Having just recently replaced my ageing E34 with a '99 E36 323i Touring, I
was amazed to find it wasn't fitted with any alarm or immobiliser as
Any advice as to a decent quality unit/system for DIY fitting? I want to do
it myself as I've had to 'undo' for a few friends' motors, the 'work'
(Bodges) of several so-called specialists in the past. (I don't specifically
need Thatcham approved systems, just reliable and secure)
Any info greatly appreciated.
The quality of the installation should far exceed that of the hardware -
in general. You can get a more than adequate alarm and immobiliser from
Halfords or Maplin etc. But good installation requires wiring skills.
*If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
I don't know about European BMWs, but all US cars have an RFID chip
in the key, without which it won't start. All US cars are also pre-wired
for a factory alarm, which is an easy install (by the dealer).
As far as I know, all EU BMWs since the beginning of the '90 have
immobilizers, certainly the ones built starting the second half of the
decade. A '99 E36 has an immobilizer. See the reviews on
http://www.parkers.co.uk/ for more info.
You should be quite pleased to learn that your car does indeed have an
immobilizer built-in (EWS). This is a system that will not allow the
car to start unless one of the keys that has been previously programmed
into the ECU is used to start the car. Otherwise, the starter just
turns and no ignition occurs.
The need for an alarm is more for protection of the contents of the
vehicle or to keep it from being winched up on a flatbed and carried off.
Thanks for the info Fred. I did think it strange that a fairly high spec car
wasn't fitted with an immobiliser. I'll just fit an alarm with remote
central unlocking now then.
You should find that round the ignition lock there is a big black
plastic shroud which protrudes round the lock barrel. As I understand
it, this is the chip readers induction ring.
My '96 E36 has one, but my '94 didn't.
Plus, if you have the "proper computer", you should have a code
button... You can program a code into it when you park up, and it
won't start until you put the code in next time you try to start it.
Unfortunately this only works for the next time you try to start, as
soon as you start it clears it. I wish there was a way of making this
code stick, but it's still nice if you have to park somewhere a bit
iffy... Alarm, code immobilise, chipped key... Walk away feeling
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