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My Transponder Isn't Working!

While toll transponders provide reliable service, some actions might cause them to work incorrectly. But how do you know if your transponder is not working correctly? These are common signs that your transponder isn’t functioning properly:

  • A red light at a toll booth
  • A message reading “Call E-ZPass” or “Toll Not Paid”

Quickly solving your transponder issue is essential because a faulty transponder might result in violations or fees. Understanding frequent causes of transponder malfunctions can help you fix the problem and get back on the road.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Transponder Is Not Working

5 Common Reasons Why Your Transponder Is Not Working

A message that your toll tracking transponder isn’t working can be frustrating to encounter. The sooner you understand why your device isn’t working, the more quickly you can resolve the issue.

1. Incorrect Mounting of Your Transponder

Your toll tracking transponder must have the correct mounting to work correctly. The right configuration ensures tolling systems can read your information properly. 

Depending on your transponder type and location, the mounting technique can vary. You should follow the specific guidelines for your transponder before setting it up. 

For example, if you set up the Bestpass Complete Pass Scout transponder, you should:

  • Mount the device at least 1 inch from the bottom of the windshield.
  • Make sure the device is no more than 4 inches left or right of the windshield's center.
  • Never install the transponder behind windshield wipers.

Here are the mounting instructions for other standard transponders:

2. Inappropriate Speed at the Toll Booth

Traveling at high speeds through a toll booth can prevent the toll booth reader from reading your transponder. Speed guidelines are essential for maintaining safe environments as drivers merge onto the highway. 

Your transponder may not read if your speed is above the posted speed limit, which you can find on signs at the toll plaza. Toll systems can detect your speed as you pass through booths and issue a speeding violation in response. Make sure to track your acceleration and examine whether high speed was the cause of your transponder not working.

3. Faulty Toll Reader at the Toll Booth

A malfunctioning toll reader can also affect your transponder’s performance. Some toll booth readers have deteriorated and don’t work as efficiently as others. In these cases, the system cannot scan your transponder, and your device displays an error message like “Toll Not Paid.” 

A toll management software solution like Bestpass can help you identify the causes behind misreads.

4. The Age of the Transponder

Once your transponder reaches a certain age, it might lose some of its functioning capabilities. It might emit a weak signal that the toll system can’t pick up. When this happens, your payment information won’t successfully transfer to the toll authorities, resulting in a “Toll Not Paid” message or other similar messages.

Your transponder’s shelf life depends on its location in your truck:

  • Internally mounted: An internally mounted transponder typically rests on your vehicle’s windshield. These types can last three to five years before needing a replacement.
  • Externally mounted: These transponders reside on your truck’s exterior. External transponders tend to have shorter life spans of two to three years. 

To avoid a malfunction due to age, stay up to date on how long you use your toll tracking transponder. Keeping a log of usage dates can help you determine its age. Once it reaches the typical shelf-life range, get a replacement as soon as possible.

5. Obstruction of the Transponder

Various obstructions in or on your truck might prevent your transponder from working correctly. These blockages can disrupt the device’s signal, keeping it from successfully transmitting your information. 

A few examples of obstructions are:

  • A metal visor
  • Window tint
  • A GPS unit
  • Snow

Keep your dashboard and other vehicle areas clear to ensure the transponder can send your signal properly.

Invest in Toll Management Solutions With Bestpass

Keeping your transponder working correctly is crucial to ensure payment processing and avoid violations. If you’re wondering why your transponder isn’t working, Bestpass is here to help. Our toll management solutions can help you identify misreads and reduce violations.

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