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Thread: How to Disable Seat Belt Chime

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    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Exclamation How to Disable Seat Belt Chime

    On some of my previous cars, I learned of a fairly simple hack to disable the seat belt warning chime - on a hunch, I tried the same procedure that I used for my Subaru, on my Cayman, and lo and behold, it worked. Now, in anticipation of the usual protests ("Why don't you want to wear your seatbelts?" . . . yada, yada) I issue the following:
    DISCLAIMER
    1. I always wear my seatbelts when driving.
    2. I always make sure my passenger(s) are wearing their seatbelt(s) when I'm driving.
    3. I strongly advocate that everyone always wears a seatbelt.
    4. If you choose not to wear a seatbelt, then you are only proving Darwin correct.


    Now, that being said, there are times when I remove my belt, e.g. at a drive-thru, ATM, etc. to get in my wallet, and don't like to listen to the incessant dinging. I also plan on using racing harnesses at the track, and would like to shut off the chime without resorting to other measures.

    Now, interestingly, the procedure that I have used on previous cars was reversible; simply by repeating the procedure you could toggle the warning chime on and off. For some reason, I have been unable to restore the original warning chime, despite repeated attempts. (It probably could be restored by either disconnecting the battery or taking it to the dealer to have it reprogrammed - I don't know). Because of that please observe the following:

    WARNING
    The procedure described below may result in the permanent disabling of your seat belt warning chime as programmed at the factory. If you do not want to disable your chime permanently, then don't do it!

    Okay, so here's the procedure:

    1. Turn your key in the ignition to the On (second) position (don't start the engine). Don't connect your seat belt yet.
    2. When the initial seat belt chiming stops, quickly insert and remove the seatbelt (you can hold down the release button to facilitate this - just make sure to insert it all the way) 10-15 times as fast as you can (i.e. less than 20 seconds).
    3. Turn the key off, then start your engine and test to see if it works by driving over 10 mph on a safe side street without your belt. If it didn't work then try again with a different number of insertions.

    Now, my chime does not come on at all if I don't connect my seatbelt before starting the engine (the little red warning light on the dash does come on however). If I disconnect my belt while the engine is running (like at a drive-thru) it will chime 7 times, and then stop.

    I don't know how or why this works, but it is a big improvement to me.

    LATE ENTRY (1/20/07): I have tried disconnecting the battery, but that did not return it to the original state.
    Last edited by KS-CS; 11-24-2010 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Late Entry


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    Popolou's Avatar
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    You know, you should be wary of doing damage to the whole SRS system that is not apparent on the surface of things.

    The legit way of disabling the chime is to ask the dealer to do so via the PIWIS. Inserting the buckle repeatedly with the outcome as you say sounds like you've either damaged the button inside the belt socket or worse confused the Airbag Control Unit and goodness knows what may happen.

    I don't want to sound like the one chiming (oops) the death knell, but when it comes to mods to the safety system, best to do it the right way.

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    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popolou View Post
    You know, you should be wary of doing damage to the whole SRS system that is not apparent on the surface of things.

    The legit way of disabling the chime is to ask the dealer to do so via the PIWIS. Inserting the buckle repeatedly with the outcome as you say sounds like you've either damaged the button inside the belt socket or worse confused the Airbag Control Unit and goodness knows what may happen.

    I don't want to sound like the one chiming (oops) the death knell, but when it comes to mods to the safety system, best to do it the right way.
    I did ask my local Porsche dealer to do it, unfortunately, they refused.

    I appreciate your concerns, however, I would make the following observations: first, the car still recognizes when I am in the seat with the seat belt unlatched (as evidenced by the warning light coming on). My chime still activates if I unplug while driving, but only for 7 chimes.

    Second, a procedure very similar to this is actually described in my 2005 Ford Expedition Owner's manual to disable/enable the Seat Belt Minder (i.e. chime). In searching the internet, I found that this function may exist in other car makes as well. The hack in our Lexus was a little different, involving the Odometer/trip reset as I recall, but apparently a lot of car manufacturers do provide a way of disabling the chime, even if they don't widely publish it.

    Still, as I tried to imply in my original post - you undertake this modification (like any other) at your own risk. YMMV

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    douzzer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip KS-CS. This definitely has the ring (har har) of a hidden feature deliberately coded into the firmware. The firmware is presumably inherited from a long line of earlier releases for earlier cars, for which the manufacturer (Bosch?) was the contractor. I doubt Bosch had the contract for that Subaru though -- so this must be a de facto standard hidden feature.

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    Popolou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KS-CS View Post
    I did ask my local Porsche dealer to do it, unfortunately, they refused.
    I see. Well its certainly good to see the art of improvisation still alive and kicking. I'm also glad you read my post in the light i wrote it.

    Happy motoring.

    Pop

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    KS-CS,
    If you come to KC to visit Imagine Auto, they can put your car on a PIWIS and take care of the issue properly.

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    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Man S View Post
    KS-CS,
    If you come to KC to visit Imagine Auto, they can put your car on a PIWIS and take care of the issue properly.
    Thanks - that's good to know. I'm going to disconnect the battery tomorrow to see if that resets it (worked on my Subie). I'm hoping that Softronicicon comes out with their Plenum pretty soon so I can get IA to install that and the BBI UDP in one visit.

