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2005 Elise
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Discussion Starter #1
I have read many pages on the alarm system and have a couple questions.

I've had my elise ~a month, and I believe everything is as it came (Alarm wise).

The security light functions normally.

When I unlock the doors and get in, sometimes I can start it and sometimes I have to press the fob button a second time before I can start the car. Is this normal?

I know it is common to completely disable the immobilizer and alarm, but you also loose door locks and that is a downside to me. (I know you can add RKE back for ~30$) I also do drive my car in public and would like to retain the immobilizer.

I really don't want to get stranded and wanted to see if anyone has done this:
1. Install a Door unlock button in the trunk (tied into the fuel cutoff switch)
2. Install 2 more switches behind the Driver seat on the immobilizer that jumps the starter lead and jumps the fuel pump lead.

99% of the time the car would function as normal, with everything as it should be. If I ever come to my car and the system isn't working I can still pop the trunk to get in the doors and flip the two switches to start the car. This bypass would work fine and effectively prevent me from being stranded.

Would this work?
What would happen to the alarm?
Is there an easy way to test the alarm as I've never heard it go off?
Can you jump the immobilizer like this where it is still fully connected and the wires are also jumped?
 

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Premium Member
2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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811 Posts
I have read many pages on the alarm system and have a couple questions.
I have a mostly-stock '05 Elise and maybe I can help.

I've had my elise ~a month, and I believe everything is as it came (Alarm wise).

The security light functions normally.

When I unlock the doors and get in, sometimes I can start it and sometimes I have to press the fob button a second time before I can start the car. Is this normal?
The time interval before the immobilizer reactivates after a fob click is pretty short - less than 30 sec. If you unlock/disable, put a bag in the boot, get in the car, slide the seat up, and close the door you can easily go over the time limit and the immobilizer activates again, but the alarm stays unarmed and the doors unlocked. This is by design.

Watch the security light - you'll see it start blinking again indicating that the immob. is active.

I know it is common to completely disable the immobilizer and alarm, but you also loose door locks and that is a downside to me. (I know you can add RKE back for ~30$) I also do drive my car in public and would like to retain the immobilizer.

I really don't want to get stranded and wanted to see if anyone has done this:
1. Install a Door unlock button in the trunk (tied into the fuel cutoff switch)
This has been done - turns out the inertia switch in the engine compartment fires the door unlock signal when you have an accident so first responders can get into the car. It's easy to put a jumper and switch on this circuit to allow unlocking the doors at will. Such a switch is easy to hide in the clutter of the engine compartment. Instructions can be searched for on the forum.
2. Install 2 more switches behind the Driver seat on the immobilizer that jumps the starter lead and jumps the fuel pump lead.
All of the immobilizer wiring is up in the dash on the right hand side. I suppose you could bypass everything further back in the engine harness, but it seems needlessly complicated.

99% of the time the car would function as normal, with everything as it should be. If I ever come to my car and the system isn't working I can still pop the trunk to get in the doors and flip the two switches to start the car. This bypass would work fine and effectively prevent me from being stranded.
I think there are easier ways around this problem. I recommend a careful reading of the cobra alarm installation/programming manual before you take more drastic steps - it's quite configurable, if rather frustrating to program. If you are still interested in modding the wiring, there's a wiring diagram for the alarm installer as well.
Would this work?
yes on one, maybe on two
What would happen to the alarm?
seems like it would work normally - bypassing immobilizer function is independent of the alarm functions I think.
Is there an easy way to test the alarm as I've never heard it go off?
Can you jump the immobilizer like this where it is still fully connected and the wires are also jumped?
Easiest way to test the alarm if your dome light is working normally is to put something in the car with the top off - that was the first time I heard mine - the ultrasonic sensor noticed me putting my laptop bag in the pax seat and it went off. Opening any door with the alarm enabled will also do: leave a window rolled down, lock/alarm enable, then pull the door lock knob up and open the door. Likewise setting the alarm and opening the rear lid with the key will do it nicely...

I recommend you read some before getting creative:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320/manual-alarm-system-5361/
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/alarm-immobilizer-cdl-emergency-overide-76817/#post1332268
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320/manuals-cobra-8186-a-34324/
 

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2005 Elise
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply!

All of the immobilizer wiring is up in the dash on the right hand side. I suppose you could bypass everything further back in the engine harness, but it seems needlessly complicated.
My understanding is that the alarm is in the dash on the right side but the immobilizer is behind the driver seat.

I have also opened my trunk without hitting any buttons on the fob and my alarm did not go off.
 

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520 Posts
Thanks for the reply!



My understanding is that the alarm is in the dash on the right side but the immobilizer is behind the driver seat.

I have also opened my trunk without hitting any buttons on the fob and my alarm did not go off.
Assuming that your alarm was set(doors locked, alarm/immobilizer enabled), it should have went off when opening the trunk. Could be another issue if that is the case.
 
