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Can Interlocks be Installed in Older Cars?

October 21, 2020

One of the first questions for prospective interlock users is whether their vehicle is appropriate for installation. At Smart Start we consider the vast majority of vehicles to be appropriate for installation regardless of age. But just to be sure, I asked our in-house technician about whether ignition interlocks can be installed in all cars, and how old is too old.  


Because interlock devices work by interrupting the battery from starting the vehicle engine, an alcohol interlock device can theoretically be installed in any vehicle with a battery. A further requirement a vehicle should meet to allow modern interlock devices to be installed is using a 12-volt battery system. Luckily, the 12-volt battery was popularised is the 1950s, so only vehicles over 70 years old are at risk of failing this requirement. 


Now let's talk about the other spectrum; really new cars. Smart Start Interlock Devices have evolved to keep up with increasingly complex and efficient cars, including most hybrid cars which run on dual volt systems. However, there are still instances of electric or hybrid cars which are not designed for aftermarket accessories, and these can be a challenge to install in. Contact your local Smart Start service agent for a free quote  


As an extra note, if you have had problems with your car battery in the past, you should try to resolve any such problems before installing an alcohol interlock device. Most state interlock programs closely survey battery disconnections over the course of the program, meaning that a simple flat battery can lead to other costs and inconveniences imposed by your program. Before installing, ask your agent to give your battery and alternator a thorough check to reduce the chances of this happening.  



You Asked: A series of common questions asked by customers. If you have any burning questions you'd like a post on, no matter how big or small, leave a comment or contact us via email.