Mike's living on the Edge

Advice needed for fitting tow bar and electrics on Edge

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As anyone managed to get a dealer to fit the tow electrics and tow bar to your Ford Edge? All my local dealers have no experience doing this and just sound confused or at worse, have no idea. 

I just need this for my tow ball mounted bike rack and trailer board. 

Do I need the detachable tow bar, tow electrics loom and a tow module? These are coming in at around £450. I'm expecting a couple of hours labour on top too.

I'm assuming the new tow module then needs coding up to the car so the car knows what to do with lights / indicators / reverse sensors when I plug in the electrics from my bike rack??

I've also heard the tow bar causes issues with the foot switch to open the boot (waving your foot under the bumper)?? 

Any advice from real world experience would be greatly appreciated... especially if you know a dealer near Reading / Bracknell who knows what they are doing!

Thanks in advance,

Mike.

 

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I have a dealer-fitted Ford detachable towbar. To enable features like disabling parking sensors when the trailer detected and trailer showing on screen, you will need the dedicated electrics, programmed to the car... Oh, and a post-November 2016 build date for all the features to work! My dealer said fitting the towbar to the Edge was the easiest they have ever done!

The towbar is great and has no effect on parking sensors (I never detach my towball) or the hands free boot release. The only thing to bear in mind is that you will probably crack your shins on it when trying to use the foot switch... Or is it just me being clumsy?

On mine, the 13 pin connector is a tight fit and is tucked away underneath the bumper, requiring you to get on your hands and knees to plug in your trailer electrics. The fitting for the break-away cable is well and truly underneath and needs you to lay on the floor to connect... a foam kneeler mat is essential!

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Just now, Mike's living on the Edge said:

Thanks for the info Dave, much appreciated.. I feel more confident now having my local dealer fitting it. I'll get onto them tomorrow.... must remember to mention the Post Nov 2016 build to them. 

Three attempts to enable all the functions that should come with the dedicated electrics kit have been unsuccessful and I’ve resigned myself to having to press the button to turn off the parking sensors when reversing... I can also live without the trailer graphic on the display to remind me I have a caravan attached!

However, all my electrical gremlins have apparently been addressed by other dealers on other owners’ cars... Hmmmm...

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My tow bar was factory fitted but my dealer did the fit of a tow bar on my previous Edge. The parts all came to them as a kit with plug in loom etc. I think that was about £700 all in, so not cheap, but all electrical issues were corrected so things like the fog lights on the car not coming on in favour of the trailer fog lights and parking sensor bleeps not bothering you when a trailer was connected, all worked perfectly.  xn85 is right about the breakaway cable location, though I’ve now got that down to a fine art without getting my knees dirty !!

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14 hours ago, xn85 said:

Oh, and a post-November 2016 build date for all the features to work! 

Not true. Mine is a very early car - July 2016 build. Factory fitted towbar electrics work perfectly.

I agree about the shins and the 13 pin socket though!

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22 hours ago, NeilRS said:

Didn’t know uo could turn the rear sensors off

They are turned off automatically if the car senses a trailer plugged in to the 13 pin socket I assume. No manual switch in mine.

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If you press the parking sensor button on the Centre console it turns them off.

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Dealer fitted towbar on my Edge and as above they said it was an easy fit.  13pin plug is also low down and hidden underneath.

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On 26/01/2018 at 6:47 PM, xn85 said:

If you press the parking sensor button on the Centre console it turns them off.

So it does! I also found another switch on the dash which allows me to open the tailgate without getting out of the car. Isn't technology wonderful?

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Just jumping onboard with this.

I have managed to source and fit my own detachable swan neck tow bar with the dedicated electrics.

Very easy install,didnt evan have to remove the rear bumper,just paid to have the module coded to the car after fitting the plug in dedicated wiring.

Everything works as i expected.

