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I just got a 2020 RTL-E, and I love pretty much everything about it, except for the idle stop. I know I'm not alone, so I set out to defeat it.

I was inspired by RGVPilot's work disabling Idle Stop on recent Honda Pilots. I got the next step of the process from this thread by Chipworkz.

The basic idea is this: Use a simple and widely available time-delay relay board to simulate pushing a button a few seconds after you start the car.

Other versions of the hack leave you with the orange "idle stop disabled" indicator light on the dash, which I wanted to avoid if I could. Then one day I noticed that if I turn on the in-bed inverter, I get a helpful message on the dashboard screen, and no orange indicator:

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So now my mission was to automatically turn on the inverter every time I started my truck. I've been doing this myself since I noticed this a few weeks ago with no negative effects, but today I finally automated it. Here's how.

The trim under the dash is held in with clips, so you can pretty much pull straight forward on the panel, and it'll pop off. You'll see the clips when you pull it off, and it'll make sense how to pop it back on later.

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I did this next part so you don't have to. (Complete installation instructions will follow below.) I unplugged the wiring harness from the button (by pushing down on the tab and pulling), and then I removed the inverter button from the dash panel by pressing in from behind on the clips and pushing it forward. I ended up having to kind-of-destroy the button to find what I was looking for, but eventually I found it:

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Bingo—pushing the inverter button slides a little metal piece that connects these two terminals. So if we want to use a gadget to do this for us, all we need to do is tap into those two wires and close a switch between them, which is precisely what Chipworkz's module does.

I looked all around that wiring harness for a switched/accessory 12V wire, but couldn't find one, so I ended up using the wires going to the transmission selector idle stop button, as described by RGVPilot. I hooked it all up, and it worked perfectly the first time—I didn't even have to tinker with the board settings!

Here's how to do it yourself, with special thanks to RGVPilot and Chipworkz. Standard disclaimer applies: You can void your warranty, I don't know what I'm doing, do this at your own risk, playing with electrics can catch your truck on fire, etc, etc.

1. Buy this FRM01-based relay board from Amazon, or something similar.
1a. You'll need some wires to connect things, and you'll probably want to solder the connections. There are cool little doodads you can buy that will probably tap into the lines, but better safe than sorry. I ended up using some old USB cables and clipped the ends so I could have two small wires together.

2. Grab the panel under the steering wheel at the bottom and pull forward. You'll feel it pop loose, and it'll also pop off a small trim panel on the left side by the door. You don't need a lot of force, and once you feel a few clips pop loose, you'll know how much force it will take to get the rest of them loose.

3. Follow RGVPilot's instructions to get access to the transmission buttons. He's got pictures at the link above, but it's pretty easy: Remove the rubbery tray thing by the USB chargers, then unscrew those two screws. Slide back the center console tray cover, then lift up on the black plastic piece and it will pop loose.

At this point, your truck should look like the hot mess that mine did in the picture above. Now we'll really get our hands dirty.

4. We'll start with the easier one: Getting power from the transmission buttons. RGVPilot's thread shows you the wire colors and how to remove the pin connectors. You can do that, or strip some insulation from the wires a few inches back from the connector and solder your wires inline. You need to tap the Green and Black wires.

5. Now you need to unplug the wiring harness connector plug from the inverter button. Once that's done, you need to tap into the Blue and Tan wires, shown here:

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I tried everything I could to get the wire I ended up cutting back the fabric-y cable wrap stuff, then using my knife to strip about half an inch of the wire a few inches back from the plug.

6. Now connect everything to the FRM01 board. These are the connections to make:

Inverter blue wire to NO terminal on the left side. In switch terminology, "NO" means "normally open" (and "NC" means "normally closed"). Since the two wires connect together when the button is pressed, we want to wire one to the "NO" terminal, and then...
Inverter tan wire to the COM terminal on the left side.

Transmission green wire to the DC+ terminal on the right side.
This is our 12V source to power the board, and then...
Transmission black wire to DC– on the right side.

