Mystery box


#1

Does anyone have any idea what this is? It is on my window. Mechanic says it goes into the dash and they need to remove the whole dash to see what it is attached to. I occationally have issues with the car starting which they can not find a reason for. They said it could be linked to this box but it will be $400 to remove the dash to see what it is. Any help would be appreciated


#2

Make/model/year?


#3

That’s the “I would like $400 please” Module.

Did it just appear one day? Doesn’t look like alien technology. I suspect a terrestrial origin.

Was this car a fleet vehicle at some point?


#4

I suspect you bought the car used with this part on it. Might be an IPASS module. Prepay for toll highways and one can drive at speed under sensors to avoid stopping at booths to toss in money. Just a guess.


#5

I’m assuming it’s a Volvo, based on the sticker in the window. It could possibly be a remote starter module, which could be why you’re experiencing starting problems, and why they want $400 to look at it


#6

Something that ugly and right in front of you, and you never even questioned what it was when you bought the car?


#7

You bought a car with this thing attached, and NOW you’re asking what it is?

A little late, don’t you think?

How the heck are we supposed to know what it is? I suggest you ask the seller.

Good luck.


#8

That could be a remote disable device. Some cars that are sold to people with questionable credit (or just sold by dealerships that sell to people with shaky credit, whether yours is shaky or not) come with remote disabling devices. That way if you miss a payment or two, they can disable the vehicle when it’s parked in public rather than your garage, get its location, and send the repo truck to get it.

The others are right - this was a question to be asked before you bought the car.


#9

I don’t know what it is, but I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t an EZPass transponder. Those rae about the size of a square, thin hockey puck.

Yeah, it’s very possibly the root cause of your starting problems. You’ll just have to pay the $400 to find out.

Personally, I’ve never seen such a big ugly window thing in all my life. I’d pay $400 just to get rid of it.


#10

I did see it when I bought it. The seller did not know what it was. He said Vovlo would be able to tell me what it was but they can’t. I was just looking for some help not nasty comments. Thanks for giving me faith in car guys :slight_smile: NOT!


#11

thehockeygoddess…I hear what your saying. You were simply asking a question. Some guys on here only see words and cannot understand that someone simply has a question. Please keep in mind that only a handful gave snotty answers, not all car guys are like that.

BTY…your name makes me ask…what team do you root for?


#12

THG, you’re right, some snarky comments. But without information from you speculation took over. The size of that box would have helped - it’s only 1"x1"x4" or so, right?

It’s not something any of us has seen before, so all we can do is guess. You might take it to a car stereo/alarm shop, they may know.


#13

If it were causing me problems I would just cut the cable and remove it.


#14

If you did that, and it was a disabling device or in some other way connected to the starter, your car wouldn’t start. I’m not a fan of playing with stuff unless I know what it is.

THG: The comments that you should have asked (and, I should add, gotten the answer to) this question before you got the car aren’t nasty. They’re good life advice. For all you know this thing IS a remote disabling device, and some jerk might decide to flip the switch some day, and then you end up with a car that won’t start.


#15

So while it’s hooked up it causes intermittent starting problems (or isn’t the cause at all), but disconnecting it entirely will cause the car not to start? Yeah, that makes all kinds of sense.

“My car won’t start. There’s something up with the wiring, from an unknown box which is no longer connected. How much will it cost to fix?”

“Less than $400, that’s for sure. We’ll just follow the original factory wiring diagram in the shop manual.”


#16

I’ve Only Seen One Other Of These Devices And It Was On Twilight Zone.
It Converts A Conventional Car Into A Time Machine. It Is Preset And One Day While Driving, You’ll Suddenly Find,
“You’re travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

Either that or the car was formerly “terrorist owned” and then it’s anybody’s guess as to what it activates and what activates it.

CSA


#17

Whether she asked about it or not before getting the car, it’s the kind of life advice that isn’t very helpful at this point. She’s got a car problem and she’s asking people she thinks would know more about it for any ideas they might have. There’s no need to give her the told-ya-so/dope-slap treatment in lieu of just saying, “I don’t know. Can you tell us any other details you might have about the car’s history, the current symptoms, seller, etc?” If nothing else comes to mind, and you don’t know, you say you don’t know. Not everybody did that, but please try to be courteous.


#18

Thirty years in this Ford garage and no one I ask has seen that kind of box before.

  • Our used car GPS tracking devices are credit card size and hidden within the dashboard area.
  • Other finance company vehicle disablers we’ve seen are equally small and hidden out of view…maybe even hidden from the customer’s knowledge.
  • The Ford remote start antennae are mounted just above the inner rear view mirror out of the line of sight
  • Solar trickle chargers are 1/2" thin.
  • No speed pass around here but others have said it’s too big for that.

My guess is it’s either a remote start module or a GPS & disabler.

On your door lock remote is there one button with a picture of a key ?
Remote start.


#19

For whatever reason, I cannot download the picture to get a good look at it, so I was unable to offer any advice. I would ask this, can the box be moved without disconnecting it? If so, maybe there is a label on it that may be hidden from view that might help someone here recognize it.

If it a type of disabling box, then it would be wired into the circuit in a way that a critical wire is cut and rewired through the box. Then when it is to be disabled, a signal is sent to the box to open the circuit. Removing the box would also open the circuit.

The occasional non start condition might not be related to the box. If you pay the $400 and it doesn’t fix the non start condition, you would not be the first to spend that kind of money on a car and not get the desired results.

If the non starting or troublesome starting conditions are not a serious problem, I would ignore the problem. If they are serious, please describe the starting issues with as much information as possible, maybe you can get some help that does not involve the box. Starting issues, morning/midday, evening? engine hot/cold? sounds,normal starter motor sounds but not starting the engine/no starter motor sounds/ clicking instead of normal starter motor sounds? does not start/starts eventually after seconds/# of tries?


#20

My guess is that Kieth has the right idea with looking for a label. Try to find a name for a company that may have made the thing, and google the company, model number, anything else you can find.

Beyond that, I’m stumped. Although, it doesn’t take much to stump me!