Service theft deterrent system on Chevy Cruze

Service Theft Deterrent System On Chevy Cruze

Service Theft Deterrent System on Chevy Cruze, what does it mean? How does this system work, and can you reset it?

The system’s function is to protect your car against theft. It consists of sensors to detect a break-in attempt and a response mechanism that fires the alarm and locks the engine. However, it can also develop faults or cause a false alarm.

Read on to find out what can trigger Service Theft Deterrent System and how to reset it!

Service theft deterrent system on Chevy Cruze
Service theft deterrent system on Chevy Cruze

What Is The Service Theft Deterrent System On Chevy Cruze Cars?

The Service Theft Deterrent System on Chevy Cruze keeps your car safe. Its purpose is to detect an attempt to break into the vehicle, thereby preventing theft.

The system consists of internal and external sensors that constantly monitor your car and send a signal if there is an attempt to break in or move it. It then activates an alarm system and locks the engine to prevent someone from driving away in your car.

The car’s engine remains locked, and the alarm keeps calling until you, the owner, switch it off through the key FOB.

This is a crucial feature of Chevy Cruze in enhancing the safety of your machine. However, it also malfunctions, locking you out or causing false alarms.

What Does The “Service Theft Deterrent System” Message Mean?

The system on Chevy Cruze tracks its functionality. If it detects an error, you, the driver, get a notification on the message center informing you of the same. It typically reads “Service Theft Deterrent System”.

Act fast to fix the problem with this system to ensure your car is safe. The message tells you that the Service Theft Deterrent System may fail to protect your Chevy Cruze from theft. Any intruder can get by and drive away. And even worse, the car may switch into the protected mode.

The side effects of protected mode are random false alarms and failure of the engine to start. That is not only frustrating but also inconveniencing.

READ MORE: Reduced Engine Power Message On Chevy Impala

What Triggers The System Errors On Chevy Cruze?

This system is crucial when working as it should. However, if it encounters an error, it can cause you a headache. Two things can falsely trigger it. Let’s get into details.

Low Battery Charge

When your Chevy Cruze falsely sets the alarm and doesn’t start, the first thing to do is to check the battery voltage. Dead car batteries or low voltage are likely to fool the system. Remember, the Service Theft Deterrent System is constantly ON to monitor the vehicle. So, it requires enough electrical power to function as designed.

You may need to charge the battery externally or replace it if the one in your car can no longer hold a charge.

Low Key FOB Batter

If the car’s battery is not the culprit, check the key FOB battery as the next possible cause of the false alarm.

The Service Theft Deterrent System requires an original key programmed to work with it. If the battery in the Key FOB is low, it may fail to establish a connection with the system. Using that key to turn on the ignition will not start the engine. Instead, the system detects it as an attempted break-in and triggers the alarm. This also applies to aftermarket duplicate keys without proper configuration.

Replace the key FOB battery if it is low, or use the original key instead of the duplicate one.

How To Reset Service Theft Deterrent System On Chevy Cruze?

How to reset service theft deterrent system on Chevy Cruze
How to reset Service theft deterrent system on Chevy Cruze

Before you hard reset the Service Theft Deterrent System on your Chevy Cruze, you should perform some checks. They include the following:

  • Disable tow-away protection if your car has this feature.
  • Check the interior of the vehicle and remove anything hanging in there. The system may have interior sensors that interpret any strange object in the car as an intruder.
  • Deactivate the auxiliary heating system because this, too, can trigger the Service Theft Deterrent System.
  • Inspect other aftermarket components such as remote start or alarm to ensure that they are not interfering.
  • Verify the battery charge state and recharge or replace it if necessary.
  • Check all doors, including the hood, to ensure none is in an open state.
  • Ensure your transponder key does not need battery replacement.

If the theft deterrent lamp is flashing, perform the following actions:

  • Remove magnetic cards or any signaling device attached to the keychain.
  • Use an OBD2 scan tool to perform communication diagnosis and fix any related diagnostic trouble codes.
  • Key reprogramming may also be necessary.

Once you are through the above procedure without success, resetting the system is the next step. Note that this procedure will restore many other electrical and electronic systems to their initial state, including Bluetooth and radio.

Resetting the Service Theft Deterrent System involves disconnecting the battery from the car. To do that, start by removing the negative cable from the battery terminal, followed by the positive one.

Let the vehicle rest in this state for about 10 minutes to drain all residual energy in the system. You can quicken this process by turning the ignition key on and pressing the horn. The accessories will quickly draw all that lingering energy.

Reconnect the battery terminals and start your car again. If that does not happen, consider calling a qualified mechanic or your auto dealer.


The Service Theft Deterrent System on Chevy Cruze protects your car from theft. However, it can also malfunction. That will trigger a false alarm and can lock the engine. Fortunately, you can reset it in a few steps outlined in this article. You may also want a qualified technician to check the car if it requires fixing to allow the system to function normally.

READ MORE: Service StabiliTrak Chevy Cruze: What Does It Mean?

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