Door Beeper Override

A common complaint among Element owners is that when you listen to music with the driver's door open, the beeper never stops. There are a variety of ways to overcome this, the simplest being to depress the dome light switch in the driver's suicide door with a clamp of some kind, e.g.:

Figure 1
Figure 2: The aptly named "sanity tool"

Sooner or later, though, I know I'll close the door with the clamp in place, and break something.

Another simple fix is to advance the ignition key from the "I" (accessory) to the "II" (on) position. The beeping will end after a few seconds, but the run position powers all sorts of devices and uses more juice.

Other suggested solutions include replacing the screw in the driver's door light switch with a plastic one, effectively disabling it. But because the switch is tied to other circuitry, this and other permanent fixes create new problems:
  • If you use the remote, you will be able to lock your keys in the car.
    When the remote is used to unlock the door(s), but no door is opened within about 30 seconds, the computer will relock the doors. With the driver's door switch disabled, the computer never knows a door has opened, so it relocks—even if the keys are inside the vehicle and you are outside. This can be inconvenient and costly.
  • The headlights-on beep will no longer sound when the driver's door opens.
  • Simply opening the unlocked driver's door will no longer activate the dome light.
Why not just silence the beeper itself? One owner has done this, but the procedure risks damaging the very expensive instrument cluster. It also disables the headlights-on beep.

The best answer I've found so far is to disable the switch temporarily.

Doing the Deed

To accomplish this, I tapped into the "Q" connector*, which plugs into the under-dash fuse/relay box (Figure 3). This connector (Figure 4) provides door-switch status inputs to the MCU.

Figure 3

Figure 4 (Honda)

Q1: empty
Q2: green/white—rear door switches
Q3: green—driver's door switch
Q4: gray/black—passenger door switch
Q5: blue/red—ignition switch/seat belt switch
Q6: empty
Q7: empty
Q8: green/orange—parking brake lever switch

I cut Q3 and put a mini SPST toggle switch in series, and mounted the switch on the left dash (Figure 5). This allows me to turn off the annoying beep at will, without permanently disabling it.

Update, January 2007

There have been times when I forgot to reset the switch and subsequently realized the dome light wouldn't come on when the driver's door opened. Though this is a minor problem, it prompted me to find a more elegant solution.

In place of the toggle switch, I used a DPDT relay (Radio Shack Model 275-218, Figure 6) activated by a SPST, momentary, normal-off, push-button switch (Figure 7). The relay breaks the Q3 connection and keeps it open as long as the ignition switch remains in the "I" (accessory) or "II" (on) position, then closes the Q3 circuit again when the ignition switch is turned to the "0" (off/lock) position. In other words, press and forget.
Figure 5

Figure 6
Figure 6: The push-button switch energizes the relay coil (13). In addition to breaking the Q3 connection (12-4), the relay makes a connection (9-5) that keeps the coil energized as long as power remains on. Turning off the power deactivates the relay, completing the Q3 connection again.

Unlike the toggle switch, this setup does not prevent the beeper from sounding when the key is in the "0" (off/lock) position, which is probably for the best. The relay draws about 130mA.

Figure 7

*Thanks to Cdkrall and MikeQBF for pointing out the location of Q3.

[Other Modifications]    [E Home]