Despite modern cars being absolutely loaded with advanced electronic safety technology meant to prevent crashes or keep you safe in the event of a crash, there are plenty of times where you may want to disable these features to unleash a little more hooligan potential out of your car.
Why the heck would you want to disable the airbags in your car, or take out your door locks, or turn off stability control, or get rid of that pesky anti-lock braking system?
Well maybe you’ve found yourself on a racetrack or in some amateur motorsports situations and you want to make sure the car doesn’t think you’re about to die as you’re pushing it to the limit. There’s nothing worse than having your car engage the brakes or limit the throttle in the middle of a competitive driving session.
So here’s a video from Team O’Neil Rally School showing you how to go around most modern cars and start switching the safe but annoying stuff off:
Now here comes the extremely technical part of the strategy: you just kind of unplug stuff and see what happens. The owner’s manual and the internet are your friends here.
As they point out in the video, start pulling labelled fuses one at a time. As you pull them, go for a cautious drive in a safe environment and see if the pulled fuse deactivated whatever feature you wanted to deactivate, like the anti-lock braking system, for example. If it didn’t seem to work, many cars have multiple fuses for ABS or stability control, so go find those and remove them as well.
Many of the safety systems on the car also have their own control units, which to be disabled can just be unplugged entirely. Other systems can be disabled where they function, like the brake-throttle override, which is a connector running up from the brake pedal itself.
If you’re doing some hardcore driving that may normally activate the airbags, you’re also going to want to disable those so you’re not getting pillow-punched in the face for taking a rally course too quick and your car getting hit with a rock in precisely the wrong manner. Before tampering with the airbags, you want to disconnect the car battery to ensure there’s no chance of an accidental activation while you’re fussing about in the car.
But if you’re all done with your off-road hooning, you may want to plug that back in. Just to be safe.
All airbag wiring in modern cars is yellow, so follow the yellow wires until you find the main unit that all of the yellow wires from the airbag sensors connect to, and then disconnect it.
If you’re committing your car to a life of hooning or racing, you should also consider disabling its security systems, replacing the key starter with a switch or button, and even removing the door locks. This is ideal for a car that gets towed around a lot, or is on a track where a bunch of people will constantly be fussing with it, and it’d be a nuisance to have to keep a key around.
Removing the security systems could be something you need professional help for, though, otherwise some modern cars may be aware they’ve been tampered with and refuse to start if not disabled properly.
If this is all something you want to do, it shouldn’t take much more than a handful of common tools, a safe place to test the car out, and a few hours of time to trial-and-error your way through pulling wires.
But, like we already said, you may want to plug all this stuff in when you’re done driving around off the grid like a maniac. It’s all there to help you and stop you from, you know, dying. Just in case.
Good luck, have fun, and above all, be safe.