Lock for OBDII port

Miss_Athanatos

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I had intended to post in this forum last night, but apparently I made an error. I hope the admins will forgive me and delete my post in the MKVII forum if that's what needs to be.

Because I have a Ram diesel pickup (they come stock with no fuel caps), I picked up a locking fuel cap from a little company called BEM Auto. I found out that they're coming out with an OBDII port lock and thought that this would be awesome for when I took my car into service on my extended warranty. I am not choosing the "fix" and want to be able to have the option of the buyback to the latest possible minute.

I thought there might be other Gen 3. folks or anyone with an OBDII port affected by dieselgate waiting to the last possible minute for the buyback. Here's some pictures of the unit I've been testing out:





It's supposed to be anodized in black and then laser etched with a logo when they're all done.

I'll try to get a photo of it in my car this morning yet.
 

Miss_Athanatos

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Ok, I went out and got some pics of the testing unit I have on my vehicle.

First view is from the front:



Second view looking up from the bottom:



Third view from underneath and off to the side a bit:

 
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Interesting gadget. My though, though, is that most dealers would simply refuse to service your car since virtually all vehicle diagnostics begin from the OBDII port
 

Miss_Athanatos

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Interesting gadget. My though, though, is that most dealers would simply refuse to service your car since virtually all vehicle diagnostics begin from the OBDII port
I hear what you're saying. I won't refuse to take it off for dealer service. I just want to be asked specifically to take it off and be told for what purpose, rather than have them plug in and load software updates without telling me beforehand.

I know BEM Auto are making one of these specifically for the Ram trucks. One guy told me that there are enough people who have tunes on their trucks under warranty to be concerned taking the trucks in for dealer service. I'm not in that boat, but I get it. These folks don't want to pick up a truck stuck in limp mode.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
You fail to realize that A LOT of things on modern cars require access to the DLC, not just software updates. PM reminder resets, all kinds of learning and adaptations after certain services, inspections, all kinds of things.
 

Miss_Athanatos

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You fail to realize that A LOT of things on modern cars require access to the DLC, not just software updates. PM reminder resets, all kinds of learning and adaptations after certain services, inspections, all kinds of things.
Thank you for the response. You make a lot of good and valid points.

I have no problem with taking the lock off once the service requirements are explained per visit. It's an informed consent thing. :)
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
Nothing wrong with being informed. I just see something like that as being a nuisance if it it came into our shop. Even if there was no obvious need on the front end to access the DLC, something may come up while the vehicle is there that would require it. Something totally non-issue, and it could become an issue if we had to wait for you to bring the key.

For instance: another tech here put rear springs in a Silverado. When he took the old ones off, he knew he would be dropping the axle down a bit. To prevent any damage, he unplugged the rear axle speed sensor from its connector atop the diff housing. He put the new springs in, bolted the shocks on, etc., put the wheels back on, set the truck on the ground. Went to back it out of the shop, saw the ABS light was on. He immediately realized he forgot to plug that speed sensor in. Slid under the back, plugged it back in, grabbed the scan tool and via the DLC a few mouse clicks and cleared the DTC set.

Back the truck out, test drove, done. Simple mistake, no harm done. Had there been a lock on the DLC, he would not have been able to remedy this without a phone call, an extra trip, etc.
 

duratitus

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It seems pointless to me, and I fail to see what this has to do with dieselgate.

If you take your car in for the modification, you already know they will have to access the OBD 2 port, so why would you try to cover it ......???
 

demagxc

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The only thing it has to do with dieselgate is the the OP doesn't want the fix done and is afraid that the dealership is going to reflash the car without consent. Still seams pointless as I cant foresee an instance where the dealer would do this considering there is considerable documentation pre and post fix. Not to mention the dealer has no incentive to secretly fix anyone's car without their knowledge...
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
The only thing it has to do with dieselgate is the the OP doesn't want the fix done and is afraid that the dealership is going to reflash the car without consent. Still seams pointless as I cant foresee an instance where the dealer would do this considering there is considerable documentation pre and post fix. Not to mention the dealer has no incentive to secretly fix anyone's car without their knowledge...
Heh, you've never worked at a dealer, have you? They ABSOLUTELY have an incentive to do any and all service campaigns. They get PAID to do them. And quite often, the owner will have no prior knowledge of anything ahead of time.

