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What Is the Kill Switch in a Car?

  • Cars Explained
  • Ray Sanders
  • 5 minutes

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Despite the many safety features that modern automobiles have, we continue to hear reports of car theft on a daily basis. Even though immobilizers have been shown to help reduce vehicle theft, manufacturers often overlook this feature to cut costs. Though installing an immobilizer can be expensive and tiring, getting a kill switch on your car can help shield it from thieves to an extent. This article will explain what a kill switch on a car is, what are the various kinds of kill switches, and how much it would cost to install one on your vehicle.  

What is a kill switch on a car? 

A kill switch, in simple words, is an extra switch you add to your car to enhance its safety and shield it from theft. This goes into your vehicle’s circuit, and you can toggle it on or off to complete or disengage the circuit to turn it on and off the car. Most of the time, these are quite small and hidden in an area where they would not be easily spotted by a stranger.¬†

What are the various types of kill switches? 

There are five primary categories of kill switches based on their purpose. These are:

  • Fuel cut-off switch¬†
  • Battery disconnect switch¬†
  • Ignition wire kill switch¬†
  • Fuse box kill switch¬†
  • Remote car battery switch¬†

kill switch car

Fuel cut-off switch 

As the name suggests, this type of kill switch on a car cuts off fuel from reaching the engine. So, when you toggle it on, you may still be able to crank the engine as the electricals are still on. And the engine won’t be able to fire due to a lack of gas coming in. However, this switch is mostly in a knob form, making it inconvenient for the driver every time to engage it. ¬†

Battery disconnect switch 

We know how difficult it is to disconnect the battery from a car. But with a battery disconnect kill switch on your car, you can easily do it by removing the negative connector and installing a switch there. So, when you turn it on, there’s no power delivery to the car’s electricals, making it unable to crank the engine.

You can either install it directly on the battery terminal or draw a wire inside the car and install the switch at your reach to avoid the inconvenience of opening the hood every time you need this feature.  

The biggest drawback with this system is that the car will lose memory while disconnecting the battery. You will have to reset everything, e.g., time and radio station preferences, from scratch.  


Ignition wire switch 

A functional ignition system helps you turn on the car and perfectly run it. But did you know that you could install a kill switch in between to turn this system on and off whenever you want? You can do it by cutting the ignition wire and connecting both these wires to a kill switch using a connector.  

However, unlike the other two switches, installing an ignition wire kill switch on a car involves cutting wires, which can void your car’s warranty. Similarly, the process is so complex that it could pose serious harm to your vehicle if not done in the right way. So, make sure to get it done by an expert professional. ¬†

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Fuse box switch 

A fuse box kill switch helps to prevent your car from getting power. It is different from a battery disconnect switch in the fact that it cuts off the power directly from the fuse box, eliminating the need to remove the fuse and put it back every time. 

Remote car battery switch 

The remote car battery switch is similar to a battery disconnect switch, with an additional remote-control option. You can turn the kill switch on or off using your remote, which you can attach along with your car keys, allowing you to control the machine without even having to be inside the car.  

Also read: Statistics of car thefts in America

How much does it cost to install a kill switch? 

A kill switch on your car typically costs around $20-$100, and the cost is totally dependent upon the type of switch you need. Furthermore, getting it installed by a mechanic can cost extra in the form of labor charges. This can go up to $400.  

Now, if you think getting a kill switch isn’t worth it, you can go for much cheaper anti-theft alternatives like a steering lock, a brake/clutch pedal lock, wheel locks, or even disconnect the battery terminals or pull the fuse yourself at no extra cost. ¬†

Should you get a kill switch for your car? 

Getting a kill switch for your beloved car is one of the best things you could do to save your car from theft, particularly if you’re from an area prone to car thefts. Putting one in your car is a must due to the fact that they are not too costly and do not necessitate a major overhaul. Plan a visit to your local mechanic and get it done right away!¬†

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