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    Thread: How to get rid of the seat belt warning message and chime

    1. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-22-2004 11:22 PM #1
      North American automobiles (all brands) are equipped with a seat belt reminder system. This can take various forms - the least intrusive is a system that annunciates only if the car begins to move without the appropriate seat belts fastened, the most annoying is a system that annunciates as soon as you have started the car, before you even begin to put the belt on. I always wear seat belts - I guess it is a hangover from my occupational background as an aircraft pilot - and the warning message and chime annoys me, especially if I am sitting in a parking lot with the engine running, and the chime keeps going off every few minutes. So, I decided that today was the day to get rid of the seat belt warning.

      All current production cars - whether they are Lupos or Phaetons - have an amazing number of programming options available. It is very easy to change the programming, the main difficulty is finding out exactly what data value to tweak to accomplish what you want to.

      As Phaeton owners, we have several sources we can go to to learn more about configuration and coding. One is the Touareg forum, because the Phaeton and Touareg have a great deal in common so far as systems and programming go. Another is a public domain source such as http://www.openOBD.org (OBD meaning 'On Board Diagnostics', and 'open' referring to the idea of free access in the public domain). Finally, we can purchase some of the information directly from VW in the form of service documentation (Bentley manuals or CD's), although VW does try to minimize the amount of disclosure of programming options in these documents.

      Once we have the required information, we can either re-program the car ourself, using a laptop computer (Windows platform) running VAG-COM software (see http://www.ross-tech.com, or we can take the car to our dealer and ask them to do the reprogramming for us, using VW programming tools such as a VAG 5051 or 5052 programmer.

      Some dealers are very co-operative about doing this - usually making coding changes free of charge if the request is made at the same time scheduled service is due (heck, they have to hook up the 5051 or 5052 to pull out diagnostic troubleshooting codes anyway, and it only takes an extra 15 seconds to make a software coding change). Other dealers are very reluctant to change anything from 'factory default' settings - either because of fear of litigation, or perhaps because they have had difficulty making programming changes in the past, and don't want to go down that path again.

      Anyway - enough of the background information, here is how to get rid of the seat belt warnings:

      Within 'Group 17', which is the programming applicable to the 'Dash Panel Insert' ('kombiinstrument' in German, or 'thing with the speedometer, tachometer, and all the warning lights' in plain English), there are three possible warnings that can be enabled or disabled. They are:

      - warning of brake pad wear, to the extent that the brakes require servicing,
      - warning of seat belts not fastened, and
      - warning of low windshield washer fluid.

      You can 'pick and choose' which functions you want to enable, or you can enable them all, or disable them all. The default setting for a North American car is 'all enabled'.

      Function 07 within Group 17 is the function for changing the coding of the applicable device. There are other functions, such as retrieving fault codes, making adaptations, erasing fault records, and so forth, but we don't need to discuss those here.

      If you go to Group 17, and select Function 07 (coding), you then need to enter a 5 digit value. The 5 digits have different functions. The first two digits are the numbers affecting the warnings mentioned above. The third digit indicates the region of the world the car will be used in. The fourth digit indicates whether the vehicle has a flexible service interval or not, and the fifth digit affects speedometer function (not calibration, but function).

      The 'default' setting for my (Canadian) Phaeton within group 17, function 07 was 07321. (In practice, the left-most digit is ignored if it is a zero, the number would appear on the programmer as 7321). The 7 indicates that all three warning actions are active, the 3 indicates that the car is operated in Canada (where we use the metric system for measurement), 2 indicates that service is performed on a fixed interval of time and/or distance (not thermal cycles, time, and distance as in Europe), and the last digit, 1, indicates standard speedometer coding.

      How do we figure out what to change the 07 to, if we want to get rid of the seat belt warning but keep the brake wear and washer fluid warning? It's actually quite easy, and anyone with any kind of software background will recognize the methodology right away. It's plain old binary. Each possible warning is assigned a number, as follows:

      00 - no warnings of any kind
      01 - brake wear warning
      02 - seat belt warning active
      04 - windshield washer warning active.

      To determine which two digits to put in the correct place of the coding group, you simply add up the numbers that represent the functions you want. By default, VW had all three functions enabled, so 01 + 02 + 04 = 07, which, as explained above, was the first two digits of the coding group when the car left Dresden. I didn't want the seat belt warning, so the mathematics for my preferences was different: 01 + 04 = 05.

