  • The engine fails to start despite the battery being in good condition.
  • The engine starts but stalls immediately.
  • The security light on the dashboard flashes rapidly while trying to start the car.
  • You may hear clicking noises from the starter motor.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s highly likely that your immobilizer is malfunctioning.

List of possible OBD codes

When you run a diagnostic test on your Range Rover, you might come across some of these OBD codes related to immobilizer issues:

  • P1260 – Theft Detected – Engine Disabled
  • B1213 – Fuel Sender Circuit Open
  • B1214 – Fuel Sender Circuit Short to Ground
  • B1215 – Fuel Sender Circuit Short to Battery
  • B1216 – Fuel Sender Circuit Short to Voltage

Common causes

Several factors can trigger immobilizer issues in Range Rovers. While some may require assistance from a mechanic, others can be fixed without one.

Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Battery Problems: If your battery is weak or dead, the car won’t start. Ensure that the battery is in good condition and that the connections are secure.
  •  Immobilizer Antenna: The antenna may get damaged or may have disconnected, resulting in the key’s failure to communicate with the engine control module (ECM)

  • The Immobiliser Module: The module may malfunction, causing the car not to start. Ignition Switch Failure: It creates a failure to communicate between the key and immobilizer module. Key Issues: The key may become worn out or damaged, causing it to no longer communicate with the immobilizer.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

Yes, sometimes it is possible to fix the immobilizer issue without a mechanic. If the problem is due to a dead battery or the immobilizer antenna, it’s something that can be fixed with a few simple steps.

Parts you’ll need to fix it:

  • Replacement battery
  • Replacement Key Fob
  • Immobilizer antenna

Tools you’ll need to fix it:

  • Multimeter
  • Replacement wire

How to fix it:

If you’re getting error codes indicating an immobilizer issue, here’s a step-by-step guide to diagnosing and repairing your Range Rover.

  1. Check the battery and charging system. A weak or dead battery may be the culprit. If the battery is fine, check for loose or corroded battery cables.
  2. Check the ignition switch. Test it with a multimeter to ensure everything is working correctly.

  3. Check the wiring connections to the immobilizer. Ensure that the connections from the immobilizer to the ECM are tight and secure. If any wiring is loose, carefully reattach it to the immobilizer with proper replacement wires.
  4. Check the key fob. If the key is damaged or broken, it may need to be replaced. If the key fob is not communicating well or the battery is dead, you may need to replace it.
  5. Check the immobilizer antenna. Make sure it is securely mounted, and the wires are properly connected. Replace with a new one if necessary.
  6. Finally, retest the system to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.

Potential alternative causes

In rare cases; there may be other reasons why your Range Rover is experiencing Engine Disabled error, including:

  • Blown fuse
  • Faulty ECM
  • Faulty BCM

If you have ruled out all other possible causes, getting your car to a dealership or a trusted mechanic to run a diagnostic test and repair the problem will help you get back on the road.

FAQs

How much will it cost to fix an immobilizer issue in a Range Rover?

The cost of fixing an immobilizer issue can vary depending on the root cause of the problem. If it’s something simple like a dead battery or loose wiring, you can expect to pay around $100 to $200 to fix it. If the problem is more significant, such as a malfunctioning ECM or BCM, it may cost you up to $1,000 or more.

Can I bypass my Range Rover immobilizer?

It’s not recommended to bypass your immobilizer in your Range Rover. Doing so may compromise the security of your car. It’s best to address the root cause of the problem and fix it instead of bypassing the immobilizer.

Can I drive my car if it shows an immobilizer fault?

Undoubtedly, no! If your car shows a message that the immobilizer is faulty, you must get it fixed before driving it. Driving your car with an immobilizer fault is risky and can damage your car’s engine. It’s best to get your car checked as soon as possible.

Summary

When it comes to Range Rover won’t start immobilizer issues, there can be several root causes. With careful diagnostic testing, it’s often possible to fix the problem yourself without the need for a mechanic.

However, addressing the issue quickly is essential to avoid further problems and to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to take your car to a dealership or a mechanic to have it inspected and repaired correctly.

Last updated and verified on 4th September 2023

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