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`08 Elise-SC-220
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Krazykevin
That is not normal. Two things I absentmindedly do is: Open the trunk with the car "fob locked" which sets off the alarm. Something I did at cars and coffee last week: "Fob locked" the car with the trunk open which gave me a "stuttering chirp" warning alarm until I pressed the door lock button again on the fob which silenced that warning. Later on, with the hatch still open, I opened the driver door and the full alarm sounded until I depressed the unlock button on the fob. Note: the doors don't "Fob lock" with the hatch open.
I timed the immobilizer disable from the depression of the Fob unlock button to when the flashing instrument light resumes and got 40-42 seconds. I can work within that window about half of the time. You have to move purposely to beat it. :grin2:
P.S. I'm saying "Fob locked" to differentiate from "key locked" which you can also do. Key locking side steps the alarm system but not the immobilizer.
This link has some good info in it.
http://lotusdriversclubonline.org.uk/topic/1224-elise-alarm-issues-cobra-6442/
 

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There are plenty of threads about the immobilizer acting up and the resulting inability to start your car. I wanted to disable the immobilizer while keeping the alarm and door locking functions.

SirLotus (Michael) was a huge help to me in understanding this system. There is an electronic brain that acts as a hub for the door locking system, alarm and immobilizer. Removing one of these components often leads to unintended (unwanted) ramifications. The easiest way to “remove” the immobilizer (and thus the threat of having it go haywire on you at some point) is to simply leave everything intact but install two jumper wires on either side of the immobilizer plug. What this does is maintain all engine functions (fuel pump, ignition) to the engine at all times while the system “still thinks” it’s fully functional. In other words, the car is never immobilized but the brain thinks it is, so there’s no blinking alarm light while the engine is running (or other weird indications that result from removing components).

If you still want to maintain the integrity of the immobilizer system at times, you can install a hidden switch instead of jumper wires....switch it on to deactivate it, switch it off to activate it.

The immobilizer is located on the wall directly behind the driver’s seat belt inertia reel. If you have the touring pack, it will be behind a bunch of foam, and not really able to be accessed without the rear panel coming off. If you DONT have the touring pack, you may be able to loosen that side and stick your hand up and in, behind the inertia reel and grab the harness plug and pull it out.

I elected to go with the jumpers. I tested it and even with the alarm armed, I can start the car....but the alarm goes off. Perfect for me. And if the next owner wants to undo it, nothing ancouple of snips with wire cutters can’t do.

I’ve attached a photo of the harness plug and location for the jumper wires....basically you just jump the two contacts (upper and lower) on each end of the plug.

(All photo credits thanks to SirLotus, a great member of this forum!)
 

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I'm the camp of betting that "you're taking too long to start the car", which is why you're intermittently having issues with the immobilizer.

If you "unlock the doors, get in, and start the car", it'll start right up.

If you unlock the doors, reach in, pop the trunk, take the top off, stow the top in the trunk, get in, and start the car"...yeah, the immobilizer is going to be reactivated, and you'll have to press the button on the fob again to disable it.

Before you start pulling stuff out, rewiring circuits, bypassing factory systems...I would suggest taking a little time and verifying that things are (or aren't) working as designed.

Sit in the car with the keys. Lock the doors and look for the immobilizer light. When it's flashing and you know it's enabled, hit the unlock button. Light should go out. Time it to see how long before the light starts blinking again (indicating that the immobilizer has reactivated). Do this a few times, see of the time is consistent.

If it is (and it should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 seconds), everything is working as it should.

I mean, if things are all mucked up, by all means, do what has to be done. You don't want to get left stranded (as some have).

Personally, I feel like the security on these cars isn't all that great to begin with so, taking away a security feature is asking for trouble. As others have said, without the engine immobilizer, it's VERY easy to steal these cars (unless the thief is under 25 years old...they he won't be able to drive a manual)
 

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2005 Elise
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Discussion Starter #10
If you still want to maintain the integrity of the immobilizer system at times, you can install a hidden switch instead of jumper wires....switch it on to deactivate it, switch it off to activate it.

I elected to go with the jumpers. I tested it and even with the alarm armed, I can start the car....but the alarm goes off. Perfect for me. And if the next owner wants to undo it, nothing ancouple of snips with wire cutters can’t do.

I’ve attached a photo of the harness plug and location for the jumper wires....basically you just jump the two contacts (upper and lower) on each end of the plug.

(All photo credits thanks to SirLotus, a great member of this forum!)
This is what I was looking for. Thanks!

Maybe I misspoke but I do not want to delete the immobilizer. I want something in place so that I don't get stranded somewhere. (bypass the immobilizer only when I need to on a switch and that a thief wouldn't know existed)

It looks like my alarm my not be working correctly as well. The dash light seems to work fine (blinks when locked) but I have opened the trunk while the car was locked and no alarm went off.

Does the chirp when the doors are locked come from the same siren as the alarm? Mine does chirp.
 

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You should try changing the alarm settings so the immobiliser does not turn on automatically. You can set it up so the immobilizer only turns on when you lock the car with the fob. The immobilizer will then turn off when unlocked with the fob. If you know your alarm pin, you can change this yourself. It is really the way it should have come from the factory.

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320/remote-key-fob-immobilizer-misc-alarm-programming-70940/

I think the procedure is in the owner's manual as well.
 

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not your dad's puns
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It looks like my alarm my not be working correctly as well. The dash light seems to work fine (blinks when locked) but I have opened the trunk while the car was locked and no alarm went off.
Could be someone jumped the trunk open indicator circuit, so that it never signals the alarm, and always seems "closed".

I've considered doing that, since I sometimes forget if I have the alarm set, when I go to open the trunk first.

Ultimately decided to keep that feature, and just improve my opening routine habit. ;)
 
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