Travis
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:43 pm
Delivery Date: 19 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 018542
Location: Tampa, Florida

Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:05 am

I would like to disable the cellular radio in my car. I've never used carwings and have no intention of ever using it. I don't even have an account and didn't sign anything at the dealership related to carwings. It isn't enough for me to click decline when I start the car. I don't want the cellular radio to even register with the towers. I don't really care if the clock keeps the correct time (the only thing I can see that would be lost). Honestly the timers suck so bad in the car it doesn't matter if the time is wrong as the timers are totally unusable for me and my schedule.

What can I do to disable it in such a way that it could be re-enabled in the future if I decide to sell the vehicle (assuming 2g even exists then). If there isn't a temporary way to do it I'm willing to do something permanent if that is what it takes.

There has been too much in the news about it lately (especially GSM technology) and I just want rid of it. Police departments, governments, private citizens, everyone is getting into the game. http://openbts.org/ Anyone can set themselves up a "cell tower" for $999 that my car will register to. I don't like that thought. I can think of some evil things that could be done and tracking is only the start of it. This technology is a criminals wet dream.

So who has the way to disable this crap?

Edit: FYI before anyone asks... YES I did shut off my cellphone service also. I keep the phone in airplane mode so that it cannot register with the towers and I use WiFI only on it with VoIP. It saves a TON of money every year and I can still do everything I did before including texting (when around WiFI). Its also had the side effect of making my life much happier. Remember life before being at everyones beck and call? I'm living it and you can leave a message after the beep. *BEEP*

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10541
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:32 am

The cellular radio in the Leaf uses AT&T 2G technology to send and receive SMS messages as its communication protocoL. It is behind the glove box so you can simply unplug it if you want... Or just wait until the end of 2016 when it will stop working anyway... :)
Last edited by TomT on Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

Travis
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:43 pm
Delivery Date: 19 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 018542
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:52 am

TomT wrote:The cellular radio in the Leaf uses AT&T 2G technology to send and receive SMS messages as its communication protocol, so there is not likely that much tracking that could be done with it...

That isn't true at all. Any cellular device that is powered up send a "I'm here" signal out to the carrier so they know which tower is able to contact it. For carwings to work the cellular system has to always know where to reach it. Just the act of this registering with the network makes it totally trackable.

As far as SMS messaging being its protocol that really only makes it easier to do nasty things. For instance you could force the car to register with one of those OpenBTS cell sites. Once its registered if you know the format for those messages to instruct the car to do things (like turn on climate control) it would be trivial to do so. At the very least this could be annoying. At the worst there could be hidden "features" we don't even know about.

Edit: AT&T has a CRAPPY record of being for the people https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A Anyone who even thinks of trusting them needs to read more. That is only the tip of the iceberg. The potential for abuse is clearly there. The police have an interface with all wireless carriers that allows them to log in and find the location of any cellular device at any time. This is a self serve system with no oversight or court orders.

"By the New York Times’ count, cellphone companies responded to 1.3 million demands for subscribers’ information last year from law enforcement. Many of the records, such as location data, don’t require search warrants or much court oversight."

TomT wrote:That said, it is behind the glove box so you could likely simply unplug it if you wanted...

If I unplug it will it cause the car to throw a code? If it won't throw a code I would simply unplug it. If it does throw a code I may have to do some surgery on it to ensure it cannot transmit.

2k1Toaster
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:45 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Nov 2013
Leaf Number: 420903

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:34 am

As I tell anyone who starts down the tin foil path, stop and think about this for a second.

It is TRUE that you are usually registered to no less than 3 towers at any given time driving around a normal area. This then means the cell receiver is easily triangulated.

Image

If you connect to 1 pirate tower, the pirate only has a good guess based off of the signal strength your relative distance away from that single tower point. You would need to be very unlucky and connect to many of the same pirate network towers in a single area.

But anyways, the next question would be why are you worried about this? Do you not carry a cell phone? Do you not have an internet connection? Do you never use credit cards? Do you not visit places that have security cameras, most with automatic license plate recognition? Do you avoid traffic intersections with smart cameras?

And if some criminal mastermind was tracking everyone he could, again why would you care? What makes YOU so important? If you were a high powered exec or political figure, then you have a cause for concern. If nobody knows who you are or cares who you are, then why would they care? Your car doesn't contain your bank login passwords. Is it really that menacing for a criminal to know what your current state of charge is?

If you want to disconnect it, you can either just wait 2 years for AT&T to disable all 2G com on their network or unplug the telematics unit.
2013 Nissan Leaf SV with every option
2013 Prius C Package 4
2012 Lexus RX450h
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minispeed
Posts: 681
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jul 2014
Location: Ancaster, ON

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:57 am

If you're using open wifi you are opening yourself up to a whole lot of other privacy concerns.

Tracking of your car is more likely either law enforcement's wet dream or a defence lawyers depending on if you are a bad guy or not. If you as a good old honest citizen are valuable enough for a criminal to want to track you and for them to use sophisticated equipment to do so they could simply break into your car and turn it back on, add thier own tracker or figure out a way to track when your cell phone connects to wifi and ping your location. If you're really that big of a target wouldn't you want an ice car for high speed long distance getaways?

If you're worried about being a random criminals target because of this don't bother. Criminals who pick targets at random aren't as sophisticated or are looking for financial info, not your location.
2015 White SV, after one month 292 GIDS
Best 1 charge drive, 229km (143miles)

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JeremyW
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:53 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jun 2012
Leaf Number: 19136
Location: San Gabriel, CA

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:20 pm

unplug the telematics unit


Easy. Remove the glove box (something like 6 screws on top, 5 on bottom), then it's right on the right hand side. Should have one big and two small connectors. You should be able to unplug them and be good to go! Note it's NOT the one that is straight back on the firewall, that's the VCM (main computer).

TCU.jpg


#17 is the TCU module itself.

TCU2.jpg
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Former 2012 SL leasee 6/23/12 - 9/23/15
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EVDRIVER
Posts: 5817
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:51 am

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:27 pm

Unplug the antenna, from the cellular module if it is separate, that would do it.

miscrms
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:25 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Wed May 13, 2015 1:43 pm

FYI just disassembled the dash, the antenna can indeed just be unplugged at the back of the TCU. It will generate a DTC, but shouldn't cause any real issues. You might be able to reach up in there after just removing the lower cover, otherwise removing the glove box gives clear access as previously mentioned.

Rob

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TomT
Posts: 10541
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Wed May 13, 2015 3:46 pm

Clearly there is no lack of paranoia among Leaf owners... :lol:
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

knightmb
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:41 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2013
Leaf Number: 414897
Location: Franklin, TN

Re: Disable The Cellular Radio

Wed May 13, 2015 5:20 pm

I thought you could turn off the cellular radio in the menu? At least it will disable all the carwings related stuff, don't know if the radio stays on in standby or not.

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