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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

Some of you may remember that I noticed that EKA was set as Disabled in the BeCM on the Ascot. It didn't seem to be a problem but now it is. As you probably realised, I've been away and it hasn't been touched for 10 days. I was pleased to see that the EAS appears to be working fine as it hadn't settled at all in that time.

However, went to move it today and the doors didn't unlock on the fob, none of them. Opened it with the key in the hole and only the drivers door unlocked. Found that the battery was completely flat. I mean totally, zilch volts. Connected jump leads and noticed the hazards flashing. As the sounder has been disconnected, that meant the alarm was going off. Closed the door, manually locked it and unlocked it again and the hazards stopped so I'd turned the alarm off. Tried to start it and the dash said Engine Disabled, Press Remote. Now the remote isn't doing anything as the flat battery has caused it to lose sync. I can't re-sync it as it won't do that while the engine is immobilised.

So, grabbing all the paperwork for it, thrash off down to local friendly main dealer and get the printout showing the EKA code (so I at least now know which of the 5 different 4 digit numbers handwritten on the various bits of paper is the EKA code). Back home, try the EKA and it does nothing. But as EKA is disabled in the BeCM, that's probably why. Out with the Nanocom and plug that in. Go into the BeCM settings and get "Error, Unable to communicate with the ECU". Clean the contacts on the OBD connector, still the same. Check RAVE and find that the BeCM uses the same pins as the engine ECU, ABS ECU and HEVAC. Try them and find I can connect to all 3 (although the HEVAC did put up a bit of a fight) but still can't connect to the BeCM. Tried it the usual way with ignition off, tried it with ignition on, rebooted the Nano umpteen times but it still won't connect.

So, anyone got any ideas? I've got a car that has lost sync (no check engine light) so it either needs the remote button pressing but as the remote has lost sync, that won't do anything, or the EKA entering but as EKA has been disabled in the BeCM I need to connect to the BeCM to enable it before it can be entered.

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Joined: Jan 05 2016
Posts: 625

Presumably you've tried disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it to see if that gives it a kick?

My remote fob never really worked for my 96, so and my oddball has friendly syncing so I'm not 100% on how you sync the key in an early one. In the door and turning then pressing a button?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

I've got two fobs with it and they both synced up perfectly using the turn key and press button method. But as the battery has gone flat, they both need to be re-synced but it won't let me do that while it is immobilised. I haven't disconnected the battery yet. I intend doing that and taking it off to put it on charge (it's parked too far away for the leads on my huge charger in the garage to reach). Then, hopefully, I can put it back on and it will play nicely.

I suppose worse case I could take the BeCM off and put it on the SE and see if I can connect to it when it's on that. At least that will let me enable the EKA in it.

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Joined: Dec 29 2015
Posts: 435

If you do swap it over don't forget to disconnect the speedo :-D

Are you sure the key won't sync when it's immobilised? Seems like a pretty common failure mode...

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Joined: Jan 06 2016
Posts: 1838

Found this when wandering around the web. Seems too good to be true (except for driving latch motors directly of course) and apart from the poster can't see anyone who has confirmed, but FWIW
How to disarm the alarm...... I have discovered a way to override the range rover alarm system. I recently had the unpleasurable experience of the transmitter not responding while the vehicle was armed in the super locking mode. So the first thing I tried was the EKA procedure.....It did not work, in fact all it did was open the driver's door and trigger the alarm. All of the other doors including the rear hatch remained super locked. I attempted to start the vehicle and got a display on the dash that said "ENGINE IMMOBILIZED". I tried to resync the transmitter and that didn't do any good. After about an hour of trying to start the truck I got fed up and took of the driver's door panel to have a look at the wiring. I found a harness that comes from the actuator and plugs into the door control module; it has seven wires in it. Orange w/ black actuator motor Pink w/ black actuator motor Blue w/ red alarm arm/ alarm disarm Green w/ red alarm disarm Purple w/ white doors unlock Orange w/ white Black ground Grounding the blue/red wire momentarily arms the alarm and locks the doors. Grounding the blue/red wire a second time activates the super locking mode. Grounding the purple/white wire while the alarm is armed will trigger (panic) the alarm. Grounding the blue/red wire when the alarm has been triggered will silence the horn and stop the parking lights from flashing. I discovered that if you ground the blue/red wire & the green/red wire at the same time it disarms the security system even if it is in super locking mode, the immobilizer is also disarmed and allows the vehicle to be started. Grounding the green/red wire while the alarm is in a disarmed state locks the doors without arming the alarm. Grounding the purple/white wire while the alarm is in a disarmed state unlocks the doors. My actuator was unplugged when I tested my new findings.

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Joined: May 02 2017
Posts: 507

So if the above is correct, you can bypass all of the alarm system and messing about with the EKA just by grounding out a wire?

