Having Trouble With Your Ignition Interlock? It Might Not Be Your Interlock!

When an ignition interlock user calls to report that he or she is having a problem, a technician will usually do a thorough check to find out the source of the glitch. Often it turns out that the issue has a different cause entirely. Here are the most common problems that make people think that their ignition interlock is misbehaving:

ignition-interlock-electrical-issuesBattery Issues. As we’ve noted before, battery issues are the number one complaint.

Interlocks only draw a tiny amount of current – about the same amount as the clock on a car radio, which needs a bit of juice to keep your station settings. Usually it’s no more than half an amp. With a good battery, an ignition interlock should pose no problem. Still, any amount of draw can drain a bad battery, so make sure that their battery is in top condition, or else buy a new one.

Alternator issues. Alternators recharge the battery as it drains. If the alternator isn’t working right, it doesn’t matter how new your battery is – your battery will die. Have the alternator checked if you’re having any new electronics installed in your car – not just an ignition interlock.

Substandard accessory installations. Many motorists like to save money by buying an electronic component online – a stereo or remote starter, say  – and doing the installation themselves. Car electronics are complicated, and they’re getting more so by the year. All it takes is a poorly sheathed wire or loose connection to cause some difficult-to-trace problems. Sometimes complaints about an interlock end up being about a poorly-wired navigation system or subwoofer.

And it’s not only DIY installations that cause problems. Many car mod shops let the “new guy” train on a customer’s vehicle, and the work isn’t always properly checked out. Your vehicle could be a trainee’s homework. (Not at LifeSafer, though : all our technicians are fully trained before they begin working on customers’ cars).

Aging vehicles. If you have an interlock installed on your cherished 1986 Lincoln Mark VII, and a week later your air conditioner cuts out, don’t blame the interlock too quickly. Things go wrong on old cars all the time, and sometimes the ignition interlock is an innocent bystander.

Too many add-ons. A touch screen, extra interior and exterior lighting, remote start, radar detector, rear DVD player, car alarm, subwoofer, headrest monitors, GPS, back up camera… we get it, you like your electronics. But even if they’re all installed perfectly, having all those devices is asking a lot of circuitry that wasn’t designed for it. Your battery will be draining much faster, and you could have introduced more points of failure. Just sayin’.

Of course, if your LifeSafer interlock is having problems, just call our toll-free number and we’ll have an expert technician fix or replace the unit. We’re not just here to install interlocks – we’re here to keep you on the road.