In the case of the emissions "fix", it is of course a little more complicated, and it is more than just software anyway.
 

demagxc

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Heh, you've never worked at a dealer, have you? They ABSOLUTELY have an incentive to do any and all service campaigns. They get PAID to do them. And quite often, the owner will have no prior knowledge of anything ahead of time.
In the case of the emissions "fix", it is of course a little more complicated, and it is more than just software anyway.
I did actually work for a dealer in the service department for a short time but that is beside the point. I was talking specifically about the the emissions fix in this case. As you pointed out, it is not a run of the mill service campaign and is a bit more complicated and involves hardware as well. On the customer side I remember having to sign at least one, if not more documents through the whole process starting before they even took my keys.
 

duratitus

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I'd love to have them modify my car without my permission because I could sue them for a lot of cash!!!
 

duratitus

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They're not allowed to mess with the tuning and install hardware without authorization.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
They're not allowed to mess with the tuning and install hardware without authorization.

We did it all the time, chief. They all do. Any open campaigns were performed, and I never ran across a case where the owner expressly "forbid" it. Most do not even know nor care, so long as it is at no cost to them.

All three of the major manufacturers I worked for were like this. The only thing we had at Volkswagen was the TSB about the "tune" form, and we hardly ever even bothered with that, unless you knew going in that it had been modified. Which is very, very rare. Despite what the car guys like us think, not everyone is a gearhead. :p
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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If you're adamant about not getting the fix your best option is to never take the car to the dealer. Even if you have a lock on the port, and insist that they not update the car when it's there, word may not get to the right person and it may happen anyway.
 

Lightflyer1

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Lock on the OBDII port seems like a giant red flag to me. Generally only someone with a tune has something like this. I would bet this would gate any warranty repairs until they checked the tune. Then they may refuse warranty work. If you don't want them to know don't take it there.
 

jason_

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If the vin hasn't had any repairs or recalls, when it gets in the door and typed in, it'll get addressed.

I bought a used 96 truck from my buddy, who neglected anything dealer recalled on.

I bought it with a smoked gearbox. Swapped it. Still had issues, although it would actually drive until it got to temp.
. Took it to dealer, they repaired the questionable solenoid in the valve body.

I got it back, and opened the hood, and there were like 6 new shiny things under there, upon those and reading the invoice, updates to the tcm and pcm, abs module, something in the throttle body, I think the water pump? , all $0 besides the valve body repair I actually specified.

They don't care. They follow steps. If it's a recall or update company wide on their product, they'll follow through like a mindless drone.

You driving in there with a road block on the data port is bound to add notes against your VIN....

Sent from my One using Tapatalk
 

Miss_Athanatos

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Thanks for all the responses, guys! A lot of good insight here.

I believe it's worth the nuisance factor and intend to buy one once they're available on the market. I thought folks here would remember some months back that a fellow on this forum reported that his Gen 3 was given the Phase I "fix" while his car was in the shop for some warranty repair. He was scheduled for a buy back, but the dealer still did the "fix" on his car without his consent.

Also, it's less defensible from a civil/legal perspective, if something detrimental is done to my vehicle once I've received information to gain my consent to remove the lock. I know it's not a perfect safeguard, but it is something.
 

Rico567

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<snip> Despite what the car guys like us think, not everyone is a gearhead. :p
This is a very good point. I, for example, am in the "gray area" between the ordinary driver / consumer and gearhead. My main motivation is to have a car that is engaging and fun to drive (which is why we have a VW and a SAAB), but the bottom line is that it is reliable, reasonably efficient, and will get us and our stuff from point A to point B.
But, on the other hand, I've done routine maintenance on all our cars going back 50 years....I just know when stop at the oil & filter changes level and take the car in to someone like "oilhammer" for my timing belt service or noisy CV joint.
As to the OP, yes, as I am signed up for the buyback (which will happen late next year), and I don't want the dealer putting in the fix, thereby disqualifying me from the buyback. But I regard an OBD port lock as being extreme. When I took the car in for some recall or other, I had a conversation with the service writer on this subject, where I was informed that it would take a phone call with VW where I would have to verbally authorize the fix before they would do it. That's enough protection for me.
 

piotrsko

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Imvho the only reason to install one is to prevent, For a very short while, access to the port by law enforcement after a crash. Otherwise it will take just a short walk to the tool box to get something to remove it. On my F 250 you can use a long shank home despot masterlock to prevent access but my tinfoil hat got crumpled last time I locked the port.
 