Since Gilberts car isn't going anywhere fast, he'd be the perfect candidate to try Orangebean's web findings.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

Got to be worth a try in the morning. As said, it isn't going anywhere at the moment and neither is the SE as it is blocked in the driveway by the Ascot. Which means that at the moment the import I collected from the docks today is having to sit outside rather than on the driveway in front of the garage where it needs to be......

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 800

You can try that... but I believe they simply got lucky in the post mentioned... Grounding the various wires isn't 'bypassing the security system' but rather just mimicking the microswitches in the door latch.

I'll try to 'decode' that horrific paragraph - I know it's a copy/paste as whoever originally posted it obviously didn't understand paragraphs... (It's been going around awhile, and in fact had a guy on facebook message me with that exact posting the other week say I might be interested in it) are:

How to disarm the alarm...... I have discovered a way to override the range rover alarm system. I recently had the unpleasurable experience of the transmitter not responding while the vehicle was armed in the super locking mode. So the first thing I tried was the EKA procedure.....It did not work, in fact all it did was open the driver's door and trigger the alarm. All of the other doors including the rear hatch remained super locked. I attempted to start the vehicle and got a display on the dash that said "ENGINE IMMOBILIZED". I tried to resync the transmitter and that didn't do any good. After about an hour of trying to start the truck I got fed up and took of the driver's door panel to have a look at the wiring. I found a harness that comes from the actuator and plugs into the door control module; it has seven wires in it. Orange w/ black actuator motor (CDL Motor) Pink w/ black actuator motor (Motor Common) Blue w/ red alarm arm/ alarm disarm (Key Switch) Green w/ red alarm disarm (CDL Switch) Purple w/ white doors unlock (Door Ajar Switch - NOT DOORS UNLOCK) Orange w/ white (Superlock Motor) Black ground Grounding the blue/red wire momentarily arms the alarm and locks the doors.(with CDL open circuit (locked) triggering this to ground effectively is turning the key to 'lock') Grounding the blue/red wire a second time activates the super locking mode. (yes, this will do if done quickly enough - as with turning the key in the lock twice in quick succession) Grounding the purple/white wire while the alarm is armed will trigger (panic) the alarm. (because if the alarm is set and you open the door, it will set the alarm off) Grounding the blue/red wire when the alarm has been triggered will silence the horn and stop the parking lights from flashing. (this only tells it the door has been unlocked with something like the sill button - I wouldn't necessarily expect this to stop the alarm going off though) I discovered that if you ground the blue/red wire & the green/red wire at the same time it disarms the security system even if it is in super locking mode, the immobilizer is also disarmed and allows the vehicle to be started. (this is effectively just triggering the CDL to unlock, and the key switch at the same time - making the vehicle think that it's been unlocked with the key in the door. In theory if the EKA is disabled, then yes this would then let you start the vehicle) Grounding the green/red wire while the alarm is in a disarmed state locks the doors without arming the alarm. (yes - this is as if you've just locked the door with the sill lock button and not the key in the door and is normal) Grounding the purple/white wire while the alarm is in a disarmed state unlocks the doors. (this makes no sense as the Purple/White is the door ajar switch and has nothing to do with the central locking part) My actuator was unplugged when I tested my new findings

With all that aside....

In THEORY... If the EKA is disabled then you should be able to just unlock the vehicle and it should bypass all of the EKA malarky... or you might have to lock it first with the key, and unlock it again and it should unlock all the doors and let you resync the remote.

I would only recommend trying that on a decent charged battery, as low voltage to the BECM will cause all sorts of headaches no doubt.

Depending on the software version of the BECM, then (and I know this because I had one on my bench from Canada that powered up with the alarm going off, even after unlocking) even if the EKA is disabled, then doing the 'disarm' procedure in the BECM with Nanocom will still reset it. Obviously you need communication to the BECM for that though.. And the BECM software to be V36 or later.

This predicament is one of the reasons I don't encourage owners to disable the EKA when I reset lockouts etc - as you've found, there is no way if the EKA is disabled and it has a fit to get around it - well other then I've just mentioned above - but that requires nanocom at least!

I also don't believe that you will be able to enable the EKA with it in an alarmed/locked out state... Just like you can't disable the EKA or turn the passive immobiliser OFF when it's immobilised or expecting the EKA - because otherwise all someone would need to steal the vehicle is diagnostics to do that, and a manual key blade.

You might be able to 'write' the EKA setting back to 'Enabled' and it might say it's written successfully, but I believe if you exit out of the BECM and go back into it, it will have reverted to 'Disabled'

I would personally check the door latch microswitches whilst the battery is out an on charge - as if it's got a dodgy microswitch, then that could be causing it to not unlock properly with the key in the door and disarm like it should (in theory) with the EKA disabled. If this is the case then triggering the wires in the above post will mimic the key being turned and should get it unlocked... If that doesn't work, then it's possible the BECM has gone into lockout and will need resetting with something like my Faultmate to clear the lockouts from the CPU.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

All I can say is that it bloody worked! So huge thanks to OB for posting it and Marty for deciphering what it said. Fitted the battery from the SE which had been on charge since yesterday in preparation of moving it, Pulled the door panel off, unplugged the connector to the latch, grounded the blue/red and green/red simultaneously and the central locking fired into life and unlocked (and then relocked) all the doors. Put the key in the ignition and the message centre told me the alarm had been triggered but the engine started. No longer immobilised, RESULT!!! Not only that but the Nano could now connect to the BeCM so I've enabled the EKA again. Whether this is deliberate so that you can't connect if the alarm has been triggered, I've no idea but the software and firmware versions are 31 and 33 so it probably isn't possible to enter the EKA with the Nano anyway. Can the soft/firmwares be updated or is that something that owners of earlier cars are stuck with?

