Best method for kill switch on a 200 series TLC? (1 Viewer)

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I have a switch, a very discrete mounting location, and a high voltage relay (if needed).....just wondering what ya'll prefer to "kill"? I know the fuel pump is the standard method, but that strikes me as a bit shady. If the switch fails or flips for whatever reason while I'm driving, the vehicle dies.....not a great scenario. I'd prefer something like the ignition coil, starter or immobilizer connection. Also I'd prefer to use the low amperage switch alone without additional 12v relay if possible....again, one less possible point of failure. Not a big deal if this isn't possible. It'd probably only work with the immobilizer connection and I'm not sure if there's a single wire for that which will kill both push-to-start AND remote start from fob. What say you? Thanks!
 

mcgaskins

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My question would be - why? I don't ever recall reading or hearing about a 200 being stolen, but I can easily see how a mod like this could create undesired side effects like not being able to start your truck because something has failed. Increasing complexity here will likely reduce reliability, and I doubt there are any real tangible benefits.
 
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My question would be - why? I don't ever recall reading or hearing about a 200 being stolen, but I can easily see how a mod like this could create undesired side effects like not being able to start your truck because something has failed. Increasing complexity here will likely reduce reliability, and I doubt there are any real tangible benefits.
These are very expensive vehicles in huge demand overseas, especially in, shall we say, "underground" markets. I don't have any real world data, and I'm not sure how things are in Denver, but here in Seattle, and all along the west coast, there are crime rings that steal these types of vehicles, load them directly onto container ships to transport overseas for sale or parting out in shady underground markets. I know TLC's are extremely popular in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, etc.....and I can't imagine the majority of these folks care where they came from.

Anyhow, I'm not taking my chances, and the way I'll be mounting the switch will make it extremely easy to bypass in under 30 seconds if needed, so there's really no downside as long as it's not on a circuit that could kill the vehicle while it's already running....that would be annoying....but even then, not a huge deal.

I think I'm going to go with a simple switch in series with the immobilizer wire to the ECU. AFAIK, if there is no signal from the immobilizer, there is no way the vehicle will start either via the pushbutton or remote start feature.
 
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Watching with interest. If you can use the immobilizer without freaking it out that would be a win.
I'll update this thread with results. The nice thing about cutting the immobilizer signal is 1. BG can't even crank engine, which might damage something or at least kill your battery 2. It's a low-voltage digital wire, so no high voltage relay needed, just a small, simple switch or latching button. Less stuff to go wrong, and much easier to bypass if needed (just short the wires going to the switch).

The only issues I could potentially foresee is 1. Adding extra wire and/or switch to this circuit could have a tiny impact on impedance, which could have an effect on a very picky digital circuit....this is pretty unlikely if wiring run is kept short with solid splicing. 2. If this circuit is somehow disengaged, even with the vehicle running, it should stay running. 3. Vehicle might not like disconnecting the immobilizer signal even when it's sitting idle? This is even more unlikely....I don't know why the ECU would constantly be looking for an immobilizer signal. AFAIK it is only used to tell the ECU to allow the starting procedure to engage and not used while already running, or while sitting idle. Anyway, I'll report back with results!
 
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Can’t you wire a hidden battery disconnect switch?

You could, but multiple problems with disconnecting your entire battery. 1. It would reset a bunch of stored settings each time you use it (think infotainment presets, radio, seat memory, clock, etc.). 2. It would require a massive relay capable of handling whatever current is flowing through your entire battery at any time....which is a lot, especially at startup. 3. The added complexity of all this, along with the fact that if something fails while you're driving, the vehicle will most likely die, which I'm trying to avoid (hence not using the tradition method of killing fuel pump). 4. A giant relay is often easier for a BG to find, since it'll likely need to be close to battery or have a massive 0awg cable running to it. Therefor easier for a BG to bypass.

A small (easy to hide) low amperage switch, without a relay (added complexity, harder to bypass if problems occur) that won't kill the vehicle if a fault occurs during driving is ideal.
 

