Service Theft Deterrent System Chevy Cruze: Problems and Solutions

It can feel uncomfortable when your car’s theft-deterrent system triggers itself without actual reasons. Unfortunately, this is a common phenomenon among many Chevy Cruze owners.

The theft-deterrent system is essential to keeping your Chevy Cruze out of criminals. But it might occasionally malfunction due to a faulty car battery.

While your car’s battery is primarily to blame, the problem has a few other causes and solutions. But don’t worry. No matter how complex your case of theft deterrent system malfunction is, we are here to guide you through.

What Is a Service Theft Deterrent System In Chevy Cruze?

The service theft detection system in your Chevy Cruze is designed to identify and prevent thefts or break-ins. It is an alarm system with sensors installed inside and outside of a Chevy Cruze.

This theft-deterrent system prohibits unauthorized utilization of your vehicle by disabling the car starter, fuel, or ignition systems. To use the car, you first need to disable the system. 

How Does The Chevy Cruze Theft Deterrent System Work?

As mentioned before, the theft-deterrent system has a set of internal and external sensors. When someone breaks into your automobile, these sensors instantly detect it. Then the system sets off a series of measures to prevent the car thief from committing further harm.

While on, these sensors stay on duty to detect anomalies such as opening the gates without the keys, theft attempts, abnormally moving the car, break-ins, etc. When your Chevy Cruze senses these, it goes into a self-protection mode through the theft-deterrent alarm system.

How To Reset Chevy Cruze Theft Deterrent System?

Resetting such a complex system can be troublesome if done inappropriately. Therefore, carefully read these methods in detail to have a piece of prior knowledge: 

Reset With Ignition Switch

Rotate the key to the ‘accessory on’ position. Wait 10-15 minutes while putting the key in the ignition. Revert the key to its original off position. Allow the system to stay off for two minutes. After restarting, the problem might go away and you might be able to drive.

If you still see the Service Theft Deterrent System warning on your dashboard, repeat the procedure 2-3 times more. Apparently, this method solves chevy truck ignition switch problems as well.

Reset With Driverโ€™s Side Door Lock

The second method of resetting the theft-deterrent system is to insert the key into the lock of the driver’s side door. Before removing the key, turn it both ways and keep it in the unlock position for 30 seconds.

Reset With Doors Open

Get out of the car after pushing the unlock button, but keep the doors open. Then click the door’s lock button and close it. In most cases, it will fix the problem right away.

Hard Reset

Even after performing the previous solutions, your Chevy might still show you a theft-deterrent warning on its dashboard. Now the only way left for you is a hard reset.

First, unplug the battery by removing the negative cable with the help of a 10mm socket. Repeat the process with the positive cable.

Now, turn the key and press the horn to ensure no energy is remaining. Then, plug in the battery by connecting the positive cable first and the negative cable later. 

3 Common Problems With Chevy Cruze Theft Deterrent System

Many problems can arise due to malfunctions in the theft-deterrent alarm system. Some issues are more observable in a Chevy Cruze.

Not Shifting To Park

When the alarm triggers, it sometimes won’t let you shift the transmission into P. Apart from a Chevy Cruze, this issue is familiar with a 2019 Chevy Blazer, 2018-2019 Chevy Traverse, and 2016-2019 Chevy Volt.

Power Steering Fail

While driving, a message might appear on the dashboard saying Power Steering Fail. It will lock up your steering wheel and might have resistance when turning.

Total Shut Down

Everything in your Chevy Cruze might shut off, including the dashboard, lights, radio, and the engine itself. The problem usually lasts only a few seconds. But it can be dangerous since it can happen while driving.

How To Fix Chevy Cruze Theft Deterrent System?

Other than resetting the alarm, there are permanent solutions to a Chevy Cruze Theft Deterrent malfunction. 

Change The Key Fob Battery

You can check your key and the batteries in its fob. The alarm might be triggered if the key fob battery is dead or the key is broken. If this is the case, you need to replace the key fob batteries.

To do this, you donโ€™t need anything except a flathead screwdriver. Use the screwdriver’s tail to open up the cover of your key fob. You will see one big CR2032 3V battery there, remove it and install a new one. Be sure that the positive side matches with the positive side (and vice versa). 

Install New Car Batteries

When car batteries are damaged, it can trigger the Service Theft Deterrent System alarm on your Chevy Cruze. So you need to check your car batteries for this. 

With the help of a 10mm socket, unplug the wires from your battery to insert a new one. Occasionally, the dirt in the wires can cause the battery to malfunction. That is why it’s essential to clean up the wires. 

Replace Old Alternator With A New One

A broken alternator in a Chevy Cruze cannot let enough energy pass into the battery. In that case, you will see an illuminated battery warning light along with the system theft deterrent message.

To solve this, disconnect the car batteries. Be sure to unplug the negative wires first. Then unplug the sensor cable from the alternator and take a 13mm socket to finally remove it. At last, install the new alternator there.


Some questions might arise regarding the malfunctions in the service theft-deterrent system of a Chevy Cruze. 

Can A Low Battery Cause The Chevy Cruze Alarm to Go Off?

A car alarm’s primary function is to alert the driver regarding low battery levels. That’s why starting your car with a dead battery quickly sets off the alarm.

Why Does My Chevy Cruze Alarm Keep Going Off For No Reason?

You might have a faulty or dead battery installed in your car, which is why your Chevy Cruze alarm keeps going off for no reason. Sometimes a faulty key can trigger this alarm too.

How Do I Turn Off Anti-Theft Without A Key Fob?

If you go into your Chevy Cruze and lock your doors, it may stop the alarm without the key fob. If this doesnโ€™t help, consider pulling the fuse in the panel.


The causes and solutions for a Chevy Cruze theft-deterrent alarm malfunction are simple. A faulty battery is a primary reason why this occurs.

According to advice from experts, it is crucial to ensure proper battery maintenance if you own a Chevy Cruze. While it’s true that the issues with the theft-deterrent alarm are pretty prevalent, it is, fortunately, repairable.

It might feel annoying to have your alarm system broken. You may also be overwhelmed with many tensions and anxiety. But if you thoroughly follow the experts’ advice, you can fix it with just a DIY effort.

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