Seat Belt Buzzers/Chimes are an annoyance to most everyone including myself. I’m not anti-seat belt, but I am anti annoying noises. There are times when a seat belt is not needed, for example; when your large dog has jumped up into the passenger seat. I see the seatbelt warning chime similar to the ‘how to buckle your seat belt’ warning on every air flight you take. Yes, the manufactures must do this for liability purposes, but it is still annoying and a waste of time to 99% of the population. If you don’t know how to work a seat belt buckle, you should not be flying in a plane.
Listed below are a few ways to disable or fool the seatbelt buzzer/chime and light.
1) You can purchase a ‘seat belt extender’ which would stay inserted into the female part of your seat belt. This would keep both the chime and light turned off and would still allow you to use the seat belt normally when needed. This product can be purchased on Ebay for about $15.
2) Electrical modification – I don’t recommend disconnecting or modifying the electrical harness for the seat belt. The seat belt circuits are tied into the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) and any SRS modification could prevent the airbag from going off. Most current SRS systems detect whether there is a person in the passenger seat and if not, the airbag will not deploy. Can you imagine your liability if you loan or sell your car and the airbag did not go off during an accident and it is found that you modified the safety system? You don’t want to go there.
3) Redneck disable – I’ve seen many people track down the offending buzzer buried deep into the dash and then clip the wire to it. As for the seat belt light, a piece of black electrical tape can easily cover that.
4) The dealer can go into your system through the OBD connector and turn off the buzzer using their Techstream scanner. If you want to do this yourself, you can purchase a Techstream scanner for about a grand and do it yourself.
5) Here is another method that works on older Rav4’s, but not sure about new ones.
a) Turn the Power ON
b) Set trip meter to “ODO”
c) Power OFF
d) Turn the Power ON
e) Hold down the ODO/Trip button for 10 seconds
f) While keeping the ODO/Trip button down, put the driver seatbelt on.
g) You will see b_on / b_off choice in the ODO meter, make your choice with the ODO/Trip button
h) You will still get the dashboard and passengers seatbelt flashing lights if you don’t put your seatbelt on.
Again, wearing a seat belt is the law and you should always wear a seat belt. It does save lives. But, there is no law requiring you to tolerate an annoying seatbelt chime/buzzer and light.
When I investigate an accident and the driver was not wearing a seat belt, I check all of the above along with reading the contents of the black box which will give me all the SRS information, besides much more. Courts and insurance companies do not like people who modify the safety equipment in a vehicle and the cost for reparations can be very expensive.