Sandroad

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What’s the fail point of the factory anti-theft system that allows for the vehicle to be driven away? Is it such a weak system you need redundancy? The only thing I remember about theft on Mud was an LX stolen in Montreal with a cloned fob years ago. And as I recall ( but fuzzily) doing that requires 2 trips to the target vehicle.
 
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These are very expensive vehicles in huge demand overseas, especially in, shall we say, "underground" markets. I don't have any real world data, and I'm not sure how things are in Denver, but here in Seattle, and all along the west coast, there are crime rings that steal these types of vehicles, load them directly onto container ships to transport overseas for sale or parting out in shady underground markets. I know TLC's are extremely popular in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, etc.....and I can't imagine the majority of these folks care where they came from.

Anyhow, I'm not taking my chances, and the way I'll be mounting the switch will make it extremely easy to bypass in under 30 seconds if needed, so there's really no downside as long as it's not on a circuit that could kill the vehicle while it's already running....that would be annoying....but even then, not a huge deal.

I think I'm going to go with a simple switch in series with the immobilizer wire to the ECU. AFAIK, if there is no signal from the immobilizer, there is no way the vehicle will start either via the pushbutton or remote start feature.
How is this different than just taking your key? It wont start either way. If they want to steal your truck they can just tow it away.

ive been in Seattle for 35 years and have always driven LCs plus a G65, several Bentley convertibles, and a variety of super cars. Ive never heard of this as being a real problem.
 
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Angelo1

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I lived in Seattle “Greenlake” and worked in Bellevue for almost 5yrs driving an M3 and AudiS5 and never once was my car stolen or broken into. Heck, It’s been parked in some shady areas “Pikes Market” 😂, Queen Anne, Eastlake, UW and Harbor View, etc.. My good buddy who still lives there drives an RS7 and an R8, not ever worried about it being taken oversees. I have no doubt it happens but the odds are slim. Besides, they are easy to track and you can also buy an Apple tag for $29 and place in your 200. You can track it real-time
 
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This is all anectodal. By the stats, the chance of any one person having a vehicle stolen, especially in the nicer neighborhoods mentioned here is relatively small (but not zero). As a whole, there were nearly 700 cars stolen just in the Seattle city limits last year....and being a tech geek, with some pretty basic equipment (radio repeaters tuned to the correct frequency) I could probably steal any of these cars mentioned if they were parked anywhere near your house.

Anything with remote start and/or keyless entry is INCREDIBLY succeptible to theft. The sense of security you have in a SEEMINGLY high-tech electronic thingy is false. It's actually an extremely simple system and extremely easy to negate. Your key fob is always (yes ALWAYS) broadcasting a code on a certain radio frequency (on TLC in the US I think it's somewhere around 400mhz). That's what allows your "push to start whenever the key is present" or "unlock doors when I'm in close proximity" features to work. All the vehicle does is look for that code on that frequency. All a BG has to do is sit outside your house, or walk up very close to your house with a radio antenna powerful enough to pickup that signal and a repeater/transmitter powerful enough to broadcast it to your car and they are in. Full access rights just as if they are sitting there with the actual key fob.

It's not even high tech. It's radio 101....the simplest 20th century radio technology miniaturized with modern transistors and SMD components.

Does it happen? Absolutely yes. Is it rare, fortunately yes. Is it less rare in Kent where I live and SODO where I work? Yes. Am I gunna rely on the ole "that stuff happens to other people and not me"? Helllll naw! 😂


This guy's brand new 2020 Tundra TRD truck was stolen with this exact method.

 
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This is all anectodal. By the stats, the chance of any one person having a vehicle stolen, especially in the nicer neighborhoods mentioned here is relatively small (but not zero). As a whole, there were nearly 700 cars stolen just in the Seattle city limits last year....and being a tech geek, with some pretty basic equipment (radio repeaters tuned to the correct frequency) I could probably steal any of these cars mentioned if they were parked anywhere near your house.

