How to Fix Service Theft Deterrent System

A theft Deterrent System as the name implies helps prevent being hijacked by car thefts. It does this by disabling the vehicle starter, fuel, or ignition system.

Modern-day cars come with advanced technologies that make improve a car’s usability and safety by notifying the owner of an attempted break-in on their car.

These technologies are prone to encounter faults over time which will result in the check engine light turning on but luckily it’s a minor issue that comes up occasionally and will be fixed if you know how to navigate your car.

Although, I’d recommend you turn on the feature if it’s available for your car to prevent hijacking and car theft but be prepared to face unsolicited alerts especially when the theft deterrent system becomes faulty.

In this article, I’ll show you common causes why the service theft deterrent system light will come on your dashboard and how to reset and clear it.

Continue reading…

What Does Service Theft Deterrent System Mean?

The main function of the theft deterrent system is to prevent criminals and car stealers from successfully stealing your car by giving out a loud alert and this is possible because this system works hand in hand with the internal and external sensors.

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Furthermore, it’ll disable your car’s engine, so that it won’t start even if the break-in was successful and most times the alarm won’t stop until you use the original key to switch it off.

Also, In most cases, the system may malfunction and refuse to stop despite being in possession of the keyfob thereby leaving an error message on your dashboard.

Causes of Service Theft Deterrent System

As stated earlier, once the service theft deterrent system is triggered, it’ll put your car into a protective mode that’ll block out certain functions from working on your car, and the service theft deterrence system warning light will come on. Although the alert could turn off after getting access to the car, the engine might decide not to start up.

Car experts have related this issue to be often caused by a dead key fob battery, without further assumptions, here are some reasons why your vehicle will display the service theft deterrence system on your Chevy Malibu, Impala, Cruze, Silverado, or any car models

  1. A dead key fob battery
  2. Key fob replacement
  3. A Problematic car door lock
  4. Faulty immobilizer chip in your key fob
  5. A dead car battery
  6. A faulty key fob

How to Repair Service Theft Deterrent System

Since the cause of the error could either be from your key fob, door or car battery. Here are some fixes you can implement to fix the service theft deterrent system

1. Check the Key Fob

It’s necessary that you confirm that the battery in your key fob isn’t dead or you aren’t trying the wrong fob on your car.

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A battery replacement is necessary if the former battery is dead. You can also cross-check and make sure you’re using the correct one.

2. Turn on the Ignition

In most cases when the theft deterrent system turns the engine check light on; the only remedy is to insert your key into the ignition and switch it to the ON status without cranking the engine.

You can leave the key in the ON position for 10 minutes to help the system detect the key before turning the key to the OFF position and give it some time to reset the service theft deterrent issues.

You can retry the above step if it doesn’t clear before you can proceed to start the car.

3. Use a Physical Key on the Car door

If the key fob doesn’t help reset the service theft deterrent issue then you can proceed to unlock the door using a car. Inserting the appropriate key through the passenger seat will reset the system and grant you access to the car.

You can now turn on your vehicle and see if it responds.

4. Disconnect your Car battery

5. Remove the Alarm Fuse

6. Check your Manufacturer’s Manual

7. Reach out to a mechanic

If the above DIY guides don’t resolve the service theft deterrent system error then you should probably seek the help of an auto engineer.

They’ll find the root cause of the issue and get it fixed for a small price.

What triggers a theft deterrent system?

Modern-day cars come equipped with sensors that aid features such as the park assist and theft deterrent system work perfectly. When the sensor notices touch, impact, or a force trying to get into the car, it’ll produce a sound that’ll alert the car owner that there’s possible danger.

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Likewise manner, the system is susceptible to malfunctioning and might start screaming out loud without any cause, in this case then you’ve to check if your car battery, key fob batteries, immobilizer, and car doors are still in good condition.


Can anti-theft stop cars from starting?

Yes, anti-theft places a restriction on the engine making it unable to start until you verify ownership using an original key or key fob on the car.


The service theft deterrent system is vital in the sense that it blocks potential break-in attempts but what then happens when the system starts malfunctioning and denies you access to this car? This is a straightforward tutorial to fix the service theft deterrent system problem.

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