      So, I just replaced the complete string 07321 with 05321, and stored the value. The result - no more seat belt warnings, ever.

      PanEuropean


    2. 10-23-2004 01:37 AM #2
      Can you tell us how to code the instrument back light (speedo/tach/temp/oil/fuel/volt gauges to stay back-lit even in sunlight?

      Or am I going to have to pull the overhead console apart in order to tape up the sensor?

      Also, are there any codes for opening and closing all windows and sunroof at the same time by using the remote?

      My Audi A6 4.2 had this feature and it was nice that I could roll the windows down as I approached the car or could closed the windows and sunroof once I got out of the car by using the remote.

      Thank you in advance for your input.


      Modified by rmg2 at 6:39 AM 10-23-2004


    3. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-23-2004 01:52 AM #3
      RMG:

      As I discover the information to answer your questions, I'll post the answers in new threads with item specific titles. This will facilitate searching in the future, and also make it easier to compile a FAQ, again, sometime in the future.

      There are codes for opening and closing all windows / sunroof with the remote, but these have not been publicly disclosed.

      In the meantime, don't tape up the light sensor, it will screw up a multitude of other functions, including heating - air conditioning effectiveness and recovery time, dimming mirrors, auto headlights in tunnels, etc.

      PanEuropean


    4. 10-23-2004 10:30 PM #4
      I am still waiting patiently pn the ambient footwell lighting concern.

      Your friend,

      Trekguy


    5. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-23-2004 10:42 PM #5
      I'm still working on that one. There is very little information available right now about coding options on this car. FWIW, my W12 does not have any ambient footwell lighting when the doors are closed - the footwell lights work exactly the same as the footwell lights in my Golf did - on and off with the door opening and closing.

      PanEuropean


    6. 10-24-2004 07:03 AM #6
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      RMG:

      As I discover the information to answer your questions, I'll post the answers in new threads with item specific titles. This will facilitate searching in the future, and also make it easier to compile a FAQ, again, sometime in the future.

      There are codes for opening and closing all windows / sunroof with the remote, but these have not been publicly disclosed.

      In the meantime, don't tape up the light sensor, it will screw up a multitude of other functions, including heating - air conditioning effectiveness and recovery time, dimming mirrors, auto headlights in tunnels, etc.

      PanEuropean

      Curious to understand how covering up a photo sensor that controls the back-lit instrumentation effects the HVAC, dimming mirrors, etc.


    7. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-24-2004 09:45 AM #7
      The HVAC system (Climatronic) on all VW products uses a sunlight sensor to determine the heat gain in the cabin that comes from solar heating, and to adjust the recovery of the cooling / heating system accordingly.

      The auto-dimming mirrors on the Phaeton only function at night, the car determines if it is night or not by evaluating the signal from the same sunlight sensor.

      The auto headlights on function also uses information from this same sensor.

      PanEuropean


    8. 10-25-2004 01:20 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      The HVAC system (Climatronic) on all VW products uses a sunlight sensor to determine the heat gain in the cabin that comes from solar heating, and to adjust the recovery of the cooling / heating system accordingly.

      The auto-dimming mirrors on the Phaeton only function at night, the car determines if it is night or not by evaluating the signal from the same sunlight sensor.

      The auto headlights on function also uses information from this same sensor.

      PanEuropean

      The question is does the sensor facing the windshield behind the mirror also control the HVAC and the instrument cluster?

      This morning when I started the car in the garage the dash vents were closed while in the garage but when I pulled out into the sun light the vents opened. However, once on the freeway the vents closed again even though the sun was out. Makes me think that there is a difference sensor for the vents.

      I keep the cabin temp at 70 in all four positions. The outside temp was 66 according to the dash display. Therefore, I think there must be a sensor in the front grill area that balances the sun light with the actual temp in order to control the vents opening and closing.


    9. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-25-2004 01:58 AM #9
      RMG:

      I don't know enough about the details of the car to be able to answer your question with certainty. I have only had possession of my Phaeton for one week now. I strongly suspect that there is only one sunlight sensor. I had a quick look at the Air Conditioning section of the Phaeton service CD, this is what it shows for sensors:

      Sunlight Sensor
      It kind of looks like this might be at the front center of the dashboard, in the same location as it is found in Golfs and Passats.

      Humidity Sensor
      The service manual text states that this is attached to the interior rear view mirror housing.

      OAT (Outside Air Temperature) Sensor
      This is mounted up front, same as on Golfs and Passats.

