It happened in this order: killed the fuel pump sender, then flattened the battery, then had to push my tank like wagon closer to my wife’s car to get it started and finally I got the kill switch working.
But hey, the good news is: The kill switch is working. Now if you want to steal my war wagon you’re going to have to brake your fingers to find the switch or put your back in it and push. And trust me, with this behemoth, pushing it anywhere is the last thing you want to do..
So what’s a kill switch?
A hidden switch somewhere in the car that cuts out the power to something important in getting the car started. It could be the power to the fuel pump which means no fuel goes to the engine – it could be the ignition wire making it a nightmare to turn it over. Until the switch is activated, nothing is starting properly, nobody is going anywhere – especially some low life attempting to steal your pride and joy.
Unfortunately the wagon I own seems to be a hot commodity at the moment for the car thieving community and so I figured spending $15 for an extra bit of security would definitely not go astray.
Next time though, I probably should have done just a couple more minutes research first. (I’ll explain later).
What you’ll need
- Some kind of switch. Now there’s plenty of choice around depending on what size and shape and design you’re looking for. A basic SPST (single pole single throw or in layman’s terms ‘a basic on/off switch) works well. I bought a rocker off/on switch that could be illuminated if need be (it’s going to be hidden so no illumination). Very similar to this one here.
- A spool of auto cable. Depending on where you’re going to install your kill switch, you may need a lot of wire..
- A soldering iron and solder
- heat shrink or electrical tape
- A socket set. For any things you need to remove in the way.
- I also found a dremel/rotary tool incredibly helpful in cutting an opening in my switches location.
Things you’ll need to know
- The location of the wiring you want to put the switch on. In the Stagea the fuel pump location is on the right hand side of the spare wheel, under the carpet and removable floor. In some cars you’ll find the pump under the back seat. Since the wiring goes right to the fuse box in the front, you don’t have to cut the wiring right next to the pump – there’s plenty of locations you can cut it and solder in the switch.
- What each pole on your switch is for. I figured positive and ground would be all I needed…guess what? I was half right!..
What I messed up..
- I assumed the red wire in the big group of wiring was the power wire for the fuel delivery from the fuel pump – nope, that’s for the fuel sender. So when the switch was off, the fuel needle was below empty while the car ran. When the switch was on, same thing.. (wait a minute.) It turns out the thick wires are the wires I needed, not the thin ones I sliced into..
- As mentioned above, the power pole and ground pole were not the combo I needed. If you’re using a similar rocker led switch as a kill switch the process goes like this: One end of the fuel pump wire goes into the power section, the other to the accessory pole. The ground is for the led part. Since you want this to be hidden, don’t light up the led. It won’t stay hidden for long if there’s a great red light shining out of it.
- Since I’d soldered the wires onto the wrong pole – attempting to start the car time and time again with no operational fuel pump (and a very confused home mechanic behind the wheel) drained my battery. Of course I didn’t discover the flat battery until it went dark and I had to move the car.. (here’s an idea, don’t push a Stagea by yourself unless you absolutely have to…)
For me this job took a few hours but with better knowledge of where everything is and correct switch wiring in the first place, you could knock it over easily in a couple of hours depending on how much hiding of the wiring you needed. If for some reason your new switch doesn’t work, you can always just patch up the cut wire and try again later (so don’t put everything back in place until you know for certain everything is behaving as it should..)