Why Does My IID Keep Saying Abort?

Your ignition interlock device (IID) is a pretty high-tech piece of equipment, and highly sensitive.  You already know that each time you want to start the car, you must submit a breath sample into the handheld device. You also have to submit to rolling retests. Most times, you either pass and can start the car, or the device detects alcohol on your breath and locks you out. But sometimes, the device displays a message with an error code. What do they mean? Today we will answer the question, Why does my IID keep saying abort?

When you got your ignition interlock device installed, you should have received an Owner’s Manual, as well as a Compliance Guide. The Owner’s Manual gets into the technical aspects of your device, while the Compliance Guide lays out the ignition interlock program rules for your state. All 50 states and Washington DC have ignition interlock laws, but program requirements are different for each state.

All ignition interlock devices installed nationwide must meet or exceed the IID model specifications laid out by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). While the messages displayed may vary in the wording, all devices must be able to clearly communicate what you need to do.

You may want to refer to your Owner’s Manual as you read this. If you have lost your manual, call your service center to get a replacement. You may also be able to find the manual online.

ABORT Message and Why It Happens

In a nutshell, the ABORT error code means there is a problem with the handset. ABORT could mean that something is blocking the airflow into the IID. You might have inadvertently blown item into the mouthpiece, such as a piece of gum, or food debris. This is why we suggest rinsing your mouth out with water before submitting a breath test.

Another common reason you might get the ABORT error screen is if your hand is blocking the small vent on the back of the IID.

You might even get the ABORT message if you didn’t blow hard enough and long enough, or blew too softly. As we said, ignition interlock devices are sensitive, and everything needs to be just right for the device to analyze your breath sample.

Lastly, the Ignition Interlock device may display ABORT it detects something blowing into the device that it registers is not a person. Some people might try to circumvent the device, but that’s not really possible and is a program violation.

Assuming you’re not trying to fool the device, there’s no need to worry if you receive the ABORT message. You’ll just need to check a few things and then try the test again. If the device gives an error code along with the ABORT message, refer to your user’s manual to see what the code means. Depending on your device, you may also get a further message telling you what to do.

What to Do if You Get the ABORT Message

Check the mouthpiece to see if any gum or other debris is blocking the airflow. Make sure you are not blocking the air vent on the back of the device. Once you’ve done this, try to take the test again.

If everything goes as it should, you will either get a message that you passed the test and can start the car, or that you failed the test, and are locked out. If you continue to get the ABORT message, contact your service center for help.

It’s important to know that when you get the ABORT message, it is not the same as failing the test, and will not count against you.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed, scheduling with ALCOLOCK is easy. We have ignition interlock installation locations across the country. Just call the service location most convenient to you to schedule your IID installation, or call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300.

You can speed up the whole process by having your DMV/DOT paperwork with you when you call. In general, once we confirm your eligibility for your state’s restricted driving program, we can schedule your installation within 48 hours.

What to Expect at Your Installation Appointment

You will need to have someone drive you and your vehicle to the appointment since you are not legally allowed to drive until after we install the device. The appointment will last approximately one hour. During that time, the technician will connect the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to your vehicle’s starter. They will also calibrate the handheld device to you, specifically, and train you in how to use it. They will also give you a user’s manual to keep with you for the duration of your restricted driving program.

Finally, the technician will make an appointment for your first service visit. All states require these service visits. The device will send you reminders of this visit a few days in advance. If you need to reschedule the visit, call your Service Center right away. You need to complete the service visit within a certain timeframe or risk a permanent lockout.

At ALCOLOCK, our goal is to get you back on the road quickly. We look forward to working with you!

Skip to toolbar