Cause of the problem was that the spurious loop of cabling due to a later latch with flying leads having been fitted at some time in the past had been caught by the window mech and ripped out the key switch wire. So, with a bit of soldering and heat shrink, it'll all be sorted.

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Joined: Jan 06 2016
Posts: 1838

Bu99er me!
I was convinced that sounded too good to be true- especially with all of the brain power that's been expended over the years on immobiliser problems.
I want to know WHY it worked though...

EDIT- I wonder, if you clone an early BECM onto a late one, whether that would get you round the version number?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

As Marty explained, all it did was simulate the key switch and CDL switches being operated. As the key switch was no longer working, when I unlocked the car with the key, it was the same as unlocking with the sill button, the CDL switch operated but the keyswitch didn't so it triggered the alarm which then left the car immobilised. With EKA disabled, it wasn't possible to enter the EKA (even if the key switch had been working) and the alarm set off for some other reason. Seems that disabling the EKA is a pretty dangerous thing to do.

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Joined: Dec 29 2015
Posts: 435

Can the soft/firmwares be updated or is that something that owners of earlier cars are stuck with?

I guess, but you'd have to replace the microcontroller since it's one-time programmable :-/

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

Not really a viable option then. Getting hold of a later one and getting Marty to clone it would seem to be the only way to do it. You'd just need to find a BeCM.

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Joined: Jan 06 2016
Posts: 1838

Gilbertd wrote:

As Marty explained, all it did was simulate the key switch and CDL switches being operated. As the key switch was no longer working, when I unlocked the car with the key, it was the same as unlocking with the sill button, the CDL switch operated but the keyswitch didn't so it triggered the alarm which then left the car immobilised. With EKA disabled, it wasn't possible to enter the EKA (even if the key switch had been working) and the alarm set off for some other reason. Seems that disabling the EKA is a pretty dangerous thing to do.


So plugging in a fully functioning latch would have done the same thing?
The bit I don't understand (got a head full of Codeine at the moment, so even slower than usual) is why grounding the blue/red and green/ red removed the immobilisation and need for the EKA

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

Because EKA is disabled in the BeCM so all it needs to turn the immobiliser off is for the door to be unlocked with the key (or fob if that had been synced). Grounding those two wires simulated the key switch and CDL switch being operated (which is what happens when you turn the key in the lock). So yes, plugging in a fully functioning latch and using the key in it to unlock it would have done exactly the same job. Even with the key switch not working, as long as it starts off unlocked, you don't really know that you have a problem. Turning the key in the lock mechanically unlocks the door which triggers the CDL switch so all the other doors open but this is just the same as unlocking with the sill button. Locking with the sill button doesn't set the alarm or, as long as passive immobilisation has been turned off, the immobiliser, so you could drive around for years not knowing your key switch is dead. That is until one day it decides to work when you lock the door and not when you unlock.

That fact that the latch was fully functioning is what had me fooled, not realising that the wire to the key switch had been ripped out made me assume all was well when it wasn't. As the rain has just stopped, I'm going out there to whip the latch out and sort it now.

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Joined: May 02 2017
Posts: 507

Yey result!

Would this process not have worked if the EKA wasn't disabled in your BeCM?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

No, it would still need the EKA to be entered. If you were very careful, you could enter it by grounding the same two wires in turn to simulate the turns of the key. You'd need to ground the CDL wire (the green/red wire) while entering turns to lock by grounding the blue/red wire and then for the turns to unlock you'd need to remove the ground from the CDL line and just ground the keyswitch line the required number of times. A bit painful but it should be possible to do it if you were really desperate. Disabling EKA does seem to be a really bad idea. Fine while everything is working as it should but drops you really in it when you've got another problem.

Anyway, latch removed, repaired, refitted (and the wires clipped well out of harms way) and all back fully functioning now.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 692

I dread to think what that would have cost at the dealer.
Nice work!

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Joined: May 02 2017
Posts: 507

I wonder why there's even the option to disable the EKA.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1780

Morat wrote:

I dread to think what that would have cost at the dealer.

Well, there would be full retail price for a new door latch (because they wouldn't get a soldering out to the one that is on it), there would be the labour for changing it and at least a couple of hours diagnostic. Or, they'd find they couldn't connect to the BeCM, so they'd probably try and sell me one of those too at a grand plus fitting and 'programming'.