Anything with remote start and/or keyless entry is INCREDIBLY succeptible to theft. The sense of security you have in a SEEMINGLY high-tech electronic thingy is false. It's actually an extremely simple system and extremely easy to negate. Your key fob is always (yes ALWAYS) broadcasting a code on a certain radio frequency (on TLC in the US I think it's somewhere around 400mhz). That's what allows your "push to start whenever the key is present" or "unlock doors when I'm in close proximity" features to work. All the vehicle does is look for that code on that frequency. All a BG has to do is sit outside your house, or walk up very close to your house with a radio antenna powerful enough to pickup that signal and a repeater/transmitter powerful enough to broadcast it to your car and they are in. Full access rights just as if they are sitting there with the actual key fob.

It's not even high tech. It's radio 101....the simplest 20th century radio technology miniaturized with modern transistors and SMD components.

Does it happen? Absolutely yes. Is it rare, fortunately yes. Is it less rare in Kent where I live and SODO where I work? Yes. Am I gunna rely on the ole "that stuff happens to other people and not me"? Helllll naw! 😂


This guy's brand new 2020 Tundra TRD truck was stolen with this exact method.

So what’s your solution? Manual entry only and take the battery out of the fob and hold it near the start button when ready to go?
 
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I am generally curious about this discussion so I called a friend who is a captain in the SPD. His take is most car theft is driven by people who leave their cars running at the gas station, child care drop offs, etc, people who leave their keys in their cup holder when parked, and older cars, especially Honda Civics and Accords, that have an old style key and no alarm system. Most cars stolen are by joy riders or people who find it more convenient to steal an easy target than walk.

i don't worry about my car getting stolen. I do worry about it getting broken in to by meth heads. Car prowling is a big issue in the city of Seattle and trailheads all over the PNW.
 
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It's probably true that most car thefts are because of the stuff listed, but not all, and I'm not taking my chances and assuming that "it'll be someone else, not me". If you guys wanna take a chance that your $20-$100k Cruiser will be stolen with a super simple method and shipped overseas, go right ahead.....not me. A $5 switch and an hour of time wiring is well worth it for peace of mind alone....possibly far more.
 
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If you are worried about RF magnification attacks, why not keep your fob in a faraday pouch? Its cheaper, simpler, and defeats that attack 100%.

I don't think it's cheaper unless you're paying someone to install your kill switch. It's not simpler since you have to carry that awkward thing around with you when you go into stores, etc if you want it to be 100% effective.....which means means it's only 100% effective if you use it 100% of the time. Also a BG could still read your RF code when you remote lock, unlock or start your vehicle, then rebroadcast the signal. This is common in mall parking lots with lots of people coming and going, broadcasting their vehicle's access code to anyone and everyone before walking away from it for anywhere from 10 mins to several hours. Plenty of time to steal.

A kill switch is about $5 (I happened to have a switch laying around, so free for me), is super simple to use once installed, and if you do a good job hiding it and get in the habit of using it all the time, is truly 100% effective.
 

Battleship

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What’s the fail point of the factory anti-theft system that allows for the vehicle to be driven away? Is it such a weak system you need redundancy? The only thing I remember about theft on Mud was an LX stolen in Montreal with a cloned fob years ago. And as I recall ( but fuzzily) doing that requires 2 trips to the target vehicle.

If you are worried about RF magnification attacks, why not keep your fob in a faraday pouch? Its cheaper, simpler, and defeats that attack 100%.
That was my truck. Not positive they cloned the fob. They broke the door handle, so I believe that's how they got in, then they seem to have used the OBD port to program their own "key".

I looked into some kind of dummy OBD port, which are available, but gave up on it.
 
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That was my truck. Not positive they cloned the fob. They broke the door handle, so I believe that's how they got in, then they seem to have used the OBD port to program their own "key".

I looked into some kind of dummy OBD port, which are available, but gave up on it.

Yup, that's another way. And yet another is to find your VIN # (super easy, in multiple places, even inside bumper cover on TLC).....then just go to a dealer and get a key made (as long as they are, or can convince dealer they are a shop).

A Faraday pouch won't stop either of those.

Point being, a kill switch is easy, cheap, extremely effective, time tested and easy to bypass if needed, but VERY hard for a BG to bypass if properly hidden. You can do creative stuff like hide them in unused buttons or have the sunroof relay/switch act as the trigger.....making it effectively impossible for anyone to bypass unless they're genius with wiring and have several hours to figure it out.
 

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