What Does a Starter Kill Switch Really Do?
From smartphones and laptops to sedans and SUVs, valuables are a lot harder to steal when they’re retrofitted with starter kill technology. At Highway HiFi, we install standalone starter kills as well as security systems that include starter kill switches. These well-hidden, high-tech switches are designed to deter criminals while allowing drivers to start their own engines. But what exactly does a starter kill do?
Before you decide whether this add-on is right for your vehicle, find out exactly how starter kills work and what they can do to protect your property.
What is a Kill Switch?
Anti-theft technology is more sophisticated than ever, but one security feature is as old as machinery itself: the kill switch. Designed for emergencies and popularized by spy movies, a “kill switch” is any mechanism that shuts down or disables a machine or device. Kill switches come in handy when heavy machinery malfunctions, because they allow you to override the controls and turn off the power.
Kill switches also come in handy when someone tries to start or use stolen property, because they cannot proceed without disabling the switch. It’s this second function – killing the ability to start a machine – that defines the starter kill.
What is a Starter Kill?
Of course, it’s unsafe to disable moving vehicles. That’s why “starter kill” is a more accurate term for a kill switch in a vehicle. Unlike traditional kill switches, starter kills are installed only to prevent vehicles from being turned on – not to turn off vehicles that are already on. This technology thwarts potential thieves, who cannot start your vehicle until they locate and turn off the switch (even if they have your keys).
For decades, drivers have tricked thieves by hiding switches in covert corners or re-purposing existing switches. But sometimes, this switch is not a switch at all. Today, your options include starter kill systems that require keys or numeric codes to disable their circuitry. Even if intruders quickly figure out that your vehicle has a starter kill, they won’t immediately know where or what it is, and they may never be able to turn it off.
What Does a Starter Kill Do?
When you turn the key in your ignition (or push the button that starts it), electricity begins to flow from your battery to your engine, starting a circuit that will eventually cause the motor to turn and fuel and air to ignite. A starter kill interrupts this process, preventing the current from flowing to the necessary engine parts.
No matter who gets behind the wheel of your vehicle, they won’t be able to start your engine until they locate and turn off the starter kill. Of course, that means you need to turn the starter kill back on every time you park – and turn it off again before you drive away. Your starter kill will become part of your everyday routine, so it’s important to install one that’s easy for you to find and use, but difficult for others.
Do Starter Kills Actually Prevent Crime?
You don’t need a big budget to reap the low-tech security benefits of a starter kill. Adding one to your dashboard or glove box could mean the difference between replacing broken glass or replacing your vehicle altogether, because car thieves want to work as quickly as possible. After professionals install the wiring and hide your switch, criminals may opt to move onto easier targets.
Simpler and more affordable than almost any other security feature, a starter kill is an easy, one-time installation that doesn’t rely on a computer system or monitoring center to deter thieves. And if you opt for a starter kill that requires a key or code, it doesn’t matter how much patience your would-be thief has; they won’t be able to disarm the system.
Is your vehicle vulnerable to professional thieves? Protect your investment today with a starter kill from Highway HiFi. We offer a variety of starter kill options and other aftermarket security upgrades in Melbourne, Florida.