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Old 10-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
zero_dgz
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Default Key In Ignition / BCM Wiring Pinout? A Stupid Idea.

I suppose this counts as "security."

Here is some background:

Before I bought my Subaru I had a Saturn, and because it was one step above being a riding lawnmower with doors, the remote keyless entry was unsophisticated enough that it would still work with the key in the ignition and/or the engine running. Which was a feature I actually liked, and I got used to it.

I can predict the first question, which is going to be "why the hell would you ever have to use your remote with the engine running?" Well, back then I delivered pizza for a living, and being able to rock up to a shady area and lock the door behind you at your address was a useful thing, especially so just being able to press a button to get back in and blast off out of there without having to re-start. (I also considered a small amount of gasoline cheaper at least in the short term than replacing a starter/ignition cylinder every two months.)

Anyway, flash forward a couple of years and I got a Ford Focus, which was "smart," and also had a transponder key. Its remote would not work with a key in the ignition, which irritated me. I found some info online about where the "key in ignition" signal wire went to the BCM and a clipped it. Net result: The remote worked with the engine running, but that also had a few other side effects due to the car thinking it was "smarter" than the driver was, for instance automatically cutting off the headlights (even with the engine running) because it thinks the key is removed. So, I installed a switch to function as a remote-with-engine-running override, and all was well with the world. Eventually I got the brainwave to close this circuit via a relay wired to the driver's seatbelt switch, which made it automatic enough for my purposes.

Then I bought my 2012 Impreza. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that my remote doesn't work with a key in the ignition (even if the engine isn't running) and neither does yours. The dealer tells me (despite the blurb in my manual) that enabling keyless entry with a key already in the ignition "cannot be done." Naturally, I disagree. I plan to do the same trick as I did on my Focus.

I can't find any wiring/pinout information on my car's BCM. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure I know where the thing is. In front of the driver above the pedal box? So here's the short question after a long story: Does anybody know or have access to a BCM pinout for a 2012 Impreza, or is there another module somewhere in the car that handles the RKE instead? Is it a monumentally bad idea to attach a switch or disconnect the wire from the "key in ignition" switch, e.g. causing the engine to drop dead as soon as it loses signal or refusal to start because of anti-theft features, etc.? I would imagine the transponder check and the limit switch that determines a key is physically in the ignition are two separate circuits. I'll probably wire to the seat belt switch again, because that seemed like a convenient way to do it. If it helps, my car is a manual so I don't think I have to worry about any shifter/ignition cylinder interlocks.

Any thoughts on this before I just rip my steering column/dash apart and start randomly stabbing things with a multimeter?
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #2
aerosaaber
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You replaced your starter every 2 Months?
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
zero_dgz
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No, but I know some guys who did. The point was not starting and stopping the engine multiple times per run. Think about it:

Let's say you take a double or a triple order out the door. So that's start the car at the shop, shut it off at the first house, start it again, shut it off at the second house, start it again, shut it off at the third house, start it again, go back to base and shut it off. That's four starts, four jolts on the battery (where you may only be driving half a mile to the next stop) and four twists on your ignition cylinder.

Or, start it at the shop, leave it running for the 120 seconds you'll be at the customer's door/riding the elevator/whatever and lock it behind you, go to the next place, repeat, etc. Only one start operation.

I we had guys who did have to replace starters/batteries/etc. multiple times per year when I was doing that gig. I aimed to be someone who didn't. We also had one driver who managed to wear out his ignition cylinder to the point that he couldn't get the key to turn anymore... While parked in a no parking zone in front of an apartment building 5 miles from the shop. That's the net effect of taking your key in and out 200 times a day...

(While we're sharing amusing stories of people who wore out their cars delivering pizza, we also had a guy who bought a brand new Chevy Aveo and would not shut up about how great it was. "Dang old red blooded working man's inexpensive Chevy!" He got a little irate when I pointed out it was a rebadged Daewoo. During my tenure at that particular restaurant -- about two years -- he had entire transmissions replaced under warranty four times. It had a three year warranty, which if my memory serves from when he bought the thing expired in about June of this year. You'll never guess who I now see buzzing around town in a 2010 Mazda 3 on that exact day.)
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:35 AM   #4
SlimJim8804
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A friend of mine had a Saturn SL that had the ability to remove the key while the car was running. Served the same purpose. Was actually super useful in situations like you listed above.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
Zefy
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you make it sound like you're no longer delivering pizza. So I wonder, why do you still want this feature? Second question, how can you afford buying new cars all the time whilst delivering pizza?

