Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm looking for a potential surveillance device planted in my 2012 Pilot Touring. I've identified that a signal is broadcast from within the interior of the car at a regular interval when the ignition is on. The signal lasts for about 15 seconds every 30 seconds, so the whole cycle is about 45 seconds long: 15 seconds of noise and 30 seconds of silence. This happens both when the car is moving and idling, but not when the system is off.

The signal uses a consistent frequency and strength and seems to be cellular, but it's hard to tell. It seems to be separate from any Bluetooth emissions from HandsFreeLink but again, hard to tell.

Using a scanner, I have identified the source to be from within the center console, near the passenger's side, on the floor. Referencing the service manual and other resources, I think the source is around the location of the active noise cancellation and HandsFreeLink control units.

My next steps now are to open up the center console, probably by removing the side trim (or, if not, by deconstructing the column). Does this sound like a reasonable plan? If so, anyone have directions on how to do that?

More broadly, does anyone know whether there is any good reason for a 2012 Touring to transmit any signal at an interval like this? If so, where can I research more?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
The Hands Free Link, bluetooth, polls for registered devices regularly. The control module for HFL is near the floor bottom right side under the center console. The right side trim panel on the console gets removed for access, and the actual controller lives in a bracket and shell that will be obvious.

It appears per the FSM that the right side cover is held on with plastic trim clips, plus three screws from the inside of the console area near the top, above and forward of the middle bulkhead between the cupholder and the forward cubby section. I haven't looked at or tried to remove this cover, so you will need to look and see the exact details yourself. Use plastic trim tools and masking tape to protect the finish on the trip parts as you disassemble.

Once the cover is off and the control module is exposed, you can unplug what looks like three separate connectors to completely disable this module.

Fuse 17 in the main under-hood fuse box, supplies current to the audio and entertainment stack, including navigation components in your Touring.

Fuse 23 in that same main under-hood fuse box supplies the handsfree link module, along with lots of other center-stack components and displays.

Fuse 35 in the under dash fuse panel supplies the handsfree link control unit by triggering the ACC relay when key is in ACC position (1) or RUN position (2).

-----

All that said, the emissions you describe correspond to the HFL functions. Unfortunately there's no single fuse that supplies power to just that module for testing/evaluation. Based on your location description, I'll speculate that you are seeing that module. Consider that, if someone were going to put a tracking module in there next to the HFL controller, they would have taken the same cover off to put it there. It's MUCH easier to place such a module in the rear left above the trailer tow panel. There's switched power there, and easy places to mount it in the top of the plastic liner with double-stick tape. Of course, tracking modules can be placed almost anywhere, needing only a reasonable path for a radio signal to get out. It's just not that likely that someone would go through all the trouble to put one inside the console by the HFL controller.

Do you have a frequency signature?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the in-depth reply! I got a panel pop kit and was able to get to the HFL module. As predicted, it's most definitely the source of the RF emissions. I think you're right that it's a pairing beacon of some sort. There's a very strong signal coming from that box in particular and not the nearby ANC module or the AC inverter.

For anyone else who wants to do this, FYI, the trick to getting the passenger-side console trim off was to first pop off the trim to the right of the media panels (i.e. with the air vent and cigarette lighter). At that point I was able to just work the console side trim off with the panel removal tool.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top