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-15-2012 at 06:22 PM.

    10. 11-14-2004 04:16 PM #10
      Is this possible? Can the dealer do it?

    11. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      11-14-2004 04:56 PM #11
      Yes, the dealer can do it very easily. If you ask them to do this task when the car is in for regularly scheduled service, and they already have the diagnostic scan tool connected to the car, it's a 10 second job and they probably won't charge you anything.

      If you take the car in for the sole purpose of having this done, it takes about half an hour to hook up the scan tool, poll the car, make the change, do the function tests, etc.

      Just print out this thread and give it to your dealer. At the same time, you might want to review the topics Turn off the "Key in Ignition" warning chime and Define preferences for door locking and unlocking behavior. You might as well get the car set up the way you like it. Each of these tasks are quite simple for the technician to do. Again, just print the threads out and take them into the dealership with you. Not only will this provide all the information about what you want done, it might help attract some Phaeton technicians to our forum - which is a demographic we don't have right now, and one that would be really valuable to us as owners.

      Michael


    12. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-29-2005 04:24 AM #12
      Recent changes in American federal legislation have made it illegal for dealerships to turn off the seat belt warning chime - or, for that matter, to disable or work around any other warning, component, or function that is required by American law to be embodied into a motor vehicle that is sold in the United States.

      Out of fairness (and sympathy) to the service departments who have to do business in compliance with this law, I am bringing it to your attention, so that none of our forum members become upset when a VW dealer states that it is illegal for them to turn off these chimes and buzzers. If they tell you that, they are telling you the truth, plain and simple. I have posted below a copy of a letter that VW has sent to the dealers, advising them of this recent change in the law. If you want to read the actual legislation, you can click on this link: Title 49, United States Code Chapter 301 Motor Vehicle Safety, Sub-chapter II, Section 30122.

      I do not know whether individual American citizens (the owners or lessors of the cars) are allowed to turn buzzers and warnings on their cars off. As most of you know, I am not an American and do not live in America, as a result, I have very little knowledge about American laws.

      Michael

      Letter from VW to the Dealerships
      (attached)


      Modified by PanEuropean at 1:09 PM 1-4-2009


    13. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      10-29-2005 09:20 AM #13
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      If you want to read the actual legislation, you can click on this link: Title 49, United States Code Chapter 301 Motor Vehicle Safety, Sub-chapter II, Section 30122

      I find this section of that link interesting. Am I reading it worng or does it sound like the dealer CAN turn off the seat belt chime?

      Quote, originally posted by www.nhtsa.dot.gov »
      d....NONAPPLICATION. This section does not apply to a safety belt interlock or buzzer designed to indicate a safety belt is not in use as described in section 30124 of this title.


    14. 10-29-2005 02:11 PM #14
      I just don't know why it is specific to VWs that the chimes and buzzers are occuring at odd times. The buzzer for the lights being left on is going off when the freakin motor is still running I'll be honest with you, if I had not found a way to turn off these damn things, I would have already traded off the car. It is absurd. As a matter of fact, this was the subject matter of the very first post I posted back in November of last year.

      Come on VW, wake up and make your car intuitive. If we are smart enough to make the money to buy these cars, we don't need all these idiot lights and buzzers. We don't need an acceptance screen after the first 500 miles of ownership. Some of them are nice to have but make them come on at the right moments.


    15. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-29-2005 03:52 PM #15
      Jim:

      The wording about the 'exception' in Section 30122 of the legislation is a bit confusing. The way I interpreted it (take this with a large grain of salt) is that technicians are permitted to disable the interlocks between seat belts and engine start circuits that prevented the engine from being started unless the seat belt was fastened, but are they are not permitted to disable the chime that operates for 8 seconds after the ignition has been turned on. The seat belt - starter interlocks were installed in cars built in the early 1970s. Since about the mid 1970s, all cars have been built with only a chime, no interlock of any kind.

      David:

      The point is, none of these chimes and buzzers are the result of decisions made by VW, they are all there because of United States federal government legislation. This is why I posted the memo (above) and the reference to Title 49 - it ain't VW's doing, these standards are written in Washington and the automakers have no choice in the matter.

      If you think you are frustrated, how do you think a Phaeton owner who lives in Canada (where we don't have many of these rules) feels? My car is fully compliant with all the US regulations, because automakers tend to treat Canada and the US as one market, making exceptions only when Canadian requirements conflict with US ones (e.g. metric speedometers).

