Towbar Wiring Types

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The Difference in Towbar Wiring Types

Towbar WiringThere are two ways that towbar wiring can be installed on your car.

It can be installed using either universal aftermarket wiring or using what is known as vehicle-specific, or dedicated wiring.

Vehicle Specific wiring can be a lot more expensive, but has many benefits to justify the cost. When getting quotes for a towbar installation it is important to understand what you are looking for. The 'cheapest' way to install the wiring is rarely the best.

On older cars you have the option to decide how you would like the wiring to be installed, you can choose between universal aftermarket wiring, or vehicle-specific wiring depending on your budget.

On newer cars which have safety features built into the car which would only be activated with vehicle-specific wiring, we always fit the universal wiring as standard included in the price that you are quoted.  Using universal wiring on these cars would mean that essential safety features are not active when you are towing.  In the future, all cars will require the dedicated wiring type to be fitted.

To help you make an informed decision, you can click on the images below for further information about universal aftermarket wiring, and vehicle-specific wiring.


Universal Aftermarket Towbar WiringUniversal Aftermarket Wiring

Universal towbar wiring kits were, until the introduction of vehicle-specific wiring kits, the standard method for the fitment of aftermarket towbar wiring.

This is a lower-cost option than vehicle-specific towbar wiring, however, it does have some compromises as a result.

Universal towbar wiring does provide all the lighting functions that are needed to keep you legal while towing your trailer or caravan.

However, it doesn't provide the additional benefits provided by vehicle-specific towbar wiring.

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Vehicle Specific Wiring LoomVehicle Specific Wiring

Vehicle Specific Wiring, sometimes known as 'dedicated wiring looms' or 'plug-in kits', are becoming ever more popular for towbar wiring installation. To put it simply this is the way the job should be done.

Each kit is designed specifically for the vehicle that it is fitted to, and rather than soldering or using 'Scotch Locks' to connect the towbar wiring, which is the case with universal aftermarket wiring, these kits interface with the vehicle systems in the same way as the vehicle manufacturer intended.

Due to the complex nature of dedicated wiring, it is inevitable that is more expensive than universal wiring.

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Coding MachineCoding your Vehicle

What is coding and does my car need it?

With any vehicle-specific wiring loom, there is a chance your vehicle will need coding. All our engineers are equipped with coding machines which they will plug into your car to update the system. Most new vehicles have towing functions and without the coding, it is possible they won’t work. Some functions include de-activating your parking sensors, trailer stability control, and deactivating some safety functions such as lane assist.

Although this may sound daunting, we have invested heavily into up-to-date coding equipment and all our engineers have been trained to use them effectively, which means you will have the whole installation done the right way and saves you from having to take your vehicle to a manufacturer to finish the job. There are minimal occasions where we cannot code a vehicle and you may need to get a dealership to complete this for you.

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