How to kill the Big Brother car monitoring system in new Toyotas
My car: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road
My symptoms: Battery dies if I don't drive after three days.
What I found: The SOS/"insure Connect"/Wi-Fi Connect system (all under the banner of "Toyota Connected Services") is on 24/7. Doesn't matter if the key is in the ignition or not, it is on and is drawing power off my battery. It's not an accidental parasitic draw, it's designed into the system.
I have seen forums mentioning Toyota has been having a lot of battery issues in recent models, but have not tied it in with this tracking device. I have read that you can pull a fuse for it, but that it also kills the Bluetooth microphone which is a safety feature for hands-free calling. (This is because that microphone is also reportedly "always on.")
Some of you may remember Scotty has brought up the feature subscription services for things like the remote start... This is all tied-in with those new features.
I would like to replace the radio head unit (eliminating all of this BS) but no one has made a snap-in radio surround trim piece yet.
It's not an accidental parasitic draw, it's designed into the system.
the battery is designed to go flat in 3 days? Come on.
Have you had it tested? It's under warranty ... take it to Toyota
this tracking device.
what tracking device?
I had a generic diagnostic done on the battery. 100% health.
The SOS/insure Connect are both GPS tracking. I haven't tried to activate the SOS with the car off as I don't like tying up a potential dispatcher, but I may to see just how active the system is with the key off.. I have read that someone took their Highlander in for a similar symptom and the Toyota Connect system was named by the MDT as the culprit. The remote start, for example is quite telling... One needs to use their new Toyota app to not only subscribe, but to actually perform the remote start. So... No key in the ignition, you get on your cell phone, open an app and start your car. That tells me that the system is in "on" or "standby" mode ALL THE TIME.
This problem might be "transitory" (just like our inflation) because I'm currently using a trial period on the 2GB of data using the Wi-Fi. Still, concerning because the SOS button could be used to sign up for the Toyota Connected Services at any time.
I haven't dared gone into TechStream to mess with settings, but I may just do that too. If, somehow, the ECU/BCM/??? computer has a way to switch that port off, that may be the best way to defeat this system. I'd prefer NOT to pull fuses or cut wires.
Toyota Brand Engagement's technical department gave me a 2-week Toyota Information Services account and I've been reading TSBs, wiring diagrams, etc... Some things have been helpful, but I have to dig through to get the "standby" power requirements and I'm still looking after an hour+ familiarizing myself with how they compile the specifications... Most mechanics get wiring diagram AND voltages on the same frame... Not with my free account.
Maybe we could get @jack62 to come on board here. He has all the electronic automotive skills and experience to hopefully help you out.