Beyond that...

Easiest solution I can see is go get a turbo timer... Set it for 10 mins or something... Then you won't need to restart and save your starter and battery... Won't really help the ignition module much although you won't need to move it to the cranking position...
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
zero_dgz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zefy View Post
you make it sound like you're no longer delivering pizza. So I wonder, why do you still want this feature? Second question, how can you afford buying new cars all the time whilst delivering pizza?

Beyond that...

Easiest solution I can see is go get a turbo timer... Set it for 10 mins or something... Then you won't need to restart and save your starter and battery... Won't really help the ignition module much although you won't need to move it to the cranking position...
Oh how quick we are to judge. Before I got out of the delivery game full time, I was working about 60 hours a week, open to close on most days. Standard driver's wage in this area is $3.50-4.00 an hour (drivers count the same as waiters -- minimum wage rules for us are different) but I ended up being paid $6.50 by my boss, plus tips and a flat rate payout per order taken. If you're good and you play it smart in the right area you can make $20-30 an hour or more on a good night delivering, which isn't bad for a gig whose primary requirements are show up, and drive like an idiot. Have a reliable and fuel efficient car and you don't wind up pouring much of that back into the tank. I was -- and would like to think that I still am -- the best in the business in this area. I could make $200 to $250 on a busy Friday night dinner shift alone. Did I mention that I paid for my '12 Impreza with a laptop case full of cash? (I got a nastygram from the IRS about that one, in fact, and had to provide a copy of my 1040 and 1099 that they arguably should have already had on file for that year. I got a giggle out of that.)

A couple of nights a month I still get called in to work for my old boss when his current crop of drivers can't handle it. I don't have the Saturn anymore, so I use the Subaru instead. I probably wouldn't manage to break even if I used my truck... Plus, I got used to being able to use the remote with the key in. It's useful for quick stops, etc. Does it leave the possibility that someone could smash my window and take off with the car? Arguably, but usually finding the door handles locked is enough to deter people in this neck of the woods.

The turbo timer idea is good for keeping the engine running, but I can already do that -- I got the dealership to disable the lockout protection for now, so I can poke the power lock button and close the door with the engine running. That does not, however, prevent me from having to stick my key in the door to get back in. Did I mention that there is no keyhole on the passenger side? Whose idea was that?
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
Zefy
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It was more curiosity than judgmental.

A turbo timer allows you to use your remote while the car is running... So you won't need to use your key to get back in...

And its safer because the steering lock and alarm will be on.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
evilspoons
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Turbo timer sounds like a good solution to me too, however:

Many modern cars (not the new Impreza yet, although the hybrid Crosstrek will be a different story) start and stop their engines many times a day - hybrids, engine start-stop systems, etc - and the starter motors are fine. The pizza guys probably just replace their starters a lot because pizza guys tend to drive old cars.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
zero_dgz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zefy View Post
A turbo timer allows you to use your remote while the car is running... So you won't need to use your key to get back in...
That I did not know. How is that accomplished, then? Clearly the turbo timer must bypass some element of the system in order to enable the remote functionality again. Maybe I can glean some information on where I'm looking on harnesses from the installation instructions from one.

I've never had a turbo vehicle, so I've never had the opportunity to see for myself how such a thing would work -- I've only read about them from a high level sort of perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilspoons View Post
The pizza guys probably just replace their starters a lot because pizza guys tend to drive old cars.
That is probably very true. Even so, I'd like to see if I can pull this off. Maybe this weekend I'll start poking at wires and see what I can find.

Edit: Ha! Despite searching around before, this time I found this. That's probably a good starting point... I'll see if I can temporarily pop that wire out of the BCM plug and see what happens.

Last edited by zero_dgz; 10-28-2013 at 08:36 PM.
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