‘Can I disable my car’s seatbelt reminder?’ [Newbie Guide]

Updated Nov 22, 2021 | Same topic: Beginner's Guide

The sound is annoying for some, even if it doesn’t affect the car’s drivability.

By default, cars are robust to a certain degree, with rigid yet lightweight steel components engineered to crumple when necessary upon impact. That’s not saying, however, that a tough body is all it takes to protect everyone on board.

Seatbelt

Even with newer occupant protection features, the seatbelt remains the universal symbol of automotive safety

Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, your first line of protection is the seatbelt, that strip of woven material draped across your torso and buckled to one side of your lap. It has become so representative of occupant safety in passenger cars, automakers are already equipping their newer models with a seatbelt reminder.

However, some motorists find the audio-visual alarm annoying. Those who can’t be bothered to wear a seatbelt on short drives are constantly looking for ways to silence the alarm, so they can go about their merry way in peace. But is it possible?

Seatbelt buckle

Actually buckling up is still the most logical (and least expensive) option

Seatbelt reminders are considered relatively intelligent devices, in the sense that they only go off when they detect a significant amount of weight resting on the car seat while the buckle isn’t clasped. On the flip side, we say relatively because they’re unable to distinguish between a human occupant and a piece of cargo. That's why a heavy parcel placed on the seat, even if it is an inanimate object, can still trigger an alarm.    

If your new car comes standard with a seatbelt reminder, there is a way to disable it. This involves resetting and reprogramming the alarm from the car’s onboard computer. For some models, the procedure is outlined in the owner’s manual. The exact steps can vary depending on the model, but they usually entail switching on the ignition (short of actually starting the engine) then buckling and unbuckling the belt several times.

An easier way would be using a seatbelt alarm stopper, which is essentially a simulated seatbelt tongue. The tongue is attached to the belt buckle without having to secure the actual seatbelt across the occupant, preventing the seatbelt reminder from going off.

But the best way to stop the seatbelt alarm from engaging is to actually use the belt that came with the car in the first place. Whether it’s a long drive or just a brief grocery run, you’ll never know when an accident is waiting to happen, and you’ll be thankful that your car actually took the time to nag you into looking after your own welfare.

Find more tips for beginner car owners at Philkotse.com

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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