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.
This cost is anywhere between £25 and £600 more depending on the vehicle. Although in most cases the additional cost is less than £150.
You can find the exact cost and options available for your vehicle by using our registration number search.
Vehicle warranty protected
Built in safety features activated
Parking aids disabled while towing
Software update by dealer may be required
The extra cost is justified because the wiring is installed as the vehicle manufacturer intended it to be fitted, it means that your warranty won't be affected.
If your vehicle is less than 3 years old, or is still within the manufacturers warranty, you would need vehicle specific wiring to protect that warranty.
Because the wiring is designed to work with the vehicles on-board systems, certain functions on the vehicle are activated that would otherwise not work with universal electrics. Some of these features are vital safety features such as Trailer Stability Control, and other convenience features such as the cut off of your fog light and parking aids while towing.
Trailer Stability Control
Perhaps most importantly, if your car has Trailer Stability Control, which is an extension of the cars normal Stability Control, it will be fully activated when your towbar is installed using vehicle specific wiring.
In addition to that, any other towing functions that are available on your car would be activated. These systems vary with each vehicle, but with vehicle specific wiring if the feature would have been on the car if it had had a towbar fitted at the factory when it was built, then all of those features can be activated with the towbar installation.
It is important to note, however, that some vehicles require a software update from the dealer to activate these features after the wiring is installed. We use both Autologic diagnostic tools, and Westfalia Autocode tools to re-program vehicles when we install vehicle specific wiring, and in 95% of cars we can do the software update for you free of charge. In some cases the car would have to have the software update at the dealer. This can usually be done next time the car is in for a service, but in a few cases the towbar wiring won't work at all until the software update is done.
Some vehicles need to be 'coded' or programmed to activate the extra functions provided by the wiring loom, especially in the case of T-Esp (Trailer Stability Control) on VW Audi group vehicles.
Please note that we can only activate features that are built in to your car. For example, not all cars have T-Esp, and some models have a button on the dash to de-activate the parking aids, so automatic de-activation of the sensors is not available.
We have invested in diagnostic equipment which means that we can re-code most vehicles at the time the towbar is fitted. Sometimes we are unable to re-code vehicles simply because the vehicle manufacturer has not released the codes to the aftermarket.
In order to protect the warranty on a new vehicle, the manufacturer and their dealership network would insist that any towbar wiring must be equivalent to that supplied by themselves.
Vehicle specific wiring complies with this requirement so any warranty on your car would not be affected at all by the towbar wiring installation.