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    Yes, go to another dealer if yours won't do it. When I took delivery of mine I asked what could be programmed (BMW gave me a list before I took delivery of my last car there, but Porsche didn't have a list handy -- weird). Anyway, they said that the seatbelt chime was one thing they could disable. I didn't do this at that time but will before my first DE with the 6 pt harness. They did say that I would have to sign a disclaimer/waiver or something however.

    CH

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    STLPCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - 97C2 View Post
    They did say that I would have to sign a disclaimer/waiver or something however.

    CH
    Although it is NOT illegal for a dealer or repair shop to disable just the seat belt buzzer/chime, there could be liability concerns which I assume the waiver seeks to address. It is illegal for a dealer/repair shop, but not an owner, to disable other parts of the SRS system.
    Last edited by STLPCA; 01-17-2008 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Correction
    Dan
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    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STLPCA View Post
    . . . Otherwise, it's illegal for a dealer or repair shop in the US to disable it.
    So are you saying that it is legal for the owner and not a service department to disable it (since the owner's manual in many late model Fords explains exactly how to disable the BeltMinder chime - and makes no mention about off-road vs. public road use)?

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    jmazz is offline Porsche Enthusiast
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    That's really interesting. It sounds like everything still works fine, otherwise your airbag light would be on. I'm tempted to try it but still have a little concern that it's putting the controller into a confused state.

    I really want to get the chime disabled but not bad enough to make a trip to the dealer. Especially since I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to charge me 1 hour labor to do it.

    It drives me nuts that there are so many options like this that are not easily available to the owner. They aren't even documented. They should be in the owners manual. Does anyone have the list of all these things? Once someone comes out with a $200 home use PIWIS simulator I will buy it. Right now Durametric may be the closest thing but I don't think they support any of the comfort/convenience features.

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    On another tangent, any of you familiar with VAGCOM? It is a well-known software sold for VW/Audi products that you load into your laptop, then hook up the provided cable to your car's serial port, and then you can change all kinds of settings. I am surprised that the aftermarket doesn't provide similar software for Porsche and other makes.
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    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    On another tangent, any of you familiar with VAGCOM? It is a well-known software sold for VW/Audi products that you load into your laptop, then hook up the provided cable to your car's serial port, and then you can change all kinds of settings. I am surprised that the aftermarket doesn't provide similar software for Porsche and other makes.
    I have heard of VAG-COM, though I wasn't aware that it would allow you to modify settings.

    Durametric would appear to be comparable as on OBDII reader, but unfortunately, other than clearing CEL codes and the Airbag light, it doesn't yet allow you to make many changes to the ECU or other settings (which is probably why they call it "Diagnostic Software"). It does have what are called Drive Links - but these are pretty technically-oriented tuning functions.
    Last edited by KS-CS; 01-17-2008 at 11:06 AM.

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    STLPCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KS-CS View Post
    So are you saying that it is legal for the owner and not a service department to disable it (since the owner's manual in many late model Fords explains exactly how to disable the BeltMinder chime - and makes no mention about off-road vs. public road use)?
    Sorry. Brain fart or late night, I mis-read the post to be disabling the SRS system. It is NOT illegal for a dealer/repair shop to disable just the seat belt buzzer/chime, although there could be a liability concern. I edited my prior post to avoid further confusion.
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    jmazz is offline Porsche Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    On another tangent, any of you familiar with VAGCOM? It is a well-known software sold for VW/Audi products that you load into your laptop, then hook up the provided cable to your car's serial port, and then you can change all kinds of settings. I am surprised that the aftermarket doesn't provide similar software for Porsche and other makes.
    VAGCOM is exactly the product I had in mind. I emailed him to see if he had any Porsche plans and he didn't. Durametric looks like they have the necessary capability and just have not gone far enough to program all the options.

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    Popolou's Avatar
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    Have heard some very bad reports of using VAGcom with porsches. They're incompatible.

    Pop

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    Congratulations! You've discovered an "Easter egg" / "back-door" or hidden secret function in the firmware. I bet there are lots more. Turning the ignition key on and off quickly x times often does something, esp on alarm system setups. Door light is another (press with finger quickly).
    Whos game to fool around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmazz View Post
    VAGCOM is exactly the product I had in mind. I emailed him to see if he had any Porsche plans and he didn't. Durametric looks like they have the necessary capability and just have not gone far enough to program all the options.
    Durametric will not be allowing software alterations or changes with the program. This program is made to read and erase fault codes.

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    I replaced my seat for Corbeau Forza II with harness bar & belts. Since the side airbags aren't there anymore we needed to tell the ECU that it wasn't there anymore. We did that and at the same time turned the belt bell off since it rings all the time while using the 5 point belts. Amazing what you can do with one of those little Porsche computer's. In my case I only did the drivers side and you are able to tell the car that these things aren't there for one side or both the driver & pass side.
    sandwood likes this.
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    jmazz is offline Porsche Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Softronicicon View Post
    Durametric will not be allowing software alterations or changes with the program. This program is made to read and erase fault codes.
    That's too bad. Durametric looks like the only consumer product that talks to all the necessary components. I can't imagine that writing to a field is much harder/different than erasing a field. Is there a reason they don't want this market? It seems like a much larger potential customer base than just clearing codes.

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