types of kill switches and how do they work

Machines have made our lives much easier for ages, and new technology is still being invented. But everyone and everything has flaws, don’t they? Machinery malfunctions often, or in the case of automobiles, get stolen.

Keyless cars tend to be stolen more often as they are easy to get their hands onto. RFID key fob protectors might help you protect your car from this type of theft. But one might wonder, is there a better way? And what about cars which are not keyless?

Well, where there’s a will there is a way. A Kill Switch can do the job when you need to desperately prevent unwanted access to your vehicle or any machine needs to be stopped immediately.

Kill switches are of numerous kinds and work in their own ways. In this article, we will be discussing the types of kill switches and how they work on automobiles and machines.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Kill Switch?

First things first, we need to know what exactly a kill switch is. A Kill Switch is used to disable or shut down any kind of machinery or program.

It cuts off a process that is essential for the system to run, causing system startup failure or stopping an already running process.

Kill switches are widely used for the sake of preventing theft, data, or in case an emergency occurs, shutting down the system immediately if required.

Different kinds of kill switches prove to be of great use in cases of keyless car theft, key-operated cars and bike theft, and even preventing boats from being stolen. Also, kill switches have saved numerous lives when industrial machinery, escalators, treadmills, etc. malfunction.

Therefore, one can easily conclude that kill switches are actual life savers when everything else fails.

How Does A Kill Switch Work

A kill switch is placed between two wires that are to be connected in order for the machine to be working.

The disconnection of these two wires prevents the machine or vehicle from starting up or stops an already running piece of machinery.

As soon as the kill switch is turned off, the wires are reconnected and the machine/vehicle starts up again. So this is generally how a kill switch works.

Where Are Kill Switches Used?

Kill switches are used widely around the world and can be used on any kind of manual or automatic machinery.

Vehicles are stolen a lot these days, according to a report over 800k cars were stolen in America alone in 2020. But these kill switches can help you prevent car theft. They just cut off the supply of an important element that is essential for the car to start. Boats, motorcycles, and even trucks are also protected with these anti-theft kill switches.

Industrial machinery is really easy to control during emergencies with a kill switch button. They cut off the power supply when the machinery needs to be shut down in case of an accident or life-threatening situation.

5 Different Types Of Kill Switches To Prevent Theft

Numerous kinds of kill switches are available in the market and all of them serve the purpose of preventing your vehicles from being stolen. Kill switches are placed onto different spots in the vehicle depending on the type of kill switch.

In this section, we will be discussing the different types of kill switches to prevent theft and how do they work?

1. Ignition Kill Switch

ignition kill switch for vehicles

Among the different types of kill switches to prevent theft, this one is very commonly used. As the name suggests, ignition kill switch cuts off the car’s connection with the ignition switch.

Because of this ignition cut-off, the thief will be baffled as the car won’t start, and will have to ultimately give up on trying.

Experts recommend placing this switch around the car seats or somewhere under the dashboard so that it stays hidden and you have quick access to it. As soon as you get out of the car or your truck, you switch it on and switch it off as soon as you get in.

To install this kill switch, you first need to drill a hole in the place where you need the switch to be. Now the switch is to be placed between the two ends of a connecting wire of the ignition fuse box and the ignition trigger.

Check Out the ignition kill switch on Amazon

Take help of this YouTube video for further help.

2. Fuel Line Shut Off Valve

fuel line shut off valve

This type of car kill switch comes as a valve and serves the purpose of theft prevention. It prevents the fuel from reaching the engine.

Although the engine will crank, the car, boat, or motorcycle are sure to not start. And eventually, the thief will have to give up thinking that there is a problem with the vehicle. The knob, in one direction turns the fuel line off, whereas in the other, keeps it flowing as normal.

To install this kill switch on your jeep, RV, boat, car, or motorcycle, just cut a little piece of wire out of the fuel line and install the valve directly into the fuel line.

But the drawback of this kill switch is that you’ll have to get under the car to turn on the knob every time you need to start the car. Therefore, this kill switch is not recommended for you if you are a regular driver.

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Checkout this YouTube video to better understand the installation of fuel line shut off valve.

