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Auto Theft Prevention/honda pilot factory stereo & factory alarm


Honda Pilot Stereo
Honda Pilot Stereo  
might you have any information about car security systems as they relate to the car stereo?

more specifically... i have a 2006 honda pilot with factory stereo (that has a built-in 6 cd changer), and im interested to add a 3rd party attachment, via the so-called CDC (cd changer) port - for the purpose of allowing an analog auxiliary input (eg; to allow me to play music from an iPod or similar device).

yes, i could, while at the car, partially pull out the stereo and plug in this cable assy into the CDC port.

but being somewhat of a tech geek, id much rather fully pull out the stereo from the car and place it on my electronics workbench (to try to reverse engineer some of the many pinouts found on the back of this stereo).

ive read that once the stereo is removed from the car this will set off the cars factory alarm.

as it is my car, and it is my stereo - i should have a right to remove my own stereo to poke around with it. but i dont know which pins of which connector are acting as a part of the 'security circuit' - and i DONT want to set of my cars alarm as my neighbors wont appreciate this.

my best guess is this would be handled similar to how the 'open engine hood' switch part of the alarm works. a dc energized circuit probably passes out of one pin, routes into the stereo, where there is a short circuit, to a pin that routes out of the stereo. thus when the plug is inserted into the stereo, this would 'close' the circuit. and when the plug is removed from the stereo, this would leave an 'open' circuit - and fire the security system.

do you know which plug, and which pins are used for this purpose?  and/or if this scheme is as simple as i present it?

if it is as i describe, i can simply short the two involved security system wires PRIOR to removing my stereo - to prevent my alarm from unnecessarily going off.

any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for the feedback. I wasn't saying anything to disparage engineers, it just I have successfully opposed them in court and understand how they think.
In contrast instead of looking at one component, I think outside the box and consider the whole car.
Using engineers is the reason for recalls. One will design a component, where another designs where the component is placed in assemble. Since they don't work together, the end result is recalls for fire.
Also, there is too much credit given with automotive engineers and since they lack the knowledge of thieves, they look at a vehicle aS to how they think a thief would steal the vehicle or stereo. This creates very ineffective security.

Thanks again

I hate it when I am dealing with someone that appears to know something far beyond my pay grade specifically the deep detailed knowledge to one specific type of vehicle's stereo wiring.

If we were to get involved that deeply, it would not be on a factory stereo. That is when we would sell the customer an aftermarket stereo.
The reason being that if you go to all the work on the factory stereo for a 2006, you are actually dealing with outdated 2003 or 2004 technology. This means if you burn something out, you are not going to find any parts any longer for the factory stereo.
When people buy a new car, they think the technology is up to date. When this vehicle was purchased New, the electronics were already out dared. It takes 2-3 years from engineering design to the production floor. That is just a general fact as it relates to the electronics in any vehicle.

As are as removing the stereo and triggering the alarm, I have never heard of such a stupid thing. Shouldn't the alarm trigger when the vehicle is broken into, instead of waiting for someone to steal the stereo?

I am not saying that it is not possible the alarm will not trigger by the removal of the stereo, it is just I have never heard of it and I am usually pretty current on this stuff.

Here is the reason I recommend aftermarket in these situations. I do not even know where one could even get a full schematic for a factory stereo anymore. Playing around with it, you need to remember that stereo has been exposed to extremes of hot and cold as well as vibration. Sneezing on as 11-12 year old plastic circuit board can cause it to crack or break! As stated before, there are no new parts around for a stereo this old.

With aftermarket, you are dealing with state of the art have the appropriate inputs and out puts f or anything you want now or in the future.
One can get a nice Pioneer just to name one, with a usb port for the phone and is capable of any type of music from iheart radio, Pandora, or stream from YouTube for around $250. You can't do all that plus be able to plug in your 6 disc player into your factory stereo. Oh yea, also comes with am hd.
The point I am getting at, is why do you want to got to so much time and effort on an antique?

As for the alarm if it is true that once the stereo is disconnected the alarm will trigger, you again are over thinking this. It isn't that complicated.
You can consider disconnecting the battery at time of removal. When you reconnect, just hit the button on the key fob to shut the alarm off.

That is the problem with an engineering mind, they think far deeper than what one needs to consider. This is not a bad thing, but I just try to keep things simple.

One other thing- many factory stereos have an anti theft feature requiring that a code be put in for it to work when connected. Look to see if. It is written in the owners manual, or give the VIN to a hind dealer for the code. Otherwise that factory stereo will never work again.

Good luck and sorry I could not be more help.


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Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI


My background in auto theft is extensive. I have been directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft recovered vehicles. I also do insurance investigation as to how a vehicle was last operated. My clients are insurance companies and attorneys. Was featured in the A & E auto theft documentary "Stealing Wheels" July 26, 2000. Has consulted with Daimler Chrysler steering column engineers to make their steering columns harder to defeat. Holds patent # 6,039,140 for 8 different variations to protect air bags from theft.