      Michael


    16. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      01-04-2009 04:09 PM #16
      Photos re-hosted.

      Michael


    17. Member brosen's Avatar
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      08-05-2009 05:18 PM #17
      Today my Seat Belt Warning and Chime stopped working, the dealer tells me the car was setup as European model, how can that happen ?, it changed itself (gremlins) ?, maybe an electrical issue ?, maybe the battery needs replacement ?, any previous experience about this ? , thanks

    18. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-05-2009 06:53 PM #18
      You may have inadvertently changed the coding during your recent use of the diagnostic scan tool. The car cannot make a change like this by itself.

      Michael


    19. 08-16-2009 02:27 PM #19
      Hello Michael,

      can I ask please? the procedure how to disable the seat belt warning chime is it just for Phaeton? Can I use the procedure for Passat B5 2005?
      and another question please: do I have to buy the interface from Ross - Tech or is there any cheaper alternative I could disable this annoying chime?

      thank you very much.

      Libor


    20. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-16-2009 07:30 PM #20
      Hello Libor:

      The procedure for turning off the seat belt warning chime is "substantially the same" for all VW products. The warning chime is a North American requirement only.

      You can purchase a 'generic' interface cable, or even build your own interface cable, provided that you have an older (pre-1999, I think) VW product and you are willing to use the 4.09 version of VCDS (the new name for VAG-COM). If you have a VW product made since 1999, or if you want to use a current version of VCDS that has all the software features in it, then you need to purchase the interface cable from Ross-Tech. The 'key' to the software (in other words, the license) is contained in the cable.

      There is an explanation of how all this works at the Ross-Tech website. There is also a VCDS (VAG-COM) forum here on Vortex where you can go to ask specific questions about this software.

      Michael


    21. 08-16-2009 09:13 PM #21
      Thank you Michael

    22. 08-16-2009 10:06 PM #22
      Hello Michael,

      thank you for your answer again.
      After i read your answer I realized that I bought a OBD II USB interface a few years ago for my Audi A4 /96.
      I did not actually use it but when I installed it on my computer the interface was recognized as a USB KKL interface /USB KKL VCP interface.
      I installed the software from Ross - Tech 409.1 version but it does not work with it. When I tested the port the software recognize that the port COM3 is used but then when I plugged it into the car the software itself did not recognize the car.
      I think that this interface is not right for this software. I dont know.
      I even have another cable with the serial interface called OBD2

      Actually i tried both cables and when I plugged them into the car the software said that the car (passat B5/2005) is not compatible with OBD2.

      Do you think that I can use these cables anyhow? Or should I use another software or should I buy a new cable?

      thank you for your expertise.

      Libor


    23. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-17-2009 02:12 AM #23
      Hi Libor:

      I'm only familiar with the Ross-Tech software.

      OBD II is an industry standard, and there are all sorts of hardware and software tools available to read information from the OBD II interfaces in vehicles.

      Some solutions will only read information (fault codes, MVBs), other solutions will allow you to modify coding, still other solutions are platform-specific (such as Ross-Tech's VCDS application) and have extensive guidance built into them to assist in interpretation of information and coding and adaptation of the vehicle.

      Speaking only for myself - as a person who owns two VW products and expects that my next car will also be a VW - the Ross-Tech VCDS, fully licensed, is the best solution. However, if you have a Palm handheld, another vendor (Versatile Automotive Diagnostics) offers a product for Volkswagens that uses the Palm - see this link.

      You mentioned that you have an OBD II interface - does the company that produced that piece of hardware make software to go along with it? I think you might want to investigate that first. However, if you bought that tool to work with a 1996 Audi, it might not be a suitable tool to use with a much later model year VW.

      Again, this whole question really should be discussed in the VAG-COM forum. What I have written here is pretty much everything I know about generic OBD systems - there's not much more information I can give you.