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Miss_Athanatos

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Imvho the only reason to install one is to prevent, For a very short while, access to the port by law enforcement after a crash. Otherwise it will take just a short walk to the tool box to get something to remove it. On my F 250 you can use a long shank home despot masterlock to prevent access but my tinfoil hat got crumpled last time I locked the port.
I don't know what tool you'd use to get this lock off without breaking the whole OBD II port off the car. What did you have in mind?
 

Miss_Athanatos

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This is a very good point. I, for example, am in the "gray area" between the ordinary driver / consumer and gearhead. My main motivation is to have a car that is engaging and fun to drive (which is why we have a VW and a SAAB), but the bottom line is that it is reliable, reasonably efficient, and will get us and our stuff from point A to point B.
But, on the other hand, I've done routine maintenance on all our cars going back 50 years....I just know when stop at the oil & filter changes level and take the car in to someone like "oilhammer" for my timing belt service or noisy CV joint.
As to the OP, yes, as I am signed up for the buyback (which will happen late next year), and I don't want the dealer putting in the fix, thereby disqualifying me from the buyback. But I regard an OBD port lock as being extreme. When I took the car in for some recall or other, I had a conversation with the service writer on this subject, where I was informed that it would take a phone call with VW where I would have to verbally authorize the fix before they would do it. That's enough protection for me.
Thanks for your post. I showed it to the local diesel mechanic here and he said about the same thing as everyone else as far as extremity and nuisance from the mechanic's point of view, but then he also said that he could see exactly why someone would want it from a consumer's point of view.
 

piotrsko

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I don't know what tool you'd use to get this lock off without breaking the whole OBD II port off the car. What did you have in mind?
Since your picture doesn't show any proprietary lock mechanisms, probably any one of a batch of driver bits that I have. Probably even a direct fit for a harbor fright security set or and old flat tipped screwdriver. Probably wouldn't even mar the screw recess.
 

Miss_Athanatos

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Since your picture doesn't show any proprietary lock mechanisms, probably any one of a batch of driver bits that I have. Probably even a direct fit for a harbor fright security set or and old flat tipped screwdriver. Probably wouldn't even mar the screw recess.
A lot of people have tried to get it open with things from screw drivers to pliers. There's no flat on the lock mechanism to grip. One guy said he could get the lock off with some channel locks, but that he would destroy the port doing so, since everything would come off. Without the key, you can't take it off non-destructively. It's kinda neat that way.

From what I can see on the bem auto website, they've been making their own proprietary lock mechanism for something like 25 years for the military, and they decided to use it on this item and their other low security locking items they sell on their website. It is a very simple mechanism, though.
 

Miss_Athanatos

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Something like Irwin Hanson 53227 or 394001.
I think you have to have flats for those to work, even if the corners of the hex get rounded off. This mechanism doesn't have flats.
 

whitedog

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I think you have to have flats for those to work, even if the corners of the hex get rounded off. This mechanism doesn't have flats.
They are designed to remove rounded bolts and nuts or to be inserted into a hole drilled into a broken bolt, depending on what the situation is.
 

Miss_Athanatos

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They are designed to remove rounded bolts and nuts or to be inserted into a hole drilled into a broken bolt, depending on what the situation is.
I saw that on Amazon and YouTube when I looked up the tool. The one that works on "rounded" bolts needs flats to dig into. The one that you drill into a broken bolt would be back to what I said about not being able to open the lock non-destructively without the key.
 

whitedog

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I saw that on Amazon and YouTube when I looked up the tool. The one that works on "rounded" bolts needs flats to dig into. The one that you drill into a broken bolt would be back to what I said about not being able to open the lock non-destructively without the key.
It doesn't need flats. Rather than reading about it on the innerwebs, I have used then to removed broken bolts that had enough sticking up to grab on to. And you only mentioned not destroying the OBD port.
 
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