The trailer connected message appears briefly after first turning on the ignition,reverse sensor beeps are muted and the trailer logo appears on the screen when reverse is selected,rear fogs switch off to stop dazzle from the caravan.

Bulb failure messages appear on the dash as am currently having issues with my caravan lighting causing a trailer brake bulb failure message but i believe this will be sorted by a different VLM4 module fitted to the caravan.

All in this cost me £380 for the towbar and wiring plus £40 to have it coded,considerably cheaper than £750+vat from the stealers.

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That is a fair saving. As it fiddles with the electrical system though how would you stand in terms of warranty? Thinking more of giving Ford an escape route for any future warranty claim. 

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Why would Ford need an 'Escape Route'?

The warranty situation is straightforward. If a non-standard repair or accessory causes issues, that and any consequential damage, would not be covered.

If the issues are caused by a manufacturing defect, it would be covered.

H

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1 hour ago, Hamster said:

Why would Ford need an 'Escape Route'?

The warranty situation is straightforward. If a non-standard repair or accessory causes issues, that and any consequential damage, would not be covered.

If the issues are caused by a manufacturing defect, it would be covered.

H

Who decides if the fault is caused by the non-standard accessory? That would be the "out". "Oh yes sir, it was your towbar electrics that caused the xyz to fail."

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Well, if the xyz has failed and it was scotch-locked to the BCM (Body Control Module) wiring (I have actually seen this!!) then no it would not be covered.

But if the xyz was the glove box catch its hard to make a connection (Pun intended). Given enough time I may be able to link a failed glove box catch with the fitting of a tow bar but not right now.

It all boils down to how much you trust your dealer, why would you use a dealer you didn't trust?

H

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On 14/02/2018 at 9:47 AM, Hamster said:

Why would Ford need an 'Escape Route'?

The warranty situation is straightforward. If a non-standard repair or accessory causes issues, that and any consequential damage, would not be covered.

If the issues are caused by a manufacturing defect, it would be covered.

H

So they don’t have to pay for a warranty claim. Apologies if that wasn’t clear. 

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I think it was clear.

You have to remember the dealers don't 'pay' for a warranty repair, they charge the manufacturer, in this case Ford.

The point I wanted to make is that warranty paid repairs are actually quite lucrative and there is no reason a dealer would\should not want to do them. Generally the rates are good, they are paid almost without question and mostly its easy work for them.

Insurance (body shop) labour rates are too low. Retail work, no-one ever pays full retail, even the general public want discount for their 'custom'. Fleets, screw every repair down to the last penny. I just can't see why a dealer would not prefer a full up rate, paid on time.

Yet the forums, and now this one, see dealers in a very poor light and think they are 'afraid' of warranty.

oh well

H

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I've had the tow ball  and electrics fitted... you mentioned plugging in the electrics was a bit tricky... is your socket facing backwards inside the rear bumper??? can you actually get a plug into the socket??

My cable from the bike rack isn't long enough to reach the socket so I will be building an extension lead.. not an issue for me ... but wondering if I need to find the smallest 13 pin socket on the market so I can actually get it plugged in??

It looks like the socket would have been better facing downwards and I was thinking about putting a right angled bracket to the socket panel to rotate it around. Anyone else done this?

thanks in advance.

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My tow bar was factory fitted and the 13 pin socket is on a pivot, it faces rearwards and swivels down with a firm tug so you can plug in your cable, then when finished it swivels back out of sight behind the bumper. With the tow ball detached and socket tucked up, you couldn’t tell it has a tow bar, unless you climb underneath. 

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Mike, if you grab the socket and rotate it downwards, from about the 9 o’clock to the 6 o’clock position, you should be able to plug your electrics in. It is a little stiff so needs a bit of effort. 

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Ian, massive thanks for the info... I was under the car this afternoon (now it is not buried in snow) and I would have never guessed it rotated downwards if you had not told me! Clever piece of design from Ford. 

Thanks again. 

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