Auto-electricians help needed: Towing electrics
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  1. #1
    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire
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    English Impala is offline

    Auto-electricians help needed: Towing electrics

    My daily driver is a 2006 VW Passat 2.0 TDi estate. It has a towbar fitted with twin (12N/12S) electrics for towing a caravan. I fitted the towbar but had a towbar fitter do the electrics due to the low-current wiring requiring a special relay & probably a whole host of other wizardry that I couldn't do with a roll of insulating tape & a bag of scotch-locks. This was done when the car was new.

    I'm collecting a new caravan on Friday which has the new (continental style) 13 pin plug. I bought a 13 pin socket for the car & using a wiring diagram swapped the twin 12N/12S sockets for the new 13 pin socket and.... nothing. All I have got is 12V the ignition controlled pin everything else is dead. I have checked both fuses under the bonnet for the electrics (one for the fridge & one feeding the relay) and both are fine (but I changed them anyway "just in case"). Three of the pins have a permamnent low voltage reading of around 1V.

    I have had a look behind the trim panel & all of the wires seem okay, but the relay does smell (like a faint burnt PCB smell). Could this have burnt out, giving the symptoms above (including the low voltage to a few random pins)?

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  3. #2
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie englishedsel's Avatar
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    Sounds like the relay is burn't if you can smell it and the low voltage on the other pins. There is an adapter you can buy to convert the old style twin plugs to the new 13 pin plug. (Basically a fly lead with two plugs on one end and a 13 pin socket on the other) Any decent caravan shop should sell it if not they are available on flee-bay in the caravan accesories section. Not much help to you now I know but might be worth considering to convert back to original seeing as though it was working OK before.

  4. #3
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie 100ev8's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    you will need to buy the "specific loom" for it . new cars lights are tied in to ecu's and towbar wires play havoc with um !!!

    you can damage things by just conecting things up

    Last edited by 100ev8; 13-12-2009 at 16:39. Reason: cant spell

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