Switched on the car's engine and it went click, 2nd try, 3rd, 4th and then finally it started. Later, in the middle of the busy downtown street, the engine went off and took another turn of the stop light and a couple horns honking before it started again. What could be wrong, when this car is brand new? After reading the car's manual today, we figured out that there is such thing as "engine immobilizer system".
Engine immobilizer system is a a chip built in the car key (holder). It's a security feature that prevents the engine to start with the use of unauthorized duplicate key. What is embedded in the key is one precision resistor. When you insert the key in the ignition, the resistor becomes part of a simple circuit involving 3 other resistors. If the key does not have a resistor or if the resistor has the wrong value, the circuit disables part of the car's electrical system to prevent the car from starting.
It's been a while since we last had a brand new car so I'm not quite sure how and when this thing is being used by car manufacturers. This is totally new for us. Apparently, when any electromagnet or metal touches the key, it interrupts and disables the chip from sending proper signals. So, key chains made out of metals should be position in a certain way otherwise, when handled improperly will cause it to immobilize. And there's one more thing... the clutch has to be (as in) fully stepped on (even on neutral) before the engine starts. Hay, simple things made complicated, don't you think?