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Subject Topic: Towbar Wiring - A warning
Page:  1  2 Post Reply Post New Topic
10/7/2014 at 11:20pm
 Location: Teesside
 Outfit: Challenger Sport 524 + Volvo V90 D5
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Asked my local Mercedes-Benz dealership about fitting a towbar to my new C220 Estate. said they didn't fit them any more themselves but recommended a chap to me. They probably never did many because of the 2K plus they reputedly charge (ouch!), but I thought I'd ask anyway.

So I rang this guy on the mobile number they gave me, to find he has no connection with MB, doesn't use a dedicated MB loom but fettles some off-the-shelf part and has no facilities to reprogram the car to activate, among other things, the car's trailer stability software.

Not impressed but at least they were upfront about what they do.

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Camping Gear expands so as to fill the space available for its transportation.



11/7/2014 at 10:03pm
 Location: Teesside
 Outfit:  Mitsubishi ASX4
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Sounds like it might have been the same cowboy that fitted mine originally.

Have you tried Hedleys of Durham to get a towbar for your Merc?


13/7/2014 at 7:46pm
 Location: Teesside
 Outfit: Challenger Sport 524 + Volvo V90 D5
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Went to Teesside Towbar Centre who recommended MB loom with Tow Trust towbar, and reprogrammed the electrics. Pleased with result, especially since they didn't need to cut the bumper which others said they needed to do.

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Camping Gear expands so as to fill the space available for its transportation.



31/7/2014 at 10:10pm
 Location: Thornton Cleveleys
 Outfit: Swift Charisma 550 - 2004
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I work for a "Premium British 4x4" dealership, we fit the OEM towbars and wiring onsite. If you use the dedicated manufacturer kit fitted by the dealer, there is no problem with the vehicle warranty. We do somtimes get owners coming in with towbar electrcis fitted elsewhere. They tend to get upset when we have to charge them to put things right. Don't ever use scotchlock connectors on a vehicle under warranty as it will void the vehicle's wiring warranty. Dealer fit OEM kit may cost more initially but can save problems in the long run as your warranty is not affected. With our accessories, if fitted to a new car at Point of sale, the warranty period is the same as the car (3 Years)


11/10/2016 at 10:36pm
 Location: The Spare Room
 Outfit: None Entered
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I do love reading these forums, most of them are started and contributed to by people who think they know all about towbar fitting or simply know very little about it.
I am a professional mobile fitter who works for a company that regularly gets positive feedback and glowing praise from it's customers.
There are a few points I'd like to cover but will be brief.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with universal wiring using a by-pass relay but only in suitable circumstances. If Joe Public wants to use his 2010 Focus to run his 5 x 3 trailer to the dump once a month what is the problem? Agreed, if you want to tow a caravan and your car has a built in trailer stability program etc then dedicated is the way to go.
On the subject of warranties, as long as all the parts used for wiring are type approved (including scotch-loks)then there is no affect on any warranty and dealers are actually lying if they say there is. I've even been told that they are breaking a law by doing so, much in the same way as dealers used to tell people that having another company servicing their vehicle would void the warranty. Simply not true.
As has been pointed out, almost no dealership would entertain retro fitting a towbar themselves and will farm it out to an outside source so don't be fooled into thinking you are getting anything better from them. If it's factory fitted, that's a different matter but a lot more expensive.
What I'm trying to say is that there are good and bad companies fitting towbars these days and I personally take umbrage at being tarred with the same brush as the so-called 'cowboys'. I take a great deal of pride in my work and think I do a bloody good, safe job that works reliably, dedicated or by-pass. If you need advice, go to a reputable fitting company and stop reading forums.
Thanks for your time.


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12/10/2016 at 8:06am
 Location: north wales
 Outfit: Sprite Quattro FB
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Is ATC a valuable addition if it needs high amperage power supply? There should be no need for it with a well loaded outfit. If the outfit is poorly loaded or badly driven, and this is masked by the ATC then if the system fails it could result in a mishap. I have not ever had a problem with caravan stability and ATC seems like one more thing to go wrong.


12/10/2016 at 8:16am
 Location: 
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OE towbars/wiring fitted at my local Citroen main dealer workshop are fitted by their own mechanics. The warranty issue is misunderstood. It's this simple.

If any equipment, electrical or whatever is fitted to a new vehicle by anybody other than main dealer & not approved by them causes problems that can only be fixed by main dealer workshop then obviously that work will not be covered by vehicle warranty. It does not void warranty on rest of car.

So anything fitted to new car by anybody other than main dealer needs to be warrantied by anybody fitting it.

So an outside towbar fitter needs to warranty his work & fix it at no cost to customer if it is problematic.

Post last edited on 12/10/2016 08:21:13


12/10/2016 at 8:06pm
 Location: Teesside
 Outfit:  Mitsubishi ASX4
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Quote: Originally posted by teleman59 on 11/10/2016

What I'm trying to say is that there are good and bad companies fitting towbars these days and I personally take umbrage at being tarred with the same brush as the so-called 'cowboys'. I take a great deal of pride in my work and think I do a bloody good, safe job that works reliably, dedicated or by-pass. If you need advice, go to a reputable fitting company and stop reading forums.
Thanks for your time.



Not sure why you've dredged this old topic up. The point I was making was simply to have a quick check of the work done, whoever did it.

My dealership must have thought their local fitter was reputable. I know they no longer use then after my problem, but how does average Joe Soap know a reputable fitter is reputable? Reviews of fitters may not be at all reliable.

I do, however, very much sympathise with your problem, the cowboys sadly tar everybody.



12/10/2016 at 8:09pm
 Location: Teesside
 Outfit:  Mitsubishi ASX4
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Quote: Originally posted by brianconwy on 12/10/2016
Is ATC a valuable addition if it needs high amperage power supply? There should be no need for it with a well loaded outfit. If the outfit is poorly loaded or badly driven, and this is masked by the ATC then if the system fails it could result in a mishap. I have not ever had a problem with caravan stability and ATC seems like one more thing to go wrong.



I had a well loaded trailer tent, it was not poorly driven and the weight ratio was just over 50%, but I had a massive and very sudden tank slapper on a fortunately very quiet flat motorway at under 60mph.

If that ever happens to you, I bet your next van will have ATC and every stability aid known to man.





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