ROB PAINTER, ASE, CFL, CFEI Forensic Vehicle Component Analyst Diplomate, Board Certified Forensic Examiner ASE Certified Auto, Collision, Med/Hvy/Duty Truck Technician Certified Forensic Locksmith Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator Certified Forensic Auto Theft Examiner Certified Auto Theft and Fraud Expert P.O. Box 190 Big Bend, WI 53103 Phone (414) 698-9696 Fax (262) 662-1352 As per federal court rules of evidence (702) (Daubert) my testimony has qualified me as: Auto Theft and Fraud Expert Forensic Vehicle Analyst Fire Origin and Cause Expert In the trial transcript of Holiday vs Progressive Insurance Company (March 12, 2002?Eugene, Oregon) with Holiday being my client-named ?the expert for experts.? BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Founder of the ?Forensic Institute of Auto Theft Analysis? (January 2002). This is the training school that will set the standards in determining the last operation of a reported stolen vehicle-burned or unburned. Much of my testing and procedures have been accepted as the guide for the forensic community. 1986 opened Auto Recovery Specialists Inc., providing exclusive repair of theft recovered and vandalized vehicles. The initial concept of the business was to return vehicles to their original shape before the theft, vandalism or fire. In 1987 bought the rights to the theft deterrent known as the ?Chicago Collar?. Duties include complete component replacement: dash, stereo system, interior, locks and coding, rebuilding steering columns, repairing and installing vehicle security system components (factory and after market), engine components, body repair, glass replacement, repair and service of air conditioning components, brake and suspension repair, and replacement, wiring harnesses etc. to return vehicle to pre-theft condition Complete reconstruction. During the past 17 years directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft-recovered and fire damaged Personally examined and rebuilt thousands of steering columns on both import and domestic vehicles Internationally acknowledged as expert in auto theft including court, consulting with insurance companies, attorneys and law enforcement. Consultant on steering columns, locks, stereo systems and vehicle security for Special Investigation Units for many large insurance carriers during the past eight years. Consulting services include but not limited to: How a vehicle was last operated (with or without keys in burned or unburned vehicles), Origin and Cause of vehicle fires, and vehicle defects. Provides services as a consultant and researcher to attorneys and insurance companies, and private industry throughout the US in cases related to vehicles. Has worked with crime prevention officers throughout the US establishing training programs designed to protect the public from becoming victims of auto theft. PATENT: 3/21/00 issued patent# 6,039,140 for 8 different variations of airbag anti-theft devices. PUBLICATIONS Currently authors articles and test reports on an ongoing basis for SIUs and the forensic/vehicle fire industry. Published author: (1,297 slide training course) Auto Theft/ Fraud Training Course) ?The Modern Forensic Approach to Auto Theft Investigation.? (January, 2001) Author: ?Variables to Be Considered In Vehicle Fire Investigation after Suppression.? (Insurance publication-November 2001) Author: ?Ford Magnesium Steering Columns and the Results to Ignition Components after a Fire?. Article for peer review from the fire and forensic community. (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM VATS.? (Article) (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM PASSLOCK TM? (Article) (November 2001) Author:? Auto Theft Investigation: Hollywood vs. Reality? (Article) (February 2001) For the John Cooke Fraud Report. Published author: (Manual) ?Forensic Vehicle Fire/ Arson and Auto Theft Investigation? (October 2000) Published author: (Article) ?Petty Claims? for the John Cooke Fraud Report (October, 1998) Published author (Manual) ?AUTO THEFT: LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!? (1998) (Previously distributed by Barnes & Nobel) Co-authored the investigation manual, ?Surreptitious Entry & Auto Theft & Burn & the Investigator.? (1999) Authored test questions on the subject of steering columns and vehicle security for CFL designation to be given by the International Association of Investigative Locksmiths. January, 2000 Published author: (Manual) ?Saginaw Steering Columns-What Has Not Been Told? Training manual for fire investigators. (March 2000) Published (Article) ?Beyond The Lock? (May 2000) Published Author: (Article) Fraud Defense Network-August, 2000 Edition-?Melting Steering Column Tests.? Published author: (Test Report) ?Burned Toyota Steering Column Testing to Determine How Last Operated?. Tool marks and procedures. (December 1999) Currently at the FBI Crime Lab in Washington DC and the US Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, GA for peer review. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Defeated the ?unstealable? Ford Securilock transponder system for a court case 10/10/00. They said it could not be done! Primary designer of a state of the art ?bait? car for a police department to catch car thieves. Worked with The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration and discovered a potential fire hazard on a vehicle and determined origin and cause of under hood fires on this type of vehicle. Featured as ?Auto Theft Expert? in the A & E auto theft documentary ?Stealing Wheels? that aired July 26, 2000. Contacted by Sears and Edelman Marketing to be a national spokesman for an anti theft device for vehicles. (November 1999) Invited to provide evaluation and consulting to steering column engineers at Daimler Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, MI (10/19/99-10/22/99). The purpose of this project was to demonstrate how steering column locking mechanisms could be defeated without the use of a key and how to reinforce the columns against theft. Court Qualified as an Auto Theft Expert and my videos of defeating columns were also accepted by a Cleveland, Ohio Court in October 1999 as a valid piece of evidence. Contacted by Disney Touchstone Pictures for technical assistance in making the movie ?Gone in 60 Seconds? (March 1999) CONSULTANT FOR FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS ? Former contributor for The Insurance News Network (Auto theft and prevention) includes heading a forum for the public on how to protect their vehicles for 3+ years. ? Former editor and consultant for the public on matters involving auto theft and prevention 2000-2001 on the web at ? The Insurance Career Center (Auto theft and fraud). ? National Association of Investigative Specialists (Auto theft and fraud) ? Expert Find (Auto theft and fraud} TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE ? ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in Auto: brakes, steering and suspension, engine repair, manual drive train and axles, air conditioning. Med/Heavy duty truck: gasoline engine repair, electrical/electronic components. Collision: elec.....

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