3. Battery Disconnect Switch

battery disconnect kill swich

Regular drivers can easily use this kill switch that has great efficiency and can definitely save your vehicle from theft. The battery disconnection switch works when you unhook the negative lead from the battery and directly connect it to the switch.

But if you use this method, you’ll have to open the hood. Anyways, it is still better than crawling under the car every time you want to start it. You can have the switch mounted inside the car for your convenience.

When the knob of this kind of kill switch is turned one way, the circuit is complete and thus the car starts as normal. But as soon as the knob is turned the other way around, the battery is as good as dead, because the car will not even crank.

The catch here is that the clock and radio preset will vanish as they stay in memory with the help of the car battery.

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Here’s YouTube video for you to better understand how to install a battery disconnect switch and how it works.

4. Fuse Box Kill Switch

fuse box kill switch to prevent theft

Fuse box kill switches are really easy to disconnect but they can be a problem if you are a regular driver. Also, this depends on the location of your car’s fuse box.

The way a fuse box kill switch works is that it removes power from the car by blocking the power supply to the fuse.

What makes this kill switch secure and efficient is that it is easy to install and can be installed anywhere you like, with the help of wires.

You can get this switch installed in a hidden place or even in the cabin where you think it might look good. To deceive the burglar, get some dummy switches as well so that he/she gets confused.

To install this kill switch for vehicle, all you need to do is, instate a fuse into the fuse box. When the fuse is activated the power supply to the fuse box is cut, and when it is deactivated, the car starts as normal.

Check out this fuse box kill switch on Amazon

Checkout this YouTube video to understand the installation and working of fuse box kill switch.

5. RC(Remote Control) Car Battery Disconnection Switch

remote battery disconnect kill switch

Car battery disconnection kill switch also disables the battery temporarily, but it is much more convenient than the other car battery kill switch.

This car battery disconnection switch works with a remote control so that you don’t have to get under the hood to activate or deactivate the switch. You can easily and secretly activate this as soon as you notice any suspicious activity around your vehicle.

To install this switch, just connect the terminals to your battery as you did with the other types of kill switches to prevent theft for cars.

When you press the button, the powerful magnet on the inside of the kill switch moves a metal piece on the inside which completes or breaks the circuit.

The advantage of this kill switch is that it conserves power. Whenever the power is activated, the magnets go to rest and are reactivated when the button is pressed.

Check out this remote kill switch on Amazon

Check this YouTube video for better understanding.

Types Of Kill Switches To Prevent Theft: FAQs

What Does A Kill Switch Do On A Car?

A kill switch makes your vehicle theft-proof. Basically, it breaks a circuit that should be complete for the car to start.

How Does A Boat Kill Switch Work?

A boat kill switch turns the boat off in case the helmsman is no longer able to control the boat. This helps prevent accidents. Also, it prevents the engine from starting if the boat is attempted to be stolen.

Are Kill Switches Effective?

Kill switches have reportedly prevented theft and also prevented life-threatening disasters. Kill switches can surely save the day.

How Does A Kill Switch Work On A Dirt Bike?

When you install a kill switch in bike or dirt bike, it discharges the capacitor, and the lack of spark experienced terminates the working of the engine.

Where Does A Kill Switch Work?

There are different kill switches for different parts of a car. Some of the most commonly used are fuel line shut-off valve, ignition wire kill switch, fuse box kill switch, car battery disconnection switch, etc.

Other kill switches are used for industrial machinery, gyms, escalators, etc. which immediately shut off the system in case of an emergency

Are Kill Switches Legal?

Yes, kill switches are legal and for some vehicles like boats, they are even compulsory under federal law.

What Does A Kill Switch Do In A Motor Cycle?

A kill switch in a motorcycle lets that rider switch the bike off, without getting the hands-off from the handlebars, as the kill switch is in the reach of the thumb.

Is A Kill Switch bad For Your Vehicle?

Kill switches are theft preventers that can protect your vehicle against malicious eyes. And they are not at all bad for your vehicle. However, the installation of kill switches in older models of vehicles can be quite challenging.