These are all the connections you need:

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7. I recommend testing everything before you close it all back up. Hold down the brake pedal and push the button to start your truck. You should see the display on the FRM01 board light up and count down from 5. Then you should hear a click from the relay board, and see the "400W" light on your inverter button. You should also see the above message on your dashboard screen, although it may take a few seconds to show up.

If you want to change the time for some reason, you can follow the instructions to push buttons on the board, but the default 5 second timer works just fine for me.

8. If it all works, tuck the board and wires up under the dash, and enjoy your new idle-stop-free lifestyle!
 

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What extraordinary lengths some go through to increase fuel consumption! ;)

(I don't care for idle stop, either, and I'm glad my current vehicles don't have it. Perhaps my next vehicle will be electric.)
 

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2020 RTL-E Obsidian Blue Pearl
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So... you go through all this work, just to not move your right hand a few inches off the D/S button to deactivate the Auto Idle Start/Stop?

Seriously?? 😳

:rolleyes:
 

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For some, it's just a light. For others, it's the knowledge that the light is the same color as if you'd disabled some sort of safety feature, even though auto idle stop is mostly a gimmick.

I have mine set to auto disable, but never minded the light. I've forgotten it's there by now. If it were brighter, however, I'd probably do the same thing.

Also, some folks just like to tinker. Or completely remove their dashboard. Lol
 
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Discussion Starter #5
For some, it's just a light. For others, it's the knowledge that the light is the same color as if you'd disabled some sort of safety feature, even though auto idle stop is mostly a gimmick.

I have mine set to auto disable, but never minded the light. I've forgotten it's there by now. If it were brighter, however, I'd probably do the same thing.

Also, some folks just like to tinker. Or completely remove their dashboard. Lol
How'd you set yours to auto disable? I tried lots of things and read a lot of forum posts, and I thought it was impossible.
 

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If I am reading this correctly, instead of pressing the idle stop button, you have your truck set to turn on the inverter, which triggers an 'idle stop unavailable/power outlet on' display in the MID, which you would then need to press one of the mid up/down buttons to cancel the alert go back to mpgs or whatever?
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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@fishbulb59 Question is this an "easy to turn off" if say you are going in for service? Does the "Inverter" switch still function to turn it "Off"?

@OldBlue37 I have to agree with your opinion, would love more info on the "Auto" function mentioned
 

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Sorry, I didn't mean I made it auto disable without any modifications.

OP mentioned them in their post, but here's the link again for those just trying to get the auto idle stop disabled: Automatic Auto Idle Stop System set to Off by default...

Posts 1 and 9 should be what you're looking for. It takes a couple items ordered off Amazon and some play with the wires under the shifter console, but if you're willing to try that it should pay off. Very easy to undo it all if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, I didn't mean I made it auto disable without any modifications.

OP mentioned them in their post, but here's the link again for those just trying to get the auto idle stop disabled: Automatic Auto Idle Stop System set to Off by default...

Posts 1 and 9 should be what you're looking for. It takes a couple items ordered off Amazon and some play with the wires under the shifter console, but if you're willing to try that it should pay off. Very easy to undo it all if necessary.
right. This post is basically “use RGVPilot’s method to turn on the inverter instead of press the idle stop button.” The only difference is I don’t have an amber light on the dash. The notification screen clears itself after 2 seconds or so, and you can still push the button to turn the inverter back off if you want.
 

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Having done the mod and posted on Chipworkz 'Auto disable on start up' in another thread, I can say I don't mind the warning light. I sometimes turn on the auto stop via the button when in a long drive thru. The amber OFF icon is the only status indicator.

I'd say a mod to deactivate the light ALSO is a little anal but that would be the pot calling the kettle black as I have my quirks. I did my mod back in March and still working perfect with the $9 FRM01 module off of eBay.
 

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Good heavens. I have read each of these posts and have yet to see what, if anything, all that effort accomplishes. But then again, I am old and not very smart. It just sounds to me like there are bunches of folks with too much time on their hands.:)
 
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