June 21, 2011, 8:32 am
[font="Comic Sans MS"][/font]I want to fit a towbar to my new Mondeo. I bought an 'as new' towbar to fit, but without the electrics. My car is fitted with LED lights and I am aware that I cannot fit the older, simple electrics. I know Ford sell an electric kit plus a 'relay box', which together add up to about £130, but is this a DIY job or not? I am competent to work on the electrics, but I don't want to cause a problem with regard to warranties etc should something go wrong.
Has anyone fitted a towbar themselves?
If I can't do it at a reasonable cost, I will sell the towbar and fit one to my wife's Golf since I only need it for a motorcycle trailer a few times a year.
June 21, 2011, 10:27 am
ford have to enable the dedicated towing electrics on their IDS equipment so even if you fit them yourself you will still have an 1/2 hour bill from ford.
July 11, 2011, 8:52 am
I have now fitted a towbar to my 2011 Mondeo. Working methodically, the actual fitting of the towbar itself (a Westfalia/Ford item), was straightforward and presented no problems. After being frightened off with the £150+ price just for the genuine Ford wiring parts, I went and talked to my local towbar shop. They have never fitted the Ford item, but instead use the PCT isolator unit. I'm happy to do my own wiring and fitting, so I bought the necessary parts and went ahead and did it at about a quarter of the price. The isolator is basically used to accept tiny current inputs from the car lighting and convert it to operate small relays in order to switch the lights on the trailer. (You can't just link things up any more as you perhaps did before because LED rear lights do not have the current carrying capability of powering up filament lamps on a trailer). The hardest paet of the job was finding a 12V supply in the rear of the car, but I eventually worked it out and all works fine. No special tools are needed, but I suggest you allow a weekend for the first time because finding the wire colours can be time consuming. The second time (on your mate's car!), will be easier.
The link to the isolator unit is here:
Pre 2010 cars without LED rear lights do not need the isolator, but it can still be fitted if you feel happier.
One thing to note: This type of system means that other than a beeper sounding when the indicators are on, the car doesn't 'know' that there is a trailer on. If you have electronically monitored suspension and a host of other fancy gadgets, you should take care not to upset things. You don't want the on board computer thinking that correction to something is needed, when all that is wrong is that the trailer is pulling a bit.....! Also, if you are not electrically competent, it may be best to take it in and have it fitted professionally.