      Michael


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      08-17-2009 12:38 PM #24
      Libor,
      As Michael points out, the VCDDS software is vastly superior for VW/Audi vehicles as it is dedicated to them. However, the software also offers a "generic OBDII" function: althouhg this is not guaranteed to work, I have used effectively with a number of Japanese vehicles, such as Subaru. So, in a way, by buying VCDDS you get both a dedicated VW/Audi tool *and* a generic OBDII tool. Having said that, generic OBDII scanners are commonly available at most auto spares chains, such as Autozone or Pepboys, for prices ranging from under $100 to approx. 300. I have one such tool, which cost about 150$, which is handy for non-VW cars as it does not require a computer: the software and tool are combined. So, if you work on non-VW products this may be a better and cheaper option for you.
      Keep in mind, if you go wiht this one, that you will have access to the generic OBDII fault codes, which are the same for all vehicles according to federal US regulations, but not to the specific error codes that are reserved for each manufacturer's use.
      Stefano

    25. 08-18-2009 09:04 PM #25
      Thank you Michael and Stefano,

      since I am going to buy a new A4 next month I might buy the original VCDDS.

      thanks a lot guys


    26. Member n968412L's Avatar
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      04-05-2010 01:45 PM #26
      Just made this change today. Worked like a treat.
      Couple of queries.
      Turning off the warning, has properly turned it off... ie it's turned off the red light in the instrument cluster and the chime. I had imagined it would only turn the chime off. On my P the chime only comes on if you drive at over about 10mph without the belt on... although the little red light flashes continuously. And as far as I can tell it only ever applies to the driver's seat - is thsi correct? Other VAG cars I've driven can sense if there's a passenger, but I don't think the Phaeton does... am I right.

      Secondly... the second byte of the relevant data is supposed to be for the service interval type? The VAG-COM s'ware labels suggested that the values shoudl be 1 (for duty driven interval) or 2 for fixed interval... but my value is set to zero - ie the whole string was 0007401 and is now
      0005401. I suppose I should be checking this out in the VAG-COM pages.... but thought someone might just jump in with the answer!

      Regards

      M

      Member of Le Club 2P

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      09-08-2010 09:01 AM #27
      Just received the Ross-Tech cable today and made the adjustments posted here from Michael,all works fine,no more warnings and chime,thanks!

      Ekremsky
      2004 PHAETON 4.2 LPG

    28. 05-08-2012 04:08 PM #28
      A way to do this without the computer is to unplug the seat belt warning switch plug. My seat belt was dinging no stop no matter if I had it plugged in or not. I was going to replace the seat belt but it cost $150 so I decided to see if i could jumper it to make it stop. I un plugged it and decided to try it out to make sure it wasn't a interrupter switch and guess what it was! No more dinging!

    29. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      09-15-2012 06:23 PM #29
      Photos re-hosted.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    30. Junior Member bruce001's Avatar
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      03-17-2013 11:35 AM #30
      Go to your friendly Ford dealer's parts department and tell them your overweight sister in law is coming for an extended visit and will be driving your 2006 Ford Escape and you would like to order a seat belt extender so she can drive around safely.

      Offer to pay for same and they will most likely tell you there is "no charge".

      Take said extender home and place it in your Phaeton and WALLAH...no more Chimes and no more searching for the receiver end of your seat belt tucked between your seat and center console.

      And you have just "bought" your first Phaeton part that is not overpriced.

    31. 03-17-2013 07:42 PM #31
      Voila.

    32. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 08:14 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by bruce001 View Post
      Go to your friendly Ford dealer's parts department and tell them your overweight sister in law is coming for an extended visit and will be driving your 2006 Ford Escape and you would like to order a seat belt extender so she can drive around safely...
      Hi Bruce:

      That is a funny (and creative) solution, but it does have one drawback: If the seat belt extender is placed in the front passenger seat, then the airbag will fire in the event of a collision even if the seat is unoccupied. This is because the car uses the seat belt - the fact that it is connected - as the basis for assuming the seat is occupied and arming the passenger airbag.

      If the passenger airbag does fire, it will be horribly expensive to remedy - not only will a new airbag assembly be needed, but also a new dashboard.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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      03-20-2013 01:16 PM #33
      IMHO if I've hit or been hit by something hard enough to fire any airbag I'd rather have the car written off and a new one purchased so anything that adds to the cost of repairing mine to tip it over the financial scales of life is a good thing.

      are we sure its the seat belt and not the pressure sensor though? Most cars I've had up to now were triggered if the pressure sensor felt the right "weight". which in some cases a empty child seat ( unstrapped in of course seeing as no child is present) is enough to cause them to trigger.
      Last edited by entwisi; 03-20-2013 at 03:42 PM. Reason: typo

    34. Junior Member bruce001's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 02:45 PM #34
      If I have only a seat belt extender in the drivers position, I assume the passenger side bag will not fire. Just Sayin...because that's exactly my situation.

      Am I missing something here?

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