How to Install a Kill Switch On Any Car


Automobile manufacturers have made drastic improvements to their safety and alarm systems to combat vehicle theft. However, with the rise in material costs, some manufacturers have opted out of adding immobilizers, which makes stealing vehicles much easier. The implementation of immobilizers makes stealing a vehicle harder by using vehicle-specific keys but not impossible.

Unfortunately, some vehicles are more susceptible to theft because of how easy it is. Luckily, there are preventive measures you can take to prevent your car from being stolen. One of them by installing a kill switch, and here’s how you do it.

What Is a Kill Switch?

A kill switch in an automotive context is when an additional switch is installed into your vehicle for safety and theft deterrent. This switch can take the form of many shapes and sizes where imagination is your only limiting factor.

There are primarily two types: battery and fuel kill switches. Both types of kill switches will require minor modifications to your vehicle. While each type targets different parameters of the vehicle, they both serve the same purpose: preventing the vehicle from starting. Without full continuity in power or fueling, stealing your vehicle will prove to be drastically more difficult.

Parts Needed For a Kill Switch

For a successful kill switch installation, you will need some parts and tools to do so. Most of these are basic tools that may exist in your household already.

  • Toggle Switch
  • Multimeter
  • Various wires
  • Wire Stripper
  • Electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing
  • Cable ties
  • Socket assortment
  • Security bits (optional)

These tools will apply to most applications, though some may need additional security bits to gain access to the things you need.

Kill Switch Installation Process

The installation process for a kill switch in an automobile will differ for each car manufacturer. Therefore, slight differences may exist depending on your car type, though the process remains similar for most.

Start by locating where your relays are, specifically your fuel pump relay. Some disassembly will be required to gain access to your relays. This is located under the steering wheel column on our test vehicle, though yours may be in a different location. Also, some vehicles house their relays under the hood, so it’s best to check your owner’s manual or attempt to find the owner’s manual for free online.

Once you’ve located the fuel pump relay, pull the relay and determine which pin of the harness receives the signal when the key is turned to the “ON” position using your multimeter. Next, ground the negative end of the multimeter to a piece of metal and the positive end to the pins from where you removed the fuel relay. Only one of these pins will send a power signal, which is the pin you want to take advantage of, by altering the signal going through the wire.

You can install the kill switch by cutting the wire in the harness and connecting the wires’ two exposed ends to your switch’s two terminals. You will need to extend the wires to the desired location of your kill switch, though the orientation of the wires doesn’t matter. You can use heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to clean up your connections and prevent any electrical shorts. At this point in the installation, the kill switch you installed should be fully functional and alter the car’s ability to start.

Before reassembling your vehicle, test your kill switch as it’s much better to find an issue now than when everything is back together. Test the kill switch by placing it in the “ON” position. Your vehicle should start and act as if nothing was altered. Alternatively, placing it in the “OFF” position should prevent you from starting the car, giving you the additional measure of security you desire.

For the kill switch to be fully effective, it must remain hidden and limited to your knowledge only. Placing it under the dash would make it rather easy to find, so this is where you can get creative when placing your switch. From the glove box to your trunk, your imagination is your only limitation!

3 Simple Ways to Protect Your Car

Installing a kill switch is more of a permanent modification. If this car is your daily driver, a kill switch might become a nuisance. And, if wiring isn’t your cup of tea, luckily, there are other methods of securing your vehicle with products on the market. Acting as two-factor authentication methods, here are three more ways to secure your vehicle.

Steering Wheel Lock

A steering wheel lock is a security measure you can add to your vehicle. This will lock the steering wheel in a way that cannot be maneuvered without the removal of the steering wheel lock. While this isn’t the most effective safety measure, this will surely delay the process for any potential thief.

Brake or Clutch Pedal Lock

Similar to your steering wheel lock, pedal locks achieve another level of security. Most designs tend to brace the pedal to the steering wheel to prevent any pedals from being operated. Alternatively, for those with manual transmissions, a pedal lock fits over the clutch to prevent someone from rolling the car.

Pulling the Fuel Pump Fuse

The last simple way to secure your vehicle is by pulling the fuel pump fuse. Combustion engines need a spark, fuel, and air to run, and by limiting one of the necessities, it will never run.

Most fuse boxes have diagrams behind the cover that signifies the fuse’s responsibilities, though some may have to obtain this information from their owner’s manual. The downside of this method, however, is that it is as easy to replace the fuel pump fuse as it was to take out. Nevertheless, even this will delay the path of any potential thief.

Keep Your Car Protected!

Despite large numbers of vehicle thefts, plenty of preventative measures can be taken to protect your vehicle further from your factory alarm. Most of these additional safety features are relatively cheap and valuable for sake of your vehicle and ease of mind. From physical kill switches to steering wheel locks, an additional security measure is always available!


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