Phone, sound, electronics

 

Android sound

To get sound from your Android, there is no easy way, you can use the audio jack and a cord, but no way to do bluetooth, except, buy a bluetooth receiver, and one that is not "smart" like the fancy brand name ones, one that just takes what it receives from the phone and puts on a 3.5mm jack.

Get one that is USB, and that will power it, plug it into the glovebox USB, and then take a short 3.5mm stereo cable and hook from the Bluetooth receiver to the 3.5mm jack right next to it. Basically you are sending music wireless from your Android phone, to the USB bluetooth receiver, out the receiver on the stereo cable and back into the radio on the Aux input. All nice and compact and $10 of parts on Amazon.

 

Cell phone mount

With the small front window, the tomtom sticking up from the dash, and everything, putting a phone inside is a trick. Many people sell this really nice unit that has a mount that goes in the left vent. Looks nice, but has several disadvantages:

  1. blocks the vent completely
  2. may not have enough space for big phones
  3. $85 !!!

I found a solution for $24 that works well, and I found that I can accomodate my large Samsung Note 3, because the placement is above the door sill:

Being up higher, it's also easier to see, and not blocked by the steering wheel as much as the other lower down mount.

The name is the "ELEFUN S2", from Acelux, got from Amazon, but hard to find now. Note there is a "S1" that does not have that long reach.

Removing the dealer-installed "alarm" (scam)

As many people have reported, one common scam is when the dealer has already installed some "optional" stuff on a car and then pressures you to accept them because they are "already on the car".

This, of course has been going on for years, and I know that one of these things is an "alarm" that provides "missing" or additional functionality to your factory system.

I'm not sure, but the pop may not have an alarm at all, but I was under the impression that all Fiats came with some kind of immobilizer system.

Anyway, I got my car in San Diego, but apparently it was a dealer trade with an Orange county dealership.

The San Diego dealer does put "alarms" on all it's cars, but they did not realize that mine, had one also, but apparently a different model, or something.

I was not pressured to pay any additional cost, but when I asked about it, I was told it was "disabled".

Now, right off, I can tell you I did not like that... anything that can control if my car runs or not and I don't have control over, or know anything about, makes me uncomfortable. I know that on the gas powered cars, the "alarm" has a starter motor cutout.

So I asked more questions, and the dealership could not activate it, and was told they would check with the OC dealer, yeah, sure, after 2 weeks nothing. I also found out that the company that installs these in Southern California is called "SouthWest Dealer Services"... sounding fishy.

Well, more research and my dismantling of the small gadget that had a button and should have had an LED in it led me to determine this is a KARR alarm, and what it is REALLY for is that the dealers can use a single key fob to unlock ALL cars so equipped, and it seems to also be an extra level of anti-theft for them with the starter cutout.

What is hilarious is that I found that their San Diego office was walking distance from my place of work, so I went over.... same story, the dealer needs to "activate it", i.e. someone pays.

More research determined that there was no reason for a starter motor cutout, because my 500e alarm system ALREADY immobilizes the car, and there is NO starter motor. The added shock sensor might be nice, but now I would have to carry 2 key fobs. The more I researched, the more I realized that this was a convenience item for the dealer, a liability for me, and (when they can get it) a lucrative scam for the dealer when they sell one.

OK, so yesterday, I went into the dash and followed the wires up from the little pushbutton thingy they had attached to the panel by my knee. I found the "Brain" and now followed the "tendrils" of wires to their locations.

I was looking to see if any wires were cut / interrupted, vs. just "tapped into"...

3 wires to the ignition switch - all snap on taps
2 wires down by the fuse panel - all snap on taps
1 ground screwed to a flat metal spot

Removed them all, and taped up the spots where the taps cut through the wire insulation. While pushing wires back in place (that were pulled out to tap into them), I found another wire stuffed away that went where the alarm brain was mounted and it had a fuse in it... great, if that fuse blew, someone would have had a heck of a time finding it because it had been moved.

So, the ugly and useless parasite has been removed, and all is well.